Coolpad's journey in India has been interesting so far. The company's affordable Note 3 smartphone has a lot to offer but at a very low price, which garnered a lot of attention of budget shoppers in the country. Coolpad Note 3 is the cheapest smartphone to have a fingerprint scanner, which makes it quite an appeal considering biometric security is found only on mid-range and high-end phones. If you are thinking the handset is too good to be true, here's a review based on our long-term use of Coolpad Note 3.
First, let us take you through the specifications of the Coolpad Note 3, which are quite impressive for the price it is offered at.
Coolpad Note 3 has a 5.5-inch HD display with 1280x720-pixel resolution and 178-degree viewing angle. The overall design is kept quite simple. It has a plastic body with a removable back cover that safely houses the dual SIM card slots along with the microSD card slot. Coolpad Note 3 has the power/lock button on the right, volume rocker controls on the left, microUSB slot at the bottom at a 3.5mm jack at the top.
Coolpad Note 3 features a 13-megapixel rear-facing f/2.0-aperture camera supported by LED flash and a 5MP front-snapper with five-element HD lens. It is powered by a 64-bit 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, which is expandable up to 64GB and 10GB usable by user. The Note 3 packs a 3,000mAh battery and measures 9.3mm, which is not odd. The handset has an aluminium frame inside to add strength and still manages to weigh 155 grams.
The Note 3 smartphone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop based Cool UI 6.0 and supports high-speed 4G LTE bandwidths.
But you probably know the specs of the Coolpad Note 3 by now, as it was launched in October last year. Those of you looking to upgrade to the Note 3 might be eager to know how the handset performs in the real world. After using the device for almost two months now, we can safely analyse the Coolpad Note 3's real performance. Just to be sure, we ran some benchmarking tests and these are the results:
Moving on to the more realistic data, here are the pros and cons of Coolpad Note 3 based on our usage so far.
First off, Coolpad Note 3 really surprised us with its battery life. The handset was able to run for a full day with a single charge, and surpass the day with average usage. Our mixed usage during the test included calls, messaging, music and bit of gaming, too!
The next highlight of the device is fingerprint scanner fitted on the rear. At first we thought the fingerprint sensor might not be too good considering the phone's price. But never judge a book by its cover. Coolpad Note 3 did not cease to impress us with its accurate fingerprint scanning capabilities. Users can simply place the finger on the scanner to wake up the phone to the main menu screen and the response time was less than a second.
The overall performance of the device has been great so far. We did not find any lag while playing games or multitasking. The camera delivered decent-quality images and we have included some samples to support our claim. For a phone in this price range, Coolpad Note 3 delivers great image quality even in low-light conditions.
Slideshow with camera samples shot on Coolpad Note 3:
Coolpad Note 3, combined with great performance, does not compromise on looks. It has a unique appeal that looks quite elegant, we must say.
Coolpad Note 3 also comes with several built-in themes available in the Cool Show app, and each theme has its own attraction. For users looking to secure their phone as well as their apps, Coolpad Note 3 allows fingerprint security lock for individual apps. This eliminates the need to install a third-party app.
The 5.5-inch screen is quite large and may feel uncomfortable when being using single-handed. Coolpad did its bit to offer a good grip, with a soft matte texture on the rear and rounded edges. In fact, big screens are the new trend and attract the right kind of audience who wouldn't mind adjusting on this front.
There isn't much to complain about the Note 3 smartphone as it does go out of the way to offer the specs at just Rs 9,000. Even so, it's worth noting that the display clarity, especially the colours, is not the best out there. But when shooting in low light, the dark areas of the photo develop a purple tint.
The Note 3 also lacks an option to arrange apps in the menu in the alphabetical order, which may not concern all users, and we encountered some serious problem with the guest-user mode. When we set up the guest mode by locking a few apps and returned to admin, all the locked apps require new setup. It could be a bug, which Coolpad can address in future updates.
The sound quality could be better on the in-ear headphones that come with the device, but since most phones in this price do not come with earphones, Coolpad gets a pass.
Despite the cons, Coolpad Note 3 is highly worth for those who are looking to get the best of specs at an extremely low price. At Rs 8,999, Coolpad Note 3 is by far one of the best handsets in the market with fine-tuned specs. Few things such as the camera could be better, but the highlights of the phone, such as the fingerprint scanner, battery and others outweigh the cons for budget shoppers.
Coolpad isn't an established smartphone brand, but it has 244 service centres across India to help users with after-sales service. Coolpad Note 3 is available in black exclusively on Amazon India for Rs 8,999. The white colour is currently unavailable.