Coolpad Note 3 just sold over 15000 units in today’s flash sale on Amazon. It is an affordable device which sports a fingerprint sensor and sells just for INR 8,999. The Chinese company has already started registration for the next sale which is scheduled for October 27. So, should you buy it? Read our review before you decide!
When you take first look at the device you will notice how huge it. It sports a 5.5-inch display at the front flanked by the camera and proximity sensor at the top and capacitative touch button at the bottom. Coolpad has done a commendable job in keeping the bezels very small. Hence, screen to body ratio is pretty good. A metal band surrounds the front panel which gives it a bit of premium look. The band is also slightly raised so that the display does not touch any surface if you put it face down.
But in design section things start to go downhill from here. The back feels like a cheap plastic, with the only saviour being the fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner at the back is placed in just the right position where your index finger rests normally. The placement seems to have been inspired by LG which is not a bad thing. The back also houses the primary camera which is a 13 MP shooter. The back can be removed to reveal the dual-sim and the microSD card slot. Both sims support 4G and you can extend the storage up to 64 Gb. It’s not too heavy and weighs around 155 grams.
To be clear, it is not the prettiest or the toughest looking smartphone out there. But, in its price point, it is one of the best-designed phones we have come across.
Let us have a look at the full specifications of the phone before we move any further.
- Display: 5.5 inch 720p IPS LCD panel (~267 ppi)
- Dimensions: 151 x 77 x 9.3 mm (5.94 x 3.03 x 0.37 in)
- Weight: 155 grams
- Storage: 16 GB (expandable up to 64 GB via microSD card)
- Processor: 1.3 GHz (Mediatek MT6753, octa-core processor)
- RAM: 3 GB
- Camera: Primary (13 MP), Secondary (5 MP)
- Battery: 3000 mAh
- Fingerprint scanner
The Coolpad Note 3 comes with a 5.5 inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1280*720 pixels. Although coming with a meager pixel density of about 267 ppi, the display actually surprised us a lot. The display is bright and vibrant and the colour accuracy also is really good. I mean we would have loved a full-HD panel on a screen this size, but the 720p screen does not disappoint much. It has great viewing angles and really good sunlight visibility. The display panel will not win any awards by any means, but it gets the job done and that too in a competent way.
Hardware and Performance:
The Coolpad Note 3 runs on a 1.3GHz Octa-Core 64-bit MediaTek MT6753 processor with Mali-T720 MP2 GPU. What that means is that day to day uses with this phone will not be a problem. Sure, it is not a big powerhouse and you will get some performance issues such as low frame rates in high-end games but it has been optimized in such a way that you will see no lag in the day to day performance. The phone also has 3 GB of RAM which is a great help in multitasking. It scored around 35000 in Antutu benchmark testing which puts it somewhere between the likes of Yu Yureka Plus and Xiamoi Mi4i.
Software and UI:
The phone runs Coolpad’s own custom UI called the Cool UI running on top of Android 5.1, Lollipop. The UI is fast with smooth transition and animation also flows smoothly for the most part. The only lag you will see is while opening the multitask window. Apps remain open in the background, thanks to the 3 GB of RAM on board. It might take a few extra seconds while loading the apps, but when loaded they run smooth. The good thing is that UI is not bloated with pre-installed apps. Even if there are some pre-installed app, most of them are well known and can be un-installed.
This is the main USP of this phone and we are certainly impressed by its quality. As mentioned earlier, the fingerprint scanner is placed in the back of the phone and will take some time getting used to. In our opinion once you get used to it, the placement is best for a big smartphone like this. You will not have to shuffle your hand around just trying to unlock the phone. Talking about unlocking the device, the scanner is pretty fast and accurate. One tap at the scanner and it will unlock the device for you. You don’t have to touch any other key, just tap on the scanner and you are done.
One nifty feature of the fingerprint scanner is that you can lock individual app. What that means is even if your phone is unlocked, certain apps (which you chose to lock previously) will not open until they are authorized by using your fingerprint. It has a pre-installed app called, “FP lock”, which helps in choosing the apps you want to lock.
Camera and Battery:
The primary shooter on the back sports a 13 MP sensor which gives a good performance in ambient lighting conditions. It has tap to focus, quick shutter speed and records video at 1080p @ 30 frames per second. The images turned out to be quite good in broad daylight. It captured a lot of detail with low noise and colours seemed natural although on a warmer side. The dynamic range is not that good and details were lost in places with heavy shadows. The f/2.0 aperture helps in capturing more light in low light conditions, but the images did not turn out be that good. Although the noise was less but much of the detail was also lost.The secondary shooter although at 5MP fails quite a bit. There is a lot of noise and the pictures are just not up to the mark.
The Coolpad Note 3 is juiced by a 3000 mAh lithium ion battery which helps is get through the day. The low pixel density on the screen helps in extending the battery life. With moderate to heavy uses, you will pass a day without needing to plug in your phone. Battery life is satisfactory if not exceptional.
Price to Value Ratio:
Coolpad has delivered an exceptional device in its price range. The Note 3 has good overall performance in all the departments and the fingerprint scanner just acts as an icing on the cake. It is one of the best if not the smartphone you can buy in its range.
Quite obviously, the fingerprint scanner is the unique selling price of this product. Coolpad has delivered such a good fingerprint module at this affordable price range that other smartphone makers have a lot of ground to cover to match this device.
If you are looking for a smartphone with good overall performance, a big display for media consumption and an awesome fingerprint scanner look nowhere else. No other smartphones in its range provide so many features as the Coolpad Note 3. This time, Coolpad has delivered a winner. It is packed with features on paper and it brings those features to life in a perfect way.