Gionee Marathon M4 Review

Gionee is a raising brand and has been one of the biggest gainers in the market over the past year or so. The company has a wide range of devices for every section of audience and with smartphones like Gionee E7 and Gionee E8, the Chinese manufacturer has shown that it’s not out of its ability to produce smartphones for high-end market.

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Yet, the company’s mid-range offering like the Marathon M4 is where Gionee is good at producing. The smartphone has a whopping 5,000mAh battery and is probably one of the longest lasting devices out there. Today, we are taking a detailed look at Marathon M4 in order to analyse the value it has got to offer.


Gionee Marathon M4 comes in a standard retail box with the usual set of device brandings. Inside the box, you can find the USB cable, A/C adapter, In-ear headphones and some paper work. We had already unboxed the Marathon M4 and in case you missed it earlier, you can check it out below.

Apart from the usual accessories, the M4 package also includes some nice surprises like the USB OTG cable, screen guard and a flip cover. Gionee is making sure that you don’t have to go shopping again for any M4 accessory after purchasing the smartphone.


The Gionee Marathon M4 is built using the combination of chrome and brushed metal, which gives a premium look to the smartphone. Also, the build is top notch, something which is rather hard to find at M4’s price point.

At 176 grams, the Marathon M4 is certainly heavy, but the weight also contributes to the solid feel in the hands. The curved edges on the back also make sure that the device sits nicely in the hand and gives a very pleasant feeling. The smartphone measures 144.7 x 71.2 x 10.2mm, which is twice as thick as the company’s S5.1 model.

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On the front, we have the display along with three capacitive home, back and settings buttons right below it. From the outskirts, the front of the M4 looks totally dark when the display is turned off. The secondary camera along with earpiece and an array of sensors is located on top of the smartphone.

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The power button and volume rockers are made out of metal as well and are placed on the right side of the device. Both the keys offer good tactile feedback.

The left side of the Marathon M4 doesn’t house any physical buttons and is completely bare.The top has the 3.5mm audio jack and you can see the plastic bands that enhance antenna reception of the device. The microUSB port along with the noise cancellation pinhole is located at the bottom of the Marathon M4.

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Moving on to the rear, we can see the 8 megapixel sensor with LED flash and a microphone pinhole for secondary noise cancellation. The speaker grille is placed at the bottom centre. The back panel is removable and underneath the cover lies the gigantic non-removable battery and three card slots – two for SIM cards and one for mircorSD card. The device has 16GB of inbuilt storage and about 9.94GB is available.


The Gionee Marathon M4 sports a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution 720 x 1280 pixels and accounts to a pixel density of 294ppi. There’s no protective layer on top of the panel and this means that you need to be a bit extra careful to make sure that there are no scratches.

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The contrast, colors and the viewing angles on the display are great and the overall image quality is quite good. The panel is quite reflective and that’s probably the only concern in this department. The sunlight legibility is good and you don’t have to find a shelter to use your smartphone.

User Interface

Gionee Marathon M4 is powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop and comes with a layer of Amigo UI. The quad-core processor along with 2GB of RAM keeps the device running smoothly, however we did encounter occasional lag.


Just like most Chinese backed user interfaces, the Amigo UI too doesn’t have an app drawer. All the applications are placed on the home screen, but you can organize them in folders.


Gionee has a lot of bloatware such as WeChat, DU Battery Saver, DU Speed Booster, Saavn and many such apps. We don’t really like company’s pre-installing third-party applications on the device and we believe that the user should be given the complete authority of installing the apps that he needs.


There’s a system manager app on the M4 that allows you to clean cache, manage power consumption, app permissions, traffic and switch to eco mode.



Gionee Marathon M4 is powered by a 64-bit MediaTek MT6735 chipset with quad-core 1.3GHz CPU, Mali 400 GPU and 2GB of RAM, out of which 1.4GB is usable.

The performance of the Marathon M4 was quite surprising. The device managed to go about the day-to-day normal usage without breaking a sweat. We even pushed the smartphone by launching heavy applications and the M4 offered lag-free experience.

Whatever lag we noticed earlier was due to the buggy software. The hardware performance of the Marathon M4 is something that managed to impress us especially after considering its price tag. We ran the AnTuTu test just to be sure and here’s the result –


The gaming experience on the M4 was quite smooth as well. The multi-tasking performance wasn’t at its best when we tried to run multiple graphic reach games, but the device did just fine when we ran a couple of daily usage applications like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Gmail together.

Overall, the performance offered by Gionee Marathon M4 is second to none in its category. The 2GB of RAM ensures that the device is running smoothly more often than not.


The Gionee Marathon M4 camera has an 8 megapixel sensor that shoots with a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. The shooter has an LED flash to help you with low-light photography. There’s also a 5 megapixel camera unit on the front, which does take good quality selfies.

The camera interface has shortcuts for settings, front camera switch, flash and switch to video, camera shutter and gallery controls. There’s a dedicated shortcut button for settings menu and you can access HDR mode, Auto scene, resolution and other standard camera settings.

The Marathon M4 camera manages to capture images with a very average level of resolved detail thanks to the noise reduction algorithm playing its negative part. The dynamic range is not that great, but the contrast and colors are good.

Here are some of the camera samples from Gionee Marathon M4 –


(Full Resolution – Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3, Sample 4, Sample 5)

Shooting in HDR mode rescues both the highlights and shadows with being too extreme, but again the resolved detail is on the lower end.

The M4 camera is also capable of shooting 1080p videos at 30 frames per second. The videos have smooth framerate and the colors are quite accurate. However, the dynamic range is low and the details are not that impressive.


Gionee Marathon M4 works on quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G network with up to 42Mbps of download speed. The smartphone also supports 4G LTE connectivity in India.

The device also has other standard connectivity options like dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with GLONASS, FM radio and RDS. There’s a microUSB 2.0 which can be used in USB on-the-go mode to connect various USB peripherals.


The juice for the Gionee Marathon M4 comes from a 5,000mAh battery. We expected the device to offer long hours of usage and the smartphone didn’t disappoint us. Our battery test reveals that the M4 will last for about 20 hours and 56 minutes before you need to find a power source to charge it.

Gionee Marathon M4 FoneArena One Charge Rating

The detailed breakdown of the Marathon M4’s battery consumption is posted on our blog and you check it out to know more about it. Meanwhile, if you are wondering about our battery test, then feel free to check our battery test introduction to know more about our procedure.


Gionee Marathon M4 is already available in the Indian market and is price at INR 14,000. The smartphone is a very decent offering for its price tag with a capable quad-core processor, which ensures smooth overall performance – something that’s enough for a mid-range device.

However, the standout feature of the Gionee Marathon M4 is the massive 5,000mAh battery that offers long hours of usage.

While the hardware configuration is more than decent for its price, the software running on the Gionee Marathon M4 is a let-down. It has a fair share of bugs that more often than not affect the real time performance of the smartphone.

The Gionee Marathon M4 with its premium design, good performance, dual-SIM capabilities and solid battery performance does more than enough justice for its price tag.

Author: Sunil Jamboor Nagesh

He has been reporting tech and reviewing gadgets for quite some time now. SJN in the past has been a part of couple of globally reputed tech publications like GSMArena and AndriodAuthority. He bleeds tech and is always seen with a review unit in hand. Feel free to reach him on twitter - @SunilJamboor or on Google+.