Coolpad is another Chinese company to join the fleet of budget smartphone manufacturer. The company grabbed attention due to its premium features at combative pricing. Earlier it was facing competition from homegrown companies Xiaomi and Meizu, but ever since Coolpad entered with Coolpad Note 3 in the Indian market, the competition has increased remarkably.
Design & Build
Design may not fascinate you but there is no denying of clean approach, edges are surrounded by metal band which is curved a bit towards the display. The design makes it easy to hold but one handed operation remains a bit difficult.
5.5’’ display at the front having proximity sensor, earpiece and 5MP camera module right above the display and non-backlit capacitive touch buttons at the bottom. Left bezel features volume control at very inconvenient place, right bezel is home for power button only.
Standard 3.5mm headphone jack can be seen at the top whereas Micro USB 2.0 port and a microphone are located at the bottom. Turn to the back, it is made of soft matt finish plastic which is removable. Towards the top, there is a 13MP camera module having single tone LED flash alongside.
Then comes perhaps the USP or highlight of the device: fingerprint sensor. It is located right below the camera module and you can see Coolpad branding and speaker grill at the bottom.
As aforesaid back is removable, under the hood you’ll find 2 Micro SIM slots and one MicroSD card slot. Both SIM support 4G when tested.
Smartphones are getting better and smarter with the time. There was a time when we would wish to have an iPhone for its fingerprint sensor but many broke their dream of having an iPhone because of its premium pricing.
They say competition breeds excellence, with the significant revolution in the smartphone market companies are bound to offer premium specs at bargained price. For instance, Coolpad is offering fingerprint sensor with Coolpad Note 3 and it works like a charm! Fingerprint turned out to be 98% accurate in my day to day usage. It is one of the snappiest fingerprint I have seen recently and probably the best in its price segment.
Display: 5.5-inch IPS HD
Following the phablet trend, it sports a 5.5’’ IPS HD display secured by a scratch resistant glass, but I strongly recommend a tampered protection or screen guard as the display is prone to smudges and scratches. However, this is not a FHD display but Coolpad Note 3’s 1280×720 resolution is sufficient enough to give a vivid and sharp display.
Viewing angles are great and screen can be seen from a wider angle. I shared screen with friends while watching movies and viewing experience was great. The only problem could be figured out is the reflective screen and the content legibility under sunlight.
Hardware: MediaTek Octa-Core Chipset
Powerhouse packs MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz, coupled with Mali-T720 graphics. MediaTek chipset handles pretty much everything efficiently, combo of 3GB RAM is just topping on it. However, performance starts tripping if you run few heavy apps simultaneously and gets heat up at the rear camera module.
Prolonged gaming sessions were good and no lag experienced so far. It has 16GB ROM on boarded and if that doesn’t suffice the purpose you get an option of expansion up to 64GB.
Software: Android 5.1 Lollipop, Cool UI 6.0
The smartphone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box with a layer of Cool UI 6.0, which is Coolpad’s own custom UI. I liked the cleanliness and colourful icons of the custom skin. It has some interesting features where you get to customize your UI experience like- lock screen style, font style, themes and few gesture modes also.
You’ll find Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, Amazon etc. pre-installed. Except a few, I couldn’t see much of bloatware. One of the best things of having Coolpad Note 3 is you get entire bloatware free experience. However, like other Chinese counterparts, UI seems inspired by iOS.
Camera: 13MP and 5MP front camera
Coolpad has gone for 13MP rear and 5MP front shooter. It’s a well-designed app with minimalistic approach. Images captured in good lighting turned out to be good with ample details and good color reproduction. However, it fails when it comes to tricky lighting condition. Images taken in dark are too noisy and lacks details.
Front camera performs better as compared to rear camera. Beautification mode works very well and produce good outdoor as well as indoor shots. You can also use fingerprint sensor to click selfies easily. All in all, not the best camera but keep your expectations realistic looking at the price point.
Battery & Connectivity Features
It houses 3000 mAh battery sealed in. Battery life is impressive as it easily lasts a day on mixed usage. It comes with a 2A travel adapter which is capable of charging up the device in 90 minutes. Battery backup won’t disappoint you at all. Within 10 minutes of gaming it consumed 5% of the battery, which is a fair deal.
The smartphone comes with regular connectivity options but with a topping of USB OTG support. It sports Bluetooth 4.0, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Dual SIM Dual Standby and GPS. There is no WiFi Direct and NFC, apparently to keep the cost low. Network reception and call quality was good, I tried on 4G.
- Quick fingerprint sensor
- Good battery backup
- Fingerprint sensor direct app launch (launch different apps with different fingers)
- Limited availability
The smartphone is exclusively available on Amazon.in at 8,999 INR in black and white color options. Surely, camera specs seem to be good on paper only but it has one of the decent display in this price segment. Fingerprint works exceptionally great, 3GB RAM is also significant helps in robust performance, and substantial battery life, Coolpad packs great combination of features for people who have tight budget and it is worth it. If you can overlook the camera performance, then this can be the strong contender among options.