Power over everything with the new GTeL X3

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Size matters, Bigger is better; just a bunch of lazy cliches that have been slapped onto every piece and advert that’s meant to justify bigger devices.

Are bigger devices worth the fuss? It really depends on your own preferences and it’s something that you’d have to ask yourself before committing to a large phone, tablet or phablet.

Local device distributor and mobile technology brand, GTeL, has also been pushing the big phone philosophy with its latest device, the GTeL A7100 X3, or as it is known in every big advert, the GTeL X3.

First impressions and general design

Besides the conventional feel of a phablet and its strong presence in your hand, the GTeL X3 makes a big impression with its weight. The phone is for all intent and purposes a battery that has been garnished with mobile phone capabilities.


This is a 6020 mAh Long Life power source that has managed to eclipse a lot of other things about the device. But to be fair  that’s not the only thing you’ll observe. It has a metallic body and smooth rear end all packed into an 8.55mm thin frame.

IMG_2496The sides of the X3 are slightly chamfered, something that plays well with maintaining a grip on the phablet. Its back is non-removable so you won’t see or remove the big battery, something that is becoming more and more mainstream in mobile device design.  Also tucked at the back is a non-protruding  13MP camera and the flash.
IMG_2506The X3 comes with a micro SD card slot and the power and volume buttons are on the same side as this slot, something that can be irritating when you try to feel for the button you need for lowering volume. The SIM card slot that carries the X3’s dual SIM multi-mode tray is placed on its own side.

Screen and camera performance


Like all other phablets, the GTeL X3’s screen is rather captivating because of the visual acreage it provides. The 5.5 Inch HD screen with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution is enough to make the viewing of videos, playing games and other visually engrossing activities pretty awesome to carry out.

In a world where we are likely to be catching the latest news clips or watching series on mobile devices, you really get the sense that a big screen is all that.

The GTeL’s 13 MP rear camera puts up a very decent show and though it doesn’t appear to be a game changer in terms of image capture when compared to other 13 MP range shots, there is a good capture of image detail.

In low light, the performance wasn’t as spectacular and there weren’t a lot fo options for tinkering with the camera settings, something that users of top tier devices from Apple, Samsung, LG and HTC are already used to.

The Phone’s battery and how she relates to ZESA

On the power front is where GTeL scores the msot points. The huge battery is not only a very reliabel source for the device, but it can also double as a power source for charging other mobile devices thanks to reverse charge feature.

A fully charged X3 with extensive use such as gaming, IM interaction, occasional photography, YouTube, the odd episode or 2 of your favourite shows, some music and a few video clips will give you 2 days on a full charge.

GteL claims this device will give you a full four days on a light consumption and use, but we never got a chance to verify this as the X3 stood in as a power bank thansk to reverse charging. The claims do seem possible though, considering the host of features that the X3 comes with aimed at optimising battery power like the suspend option and the Smart Power Management feature.

These sort of add-ons are becoming common among most devices, but the X3 pairs them with its lump of a battery.

Operating System and engine specs

Android 5.1 Lollipop is the order of the day here, and it works with the X3’s 1.3GHz Quad Core processor. There’s 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of memory packed into the device. It fared decently in the light of multi-functional use, though heavy processes like game play for heavy titles, paired with downloads and some transfers caused a strain.

The device supports LTE and CDMA technology, which is a big deal for users that want to maximise on CDMA offers for voice from operators like Africom, while also tapping into super fast GSMA technology.

What’s the cost?

The GTeL X3 is retailing this device for $390 with a 12-month credit option of $49 per month.



This feels like a winner for GTeL fans or anyone trying to get a feel for the bigger phone in the pocket philosophy. Buyers ought to be pleased about the power dynamics of the X3, which gives you the sense that ZESA can be an after thought for your phone , and perhaps that other device you also move around with.

However, some shortcomings on a camera that was good but turned out be mediocre, and  the very noticeable weight creates challenges for it against other phablets and big phones.

If power and size are your only concern, then this is the device to have. If there other things that are worth considering, then you’ll have to turn to other phablets, or GTeL’s smaller high specced offerings.


  1. Bryce says:

    This is when gtel has to start giving ota and nonota updates for all their android devices like other tech giant like samsung sony and apple, just to match up with the market and give way to developers in zim and nation wide

    1. neZulla says:

      ota??? thats impossible on these phones

    2. Addy says:

      Bro an iPhone isn’t an android device

  2. neZulla says:

    they use mtk chips and the system is android based amigo os….Jus google Gionee same specs… hahaha

  3. Richard says:

    For those that had difficulties in getting through a day with android smartphones this phone has come at a right time and is much more sensitive to our environment of constant power cuts.

  4. paul says:

    This phone looks pretty, i do not find it so bad compared to other smartphones. With its 6020mAh battery it means you wont be worried much when it comes to power. The reverse charge makes this phone a cut above the rest. And having a non removable battery thats super.

    1. Anonymous says:

      720p screen is a big blow

  5. tbag says:

    based in Zvish how do we get the Fone?

  6. chl4rl says:

    Thumps up 4 dat Monster Battery….but screen resolution z kinda lower than i expected

  7. chl4rl says:

    I honestly think dat they shld make another x3 version wth higher screen resolution,more RAM,lyk 3gig,n something lyk 32-64gig internal stotage

  8. primi😊😊 says:

    They should make it updatable and there user interface is quite ugly. The specs are okay though but not jaw dropping and special. Goods battery but the question is for how long will this battery be so good. Gtel battrtys usually get ptetty messed up after a year but hardware should be made more durable. Improve the camera lenses. Megapixels don’t mean much ask the iPhone that. And 2 gigs of ram that’s on a note 2 too little.

  9. teregez says:

    Local brand ! Very good smartphone and improved specs , Its well above previous Samsung models like S3 in terms of RAM ,size , Megapixels and LTE , CDMA technology

  10. QuiLLz says:

    Nice phablet, great feel from that box-like structure though the weight ain’t that “smart” to be competitive with other phablets trending (the Samsung Note range)…despite the screen resolution issues, it’s a 5.5″ to reckon as handy considering the current local electricity problem, thumbs up

  11. simbiso magaya says:

    Waaaaal its an good phone but you must impove camera,ram and storege

  12. Anonymous says:

    For a price of $390 its reasonable to buy it but 720p at this day and age is a real let off

  13. Anonymous says:


  14. musandaira charles c says:

    ooooou that it a nice phone though but we are asking a great favour. which is can you pliz reduce the price to $350 so that that us poor guys can buy it also

  15. panashe p hu says:

    pakaipa izvezvi kwakuseri 4rn iyi

  16. Addy says:

    The phone is a basically a mid range device at best , and for that price there are better products on the market, Ever heard of Xiaomi!
    So the screen resolution sucks, who puts 720p displays on a phone still, as for the battery there i’m impressed. And if u an avid gamer like myself this phone is probably not so good on that front with a quadcore 1.3ghz mtk processor. The phone has to be much cheaper for what it offers

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