Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review
Coolpad Note 3 Lite ReviewIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Coolpad Note 3 Lite is a smaller variant of the successful Note 3, which offered features beyond expectations, and continues the legacy of its elder sibling. In India, the new handset attracted a lot of buyers and some good reviews. We spent a little over two weeks with the Note 3 Lite and here's what we think of it based on the price-to-performance ratio.

Coolpad Note 3 Lite draws close similarity to the original Note 3. It has the looks of its sibling as well as some noteworthy features. Let's take a look at them one-by-one:

Design

Coolpad Note 3 Lite has vast resemblance to the Note 3 smartphone with a few tweaks here and there. The Note 3 Lite has the same plastic body as that of the Note 3, but in a smaller package. Other noticeable change in the Note 3 Lite is the gold hue frame outlining the display, camera and the fingerprint scanner. The removable rear cover offers a better grip with its textured finish, which is an add-on to the compact size.

Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review
Coolpad Note 3 Lite rear design with textured finish.IBTimes India/Sami Khan

The power button is on the right, volume controls are on the left, a 3.5mm jack appears on the top and a microUSB slot is placed at the bottom, but shifted towards the left corner. The rear side of the handset houses the fingerprint scanner, camera module and the speaker. Under the cover, a microSD card along with two micro SIM card slots and a non-removable battery are found.

Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review: Under the rear coverIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Overall, the handset feels good in hand despite the plastic use and it is a lot handy than the large Note 3 smartphone.

Display

Coolpad Note 3 Lite has a 5-inch HD display with a scratch resistant glass. We were using the handset without any screen protection and haven't found any scratches, which is an unusual case in several similar priced phones in the market. On the downside, the Note 3 Lite has poor viewing angles, which makes it difficult to use in sunlight. But adjusting the brightness on maximum level in the straight view can overcome that hurdle.

Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review: The HD screen looks good on the affordable handset.IBTimes India/Sami Khan

The touch is smooth, responsive and you will rarely experience any lags or sluggishness.

Camera

Coolpad Note 3 Lite has a 13MP primary camera with LED flash and a 5MP front snapper. You can count on the details of images shot in daylight and well-lit areas but the quality suffers in low-light conditions. It is worth noting that pixel count is not solely responsible for the quality of the images.

Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review: Rear camera moduleIBTimes India/Sami Khan

We shot a few images on the Note 3 Lite to demonstrate how it works in different lighting conditions.

1/8
  • Coolpad Note 3 Lite camera review: Sample photo taken using Auto mode moments after sunrise.IBTimes India/Sami Khan
  • Coolpad Note 3 Lite camera review: Indoor shot with well-lit surroundingIBTimes India / Sami Khan
  • Coolpad Note 3 Lite camera review: Photo taken inside Kingdom of Dreams sets in GurgaonIBTimes India / Sami Khan
  • Coolpad Note 3 Lite camera review: Indoor shot but the lighting gets too much contrast and fails to deliver true quality of the image.IBTimes India / Sami Khan
  • Coolpad Note 3 Lite camera review: Shot inside the sets of Kingdom of Dreams, GurgaonIBTimes India / Sami Khan
  • Coolpad Note 3 Lite camera review: Shot inside the sets of KoD, GurgaonIBTimes India / Sami Khan
  • Coolpad Note 3 Lite camera review: Night shot with minimal lighting and no flashIBTimes India / Sami Khan
  • Coolpad Note 3 Lite camera review: Shot in daylight and delivers clear details and good quality.IBTimes India / Sami Khan

We have seen better results on the Note 3 and rivals such as Meizu m2, but sticking to daylight shooting is a wise decision on the Note 3 Lite.

Security

The fingerprint scanner in the Note 3 Lite is one of the strongest selling points for the handset. It is safe to say that the Note 3 Lite is one of the cheapest smartphones with fingerprint scanner. Like the Note 3, Coolpad Note 3 Lite has incredible accuracy and speed in recognising the registered fingerprint. The device can be unlocked simply by placing the finger on the sensor, which is found at the rear, from any angle.

Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review: Accurate and fast fingerprint scannerIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Coolpad Note 3 Lite lets you lock individual apps with fingerprint touch and also captures images with a single tap on the sensor when the camera app is open.

Performance

Coolpad Note 3 Lite looks good on paper. It has a 64-bit 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 quad-core processor, ARM Mali T720 GPU and 3GB RAM, which is commendable for a smartphone in the sub-Rs 7,000 price range. The RAM capacity makes sure multitasking is handled without any hiccups and the processor looks after the smooth functioning of the device. There is 16GB onboard storage with expandable memory option.

Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review: Non-removable battery and dual microSIM slots are seen. A microSD card slot is placed at the bottom.IBTimes India/Sami Khan

We played some games on the device and there were no heating or performance issues.

When we put the handset through benchmark tests, it delivered decent scores. Check out the screenshots of the test results below:

Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review: AnTuTu Benchmark test resultIBTimes India/Sami Khan
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review: GeekBench test results on single core and multi coreIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Comparatively, Meizu m2 scored 27760 on AnTuTu, 619 on single core and 1788 on multi-core GeekBench scores, XiaomiRedmi 2 scored 20376 on AnTuTu and 472 single-core and 1392 multi-core on GeekBench, Lenovo A6000 had 20,807 on AnTuTu and Moto E second generation got 17,748 on AnTuTu. Coolpad Note 3 Lite is at par or better than most phones in its close price range.

Battery

Coolpad Note 3 Lite has a 2,500mAh battery, which is non-removable. In the initial run, when we used Coolpad Note 3 Lite as a primary handset, it pushed through the day. But then the handset was used mostly for calls, messaging on internet-connected apps, little bit of gaming and music too.

If you are planning to use the Note 3 Lite as a secondary phone, count on it to easily get you up to 14 hours on average usage.

Verdict

Pros:

  • Great design and comfortable grip
  • Excellent fingerprint sensing capabilities
  • Good battery
  • Lag-free performance
  • Good sound on speakers
  • The clock and calendar apps in the home screen show the clock and date running in real time, a feature which is seen in the iPhones
  • Attractive themes and wallpapers
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • The display in the Note 3 Lite can be better
  • Camera could get a lot better in the low-lit areas
  • Non-removable battery may be a turn-off for some
  • No video call support on Note 3 Lite too (even Coolpad Note 3 was deprived of this feature)
  • In-ear headphones for music can be better
  • The vibrate intensity for calls is extremely low, which can be annoying at times if you miss too many calls by placing the phone on silent mode
  • Available exclusively online through flash sales

The pros outweigh the cons, which we can oversee considering the low-price tag of Rs 6,999. First time upgraders can go for the Note 3 Lite and be content with the offering. Features like the fingerprint scanner and 3GB RAM makes the Note 3 Lite an ideal choice in the budget smartphone segment. Coolpad Note 3 Lite may not be the best choice if you already own a high-end device and plan to downgrade, but it can serve great purpose as a secondary phone for calls, messaging and internet browsing.