Elephone is a manufacturer that loves to promote superlatives. There passes no week in which Elephone does not announce a new smartphone. The Elephone P9000 is the most legendary and promising device in the long line of smartphones. As the marketing machine took off there was such a huge load of announcements which were simply ridiculous; so we decided to not write an article about the Elephone P9000 and therefore to not support the manufacturers actions.
But now we’ve had the real Elephone P9000 in the test for 10 days, using dual SIM. Whether or not the smartphone was able to convince us, you are going to find out in the review below.
Versions and order
The Elephone P9000 is – apart from the standard version – available in a Lite-version. The smartphone’s performance however is not reduced but only the features. The Elephone P9000 Lite has no fingerprint sensor, no NFC, no wireless charging and there is even a different camera used. Apart from that, everything else is the same and you can save almost 50$ by buying the Lite-version.
Our device was directly provided by Elephone. There was a Micro-USB-Type-C cable, a very short short-manual in English and a SIM ejection tool included in the scope of delivery. The Elephone P9000 is delivered without a charging adapter! Of course every kind of charging device with 1.5A at maximum can be used. The charging time is about 3 hours. Elephone sells an additional accessories-package that includes a high-quality flip-cover, a micro-USB-Type-C cable, a display protection film, a silicone cover and a quick charge adapter. Otherwise the standard-accessories combination is up to the shops.
The Elephone P9000 can be purchased at Gearbest.com for 270$ or for 220$ in the Lite version. Whether or not you want to preorder now is up to you. All shops only deliver in April! The accessories-package costs 30$ and should be ordered with the purchase.
Processing and design
The Elephone P9000 gives you a high-quality impression when you hold it in your hand. It only weighs 147.5g which is not much for a 5.5-inch phone and even the dimensions (74mm wide, 148mm long and 8.5mm thick) make the P9000 very compact. The back is with maximum grip and completely resistant against finger marks. A perfectly neat metal frame gives the phone an instant premium-feeling. On the bottom you find, apart from speaker and microphone, a recent USB-Type-C port. The USB cable therefore can be inserted in both ways; however there is no USB 3.0. The bezel is very slim with 2mm and the smartphone really looks attractive with its display on!
The power button and the volume keys are on the right-hand side and can be reached easily with your thumb. The pressure resistance is good and so is the feedback. Only the keys’ slight wiggle is to be mentioned as a point of criticism. With an additional key on the Elephone P9000’s left side you can mute the phone. Unfortunately this is only possible with the display on. A short vibration tells you that your phone has been muted.
The back can’t be removed so you get no access to the 3000mAh battery. The SIM slot is on the right side and is perfectly worked in the Elephone’s aluminum frame. The hybrid slot can hold 2 SIM cards (2 x micro) or one SIM and one micro SD card. Storage can be expanded with up to 256GB (we tested 128GB).
Elephone forgoes the classic 3 Android sensor keys and only integrates a home button in the P9000. This button has therefore 3 functions
Press once = back
Press twice = home
Press and hold = multitasking survey
It’s great that the onscreen buttons can easily be activated. At the beginning the home button’s triple-function is something you have to get used to, but after a short time it serves perfectly. I for one simply don’t like the onscreen buttons. The slightly pulsing home button also serves as notification LED (Harlequin LED); however only in white.
The Elephone P9000 is a neatly processed and compact 5.5-inch smartphone. There are no rattling or cracking noises and the USB-Type-C port is very up-to-date. Apart from the slightly wiggling keys there is nothing to complain about concerning processing, and the non-slip back is a highlight.
The Elephone P9000’s 5.5-inch LTPS display is made by LG and has a 1920*1080 pixel resolution. This should be a standard within this price range, you might say, but contrast, brightness and sharpness give my reference phone, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, a hard time. The display’s content almost pops out of the Elephone P9000 and the colors seem vivid and accurate as you might only expect from AMOLES displays. Even MiraVision is integrated in the system and the display can easily be adjusted to your needs. The automatic brightness works well and the general brightness can be adjusted. With 440cd/m2 the display has a good brightness. No matter from which angle you look at the Elephone P9000’s display, the contents are still readable and the colors almost stay the same. Also outdoors the Elephone does a good job. I couldn’t find any pixel errors or an uneven brightness.
The 5-point touchscreen reacts very precisely and quickly. Even with big fingers (stubby fingers) you can make precise and fast operations. Gorilla glass 3 protects the surface from scratches and the Elephone P9000 accessories-package contains an additional tempered glass pane. The Elephone P9000 presents itself with an overly great LTPS OGS display that leaves nothing to complain about.
Performance and OS
The new middle-class?
Elephone has built a late-breaking Helio P10 (MT6755) processor by MediaTek into the P9000. Together with 4GB RAM and a Mali-T860 GPU the Elephone P9000 is sharply silhouetted against the recent middle-class (MT6753 phones). A least in the graphics benchmark the Elephone P9000 falls behind the Helio X 10 smartphones, however it easily outperforms all the MT6753 devices. The 8 Cortex-A53 cores clock with 2GHz each and this is clearly to be noticed while gaming. Even the most graphics-demanding games as Asphalt 8 or Modern Combat 5 run mostly smoothly and can be played comfortably. While gaming, the Elephone P9000 becomes noticeably warm but not too hot. Unfortunately the battery runs down very fast if the processor has to work a lot.
With the 4GB RAM multitasking is possible without any troubles, even for power-users. The RAM speed is good with 5GB/s. The Elephone never slowed down and the whole system performance is awesome. The internal storage has 32GB and can be expanded with 256GB (128GB tested) if you don’t use dual SIM. Within 3 seconds 100MB are transferred to the P9000’s internal memory. Also the memory’s reading and writing speed is good.
Elephone brings out the first Android 6 China phone ex works!
The Elephone P9000 is equipped with Android 6 ex works and the system runs steadily, fast and is almost unchanged. As a normal user you won’t find a lot of differences between Lollipop and the new Marshmallow. Above all there is to be mentioned the new App management. All the Apps that are installed via Playstore only get few authorizations by default. Therefore you get asked with the first App launch which authorizations you want the App to have. In the options menu Elephone integrates a lot of additional features as SmartWake gestures, fingerprint options, settings for the notification LED, flip-to-mute and a lot more. SmartWake works well and the phone did not activate itself in your pocket. The fingerprint sensor does a good job and in the every-day-use only once in a while you have to make a second attempt to unlock your phone.
Concerning design Elephone keeps the Android 6 looks, however the vertical App drawer is not included (overview of all Apps). If you swipe down the quick launch bar two times and then hold the gearwheel symbol for 3 seconds you get access to the system UI tuner. This is my favorite feature of the new Android. Because now you can do what many custom UIs already offer: you now can adjust the quick launch and status bar to your liking.
Another advantage of Android 6 is that the micro SD is automatically installed as a system memory if needed. So much for Android 6; everything else you can find in the corresponding article. The Elephone P9000’s system is absolutely clean and ran downright stable throughout the whole week.
The Elephone P9000’s main camera takes pictures with 13MP. Really sharp images can’t be expected from the Elephone at the moment. The problems are the focus and the brightness adjustment. Unfortunately it often does not work well. Pictures taken at night or under bad light conditions are blurry. Under good conditions however, you sometimes get a nicely sharp picture with good color representation. In this aspect Elephone really has to come up with an update. If the software then should be able to correctly use the sensor, the image quality will become better for sure. The focus problem gets even worse when you are filming and the videos’ quality is way worse than the photos’. The selfie cam does a good job.
The Elephone’s talking quality leaves nothing to complain about. The microphone transmits the voice clearly.
2G: GSM: B2/3/5/8
3G: WCDMA: B1/2/5/8
4G: FDD-LTE: B1/3/7/8/20 TDD-LTE: B38/40
2G: GSM: B2/3/5/8
3G: WCDMA: B1/2/4/5
4G: FDD-LTE: B1/2/4/7/17 TDD-LTE: B38/40
Listening to music with headphones is no problem, because the audio jack delivers great sound in a good volume. This is not the case with the internal speaker. The internal speaker is loud and sufficient for an occasional YouTube video. Also the system sounds and ring tones are of course not a problem, with the Elephone P9000’s sounds being a nice change. For listening to music the speaker is not suited with 75% volume or more and a noticeable tinny sound interferes.
USB-Type-C – NFC – OTG – Dual-Band WIFI – GPS – MHL
Again the USB-Type-C should be mentioned, because I really have come to appreciate this during the last week. The both-sided use is really great. The dual band Wi-Fi has a good reach and excels with a high data throughput, even if it operates with “only” n-standard. Bluetooth and OTG worked perfectly fine in the test. Even NFC and MHL (MHL could not be tested yet, because of the lack of the cable) are supported.
Apart from the 3 custom sensors (direction, proximity and light) Elephone added a gyroscope and a compass. This serves well for pedestrian navigation. The GPS is one of the smartphone’s strengths. Navigation worked fine with Google maps and so did pedestrian navigation.
Elephone P9000 battery life
Wireless-Charging – quick charge function – 3000mAh
Within 3 hours our standard charging adapter transmitted 3061mA into the Elephone P9000’s battery. The 3000-3080mAh indicated by Elephone can therefore be confirmed. With the additional quick charge adapter the battery is fully charged within 1 hour and 20 minutes. In the Geekbench battery test the P9000 made it through a whole 5 hours and scores 3000 points (without dim screen at mid display brightness). With dim screen the P9000 scores 4236 points and makes it through 7 hours. The battery performance simply is good and all of the testing days I just made it through the day with a rather intensive use (without 3D games!). At normal use even 1.5 – 2 days are possible. The Elephone P9000 does not show any flaws concerning battery life; however it can’t compete with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3’s battery time.
* Incl. VAT and, if applicable, delivery costs – subject to interim changes.