Coolpad is one of those brands that has shown on again off again character in the Indian market. We haven’t seen that many offerings from them lately but now they are back with a budget smartphone called the Coolpad Cool 5. The phone sports a sticker price of INR 7,999 and offers MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, a dewdrop notch display, and a fingerprint scanner as its main highlights.
With the growing competition in the sub 10k price segment, let’s check out where Cool 5 stands in our full review.
Coolpad Cool 5 Specifications
- Display: 6.2-inch HD+ IPS LCD, 19:9 aspect ratio
- CPU: MediaTek Helio P22 processor
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB
- Software: Android 9 Pie
- Main Camera: 13MP + 2MP
- Selfie Camera: 16MP
- Connectivity: USB Type C, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes
- Battery: 4,000 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
- Charging: 5V 2A (10W charging)
- Coolpad Cool 5
- USB Type C Cable
- Transparent Silicon Case
- Screen protector
- Sim Ejector Tool
Design & Display
Kicking off with the design, the Coolpad Cool 5 sports a modern look with the two-tone gradient paint job on the back and a dewdrop notch display on the front. The entire phone is made out of polycarbonate which is to be expected at this price point.
The Blue color variant we have here offers a flashy blue hue on the bottom with a darker tone on the top. Since the entire back has a glossy finish, 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 while the SIM tray is on the left. The phone comes in a 64GB storage option which can be further expanded via the MicroSD card slot. On the bottom part, you’d find the Type C charging slot which is a plus while the 3.5mm audio jack has been moved to the top.
Coming to the front, the phone gets a 6.2-inch IPS LCD display with an HD+ resolution. This translates to a pixel density of 295ppi and a tall 19:9 aspect ratio, thanks to the modern-looking water-drop notch. The phone does have huge bezels running all around, which in our opinion can be overlooked for the price as it is somewhat common.
The display looks pretty sharp, has good viewing angles but proffers washed-out colors. The display struggles with outdoor legibility while it is decent indoors. Overall, the display quality is just average and watching videos isn’t very enjoyable on this device.
Performance & Software
The phone comes powered by Mediatek Helio P22 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. When 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 go downhill when you start pushing the phone to its limits.
Being an entry-level mid-range chipset, 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 plus side, the cell reception and call quality were up to the mark.
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 customize the icons and background with the built-in Theming app. You get access to some nifty features including navigation gestures, Game Booster, App Clone, Health-Guard and more.
Barring this, 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 very few places including dialer, messaging app and icons.
Camera & Battery
In terms of optics, the phone gets a 13-megapixel primary sensor which is assisted by a 2-megapixel sensor for depth shots. On the front, you’d see a 16-megapixel selfie shooter tucked away in the notch. 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 well-lit conditions.
There are noticeable issues with the exposure balance and dynamic range which are somewhat compensated with the HDR mode. The performance drops significantly in low-light conditions with the phone not even able to lock focus. The front camera performance is nothing to rave about either. You get access to modes like beauty and FaceCute mode which smooth out the detail even further. The phone isn’t built for social media freaks by any means.
Coming to the battery life, there is a 4,000 mAh cell included which is more than enough to pull the phone for close to two days. In our tests, we managed to get roughly 7 hours of screen-on-time out of this battery which is more than enough for most users in our opinion. The charging time is slow since the phone does not come with support for fast charge and the supplied 10W charger takes more than 2 hours to get a full top-up.
- Looks good, Comfortable to hold
- Compact & lightweight
- Dual 4G VoLTE
- Below average Cameras
- Mediocre Performance
Verdict – Should you buy it?
The Coolpad Cool 5 is a decent-looking device with an excellent battery backup which is pulled down by the mediocre processor and bloated software. Add to that the below-average performing cameras. The phone does justice when it comes to the basics but it is not sufficient in this cut-throat competition.
There are plenty of offerings in the market right now which you could look at that are priced almost similar to the Cool 5 notably the Redmi Note 8, Redmi 8A and the Realme 5.