Following the arrival of Chinese players namely Xiaomi and Meizu, Coolpad which is one of the strongest smartphone brand at its home ground China had arrived in India launching two smartphones, Coolpad Dazen 1 and Coolpad Dazen X7. After an internal corporate re-organization, Coolpad launched its third handset in India dropping the Dazen from its branding in India calling it the Coolpad Note 3. Coolpad had shown its aggressiveness for the Indian smartphone market capturing quite a decent number with Dazen 1. Understanding the requirements of this sector and delivering them at an impressive pricing is their mantra and by far as we can observe Coolpad is playing well with its experiments.
Let’s talk about those five things which the headline is about.
Coolpad Note 3 comes with top notch specifications matching those from a high-end smartphone from the past. Although this doesn’t make it stand in the high end category today because we do have a lot of better tech for more price which shall always create a difference.
Considering what it offers, we definitely won’t face any issues with the performance. In our tests which ran for a month (probably even more) we never experienced any issue regarding the smartphone being stuttering or laggy on regular usage. Although yes, gaming might generate some heat making the core temperature rise which is a typical problem with smartphones.
For quick overview, we have prepared a specification list as below.
- 5.5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD IPS display
- 1.3GHz Octa-Core 64-bit MediaTek MT6753 processor with Mali-T720 MP2 GPU
- 3GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, expandable memory up to 64GB with microSD
- Dual SIM
- Android 5.1 (Lollipop) with Cool UI 6.0
- 13MP rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.0 aperture, 5P lens
- 5MP front-facing camera, 1.4 micron pixels
- Fingerprint sensor
- 4G LTE / 3G HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
- 3000mAh battery
The USP of this handset is its high quality fingerprint sensor. To be honest, it is very impressive and it works almost every time. It does work with all fingers in any direction. Personally, I unlock the smartphone with my index finger which works best because the sensor is placed at the back in the middle.
Trying out other smartphones with fingerprint sensors, we could conclude that the fingerprint sensor on Coolpad Note 3 is responsive and is definitely much for a smartphone at this price because the near competition takes this feature to at-least mid-range price segment.
We were surprised by the pricing when the smartphone was announced after its features were discussed. In terms of value for money, Coolpad is offering a really good package. During the time of the launch after discussing about the specifications we never thought that this would be selling for 8,999INR.
Closest competitors under this price segment are, YU Yureka Plus, Meizu M2 Note and Lenovo K3 Note. None of them feature a fingerprint sensor, but they do come with a full HD display. There will always be a disproportionate relation between price vs features because we can’t get everything right.
They are some of the videos around testing the durability of the smartphone and it’s true that the smartphone easily survives a few drop tests. We actually dropped our unit (accidentally, though) on a rocky coarse surface which damaged nothing on the screen, although it left a small bump on the left edge.
Overall, we could say that the build of the smartphone is strong and firmly held. The display though looks bezel-less but has ample protection under the black lining which actually creates an illusion of covering the whole front.
The smartphone has a 13MP rear camera having a five element lens coming at f/2.0 aperture and 1.4 mPixel size. The rear camera is accompanied by LED flash and a 5MP front-facing camera which is able to capture good shots during daylight and keeping the noise at its lowest when playing in low-light. You might have to make an effort to click the perfect picture but when done you won’t be disappointed.
These feature might sound impressive for a 9k smartphone but before you make your decision we would strongly suggest you to know about what you are trading for. There are two cases where this smartphone might not shine much but we would like to highlight them a little.
Though its homegrown Cool UI wasn’t much of a pleasure to use with Dazen 1 as we remember, Note 3 has more of an improvement. The new Cool UI 6.0 that runs on the Note 3 is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop having a lot better overall user experience compared to what we saw in the last one. This time the UI looks complete and not broken at parts. The addition of fingerprint sensor do adds more features and functionality which natively is supported by Android 6.0 but Coolpad adds their own add-ons to create its use case.
Fingerprint detection, acts as a passcode to your smartphone or apps. There were a few third party applications pre-installed one of them being Xploree, the keyboard. I don’t know why Coolpad went with Xploree, we found it to be an adware displaying yahoo search results with ads when tapping the ‘Tap with Yahoo Search’ in the suggestion bar. The Cool widget was also quite unwelcome with the big advertisements of Quickr etc. right on the home screen.
Keeping the Coolpad services aside, rest there is pretty much nothing we should worry about. Everything works well, and runs smoothly with the hardware packed within except a few multi-tasking utilities which do jitters sometime.
Lack of after sale-services
This has been the biggest question which we too aren’t sure about. Everyone whom I have educated about the smartphone cares about the after sales. Well all I have to say is, don’t expect much. We have heard cases being reported of Xiaomi, Micromax, OnePlus and even more players who aren’t able to satisfy the consumers. Yes, Coolpad has after-sales services tied with other third party contractors but without a positive experience we can’t say anything.
Stating our verdict, we can definitely recommend this smartphone under 10k price segment that is power-packed with good specifications and would not leave a hole in your wallet. The phone does all the basic things right by providing a good battery backup, decent camera and powerful specs along with a brownie point of introducing fingerprint sensor. It definitely creates a competition in the list but it gets a chance to prove its worth against the likes of Xiaomi and Lenovo which have been doing exceptionally well for a while.