Why You Should Not Buy GiONEE Marathon M5 In Nigeria [ Honest Review ]

Why you should not buy GiONEE M5

Weeks after Gionee Marathon 5 was launched, many people bought the phone hoping to enjoy a good phone with a massive battery capacity. But what did we get? Just a good phone with massive battery capacity, nothing else.

It's normal to buy a phone with the intention of enjoying a particular feature in it, but most times we end up seeing more appealing features that eventually make us fall in love with the brand and anxiously wait for the next product from that brand. Those that used samsung s3, or iPhone 4 can relate to this. You just can't help but anticipate what feature the next product in the series will have.

This is almost the same with Gionee Marathon series. M2 was OK, many people liked it, same as M3, and M4. But M5 is a "good" device, the demand is still high especially in Nigeria because people are only thinking about it's massive battery capacity.

Why you should not buy GiONEE M5 in Nigeria 

Gionee Marathon M5 has two variants that I know of - the Nigerian and the Indian.

The Nigerian Gionee Marathon M5 seems to be the same with the indian, except that it has 2GB ram instead of 3GB ram like the Indian or international version.

I'll outline some reasons why you shouldn't buy this device, especially if you're a heavy user that values performance and time.

1. Processor speed (Quad-core 1.3GHz)

I've used a phone with same speed (1.3GHz), I wouldn't say it was very fast, but at least I was able to chat on Whatsapp, switch between apps and send emails conveniently without the email app crashing.

The same can't be said about Gionee M5 (Nigerian Version). At first, it will be fast but the moment you install more than 5 utility apps the phone becomes so slow that even Google keyboard will start lagging. This is so frustrating that all the applications in the phone will be crashing while you're using them, even a phone call would crash despite not running any app in the background.

See how to fix this bug: How to Speed up your phone [ROOT IS REQUIRED]

2. Screen strength (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)

Well, Gionee Marathon M5 is protected with an improved Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is very good considering the price of replacing an Amoled capacitive touchscreen. BUT! The very first time the phone slips out of your hand to hit floor, trust me, the screen will definitely break. Why? This is not because the glass is not strong enough, no. This is not because the floor is too strong, hell no. The screen will break because of the weight of the phone.

Gionee m5 weighs about 211g - which is too heavy on its own without any fancy phone pouch. So you can imagine what the impact of dropping a fragile device that weighs more than 7 oz on a concrete floor would be. The glass will stand no chance of surviving the fall without a scratch.

I personally knew it would be heavy because of the battery capacity before I bought it, but if you're the type that is not particularly very careful with your phones, don't buy Gionee M5.

You might decide to protect the screen with a tempered screen guard, but Gionee failed again here, this will take us to the next flaw.

3. Touch Sensitivity and Responsiveness 

The touch Sensitivity/responsiveness of Gionee Marathon M5 is good, not great. If you decide to protect its screen with a tempered screen guard then the touch responsiveness becomes really poor, this is the first phone I've noticed a significant change in the touchscreen sensitivity after covering it with a tempered screen guard. That's not all, if the phone is lying on a flat surface, like a table - the touchscreen will not be responsive until you pick it up. I don't know what kind of technology is that, but I think it sucks.

4. Software updates

Gionee are known to forget about their products after it has been shipped out of their warehouse. Gionee Marathon M5 runs on android 5.1 from factory. But we are in the last quarter of 2016, while other brands are already dishing out android 7.0 over the air, Gionee still can't fix the numerous bugs in their Amigo UI running on android 5.1.

Apparently, custom rom modifiers are not interested in gionee m5 as there is currently no custom rom out there for it.

But you can still customize it with xposed installer, learn more: HOW TO INSTALL XPOSED INSTALLER FRAMEWORK IN ANY PHONE

5. Memory 

Gionee Marathon M5 (the ones available in Nigeria) allows you to install apps only in the internal memory which is just 16 GB. You will not be able to move apps to any external memory (SD card), and when the internal memory is filled up, the phone's lagging will be elevated to another level, making it difficult to use.

There's a way out of this mess, but it comes with a price. You'll have to download and flash an Indian stock rom.

But there's a daily N15 fee for using the Indian rom in Nigeria. You might have to root your device to disable the app responsible for this.

6. Bugs 

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

Some of the bugs I noticed while using Gionee Marathon M5 are as follows:


At some point the phone's vibration will stop working or will work whenever it likes. This means you'll miss a lot of important calls if the phone is inside your pocket in a slightly noisy environment or if your ringtone is not loud.

Proximity Sensor Failure

This bug is so annoying that after receiving a call, the screen will not come up again until you restart the phone by long-pressing the power button. Sometimes while in the middle of a call the screen comes on and goes off again but this time the phone will go off with it, then you'll end up talking with yourself thinking the other party is listening.


Nigeria's three major network providers recently launched the long awaited 4G/LTE service. But to my surprise Gionee Marathon M5 is not compatible with any of the three major network providers' 4G LTE service.  This is because Gionee doesn't support the bands which these network providers operate on. So if 4G LTE is one of the reasons you prefer to buy M5, you'll be disappointed. 

So apart from these bugs mentioned above, Gionee Marathon M5 is a good phone for its price, it has a lot of good features as well. I just hope a software update will be released soon enough to take care of some of these bugs, a marshmallow update wouldn't be bad too, but until then, you might want to buy other alternatives. 

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