Coolpad launched a new variant of its Note 3 smartphone — Note 3 Lite — in India on Friday. The handset brings notable features at an affordable cost, challenging sub-Rs 10,000 smartphones in the market.
The new Lite variant comes as a toned-down version of Coolpad Note 3, but still leaves several affordable handsets behind. Coolpad Note 3 Lite is the cheapest smartphone with a fingerprint scanner, which is bound to get a lot of traction in a budget-conscious market such as India.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite is available in white and black, but we are comparing the white variants of both the new model and its predecessor.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite is an exact replica of Coolpad Note 3, but in a smaller form. The Chinese smartphone-maker has made some notable changes so the Note 3 Lite looks more appealing.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite has a gold frame against the Note 3's silver frame surrounding the display. The capacitive touch buttons, front camera, speaker and the sensor positions are unchanged.
Turning over to the rear side of the device, the removable back cover of the Note 3 Lite has a textured finish with a matte look whereas the original Note 3 back cover is smooth and has a shiny look. The camera module, fingerprint scanner and the speaker are placed at their regular positions as shown in the picture below. However, the LED flash has switched sides in the Note 3 Lite, appearing to the right of the camera.
At the bottom of the device, the microUSB slot's position is moved towards left instead of the centre in Note 3.
The rest of the looks are the same. The 3.5mm headphone jack sits at the top, the power button is on the right and the volume controls are on the left side of both devices.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite features a 5-inch HD display with scratch-resistant glass. The screen resolution is the same as the Note 3 smartphone, but the size differs. Coolpad Note 3 features a 5.5-inch HD IPS screen with 178-degree viewing angle.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite sports a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture and LED flash. There is also a 5MP front-facing camera for selfies. There is no visible change in the camera configuration as the original Note 3 also features the same combination of front and rear cameras. The similarities extend to the interface of the camera, which is similar in both devices.
The shrink in size of the handset has resulted in a smaller battery. Coolpad Note 3 Lite features a 2,500mAh non-removable battery, which the company claims delivers up to 10 hours of talk time. Coolpad Note 3 featured a 3,000mAh battery and lasted close to a day with mixed usage.
Processor, RAM and storage
Buyers can count on similar performance as the Coolpad Note 3 Lite features 3GB DDR3 RAM, same as its elder sibling. However, the processor is a bit toned down. The Coolpad Note 3 featured a 1.3GHz 64-bit Mediatek MT6753 octa-core processor and the Note 3 Lite has the same chipset but on a quad-core configuration. The only difference between the two processors is how the processor cores are set up.
Octa-core processors are much more streamlined than quad-core chipsets. To put it simply, octa-core processors are two sets of quad-core processors that are deployed according to the task at hand. There might be a slight lag in the Note 3 Lite compared to the Note 3 smartphone, which we are determined to find out in our review.
Both phones have 16GB on-board storage with an option to expand using microSD cards.
Fingerprint scanner, software and add-ons
Both phones run Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Cool UI 6.0. The overall interface, themes and customisations remain intact. The Lite variant is also expected to receive Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the future.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite borrows a key feature from the Note 3 smartphone — fingerprint scanner. The biometric security sensor is just as fast and unlocks the device in micro-seconds simply by placing a finger on the scanner.
Additional features include dual SIM slots, 4G LTE support, micro USB with OTG support, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Price and availability
Coolpad Note 3 is already an affordable handset, selling in India for Rs 8,999. The Chinese tech giant has upped the ante by launching the Coolpad Note 3 Lite for just Rs 6,999. The handset will be available in flash sales and the first sale is scheduled to go live on 28 January at 2 pm. Registrations for the sale have already begun on Amazon India, Coolpad's exclusive partner in India.