Gionee, the Chinese manufacturer responsible for the world’s thinnest smartphone, has announced the Marathon M3, a phone which isn’t all that thin, and certainly not that light. However, there is a good reason for its portly dimensions – it houses a mighty 5,000-mAh battery, which should be good for 32 hours of 3G talk time, or 33 days standby.
Battery life is a constant problem with modern smartphones, and squeezing in anything larger than a 3,000-mAh battery is a rarity, despite our complaints. There are a few exceptions. We recently reviewed the Motorola Droid Turbo, and marveled at the 3,900-mAh battery and its ability to last a couple of days without a recharge. The Galaxy Note 4’s 3,220-mAh battery gave us about a day and a half before giving up, and Samsung quotes 20 hours of 3G talk time for the device.
Solving this conundrum is as simple as putting in a bigger battery, but the trade off is in overall size and weight. The Marathon M3 is 10.4mm thick, which isn’t ridiculous, but it’s considerably more chunky than the majority of modern smartphones. Its 180 gram weight (without the battery, according to Gionee) is higher than the Note 4, and around the same as a luxury Vertu phone made from titanium and leather. However, the comparison is likely to end there.
Gionee’s phone isn’t a spec powerhouse either. It has a 5-inch, 720p IPS display and is powered by a 1.3-GHz quad-core MediaTek processor with 1GB of RAM. The rear camera has 8-megapixels, the front cam has 2 megapixels, and the phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat with Gionee’s own user interface. The addition of a MicroSD card slot which takes 128GB cards is a bonus.
The Marathon M3 is a rarity in today’s smartphone market, and sadly it’s only confirmed for sale in India, where it’ll cost around $200 without a contract. The question is, would you trade a slim chassis and high-end specs for a longer lasting battery?