Coolpad Note 5 Review : Powerful phone in budget segment
Coolpad launched Coolpad Note 5 last month and surprised everyone by offering a phone with 4 GB RAM in just Rs. 10999. Specifications of this phone look attractive considering the price. It has 4GB RAM, 4010 mAh battery, 32 GB storage, Dual apps support, Fingerprint sensor and front camera with LED flash. Due to these powerful hardware specifications, Coolpad calls this phone a beast.
I used Coolpad Note 5 for around a week and tested it thoroughly. I am impressed with phone considering the price one has to pay for this. Read this full review to know more about Coolpad Note 5.
Design and build of this phone are similar to many other metal unibody phones. All metallic body phones look same. This phone looks bit heavy with 173.4 grams of weight. It is because it comes with large 4010 mAh battery. It has the large 5.5-inch display. Above the display, it has the front camera and front camera flash either side or earpiece. Below the display, it has three capacitive keys. Keys are marked with actions like multitasking, back, and home symbols.
At right edge, it has the power button and SIM card slot. Left edge contains volume rocker. 3.5 mm audio port is on the top side while bottom side edge contains micro USB port and primary microphone.At back panel, you see the rear camera. LED flash is located
At back panel, you see the rear camera. LED flash is located on the left side of the camera and circular fingerprint sensor is just below the rear camera. At the bottom side of the back panel, it has the speaker.
Overall build quality is solid. The back panel also has the slight curve at edges to offer better grip. Considering the price, this phone looks attractive. Weight could be an issue for persons with small palm, but one has to compromise with weight to get the large battery.
Notification LED is also customizable. You can decide when you want it to blink. You can include calls, messages, new notifications, charging and low battery. By default, all these options are enabled.
It comes with 5.5-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass display and a scratch resistant protection. The display is vivid and bright enough to offer good colors and nice experience. It has wide viewing angles as well. Not just in indoors, it also performs fine in outdoor. But, outdoor performance is not that much of good due to the reflectiveness nature of the display.
For good experience, you can also enable adaptive brightness. Once, you enable it, it will automatically adjust the brightness for the better experience.
It runs on CoolUI 8.0 based on Android Marshmallow. If you follow my blog, you already know that I like Cool UI because of its light experience, good visual appeal, and no lag performance. Notifications sounds are also good.
You have many wallpapers to try, multiple transition effects, and rock wallpaper icon that brings tons of wallpapers in one click. There is also a section for themes where you can access tons of themes for your phone. It comes with few bloatware including UC Browser, WPS office, Xploree keyboard and more.
Cool UI has been optimized properly to offer you lag free experience. App switching and app opening both are fine.
Swiping up opens the control center for performing actions quickly. The best thing is that you can even customize this control center and decide the order and icons.
Dual Apps is a notable feature of this phone that allows you to enjoy two social media and messaging accounts. So for example, you can use two different WhatsApp and Facebook accounts on the same device.
Screencasting is also a nice feature of the Cool UI. In Android phones, you need to press the power button and volume down at the same time to capture the screenshot. But to record screencasting videos, you need to press the power button and volume up key. This is a unique option of this UI.
Performance, RAM, and Storage
Coolpad Note 5 is packed with octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor with Adreno 405 GPU. The main attraction of this phone is 4GB RAM. This is the cheapest phone with 4GB RAM in the market. The only disappointment is the older processor because adding Snapdragon 450 or 452 could offer better performance with this much of RAM. This processor is also not bad and offers good performance. Coolpad has optimized it well to offer the good experience. Apps open quickly and app switching is also fast.
Benchmarking score of this phone is not as good one expect after seeing hardware specifications. It could be because of the same older chipset. But, this low score does not reflect in performance. This phone offers the good experience in various heavy tasks. Web browsing is smooth as well.
Gaming on this phone also impresses. I tried games like Asphalt 8, Need For Speed No limit, Modern Combat, Dead Trigger and NOVA 3. All these games were fine. Yes, this phone also heats while gaming but heating is under control.
This phone comes with 32 GB of internal storage. From this onboard storage, you get around 22 GB. You also get an option to expand storage, but it has hybrid sim slots. You can either expand the storage of use two SIMs. It also supports USB OTG for storage on the go.
It has very advanced fingerprint sensor that quickly unlocks the phone. Fingerprint sensor performs good and success ratio is impressive.
This fingerprint sensor is also multipurpose and can be used for other tasks like close alarm, video record, answer calls, call record and capture photos.
It offers 13 megapixels rear camera with LED flash and 8-megapixels front camera with front LED flash. Front LED flash is something that makes it different from other phones. The camera app is clean with minimal options to avoid confusion. Best thing is that app offers pro mode that allows manual camera control. It offers long exposure mode, panorama, watermark and GIF mode. Few camera effects are also there.
Both front and rear camera perform well. Rear camera performance in bright daylight is awesome. It captures good colors. Sometimes, I found color over saturation. But in most of the times, It was delivering good camera performance. The front camera is good. I like the way beauty mode works in this phone.
The camera struggles a bit in low-light and photos contain noise, but it is still better than its competitors. LED flash is working fine and it manages to capture good colors. Night mode disappoints, so I recommend you to stay away from it and use normal mode with flash to get better results.
The front camera also comes with LED flash support. So, selfie lovers can now capture selfie even in very low-light. This is the most notable thing in this phone which puts this phone ahead of its competitors.
See these phones taken from the front and rear camera of this phone.
Shots on good light
Shots in dark with flash
Both rear camera and front camera can record full HD videos. But, I couldn’t find any option for slow-mo or time lapse videos. I liked the way it quickly focuses while recording videos. Most of the similarly priced phones struggle in this and one has to tap on the screen for focusing while recording.
This phone has the speaker at the back which is loud and clear. Even on full volume, speaker performs well. The only issue is the placing, as the sound is blocked if you put the phone on the bed. Multimedia experience is good on the phone. The display performs very well and viewing angles are also good. So, video experience is also very good. Earphones within the box is average, so you need to get a new one for best experience.
Sound quality in the call is also good.
Coolpad Note 5 is packed with 4G with VoLTE and is compatible with Reliance Jio. Other connectivity features are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and micro USB. It is a dual SIM phone and you can also use second SIM slot as microSD card slot. Network selection is fine and even on the underground metro, it was showing good signals.Battery
It is packed with large 4010 mAh battery. Battery backup depends on the usage of users and hence it varies person to person. For me, it was awesome. I was able to get more than 24 hours of usage with all time on Wi-Fi or 4G data, multiple calls, emails and social media. I also tried light gaming with games like Asphalt, Modern Combat, and Subway Surfers in the same time period. What else you need from this phone?
Best thing is that phone supports fast charging. There is also a power saving mode. Enable it to get improved battery performance.
After Sales Service
If you are one of those people who consider after sales service as an important factor, Coolpad has something for you. Coolpad has also integrated a Cool services app in the app. This app lets you quickly find the nearest service center in your city.
Coolpad Note 5 impresses with its performance. Not just it looks good on paper, but also delivers similar to what it claims. Considering the price, this can be one of the best options if you are looking for a phone.
Coolpad Note 5
"Cheapest phone with 4GB RAM doesn't disappoint. It delivers good performance, offers nice camera setup and battery performs longer."
- Good performance
- Nice display
- Good camera
- Design 75%
- Display 70%
- Performance 78%
- Gaming 78%
- Camera 75%
- Battery 70%