Coolpad has lately launched its new budget smartphone in India, dubbed as Coolpad Cool 3 Plus. The device starts at a reasonably low price of Rs. 5,999 for the base model and offers MediaTek Helio A22 SoC, dewdrop notch display, and a fingerprint scanner as its main highlights. Now that we have been using the device for a while, let’s check out if it’s really worth buying amidst fierce competition in our full Coolpad Cool 3 Plus review.
Coolpad Cool 3 Plus Specifications
Before starting with the Coolpad Cool 3 Plus review, let’s have a glance at the phone’s specifications, pricing and things we get with the device.
- Display: 5.7-inch LTPS IPS LCD display, HD+ (720×1520 pixels) resolution, 19:9 aspect ratio
- Display Protection: Not specified
- CPU: 12nm-based Quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 processor (2.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: PowerVR GE8320
- RAM: 2/3GB
- Storage: 16/32GB internal storage, expandable up to 1TB (dedicated slot)
- Software: Android 9 Pie
- Main Camera: 13MP
- Selfie Camera: 8MP
- Connectivity: MicroUSB, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, Capacitive
- Battery: 3,000 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
- Charging: 5V 1A (5W charging)
Price: Rs. 5,999 for 2/16GB | Rs. 6,499 for 3/32GB
A complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Coolpad Cool 3 Plus
- 5V 1A Charger
- micro-USB Cable
- Transparent Silicon Case
- Screen protector
- Sim Ejector Tool
Coolpad Cool 3 Plus Review
Design & Display
Starting off with the design, you’ll notice that the Coolpad Cool 3 Plus is indeed a good looking phone. It has got a glossy polycarbonate back panel with mild curves that make it grippy as well as comfortable to hold. As a matter of fact, the handset weighs just about 135grams, making it super lightweight compared to most other phones in the market.
The Ocean Blue colour variant we have here offers a flashy blue hue on the top that merges gradually into a darker shade at the bottom. On a lighter note, the phone gets smudged easily and hence we recommend using the provided silicone case.
As for the ports and placements, the volume rockers and power button are given to the right, are easy to reach and offer good feedback. The left, on the other hand, houses a hybrid dual-Nano SIM tray and the phone supports 4G VoLTE on both the cards. The space for the second sim can also be used by a microSD card for storage expansion, but we’d have preferred to have a dedicated slot for the same as the phone offers a mere 16GB of storage on the base model. Moving further, there’s a single camera module at the back, accompanied by Coolpad branding and a fingerprint scanner. The latter, as expected, is a bit slow compared to others but works reliably well in unlocking the device.
Coming to the front, the phone gets a 5.71-inch IPS LCD display with an HD+ resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels. It further flaunts a pixel density of 295ppi and a tall 19:9 aspect ratio, thanks to the modern-looking water-drop notch. In a segment dominated by phones having 6-inch+ screens, the Coolpad Cool 3 Plus feels rather compact and refreshing to use. But then again, it does have huge bezels running all around, which in my opinion can be overlooked for the price it retails for.
The display looks pretty sharp, has good viewing angles but proffers washed-out colours. Also, it gets quite tough using the phone under direct sunlight. Overall, the display quality is just average and watching videos isn’t very enjoyable on this device.
Performance & Software
As noted, the Coolpad Cool 3 Plus gets powered by quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 processor, paired with PowerVR GE8320 GPU, up to 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
As far as the day to day performance is concerned, the phone manages to do all the essential tasks, including texting, calling, mild browsing without any major issues. However, things start to deteriorate when you start pushing the phone to its limits. Being an entry-level processor, we didn’t expect much from the phone. However, it did manage to run PUBG Lite fairly well, but couldn’t get through occasional stutter and lag.
On the software front, the phone runs Android 9 Pie with Coolpad’s custom UI on top. And while the UI lacks an app drawer, you can customise the icons and background with the built-in Theming app. Additionally, there are nifty features including navigation gestures, Game Booster, App Clone, Health-Guard and more. The former allows allocating resources for better performance in games while App Clone lets you create a copy of essential apps like WhatsApp and Facebook in order to use multiple accounts.
As a matter of fact, the phone does come with a good amount of bloatware including Opera Mini, Opera News, UC Browser, etc. which fortunately can be uninstalled in settings. Overall, the UI is quite decent and resembles stock Android at a very few places including dialer, messaging app and icons.
For photography, the Coolpad Cool 3 Plus gets a single 13MP camera at the rear, followed by an 8MP selfie shooter at the front. The photos captured in daylight are good enough to be viewed on the phone. But, zoom in, and you’ll notice lack of detail and sharpness, even in ideal lighting conditions. Also, the exposure balance and dynamic range are quite weak, and there doesn’t seem to be any sort of HDR mode to compensate the same.
What makes things worse is the lack of PDAF. Instead, the phone uses contrast-based autofocus which takes its own good time to lock focus, especially in low light conditions. There’s also a software-based bokeh mode which is good for nothing. Overall, the camera merely feels below average with slow shutter speed, poor quality, and occasional motion blur. The front camera too is no different, and the phone isn’t built for social media freaks by any means.
Battery & Charging
In a segment where companies like Realme and Xiaomi are giving bigger batteries, Coolpad has settled for an average-sized 3,000mAh cell on the Cool 3 Plus. And as expected, the phone struggles hard to last even for a day on a single charge. In our usage, we had to charge the phone again by the evening almost every day.
The charging times are slow as well. Notably, the company is shipping a slow 5W charger which takes ages (around 2 and half hours) to charge the phone from 0 to 100 despite the small battery capacity.
- Looks good, Comfortable to hold
- Compact & Super lightweight
- Has Fingerprint Scanner
- Dual 4G VoLTE
- Below average Cameras, Slow autofocus
- Mediocre Performance
- Battery life could’ve been better
- Hybrid slot
Coolpad Cool 3 Plus Review Verdict – Should you buy it?
As evident, the Coolpad Cool 3 Plus boasts of modern design, quality build and lightweight form factor as its key selling points. There’s also a fingerprint scanner which is absent on many other devices in this segment. However, the phone simply can’t catch up with the competition and leaves a lot to be desired. And considering the price tag of Rs. 6,499 for the 3/32GB model, we feel that Coolpad could’ve given better value for the amount it’s demanding.