By: Anil Satapathy, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 09:40
With full HD display, 4 GB RAM, fingerprint scanner, octa core processor, VoLTE, 13 MP rear camera and an 8 megapixel front camera, the Note 5 is just irresistible.
4 GB RAM with good processor
Dual system allows two accounts of apps like Whatsapp
Hybrid SIM slot
Could be a bit slippery in summers, no bundled back cover
Cameras need improvement
Coolpad Note 5's sale just started in India. At Rs 10,999, the phone offers unmatchable specs including 5.5 inch display, metal body, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, 64 GB micro SD card slot, and even Android Marshmallow operating system.
I used the phone for some days and here is a complete analysis of its features and performance.
If you are worried about its design then don't. In a metal unibody, the phone looks stunning. I don't have much idea about its grey colour version but the gold model which I got for review is a head-turner. There are shining threads all around the phone that sparkles under light and adds the oomph factor to the phone.
Coolpad has tried to give a smooth finishing to the phone and thus it feels good in hand and that made it easy to grip it. However I found it a bit slippery which will aggravate in the summer season. Hopefully, the company will launch some transparent back covers as well which will negate this issue without hampering its look but in the review unit, I did not find any cover.
Coming to the phone, there is a fingerprint scanner in the back panel of the phone just below its rear camera. An LED flash light is in its back panel as well. I also liked the fact that in Coolpad Note 5, the speaker grill is in the back. In phones, which have their speaker grills in the bottom panel, it is very difficult to enjoy games and movies as they get blocked while holding the phones in landscape mode.
There are two microphones - one in the bottom and another in the rear panel just above the rear camera. Thankfully, Coolpad did not go LeEco's way and kept a 3.5 mm jack in the Note 5. Strangely, it has a micro USB port instead of a Type C port which is quite common to mid range phones these days. The power and volume rocker are located in the right and left hand panels respectively. A hybrid SIM slot is in the right side.
The Coolpad Note 5 has Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system on top of which lies Cool UI. The interface is significantly different than the original Android UI. Here, when you pull from the top, only notifications are accessible while to access the Quick Settings, you have to pull from the bottom of the screen. This was very uncomfortable for me initially but later on I got used to it.
There is no app drawer, so everything is on the home page. Such arrangement is common to many devices these days. The worst part is that when a user downloads a number of apps, the home screen looks very clumsy. Had there been an app drawer, one would have used the home screen only for important apps. So you have to create folders to keep the home screen neat and clean. Also, there are chances of others prying on your apps, so better use the fingerprint scanner to lock the device.
Let's start with the display first. At 5.5 inch, it indeed offers plenty of space to enjoy movies and games. And it also offers full HD resolution â€“ the best you can expect now at its price. The effect of high resolution is visible and the display also offers good colour output. The display has enough brightness for bright outdoors but I cannot say for sure whether that would be enough for hot summers. I did not find any issue with the touch system of the display either.
The Coolpad Note 5 has the Snapdragon 617 octa core processor that you will find it in many other notable phones under Rs 20,000. Only 1-2 devices like Mi 4 in this price range have the next best processor of Qualcomm (Snapdragon 801 or above) while majority of devices have the Snapdragon 600 or 400 series CPU. But the best thing about Coolpad Note 5 is that it has 4 GB of RAM, making it the cheapest device to boast such huge RAM.
Expectedly, it offered the smoothest performance I imagined. It managed to play high end games even during multitasking. The Fingerprint scanner did its job quite nicely during the review.
The phone also boasts a big 4100 mAh battery and though it has a micro USB port, it takes just about 3 hours to fully charge the phone. If it had a USB Type C port, it would have been much better. Anyway, the phone offers decent battery back up and lasts about 10-12 hours.
The Coolpad Note 5 has a 13-megapixel auto-focus camera that comes with CMOS Sensor and f2/2 aperture. The rear camera comes with HDR, panorama, wtarmark, GIF, professional mode and various features.
The front 8-megapixel selfie camera comes with f2/2 aperture and has the backing of an LED flash light as well. The front camera allows creating GIFs and Water Mark the photos. Besides, it has HDR, Beauty levels and various filters for the front camera. Both front and rear cameras can record videos in full HD, HD and 480p resolution.
As far as output is concerned, it was a mixed bag. In soft light like in the evening, the cameras produce good pictures but in harsh lighting like in afternoon, they tend to create a bit dull pictures. Though, they are quite fast but there is room for improvements.
Here are some pictures captured through Coolpad Note 5.
Connectivity and Storage
Coolpad Note 5 has VoLTE along with 4G, so you can use a Jio SIM in this device. Besides, the smartphone offers WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, USB OTG, Geomagnetic Sensor Proximity Sensor, and Light Sensor.
The phone has a hybrid SIM which means you cannot use two SIM cards if you want to have additional storage.
Thankfully, it has 32 GB of internal storage of which 9.86 GB is being occupied by the system and the rest is available for users. Anyway you can transfer files to and from a PC.
The smartphone also comes with dual-system (dual space feature) feature which allows its users to have two accounts on WhatsApp, Facebook, Line, BBM, and other social media applications in a single smartphone with a BiLogin feature and the phone has multi-screen feature as well.
Currently, the sub-Rs 12,000 segment is being dominated by the likes of Le 2, Redmi Note 3, Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus and Moto G4. But this new handset might change the dynamics of the segment atleast for sometime. In terms of specs, it looks bit better than its competitors with 4 GB RAM while others have 3 GB or 2 GB RAM. The Coolpad Note 5 has infact very few cons and its pros are far too many. So in our view, if you are looking for a sub-Rs 11,000 phone, then you should keep the Coolpad Note 5 in your shortlist.