IFA 2014 is sure to bring us a lot of hardware that pushes boundaries, whether we’re talking about raw processing power, gigantic high-res displays, lightning-fast data, or even just delivering that hardware at bargain-basement prices. One of these measuring sticks we’ve been using less and less lately is that of the incredibly thin smartphone, with manufacturers having instead settled on a balance between thinness, durability, and battery capacity. However, there are still those OEMs who just have to see how thin they can push things, and we continue to be captivated by these efforts, if only from an engineering standpoint. Earlier this summer we checked out a regulatory filing that seemed to reveal a new contender for the thinnest-ever spot, with a model from Gionee flirting with the 5.0mm barrier. Today we finally see that handset go official, and while it doesn’t quite hit 5.0mm, it’s close.
The Gionee Elife S5.1 measures-in at just 5.15mm thick. OK, so it’s not that thin all the way around, as the headphone and USB ports add a little bulk, but the majority of the phone really does look to be as thin as advertised.
And sure, when we get this thin that’s always going to mean some trade-offs, but here Gionee seems to have done an admirable job of avoiding some of the biggest pitfalls, like managing to still provide the Elife S5.1 with a decently sized 2100mAh battery. That may not compete with phablet-sized devices, but it’s comparable to phones like the Moto X or Moto G.
China will see the Elife S5.1 go up for sale in just a few weeks, though pricing isn’t yet confirmed. We can’t imagine there’s much chance for seeing this guy surface in the West, but that doesn’t leave us any less interested in what’s been pulled off here. Now all that’s left to see is who’s going to be first to actually come in under that 5.0mm mark.