Remember when premium phones strived to be smaller, not larger? How about when you could text in the dark without looking at the screen? Or when you could fit your phone, wallet and change in just one of your jeans’ pockets and still have room to fit a hand in there? If there’s anything I miss about the phones before phablets arrived is that they were actually pocketable.
So when I managed to get a hold of the Gionee S96, it was like a long-unfulfilled need was finally satisfied. The S96 measures just 7.7mm thin, which makes it a very slim and pocketable phone. The 2.6 inch QVGA TFT LCD is a bit of a throwback along with the numeric keypad. While it’s no smartphone with a crap load of apps you can install from the Play Store, it does support Java apps. Facebook, Twitter and Opera Mini are already pre-installed, and it supports playback of video and mp3 files, not to mention FM radio.
Of course, there are still a few downsides to using feature phones rather than smartphones, but if I’m in the middle of a commute or don’t want to pull out a ginormous smartphone that would serve as eye candy to snatchers and thieves, I’d rather use something like the Gionee S96. No longer did I have to pay full attention to my phone while texting since I could just touch-type. No longer did I have to walk around the metro with a noticeable bulge in my pocket. And no longer did I have to find a power outlet to charge my phone in the middle of the day because the S96 could actually last for several days.
I don’t think I’d ever give up smartphones to go back to a feature phone, but the Gionee S96 fulfills a simple need that smartphone users can’t escape. It’s a little pricey at Php1,799, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than your typical Asha. And that sleek metal shell has a pogi factor that can even outshine the average plasticky smartphone.
Now, I should mention that I’m giving the Gionee S96 away. Just check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below and follow the instructions to submit your entries. Good luck in the raffle guys 🙂