The Gigaset GS110 is an ultra entry-level smartphone released in 2019 that is now enjoying a second life. Indeed, he has recently been talked about by being sold by Lidl at 70 euros. For this price, is it a good deal?
Lidl chain of stores is causing a stir lately by marketing tech products at cut prices. We can evoke the food processor or wireless headphones at a reduced price. Aggressive placement that works. Even if the products are not at the level of the competition qualitatively speaking, their price makes them extremely interesting.
Not long ago, the chain of stores sold its first smartphone for 70 euros. Many of you were curious about the subject and we decided to see more precisely what was going on. There are two important things to clarify before you begin. This phone is not sold as a private label by Lidl, as it is actually an existing smartphone released in 2019: the Gigaset GS110. Second, this operation only affects Spain at the moment. However, it enjoyed considerable success, with the terminal quickly running out of stock at the channel’s site. Faced with such success, there is nothing to say that Lidl will not repeat the operation in other countries, such as France. If this happens, will it be necessary to crack?
For 70 euros, you should of course not expect war lightning. The technical sheet is modest and the design simple. This test is not intended to determine whether the GS110 is an excellent smartphone or not or to shoot the ambulance, but good to know if it is usable in everyday life. We used it as the main terminal for a week to give us an opinion.
Is the Gigaset GS110 a suitable product for very small budgets? Is it suitable for people unaccustomed to the smartphone format such as the elderly or a child? Can it just fulfill its mission as a phone and media tool to watch videos or take two or three photos? We will see it in this test.
Price and availability
The Gigaset GS110 is not only sold by Lidl. It can be found on other merchant sites like Amazon. It is sold there at a very modest price of 70 euros.
The smartphone is available everywhere, since it was released in 2019. Already at the time, it was offered for less than 100 euros. An extremely aggressive placement that is intriguing, while many other entry-level terminals are priced around 100 or even 200 euros.
Let’s go all the way: the Gigaset GS110 datasheet is satisfied with the minimum. Features that were already scary two years ago and which are not reassuring today. To lower your price as much as possible, Gigaset has purchased the cheapest components on the market. Not something to play surprised here, we expected, and that’s exactly why the smartphone is interesting. We suspect that the GS110 will not run Genshin Impact at 60 frames per second. That’s just not his goal.
1200 x 600 pixels
|Chipset||Spreadtrum SC9863A Octo-Core|
|Rear sensor||8 MP|
|Front sensor||5 MP|
The terminal has a large screen, but limited to a definition of 1200 x 600 pixels. Inside we find a very modest processor from Chinese manufacturer Spreatrum (SC9863A) backed by 1 GB of RAM. Only 4G is obviously on the program. On the storage side, we have 16 GB, which is not much, but it is possible to expand it via a microSD card. The camera doesn’t spark either since we have a single 8 megapixel sensor. Features that you can understand given the price. However, and this is a little more worrying, the GS110 comes with Android 9. By purchasing it, the user therefore chooses an obsolete OS and knows full well that his mobile will never be updated. It remains to be seen whether these features can fulfill their contract for a very limited use of the smartphone object.
An age-old design
As we said, the GS110 is not a smartphone made by Lidl. So don’t expect a blue and yellow clad design, the chain colors, and a big L on the back. It’s a bit of a shame, in a way, but there is always hope for such a product in the future. The design of the terminal is essential. We have a uniform plastic shell available in several colors (green, gray or blue) without much personality. Note the small Gigaset logo discreetly placed in the center as well as the photo module consisting of a single sensor and a flash. The texture of the shell translates a very “cheap” aspect, but the product is solid once taken in hand. The back cover also has the merit of not attracting too much fingerprints.
Small particularity: the shell can be removed to access the inside of the smartphone. This is surprising in 2021, but so be it. By removing the plastic plate, you can access the replaceable battery, but also two slots for a nano SIM card and a microSD card. Having a removable cover today would have made us cringe on any smartphone, but this one being sold only 70 euros, it’s a curiosity that we can accept.
On the rounded edges, we notice the presence somewhat coarse physical buttons that squeak under the fingers, but that work. On the upper part is a 3.5 mm jack socket, again more and more rare nowadays. The lower part houses a USB Type-C port. We escaped the micro USB port, phew.
One of the corners of the case has a small notch to help us remove it easily (which it does). One of the speakers is on the bottom edge, while the other is above the screen. We did not mention the presence of a fingerprint sensor, simply because the terminal does not have it. To turn on your smartphone, you will have to do it “the old fashioned way”, that is to say by entering a four-digit code or a diagram. Note that it offers a facial recognition tool, but it is not very effective and slow to use. We will come back to this below.
The screen completely betrays the “discount” aspect of the smartphone. The edges are prominent there (especially at the bottom), despite an effort made to extend the panel as far as possible on the facade (front screen ratio greater than 80%). The selfie sensor is represented by a notch at the top of the display.
The Gigaset GS110 offers a design from another age, of course. Can we really hold it against him? Not really. Again, here we have a smartphone which does everything to reduce its price as much as possible. We still welcome the presence of a USB Type-C port as well as a screen that tries to offer the widest possible display, despite its visible edges. Ultimately, we have a smartphone that has a very crude design, but it does its job.
An unconvincing display
The Gigaset GS110 has a large 6.1-inch IPS panel, which is quite appreciable especially at this price. However, it will be necessary to limit yourself to an HD display, since the screen definition is 1200 x 600 pixels. Even in 2019, it stung. Of course, you will have to limit yourself to a refresh rate of 60 Hz. All that is required of this screen for this price is to display a readable image.
We did not expect miracles from the slab, and a passage under a probe confirmed our fears. However, we are far from disaster especially with a contrast of 1200: 1, which is not deplorable, if not good. We still note a high temperature of over 7000K. On a blank page, the screen therefore turns blue. We welcome a good brightness of over 550 cd / m² which allows us a readable display even in direct sunlight. On the other hand, respect for colors is not really there with a Delta E measured at 4.9 by us. This can be felt with the naked eye, since the colors give a “washed out” look that is seen especially in blacks and greens. This is the big weak point of the screen (with its very low definition).
Ultimately, the panel is not very pleasant to look at and can even penalize the experience when viewing your photos. Once again, it will be necessary to be satisfied with this price, its poor quality is not an obstacle to the proper functioning of the product. The screen works and offers decent viewing angles, that’s all you can get at this price.
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Note that the audio part of the smartphone is completely sloppy. The sound coming out of the speakers is saturated and almost inaudible at high volume. As disagreeable as possible. The speaker on the bottom edge of the product is the only one that works when watching video or music, the one above the screen being used for calls only. Besides, the sound during telephone conversations is not really optimal either. If we can recognize the voice of the other party, we have the sound quality of an old landline telephone with a sort of veil over the voices.
A product that is simply unusable
We finally come to the part that interests us the most: the performance of the smartphone. The Gigaset S110 has many shortcomings, we know that, but is it possible to use it as the main terminal? Is it sufficient for very limited use? This is where it gets stuck. The GS110 is powered by a very modest processor from Spreadtrum, backed up by only 1 GB of RAM. It’s starting to get right. In our benchmark session, it ranked last among all smartphones tested on Phonandroid. We expected it. Performance is limited, that’s a fact, but in this specific case, it causes a lot of worry.
The main problem with the terminal stems from this lack of power: he is paddling. All the time. Constantly. Opening an application always takes long seconds. For example, on the desktop, it takes nine seconds from when you tap the Discord logo until the conversation appears. Same time to open a conversation on Facebook Messenger or just the SMS app. Using the GS110 will waste a lot of time, each manipulation becoming a small epic. Whether opening an app or simply navigating menus, the GS110 is constantly pulling out the tongue. You get annoyed very quickly with your wanderings. Simply bringing up the virtual keyboard takes three seconds. Three seconds is a long time when it needs to be instantaneous in the SMS or WhatsApp application. Long and above all painful. Forget about looking for information quickly on your terminal in seconds. The GS110 puts our nerves to the test with every use.
More than those painful slowdowns that make you want to throw it against a wall, the GS110 has the annoying tendency to crash when a user sends you a message SMS, or on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. The screen freezes and returns to the main desktop closing all running applications at best. This happens on average two to three times a day. In the worst case, you have to restart it. In our week of use, this has happened to us at least five or six times. We are no longer in the realm of the painful here, but of the unusable.
Even a person who is not used to a smartphone will find it annoying. Making a simple call becomes complicated, as the dedicated application also takes time to launch. Let’s end this sad observation by talking about unlocking the smartphone, which is also very slow. It takes on average three seconds between the moment when the user turns on the screen to make his diagram or his code and the moment when the desktop appears, and this if it does appear instantaneously, the operation taking five seconds more a times out of ten. As we said above, the GS110 also uses a facial recognition system. It is even slower than the good old scheme and will be disabled by any sane person. Slower … if he recognizes you, which happens every other time.
No need to try to install greedy applications like games, the phone does not even allow it. Cherry on the cake, the GS110 is equipped with Android 9, and therefore tends to become obsolete. You shouldn’t expect to make it hold up over time, in addition to not taking advantage of the latest OS innovations. We also “appreciate” the latest security update dated February 2020. The smartphone could have offered a decent or even minimal experience to offer an add-on product that only serves to communicate, but even writing an SMS becomes an obstacle course. Ultimately, the power is just too tight to make it usable in everyday life. It just doesn’t perform as it should and even at that price it’s unacceptable.
The photo part projects us in 2010
The Gigaset GS110 only has from a single 8-megapixel photo sensor. Sloppy, this part takes us ten years back.
Even in broad daylight and with good light, the results are not up to par, worthy of a webcam from 2010. We will notice a catastrophic management of the light and a completely autofocus in the cabbages. As for the night mode, it is simply unnecessary. We expected that. Note that the camera has an X4 digital zoom which is unusable.
The result is a little better on close-ups or selfies (without portrait mode, which is not present), but again, this is the bare minimum. It was to be expected that the photo part was not very encouraging, but here, the result is too fair to be exploitable. This will hardly suffice in.
ur posting food snaps on Instagram.
The photo software is itself very classic (being that of Android), but here again, it should be noted many slowdowns or random crashes. Ouch.
Autonomy is the only strong point of this Gigaset GS110. During our test week, we were able to to last two full days without a load, with still a little margin. We ended the evening with about 60% more battery life. The 3000 mAh battery coupled with an extremely low-consumption panel brings at least that. The latter can be removed and replaced. But we wonder who will want to do it in 2021.
However, it will be necessary to put an end to the fast charging which is not on the program. To refuel your GS110 from 0 to 100%, you will need count more than five hours. This is not dramatic on a phone sold at this price (the problems are focused elsewhere, you will understand). The charger is included in the box.