Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad is not new in Indian market.Earlier they introduced Coolpad Dazen 1 and Coolpad Dazen X7 six month ago in partnership with another Chinese brand Dazen. Now their latest smartphone, the Coolpad Note 3 offers a lot in price of just Rs.8999, especially Fingerprint scanner. This is probably the only device under Rs.10000 to feature Fingerprint scanner. How well it performs in day to day usage? Let’s find out in this review. First, have a look at quick specifications.
Coolpad Note 3 – Quick Specifications
- 5.5 inch HD display
- Android 5.1, Cool UI 6.0
- 1.3GHz Octa Core MT6753
- Mali-T720 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 16GB storage + SD card support up to 64GB
- 13MP + 5MP camera
- Fingerprint sensor
- 3000 mAh battery
- SAR : 0.249 W/kg @1gm(Head), 0.425 W/kg @1gm(Body)
What’s in the box?
- USB to Micro USB cable
- Warranty card
- Quick Start Guide
There is no screen protector or case included in the box.
Design and build
The device comes in White color only. It has well build design and feels sturdy in hand. It is made from aluminum alloy chassis inside, 5.5 inch display at front, removable plastic back cover and there’s a chrome finish rim around the front panel. In hand feel is also good. The back panel has soft matte finish which picks up scuffs and smudges easily. If you wish to keep it safe from getting smudges, use case. Dimensions of the device are 151 X 77 X 9.3 mm and it weighs 155 gram. Power key is placed on right side and volume keys on left side. On top there is 3.5mm audio jack and at the bottom there is micro USB charging port and primary microphone. Above 5.5 inch display, there’s 5 megapixel front camera, sensors, earpiece and LED notification light. Below the display there are 3 non-backlit capacitive buttons. At the back there’s 13 megapixel camera above fingerprint scanner and speaker at the bottom. Speaker volume is not loud enough even at max. and as it is placed on back when kept on table or any other surface the volume decreases further. It is better to use headphones while watching media files on phone. Fingerprint scanner works as expected and recognizes fingerprints even when display is off. It has one touch unlock function where you just need to rest your finger on scanner and it unlocks the device.
The 5.5 inch display has a resolution of 1280 X 720 pixels, however, the display is prone to fingerprints. It is an HD IPS display protected by scratch resistant Nippon Electric Glass (Not Gorilla Glass). Viewing angles are also pretty good and display is bright enough for visibility in direct sunlight. For some it may disappoint for not being Full HD display. Though it can play 1080p videos stored on device smoothly but YouTube video playback is restricted to 720p only.
Software & User Interface
The Coolpad Note 3 runs on Cool UI based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. As seen on other Chinese UI’s there is no app drawer, all installed apps stay on desktop. The “Cool Show” offers 8 pre-installed themes to change screen style and fonts but there is no option to download more themes. Widgets can be added to desktop but surprisingly I didn’t found Clock widget pre-installed. The device also supports gestures like double-tap to wake, Slide down to take photos and many more. It also supports multitasking as seen on Samsung Galaxy Note series where you can open 2 apps at the same time.
Hardware & Performance
It is powered by 1.3 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor with Mali-T720 GPU. The performance is almost lag-free even in heavy multitasking. RAM management is also good as I tested switching between apps with 10 apps open at a time for about half an hour, none of the app reloaded again. The phone didn’t heated much while playing games including Unkilled, Asphalt 8 for about 20 minutes. It does get warm but didn’t found crazy heating as seen on other devices in same price range.
Storage & Apps
The Coolpad Note 3 comes with 16GB internal storage and out of which approx 10.3 GB is available to user on first boot. The device comes pre-loaded with many apps including Cool Store, WeChat, Whatsapp, WPS Office, Amazon Shop and some Google apps. The installation of apps downloaded from third-party sources such as “Cool Store” is NOT blocked by default. The Cool Store shows notifications for installing apps, and the most annoying part is when you click notification to view, it actually starts downloading and installing app. It is recommended that you disable third party app installation from settings to avoid potential security problem. It also comes with Xploree as default keyboard which can be replaced by other keyboard app from play store. The device comes with 3GB RAM and microSD card support up to 64GB. Apps can be moved to SD card after update (V020) received on 25th November but sadly USB OTG function does not work after that, hopefully Coolpad will enable it in future updates.
These are the Benchmark results.
Dual Sim 4G
The dual sim device supports 4G on both sim slots but you can use 4G on 1 sim at a time. I tried using Airtel 4G network on both sim slots. If you set 1 sim on 4G, the second sim supports only 2G network.
The device has 13 megapixel (f/2.0) autofocus rear camera with LED flash and 5 megapixel front camera. Camera app comes with many filters and modes including Gesture shot. The camera app is simple and also provides Pro mode. Rear camera takes good pictures in day light but struggles in low light & artificial lights. The pictures come out well with good details and with almost accurate color reproduction. Front camera is also good in day light but there is lot of noise in low light conditions. Overall, decent performance from camera considering the price. Check sample images below.
The Coolpad Note 3 packs 3000 mAh battery. It can last easily for a day with moderate use and standby time is extremely good. With minimum usage (casual web browsing, always on WiFi or 4G) it lasted for 2 days. I was getting around 4.5 to 5 hours of SOT (Screen On Time) on single charge. The phone comes with 2 charging modes, normal mode and efficient mode, however I did not found different results while charging. It took 2 hours 40 minutes to charge from 0% to 100%.
- Fingerprint sensor
- 4G Dual sim
- Value for money
- 3 GB RAM
- Speaker Volume
The Coolpad Note 3 is value for money smartphone. Apart from low speaker volume, lack of Full HD display and average low light camera performance, it is recommended as BUY with price of just Rs.8999. 4G Dual sim, 3GB RAM and Fingerprint scanner makes it stand out of the crowd.