Gigaset Me full review
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You probably only know Gigaset for traditional DECT home phones, if that, but the firm has launched a trio of Android smartphones at IFA 2015. Here's our hands-on review of the Gigaset Me, Me Pro and Me Pure. See also: Best smartphones of 2015
We're not the biggest fans of the name but the Gigaset Me range was one of the surprise announcements of the show here in Berlin. We say that because we're not looking at a trio of boring plastic handsets with basic specs. It marks 'a new chapter in the second century of the company’s history'.
Gigaset Me, Me Pro and Me Pure review: Release date and price
It's a little vague at the moment but the Gigaset Me range with be available in Europe and China this autumn. So we can expect them to hit shops in the UK soon.
The Me Pure is the cheapest of the three with an affordable mid-range price of £249. Then comes the Gigaset Me which will cost £349 while the Me Pro is the highest end device available and will set you back £399.
Those are all good prices when you look at the kind of specs you're getting.
Gigaset Me, Me Pro and Me Pure review: Design and build
One of the first things which surprised us about the Gigaset Me range of phone was how well build and premium they all feel. To be perfectly honest we weren't expecting great things but we couldn't have been much more mistaken.
Even the cheapest Gigaset Me Pure feels good in the hand with its aluminium design while the regular Me and Me Pro have seriously nice stainless steel frames with a brushed finish. It's the kind of finish normally only found on phones which cost £500+ from the big names.
An interesting design element that you might not notice straight away (we didn't) is that none of the phones have a ear piece. You might think that you'll have to make one-way calls but the firm is using surface conduction technology so that you can place your ear anywhere on the front and still be able to hear the other person. We couldn't try this out at the show so we'll have to try this out at a later date.
One which is more obvious is the inclusion, on all three models, of USB Type-C which is quickly becoming the standard connection. We first saw it on a phone recently via the OnePlus 2 and it's appearing across all kind of devices including laptops like the Toshiba Satellite Radius 12. The port is reversible and supports quick charging plus faster data rates.
A downside of the Pro model is that it weighs a lot at a hefty 190g, but that's the price you pay for having a huge battery (see below). The Me and Me Pure are a more managable 160- and 140g respectably. The phones are thin at 7.7mm apart from the Pure which is 7.8mm.
Gigaset Me, Me Pro and Me Pure review: Hardware and specs
As you can see in the photos, the Me Pure and Me have a 5in screen size while the Pro is larger at 5.5in and you'll get a Full HD resolution whichever you pick.
Other things which remain the same no matter which Me you pick include a Micro-SD cards lot for up to 128GB, an 8Mp front facing camera, dual-SIM slots (one doubles up as the SD slot) and a fingerprint scanner. There's also 4G LTE Cat 6 support.
Like the Huawei Mate S, the square fingerprint scanner is located on the back below the camera and can, of course, be used to unlock the phone. You can also use it as a shutter button when taking selfies, answering an incoming call, and to gain access to a particular folder on the device to keep the contents private.
Let's take a look at the individual specs of each phone in price order so you know what you're getting with each model.
Gigaset Me Pure specs
The Pure is obviously the lowest spec but still comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor and 16GB of internal storage. At the back is a 13Mp with a single LED flash. It also has 2GB of RAM and Gigaset wants to address battery life so it has a 3320mAh battery. Overall this is a very respectable line-up for the asking price.
Gigaset Me specs
Jumping to the regular Me will get you a Snapdragon 810 processor, a bump of memory to 3GB of RAM and double the storage at 32GB. It also boasts a 16Mp with a dual-tone LED flash and the addition of a heart rate monitor, UV sensor and an IR blaster. The battery is smaller than the Pure model at 3000mAh, presumably to fit in all that extra tech. That's a lot of kit for under £350.
Gigaset Me Pro specs
Some of the Pro specs remain the same compared to the regular model so you still get a Snapdragon 810, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, dual-tone LED flash, a heart rate monitor, UV sensor and IR blaster.
However, it's camera is 20Mp in resolution and the battery is a whopping 4000mAh. That's impressive for the price tag.
We had a play with all the Gigaset Me phones at IFA and our first impressions are good on the performance front and the cameras appear to be good quality across the board. However, this is all based on a short amount of time so we need longer with them in order to provide more detail.
Gigaset Me, Me Pro and Me Pure review: Software
All off the Gigaset Me phones run Android 5.1 Lollipop and the firm has decided to run its own user interface over the top rather than leaving it stock. Note that the Pure was running stock Android on the showfloor because it's firmware wasn't ready but it will ship with the Gigaset UI you can see on the other two.
There's no major flaws with the user interface as although the drop down notification bar has been tweaked, the recent apps menu is the regular Android style. What we're not so keen on, like with Huawei devices, is the lack of an app menu so they are all on the homescreen panels instead.
Gigaset Me: Specs
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- Up to Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
- Up to 32GB storage
- Up to 3GB RAM
- Up to 20Mp camera
- 8Mp front camera
- Fingerprint scanner
- Heart rate monitor (Me and Pro)
- UV Sensor (Me and Pro)
- IR blaster (Me and Pro)