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Meet the Gionee Marathon M5, the smartphone that packs a tablet-sized battery inside

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Chinese smartphone brand Gionee may be best known for its super slim devices, such as the Elife S5.5 and the more recent Elife S7, but the company just announced the Marathon M5, a smartphone that forgoes thinness in the name of battery life.

Updated on 06-10-2015 by Williams Pelegrin: Added news that Gionee officially announced the Marathon M5. Specifications and release date information are listed below.

Jaw-dropping battery life

While most smartphone manufacturers are focusing more on displays and design rather than battery life, Gionee took a different approach with the Marathon M5. The phone is stuffed with a mammoth 6,020mAh battery, which is practically unheard of in the smartphone world. The company actually stacked two 3,010mAh battery packs on top of each other to give the phone its monster battery.

For comparison’s sake, the new Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet has a 6,000mAh battery inside, and the Galaxy S6 smartphone has a 2,550mAh battery. In other words, this phone has the battery of a tablet.

The story doesn’t end with the battery size, however, as Gionee also equipped the smartphone with an extreme power saving mode. The feature gives the Marathon M5 62 hours of standby time from just 5 percent of battery — hence the name “marathon.” In addition, Gionee included dual charging chips that give the smartphone the ability to charge quickly and to juice up two other devices simultaneously.

Solid internals

Even though the massive battery is what brings the Marathon M5 its fame, Gionee also threw in solid, if not slightly middling, specifications. The Marathon M5 is powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, with 16GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB through the MicroSD card slot. You’ll find a 13-megapixel shooter around back, while the front of the smartphone has a 5-megapixel camera. It’s got a 5.5-inch, 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution AMOLED screen to round out the key specs.

As with most smartphones released for Asian markets, the Marathon M5 also included dual SIM card slots, with both slots capable of supporting 4G LTE. Finally, while the Marathon M5 isn’t the thinnest smartphone around, the 8.5mm profile is impressive given how much battery is inside.

Release date and price

If you’re interested in the Marathon M5, it’ll be available on June 25 for $375 unlocked in black, white, and gold. Before you give up hope on a U.S. launch, remember that several of Gionee’s smartphones have made their way stateside as BLU smartphones, but we wouldn’t hold our collective breath.

Next page: All the rumors about the Gionee Marathon M5 prior to its launch

Over the past few days, Gionee has been teasing the forthcoming announcement of what we presume is a new entry into the Marathon series, and it appears the battery will have a capacity we’re more used to seeing listed on tablet spec sheets.

“A real Marathon, isn’t it? Let’s meet in June!” said a Facebook post on Gionee’s official page at the beginning of June, along with a few battery performance figures. These were 107 hours of music, 16 hours of video, and 13 hours of gaming. We’re then treated to a picture of a Marathon M4, which also comes with a 5000mA battery, then teased about a Marathon M5.

The M5 will be announced on June 10, and it’s being promoted with the tagline, “Goodbye Power Bank.” The outline of the phone shows two battery cells, which corresponds to recent rumors regarding the phone containing two batteries — each one able to be charged separately. Exactly how big will the M5’s battery capacity be? Combined, it may be in excess of 6000mAh according to speculation.

Other rumors regarding the Marathon M5’s specs include it having a 5.5-inch 720p touchscreen, a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory. Nothing special, but the more modest the specs, the longer that battery is going to last. The big battery (batteries?) could make the M5 a hefty beast though, with the chance it’ll weigh more than 200 grams.

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