Coolpad hasn't seized to impress us all with its affordable premium smartphones despite the alternatives offered by its rivals. Coolpad Note 5 is one such device which continues the legacy of the brand in a highly competitive market such as India.
Coolpad Note 5 proved its worth on day one by selling 25,000 units. We had the chance to use the phone for a long duration of a month, helping us dig out the skeletons in the closet. Not all of them are scary and we must say that the Note 5 has more to offer than it puts on.
We already reviewed the design of the Note 5 in our initial hands-on of the device, and our view remains unchanged. It is one of the most comfortable phones to hold and it also has a premium look and feel. The display resolution compliments the design of the phone with its crisp visibility even under bright sunlight. There's no compromise in both design and display of the Note 5.
For our in-depth review of the phone, we explored the Note 5's performance, battery and camera, which are essential factors to buyers before buying a new phone. Let's take a look at that one by one.
Coolpad Note 5's performance is at par with any other sub-Rs. 15,000 smartphone in the market. During our entire review process, we did not witness any major lags or crashes related to the OS. As we have said before, the UI could be better, but it is not something that can be fixed with a simple change of theme.
Coolpad Note 5 scored a decent 45,986 on AnTuTu, 876 on Basemark OS II and 683 single-core score and 2160 multi-core score on Geekbench. The scores are far less than what LeEco's Le 2 scored in our review, but we did not find much difference while using it for daily activities. It is worth mentioning that the phone would freeze for a few seconds at times, while clearing the background apps, and the capacitive touch buttons would go unresponsive during that brief time.
In terms of gaming, we played Asphalt Xtreme and the graphics did justice to the game. But playing for about 45-60 minutes heated up the phone, which is the case with most phones with metal bodies these days.
The 4GB paired with Snapdragon 617 processor certainly does the trick in making the Note 5 one of the smooth functioning smartphones in the market. Coolpad Note 5's performance also includes a snappy and an accurate fingerprint scanner at the back, which we had no doubt to work extremely well.
We would like to give the Note 5 4 out of five points, half a point dedicated to the fingerprint scanner, in terms of performance.
Smartphones these days are focused on delivering great photography. If you are spending anything above Rs. 10,000, one can expect an average camera performance. Such is the case with Coolpad Note 5 – the camera is average.
We were not appalled by the Note 5's camera performance, since we were expecting an improvement from what we have seen in the previous models. The photos shot on the Note 5 lack detail, especially in low-light conditions. We had trouble adjusting focus to a subject in close range, making it hard to shoot macro photos. We have some samples from the Note 5's camera for you to see:
The front camera isn't too great, not too bad. It gives decent selfies, especially when you are using Beauty mode. Normal mode selfies are big no-no. We would rate Note 5's camera at 3/5 stars.
It is hard to find a smartphone with a decent battery these days. OEMs are so focused on delivering top specs, they often fail to realise how the battery will respond to specs like a 1080p display. Coolpad has no problem at all there.
Our favourite feature and the biggest USP for Coolpad Note 5 is the camera. We were surprised by how well the Note 5 ran through the day despite using it extensively throughout. We tested the phone with 4G on at all times, calls, messages, browsing and video streaming, and the handset lasted for 12 hours and still had 30 percent left at the end of the day.
In our view, those who complain about short battery life in smartphones must consider the Note 5 for their next phone.
While the battery is the Note 5's strongest suit, it also has its own weakness. While the world has shifted to fast charging tech, Coolpad Note 5 fails to stand by it. It took us 4 hours to fully charge the device at one instance, while sometime it would reach from 30 percent to 90 percent in about 2 hours.
Except for that, Coolpad Note 5 scores full marks in the battery compartment.
Check out Coolpad Note 5 in its full glory:
Coolpad Note 5 is really worth its price of Rs. 10,999, for which you get a good design, impressive battery, good performance and an average camera if you can settle for it. Compared to the other Coolpad phones, the company has notched up with the Note 5. Its closest rivals in the range are Moto G4 Plus, Asus Zenfone Laser and LeEco Le 2.