Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 19th Feb 2014 14:21 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Gionee has announced what the company claims is the thinnest smartphone in the world. Aside from boasting the most impressive 5.55mm waistline, the Elife S5.5 runs an Android-based Amigo OS, sports an octa-core 1.7 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and a duo of 13 MP and 5 MP cameras (back and front).

I've already made the jump to Chinese smartphones early last year, and with still zero complaints about the Find 5, I have no intention of ever going back. Here, too, Gionee, shows that the stereotype we have here of Chinese devices being nothing but clones is starting to get very, very outdated. Influenced by lobbying from western companies, our governments will do all they can to block the influx of Chinese devices for as long as they can, but it won't take long for consumer demand for high-quality devices at low prices to overcome that.

Chinese companies like Oppo, Huawei, Xaomi, and others will do to the device market what Japanese and later South-Korean car brands have done to the car market. If I were a Korean, Japanese, or American device maker - I'd be worried.

Also, I totally want this phone. Beautiful.

Order by: Score:
looks nice, but can I trust it?
by Adurbe on Wed 19th Feb 2014 15:06 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

Now, as I write this, I KNOW I dont have any facts to back this up. Its a difficult thing to articulate, but I don't quite 'trust' these devices.

I think it comes from how authoritative the host nation is, that I cant quite shake the feeling there will be "something" in the software or hardware(be that filtering or snooping). This is different from the Korean/Japanese who fully opened up during their westernisation push.

I must admit some of the stuff coming from china is looking better and better quality. However, I cant Quite bring myself to trust/buy them. This goes from Lenovo down to this phone.

If I got one of these, I wouldnt be comfortable without at least flashing it with a ROM from someone else which I trusted more(cyanogenmod?).

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Even a completely safe and trusted phone still has all its mobile/wireless data flow through access points and hubs that are tapped by our governments - so it's kind of a moot point.

Reply Score: 8

Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

That is probably true (UK was involved in a lot of the tapping stuff) but whereas I feel the UK agencies can be taken to account for their actions, and indeed they have been, I don't feel the Chinese could....

Things might be changing, but we arnt quite there Yet.

Reply Score: 1

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


Things might be changing, but we arnt quite there Yet.


Indeed, we still have a ways to go until racism and xenophobia are things of the past...

Reply Score: 4

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Uhhh...WTH has racism got to do with not trusting an authoritarian totalitarian regime? You gonna scream racism if we don't think North Korea is a nice place to live either?

If you want to stick your head in the sand and pretend there isn't a seriously nasty regime behind those cheap devices, which I might add are cheap BECAUSE said regime doesn't give a rat's ass if the peasants suck pollution and eat toxic waste, that is YOUR business, but don't be throwing the racist card for somebody daring to point out that the Chinese regime has a history of devices coming "pre-Malwared". Or do I really need to post several examples of everything from routers to flash sticks coming from China pre-pwned?

Reply Score: 5

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Your reply may have more to do with your own issues than with the sentence I wrote...

BTW, I am not giving a pass to China.

Edited 2014-02-20 05:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

You sir pulled the racism card when he said he didn't trust phone made by Chinese companies, not me. I rightly pointed out it does not have a thing to do with race, just as it wouldn't have a thing to do with race if he said he didn't trust companies run in NK or Putin's Russia.

When we have countless evidence that the state is 100% in control of the major tech companies over there AND have a vested interest in trying to steal secrets? Its not racist to point out that the hardware and our software might be compromised.

Hell I'm an American and not ashamed to admit when it comes to networking equipment I'd trust something made in Japan or the EU a hell of a lot quicker than I would trust something made in the USA. Does that make me racist or anti-American? No it just makes me able to read the headlines, just as I'm sure the other guy read all about the "pre-pwned" routers and other gear coming from China.

So don't be so quick to throw the race card, especially where it has no merit. An authoritarian regime knows no race after all, it only knows control.

Reply Score: 3

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

When you live in the biggest glass house in the neighborhood (NSA Land), going around throwing stones is rather hypocritical.

Now, who knows. Maybe this device has a backdoor which sends your sexting straight to some dark room in Beijing. But that's still in the realm of speculation. Whereas we have known for a while that your sexting can and is being intercepted and stored somewhere in Utah, to be read by some all American analyst in Maryland at their discretion. (I recommend you actually read the articles, not just the headlines to get a grasp of things).

The key here is which nation(s) the previous poster decided to give the benefit of the doubt and which one was indicted automatically. Specially given how just about every cell phone (the product category pertaining this article) sold in the West is made in China. Yet "concern" only popped up the minute one such device carried a Chinese sounding brand name.


Now, I'm not saying it's done consciously, xenophobia rarely is. But people learn and grow when their mistakes are pointed out. That's at least how I did it. And yes, you are free to just let dissonance get the best of you and continue with the argument about the side of the shit with the peanut having a worse smell than the part with corn in it.

Reply Score: 3

twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Uhhh...WTH has racism got to do with not trusting an authoritarian totalitarian regime?


Indeed. An the US of A is the homeland of democracy and human rights. They even exported democracy in Iraq, Afganistan and other countries.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

which I might add are cheap BECAUSE said regime doesn't give a rat's ass if the peasants suck pollution and eat toxic waste, that is YOUR business


Funny how you freedom lovin' and humanitarian americans have no problem with exploiting said peasants in order to get cheap stuff.

Reply Score: 3

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

"
Things might be changing, but we arnt quite there Yet.


Indeed, we still have a ways to go until racism and xenophobia are things of the past...
"

And even further before legitimate points about repressive regimes are shouted down in the name of political correctness.

Reply Score: 2

drcoldfoot Member since:
2006-08-25

No disrespect, but if you trust the US based smartphones, then you're in for a big surprise.

Reply Score: 5

twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

No disrespect, but if you trust the US based smartphones, then you're in for a big surprise.


They still make smartphones in US?

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So, basically, what you're saying is that you have no problem with devices made in China as long as the brand of the phone isn't actually Chinese.
Yeah, ok....

Reply Score: 8

Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

As long as the maker of the phone is accountable. That is the distinction. I don't feel that is yet true of many Chinese companies (in particular state backed companies).

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sorry, but Soulbender is right. Picking and choosing a company based on where their pretty office is located isn't a guarantee against anything. Nokia is based in Finland but my N900 says "Made in China". Granted, it's a fairly open device, but not 100% open. I don't know for sure that it's any safer than a Chinese branded device.

Fact is, it's getting harder and harder to find good technology that isn't mass produced in China. For me, well it's never been an issue; I go into any tech purchase with the assumption that it's sending my data somewhere it will be stored and later mined, and I've had that mindset for many years now.

Or look at it another way: Richard Stallman uses a laptop designed and manufactured in China -- in fact it uses a CPU that is 100% Chinese design -- because it allows him the greatest possible level of Freedom in his daily computing. He doesn't use a cellphone at all over privacy concerns. And you're stuck with a closed radio no matter where your phone is made or who designed it, unless you can find a carrier who will support your fully open hardware. Good luck with that.

Reply Score: 4

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I go into any tech purchase with the assumption that it's sending my data somewhere it will be stored and later mined, and I've had that mindset for many years now.


Basically, this.

When it comes to buying a mobile phone, you pretty much have to expect zero privacy in this day and age. If you want privacy - don't buy one.

Reply Score: 3

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

But I'm sure you will admit its a LOT harder to do when the company isn't in the same country (and thus can be bullied and threatened) by the ruling regime, yes? After all I'm sure somebody in product testing will say "Uhhh why is this calling out to this strange IP and why is it sucking our battery?"

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

But I'm sure you will admit its a LOT harder to do when the company isn't in the same country (and thus can be bullied and threatened) by the ruling regime, yes?


Yeah, that's why I don't buy phones from companies based in the good ole' US of A.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

"Why is my Apple device tracking every move I make, saving it to the phone, and reporting it back to Apple?" "Why is my Google device keeping a record of every voice control request, and storing it on their servers?"

It's not just Chinese companies we have to worry about; Apple and Google are both part of PRISM whether they want to be or not. On the surface, my country is against the idea of governments spying on their own citizens, but the wool has been pulled back and it's clear that they will throw major corporations under the bus just to be able to do the same kind of spying. They call it "metadata" and say it's not important, but I've still got that irresistible urge to look over my virtual shoulder with every word I type.

Reply Score: 3

...
by Hiev on Wed 19th Feb 2014 15:09 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I feel tempted to adquire the Huawei G610 all I see are positive reviews in YouTube and the price is really reasonable.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by kwanbis on Wed 19th Feb 2014 21:35 UTC in reply to "..."
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

Seems to me the Moto G is a better phone. Or I'm missing something?

Reply Score: 3

Interesting
by rayx on Wed 19th Feb 2014 15:17 UTC
rayx
Member since:
2006-03-24

I am in China and I have never seen people using Oppo phone around me (i.e., in office or in subway). But, yes, there are a lots of Apple/Xiaomi/Huawei phones here. BTW, is it really the thinner (or the larger) the better? I just don't understand it. Or is it because I don't use apps on my phone that often so the size doesn't matter to me? I am using a Lumia 800 and I like its size, as well as its design. I considered to buy a WP8 phone last year but gave up because it's hard to find a phone in the market which has a screen of similar size.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Interesting
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 19th Feb 2014 16:56 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

BTW, is it really the thinner (or the larger) the better? I just don't understand it.


What?!?!? Do you mean to suggest that "thinness" is just a irrelevant marketing-drone/fanboy talking point? The hell, you say! I know I constantly have the need to store my phone and laptop in manilla envelopes, doesn't everyone?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Interesting
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 19th Feb 2014 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"BTW, is it really the thinner (or the larger) the better? I just don't understand it.


What?!?!? Do you mean to suggest that "thinness" is just a irrelevant marketing-drone/fanboy talking point? The hell, you say! I know I constantly have the need to store my phone and laptop in manilla envelopes, doesn't everyone?
"

Some people leave their homes, and when they do so, they carry their phones in their pockets. The thinner said phone is, the more comfortable it is to carry.

I know, what sorcery!

Reply Score: 2

v RE[3]: Interesting
by Megol on Wed 19th Feb 2014 18:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting"
RE[4]: Interesting
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 19th Feb 2014 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Bullshit. Either you wear pants some sizes too small or are imaging things. At least for me the thickness of the phone have been less than the thickness of my (small, thin) wallet since 2006.


Ah, the amazing "my situation is valid for everyone and if it's not, then it's bullshit and you're an idiot!"-argument.

But I guess you don't have a wallet either? It would be to thick to be useful, right?


I do not carry my wallet in my jeans, no. Uncomfortable. I either only carry my bank card, or leave my wallet in the car, or my coat pocket if it's winter. I do not put my phone in my coat pocket because I'm afraid it might slide out when I'm cycling or something like that.

My situation might not be applicable to yours. You would do good to remember that the other way around.

When writing something smug one should first see if it makes one look like an asshole. Guess what - you do.


Calling someone an "asshole" just because he finds thinner phones more comfortable to carry around than thicker ones.

I never thought jeans pockets would be someone's raw nerve. Learn something new every day!

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Interesting
by tylerdurden on Wed 19th Feb 2014 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


When writing something smug one should first see if it makes one look like an asshole. Guess what - you do.


That sounds pretty smug, ironically.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Interesting
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 19th Feb 2014 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"[q]BTW, is it really the thinner (or the larger) the better? I just don't understand it.


What?!?!? Do you mean to suggest that "thinness" is just a irrelevant marketing-drone/fanboy talking point? The hell, you say! I know I constantly have the need to store my phone and laptop in manilla envelopes, doesn't everyone?
"

Some people leave their homes, and when they do so, they carry their phones in their pockets. The thinner said phone is, the more comfortable it is to carry. [/q]

Personally, as someone who isn't a fan of internal clotting (or constricted blood flow in general), I'm not in the habit of wearing pants so tight that a few extra milimetres of thickness would be a deal breaker. But hey, I'll take your word for it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Interesting
by twitterfire on Thu 20th Feb 2014 09:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


Some people leave their homes, and when they do so, they carry their phones in their pockets. The thinner said phone is, the more comfortable it is to carry.

I know, what sorcery!

But at the same time, same people use the phones with the largest screen size they find. How is that comfortable?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Interesting
by Morgan on Thu 20th Feb 2014 11:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Exactly, it's different for everyone. I was in love with the idea of the Galaxy Note, until I got a Note 2. While it was an amazing phone (and tablet), it was simply too unwieldy for daily use. Even with no case on it, it was too big for my hands, and I'm a tall guy. I've found a happy medium; devices with a 4.0 to 4.3 inch screen are just about right.

As for thinness, I actually prefer thicker phones, but I'm probably in the minority there.

Reply Score: 2

Looks tempting
by FunkyELF on Wed 19th Feb 2014 16:32 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

I go with Nexus devices personally because I like custom ROMs and I don't want to have to build them myself.

I know that Nexus devices are typically the first to be supported.

This comes at a cost. The Nexus phones are very good, but they're not great. They have yet to produce one with a good camera. I've used a SGS3 and a HTC One S and both of those cameras blew away the Nexus 5 which came out a over a year later.

I wish there were fat ROMs that would work on any device similar to the way you can boot a live Ubuntu DVD on practically any x86 machine and install it.

Reply Score: 3

Dang
by nagerst on Wed 19th Feb 2014 16:35 UTC
nagerst
Member since:
2013-11-07

I read Amiga OS and not Amigo OS. Was very disappointed when i discovered my error.

Reply Score: 5

Interesting design
by tylerdurden on Wed 19th Feb 2014 19:38 UTC
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

Alas the specs say it's 3G only? I'd also be interested in finding out the kind of battery it gets.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting design
by some1 on Wed 19th Feb 2014 22:17 UTC in reply to "Interesting design"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

LTE version is supposed to come in June.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Interesting design
by leos on Thu 20th Feb 2014 06:26 UTC in reply to "Interesting design"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Alas the specs say it's 3G only? I'd also be interested in finding out the kind of battery it gets.


No LTE is a killer in 2014. That could fly if this cost $100 but not for almost $400. Could get the Nexus 5 and have a better phone in almost every way (except for the mostly meaningless thickness and possibly camera).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Interesting design
by tylerdurden on Thu 20th Feb 2014 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting design"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Yeah, I was curious mainly due to the CPU they are using and the industrial design needed for the form factor they achieved. But with just 3G radios, it's not a very appealing product IMO.

In any case, I'm simply following the progression of Chinese autochthonous design & manufacturing. They still suck at worldwide marketing, but once that shoe falls... things could get "interesting."

Reply Score: 2

What a globalized world
by earksiinni on Thu 20th Feb 2014 14:45 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

"Elif" or "aleph" is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. It looks kind of like a pipes character: ěž

I don't know about Arabic, but at least in Turkish "Elif" is also a female name. The general idea is that the woman with that name is as beautiful and delicate (thin) as the Arabic character.

World's thinnest phone is named "Elife."

Coincidence?

Reply Score: 3

RE: What a globalized world
by oskeladden on Fri 21st Feb 2014 01:17 UTC in reply to "What a globalized world"
oskeladden Member since:
2009-08-05

Given that this is a smartphone, I would assume that it's supposed to be e-life, or summat such like.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What a globalized world
by earksiinni on Fri 21st Feb 2014 01:29 UTC in reply to "RE: What a globalized world"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Oh...duh!!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Mon 24th Feb 2014 11:46 UTC
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

Nice! Now they can double the thickness and comfortably put a massive battery in there.

(Why, yes, I do wear loose-fitting pants and have a coat with an inside pocket. However did you guess?)

Reply Score: 2