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Weeks after the launching of Gionee Marathon M5, many people bought theirs hoping to enjoy a good phone with a massive battery capacity as it was advertised. But what did they get? Just a phone with huge battery capacity, nothing more.


It's something normal to buy a phone with the aim of enjoying a particular feature in it, but often we end up seeing more appealing and attractive features that eventually make us to love the brand and fretfully wait for the next coming product from that brand. Those users of iphone 4, or Samsung s3 can relate to this.

This is approximately the same with Gionee Marathon series. M2 was okay; many people loved it, same thing as M3 and M4. But M5 is a good device, therefore the demand for the latter is still high especially in Nigeria because people are so convinced about it's massive battery capacity.

There are two variants of Gionee Marathon M5- the Nigerian and the Indian.
Both of this variants were the same except that the Nigerian Gionee Marathon M5 has 2GB RAM instead of 3GB RAM like the indian version.

Below are some of the reasons why a Nigerian should not buy the device.

1. Processor speed (Quad-core 1.3GHz)

I've used a smartphone with this same speed (1.3GHz) and I was able to chat on whatsapp, messenger, switch between apps, send and receives emails conveniently without the email app crashing.

This same testimony can't be said about the Nigerian version of Gionee M5. Meanwhile it will be fast at the initial stage but the moment you install more than 5 utility apps the phone becomes too slow to the extent that the Google keyboard will start lagging. This is so annoying that all the apps in the phone will be crashing while they’re on use, equally a phone call would crash even though there’s no app running in the background.

2. Strength of the Screen (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)

Fine, Gionee Marathon M5 is protected with a superior Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is very fine considering the amount of replacing an Amoled capacitive touchscreen. However, the very first time the phone falls from your hand to hit the floor, trust me, the screen will surely break. Why? The reason is not because the glass is not strong enough neither the floor is too strong. but the weight of the phone.

Gionee Marathon M5 weighs about 211g- which is too weighty on its own without any fancy phone pouch. Thus, you can imagine what the effect of dropping a fragile device that weighs more than 8oz on a concrete floor would be. So the glass will stand no chance of surviving the fall without a scratch.

Even I knew it would be heavy because of the battery capacity, but if you're the type that is very careless in handling phones, don't buy it.

3. Memory

Gionee Marathon M5 (Nigerian version) comes with 16GB internal storage - which is the only storage available for installation of apps. This phone does not allow you to move apps to any external storage (SD card), and when the internal storage is filled-up, its lagging will be upraised to another level, making it difficult to use.

Though, there's a solution to this mess, but it comes with a price- You'll need to download and flash an Indian version stock rom. But there's a daily N15 charges for using the Indian ROM in Nigeria. You might need to root your device in order to disable the app responsible for this.

4. Touch Sensitivity

The touch Sensitivity of Gionee M5 is good, but not great. If you choose to protect its screen with a tempered screen guard then the responsiveness becomes poor, this is the first phone I've ever noticed a major change in the touchscreen responsiveness after covering it with a screen guard.  That's not all, the situation get worse when the phone on a flat surface, e.g a table, the touchscreen will not be responsive untill you pick it up.

5. Software updates

Gionee M5 runs on android 5.1 from factory. While other brands like Techno, Infinix and others are already dishing out the latest android 7.0 over the air, yet Gionee can't fix the numerous bugs in their Amigo UI running on android 5.1.

6. Bugs

It's common for phones to have software bugs, but it's unusual to refuse to fix it, possibly Gionee are currently working on fixing the bugs in Gionee Marathon M5 I wouldn't know.

The following are some of the bugs noticed in Gionee Marathon M5:

Proximity Sensor Failure

This bug is very annoying that after receiving a call, the device screen will not come up again until you long-press the power button to restart the phone.


At a certain point the phone's vibration will stop working. So if you put the phone inside your pocket in a slightly noisy environment, definitely you will miss a lot of important calls.


The three major service providers in Nigeria recently launched the long awaited 4G LTE service. But it was a surprise to me that Gionee M5 is not compatible with any of the above three network providers of 4G LTE service. The reason is that Gionee doesn't support the bands which these networks operate on. So if you prefer to buy Gionee M5 because of the 4G LTE service, you'll be disappointed.
Except the above mentioned bugs, Gionee M5 is a good smartphone for its price, so also it has a lot of excellent features.  I believe a software update will be released soon to take care of some of these bugs. Nevertheless until then, you might prefer to buy other alternatives.

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