January 20th, 2017
Coolpad Note 3 Review – Beasty smartphone at just Rs. 8,999!
In the last few years, India has become the favorite market for brands to launch their new electronics products in. Be it smartphones, televisions or even consumer electronics devices like washing machines. India as a developing nation is in a stage where it can be a significant market for many brands out there.
One of the fastest growing marketing in India is that of smartphones and we see all kinds of new smartphones being launched every other day. Coolpad Note 3 is another one of those smartphones but it brings something new to the table!
This post is a Coolpad Note 3 Review in which we are going to talk about several different aspects of the device. But before anything else, let us talk about Coolpad for a bit.
Coolpad – Who are they?
As a brand, Coolpad is new in India but their devices are definitely not!
Remember the Yu Yureka launched by Yu Televentures? The very first device from the company i.e. Yu Yureka was a rebrand of the Coolpad F2 4G. Yu worked with CyanogenMod in order to launch the device with Cyanogen OS under the hood and that gave enough traction to Yu to stay where they are today.
But let us not talk about Yu.
Coolpad as a company has been active in many countries and they manufacture their own phones instead of rebranding them. This makes then worlds apart from companies who just rebrand their devices from other manufacturers. Coolpad probably saw the success of Yu’s first launch in India and decided it was time to tap the India market and hence they launched the Coolpad Dazen F1 and Coolpad Dazen X7 in India a few months back.
This time, they launched the Coolpad Note 3 which is a phone that rustled the sub Rs. 10,000 smartphone category which happens to be the most sought after range in India! I got the phone a few days before launch, but I have probably disappointed Coolpad because I was not able to post the review any sooner. I had my reasons, but I hope this doesn’t spoil the relation DroidExtra & Coolpad has together! 😉
Anyway, this is a textual review of the Coolpad Note 3 and I am trying to be as honest as I could be so you can be assured that this is definitely not a biased review. Let’s get started!
How does the device feel in hand?
The device has an exterior of plastic, but it is definitely not cheap. The unit that I had with me was white and even after using it for many days, the device didn’t have any sign of dirt or stains on it. The device feels extremely solid in hands. The buttons on the side of the device are tactile and responsive. The front of the device rocks a large TFT IPS capacitive touchscreen with 1280 x 720 pixels resolution.
Under the touchscreen, there are three touch capacitive buttons that do not have any backlight – and that is something that a person who likes to use phones in their bed, in the dark will definitely miss. I missed the backlight when I was using it to browse 9gag or Reddit.
I also noticed one more thing, that using this device with just one hand is rather tough. It is important that I mention that I don’t have small hands. It’s just that the device is a bit large and trust me I have used quite many phones.
The primary camera i.e. 13 MP rear facing camera is behind the device and the 5 MP front facing camera is obviously in the front along with other sensors like ambient light sensor and proximity sensor.
Anyway, the back of the phone rocks a plastic cover and the finger print sensor is exposed. You will find the camera and flash on the back.
The bottom of the device has a micro USB port and you will find a speaker mesh on the back side of the phone. Pretty generic place to place the speakers, right? The 3.5 mm is placed at the top of the device which seems like an apt place for it.
- Size is large and people will find it hard to use the phone with 1 hand.
- Build quality is good and phone feels solid.
- Power, lock & unlock and volume rocker buttons are tactile & responsive.
- 3.5 mm jack on the top, 5.5 inch screen, touch capacity buttons under the screen for navigation.
- Volume rocker, Power lock and unlock button on the right side of the device.
- Micro-USB port at the bottom of the phone.
Display – Sharp & Sexy!
Looking at the price, it is surprising how well the device is specced. The 5.5 inch which is a TFT IPS capacitive touchscreen panel with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels looks beautiful and produces colors very well.
The display has a bit of a blue tint to it but it does not mean it looks bad. You will hardly notice it. I noticed it because I came from a device (Moto G 3rd gen) which has a warmer color tone on the display. The display looks brilliant and the 720p resolution is definitely not a problem. In fact, the display resolution i.e. 720p is a welcome choice since it saves up some extra battery that you can direct towards something else.
Camera & Imaging capabilities
The Coolpad Note 3 review won’t be complete without talking about the camera, right?
This is one of the trade-offs that you will need to make in order to get a device that performs well in this category. The 13 MP rear-facing camera is supported by a flash to help the camera in conditions of low light and you can also use it as a flash light. But the camera specs only sound good on paper. The images that the camera took were a bit washed out when you zoomed into them but that does not mean the camera performs that bad.
Sadly, I forgot to take the images out of the phone’s memory before returning the device to Coolpad so I have to borrow the images from The Mobile Indian. Take a look at the gallery below.
Battery Life – Will it survive?
The battery life of the device was surprisingly really good!
The phone was fully charged and was turned on and I didn’t even touch it for 3 days and it still had 71% battery left. The usage of the device showed that the battery management on the device is really good and it provides a great battery life even under moderate to heavy usage. This is one factor that had to be mentioned in the Coolpad Note 3 review.
Real life performance – surprisingly great!
We all know that Coolpad has been marketing the device with great confidence and after using the device I could understand why.
The phone is powered by 1.3GHz MT6753 Mediatek Octacore CPU (Cortex-A53 ) and the graphics processor is Mali-T720 MP2 GPU. These chips are backed by 3GB of RAM which is enough to make this device snappy & responsive. Games ran quite well on the phone and there was almost no lag even when multiple applications were opened in the background. The storage on the device is enough to install 2 big games at once. You get 16GB onboard flash storage out of which around 11.5GB is usable. You can further expand the storage to 64GB via microSD card.
Personally, I am not a big fan of benchmarks and hence, I didn’t benchmark the device in this Coolpad Note 3 review. But many people like to see how the device fairs up when it comes to benchmarks and hence take a look at the video by Gadget Diary which tests the phone with different benchmarking apps.
For those who are too lazy to watch the video, here is the summary of benchmark scores:
- AnTuTu Benchmark: 36373
- Nenamark 2 v2.4: 58.0 fps
- Quadrant: 20375
- Geekbench 3:
- Single Core: 630
- Multi-core: 2830
Let’s talk about the fingerprint sensor
What do you expect from a fingerprint sensor in a sub Rs.10,000 device?
The correct answer to this is – sheer awesomeness!
The fingerprint sensor was surprisingly really responsive. I have used the fingerprint sensors on devices like iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge etc. and the fingerprint sensor on this device works really well and at par with the said devices. The only thing I missed with the fingerprint sensor was that we still needed to press the unlock button in order to wake the device up from sleep to unlock it.
Press Power/Unlock button > Touch the finger print sensor > Device unlocked
This is how it should be:
Tap the finger print sensor > Device Unlocked!!
But that is just a trade-off and doesn’t really come between the unlocking experience. The device has an inbuilt function that allows users to lock apps that can only be opened after checking the fingerprint. This is good for hiding your chat apps, gallery and more stuff.
The Software, the skin & the extra features!
Believe it or not but I really feel stupid for not taking out those screenshots and images from the phone. Only if I could be aware of actions!
But that disappointment is real because the software on the device has some amazing things to offer! The phone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop at the moment with Coolpad’s very own Cool UI on top of it. Cool UI was developed by Coolpad in order to provide some extra functionality to users apart from the basic features that Android provides. Cool UI comes with a homescreen that is different from the traditional homescreen found on Android devices as it doesn’t really feature an apps drawer by default. But you can go into the launcher settings to enable the apps drawer.
Other features include some extra gestures and ability to lock the apps with fingerprint. The term Note in the Coolpad Note 3 Review isn’t just for show, but the screen real estate is actually used for some great stuff like Multi-window!
You can choose to have multi-window on and you will be able to use two apps at once simultaneously!
Coolpad Note 3 Review – The Verdict
The phone brings a fresh new wind of devices in this crowded smartphone market of India and the phone has enough to offer in terms of features and value for the price i.e. Rs. 8,999. With a great processor and 3GB RAM, this phone is a performer like no other and sometimes makes me want to switch over to Coolpad Note 3 from my current phone.
The only thing that I am worried about are the software updates, but I got a software update while I was testing the device so I think Coolpad will work and develop software improvements for the device for sure. Who knows? This device might even taste some Marshmallow goodness some day for all it is worth.
At a price tag of Rs. 8,999, this device is a great choice. The phone is currently available only on Amazon.in in two variants i.e. White & Black.