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Revealed: Everything you need to know about the new G-tel Explorer A717


gtel-logo-siteLast week, a day after I wrote something on another G-tel smartphone, I got my hands on the recently launched G-tel flagship smartphone, the Explorer A717. I am not particularly a fan of G-tel but this Explorer A717 may have changed my perception a bit.

The device, a Samsung Galaxy S3 look-alike, is a real stunner in looks. I got the cyan colored version which I must say is pleasant to look at. It has a slim and trim design giving it almost border-less edges and also putting it amongst the most weightless phones I used in recent months. Full marks on appearance! I really think G-tel went all out in this area.

Critics would obviously ride on G-tel’s own admission that the Explorer looks just like the Samsung Galaxy S3. But then again, who is not copying someone else these days. For example, Apple and Samsung are always at it and the practice is widespread in the auto industry. This is by no means a justification for copying, but a mere observation that it’s happening.

The G-tel Explorer A717, Samsung Galaxy S3 look-alike
The G-tel Explorer A717, Samsung Galaxy S3 look-alike

The Explorer A717 has a gem of a screen. It’s a 4.7” IPS retina display with Full HD which is also found on the LG Optimus L9 and Hauwei Honor all released in late 2012. This time around G-tel did not enclose app icons with funny borders or shapes making the screen cleaner and easy on the eye.

The 8.0MP Camera is probably just as good as it gets for a $395 smartphone. Day picture quality is not “Sony Experia Z something to write home about”. It’s certainly not the best around, but decent enough to capture great quality photographs. I particularly had trouble at night were most of my night photos have a curved light beam probably caused by the LED flash. I will give it the benefit of doubt and admit that maybe I am not so good in photography.

The battery gives you a good 16-18 hours of optimal use
The battery gives you a good 16-18 hours of optimal use

I am particularly impressed with the 1800mAh battery on the G-tel Explorer. Although, I can’t say I really put it to test (never played games, used only three or four apps and I only had one SIM card running), the battery runs for more than 16 hours at optimal use. Maybe 18 hours.

I would rather not go into the more technical aspects of the phone but for the three days I used it, I experienced just one or two application crushes but not the kind that warrants an SOS. However, for a phone that is being touted as “flagship”, it still has storage (4GB) that probably is entry level with today’s standards.

My verdict

The Explorer A717 is a decent phone but nothing ground breaking about it. G-tel has taken a huge step forward but not big enough to class this device with the Samsung Galaxy S3. In-fact, I googled the Explorer’s specs and found the JIAYU G4 Advanced Smart Phone (first time I have heard of this one), with pretty much the same specs but retails online at $285.

The G-tel Explorer is just under $400 – a premium which I believe its performance so far, may just have justified.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

22 thoughts on “Revealed: Everything you need to know about the new G-tel Explorer A717

  1. seriously you want us to believe that this is an objective review????

  2. I don’t mean to be “that guy”, but why isn’t there a single picture of the said device? Are there no camera’s at Techzim HQ? The previous article had a lousy render.

    1. Good advice.

      There are key points that help in giving good insight. Such reviews are fairly standard in what they reveal. is usually where I head to for reviews. Nothing wrong with learning from them.

      Benchmarks also never lie and r void of opinion… in all hardware and software.For Android, best I know of is AnTuTu

      Would be nice if they installed and ran that. With benchmarks, you can then compare with other phones that it claims to be pegged with or other phones that we know that are the best.

      My 2c

  3. I got myself a nexus 5 for $400 which has the latest specs. That g-tel is worth $80 if you ask me. The battery is small and it will not last 12 hours with a power user but then again, why would a power user use such a phone.

  4. You would rather not go into the more technical aspects of the phone? Seriously? Any good review starts with the technical aspects of the device because we need to know if the software makes the best possible use of the hardware. You also need to use the phone extensively with a wide variety of apps.

  5. its too expensive even though it looks like an s3 i doubt gtel is going to get a large market share out of it

  6. Point of correction!!!!!: 1280×720 Resolution is not Full HD, its just HD or 720p!, Full HD is 1080×1920 or 1080p!!

  7. Review for the people not for yourself because you just mentioned what you yourself consider when deciding on a phone. A table of the specs would have been a good addition. dai urimuclass wachekerwa kunyora hausati wakugona

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  9. I have the a717 explorer and its not giving me value for the money i am paying. downloading just a few apps and its already drunk. its just restarting when ever it feels like even in the middle of a call. can someone help me fix this problem without having to flash the phone.

    1. i CAN UPDATE YOUR PHONE SOFTWARE .REPAIR ANY GTELL if in bulawayo contact me 0775677086

  10. Why would anyone want to review a device they ddnt even utilize to exhaustion in the first place. I thought this was for the pros .

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