Coolpad is a new entry into the Indian market but unlike any of those Chinese entries who launched two to three products and are nowhere to be found now, Coolpad has decided to stay in the country by announcing the make in India campaign back during its official launch. Coolpad Note 3 saw a sensational smartphone at that price point, and it is the very first device to come with a Fingerprint sensor under Rs.10,000, no it’s not just a fancy addition, it is 100% accurate and amazingly fast all the time which impressed not just us but many others who have bought it. The latest entry in India from Coolpad is the lighter, smaller yet equally powerful Note 3 Lite that features a smaller 5-inches HD display and a Quad-Core processor instead of the Octa-Core as seen in Note 3. The device is priced at Rs.6,999 and is available via Amazon via Flash sales, one interesting thing about the device is that it also features a fingerprint sensor and just like the Note 3 this one also works like a charm, ahh yes it is again the first smartphone to feature a Fingerprint sensor under Rs.7000. So apart from the fingerprint sensor how good is the Note 3 Lite? Let us find out now.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Review:
Design and Build: Now if you are the one who used or seen a Coolpad Note 3 device you can quickly find the resemblance as it carries similar design language which is quite familiar yet a standard design language on a 7000Rs smartphone. There are some design changes over the Note 3 and yes we need to bring up the Note 3 because of the fact that Note 3 is the small brother of it. The design changes include the gold trim is running around the edges which is far better and gives it a premium look compared to the most obvious black border on the Note 3 and yes I personally felt the look of the Note 3 Lite to be better. The back panel now gets a textured finish giving it a good grip and feels solid in the hand; we liked the textured finish more than the glossy finish seen on the Note 3. Overall with minor design changes the Coolpad Note 3 design is something that is perfect for a Rs.7000 smartphone.
Coming to the ergonomics, the device houses a 5-inches HD display and up front, we have the main earpiece accompanied by the front 5-megapixel camera and the usual set of sensors. Down below the screen, we find the three touch type capacitive buttons that are not backlit(Coolpad, why?) making it hard to use in the dark. Flipping the phone to the rear side, as said above we got the textured back panel which feels good. A 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, a secondary mic for noise cancellation, the fingerprint sensor sits right below the rear camera module it is exactly placed where your pointing finger would rest making it comfortable, we have the coolpad branding and main speaker grills down below the fingerprint module.
Strip opening the back panel you will have access to the two SIM card slots and a MicroSD card slot, we have a 2500mAH non-removable battery on board. To the left you find the power on/off button and to the right you have the volume rockers, these buttons are made of plastic and do offer good haptic feedback when pressed. On the top, you find the 3.5mm audio jack and at the bottom, you find the MicroUSB port and main microphone. Overall a decent build with some design changes and I must say it’s quite compact and solid to hold in hands.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Display: The device houses a 5-inches HD (1280*720) display that accounts for a pixel density of 294 PPI(pixels per inch). Though the company claims that it has a scratch resistant layer, it won’t say the type of protection used and it would be unfair to expect Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for the price we pay. Talking about the display, the display panel used seems to be good for a budget smartphone, the viewing angles are good, so is the color reproduction is good although we noticed some over sharpness and yellowish tint at times. The sunlight legibility is good it is visible in broad daylight with brightness kept at the maximum. Overall we are quite satisfied with the display and its usability.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Performance: The device is powered by MediaTek MT6753Soc clocked at 1.3GHz Quad-Core processor with Mali T720 GPU. The Note 3 Lite feature the same chipset that is used on its elder sibling, but we have Quad-Core processor on the Note 3 Lite instead of Octa-Core. The device performance is still commendable, and we rarely saw it lag because of the mere fact that it comes with the heavily customized user interface with some unnecessary apps, although they can be uninstalled. We have 3GB of Ram at work for multitasking and switching between is butter smooth, the Ram management seems to be fine as the apps are in memory even though they are left idle for a long time. Though we bare consider the benchmark scores, here they are.
We played games like Temple Run, Subway Surfers, Dead Trigger 2two all these games ran pretty fine without throwing any lag or frame drops which si quite expected from a budget smartphone. Things do change when we start playing games like Asphalt 8, Nova 3, Modern Combat 5 they begin to lag and drop frames as soon as we start playing them for a simple fact that they are overload for the chipset. But you might it give it a try bu reducing the graphics to low or medium. Another good thing about the device is that we never had any heating issue even when we are playing games, and we were really impressed by that. We tried playing 1080 X265 format videos via MX player but the videos lagged and went un-sync but we won’t this entirely on the device as the X265 is relative a new encoder, we just had to mention for the sake of review. Regular 1080p videos had no issues playing, but the sound quality via the earphone is not up the mark we would expect and is the speaker output which is terribly weak. Overall except for the gaming limitation we barely have anything to complain about the performance.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Camera: The Coolpad Note 3 features a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, a secondary mic for noise cancellation and it can record videos in 1080p Full HD. Up front, we have a 5-megapixel selfie camera for quick selfies and video chats. Coolpad Note 3 had an average camera and the issue with the camera was that it oversharpens the captured shots, and we occasionally see the same on the Note 3 Lite the images captured are good with a decent amount of details in them, but it does have issues with the focusing. The shutter speed is fast and the user interface is simple we have the regular photo mode, a Pro mode where you can tinker around with the iso, white balance and more and a video mode on the main camera screen.
The daylight shots captures via the Note 3 Lite are good with nice color reproduction and decent details but then the captures look overexposed if not clicked correctly and we blame the post-processing capabilities for that. The indoor and artificial captures are where we had some trouble getting good pictures more often the not we find images with noise in them but for a Rs.7000, it does justice in our opinion. The front camera can click decent selfies provided that you are in good lighting conditions and daylight. Look at some of the sample shots to judge the camera performance.
OS and User Interface: The device runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with Cool U.I 6.0 overlaid on top. Just like its elder brother, the Note 3 Lite comes with many pre-installed apps which are no way useful to us, so we had to disable some and uninstall them, do give them a try in case you find them helpful. The user interface is similar to that we have seen on the Note 3. The apps are listed on the home screen itself but changing them will give you the option to use the traditional app drawer, but we didn’t like the look of it, so we stuck to the default arrangement. The skin needs to be customized and is a little buggy at times.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Fingerprint sensor: I’ve used many smartphones in the mid-range segment, and I can firmly say that the Note 3 Lite can outperform them regarding the fingerprint sensor accuracy and finger recognition time. It is the cheapest smartphone in India to have a fingerprint sensor on board just is not just a fancy addition but a real time impressive functionality. You can register up to five fingerprints and assign each one to a particular function like take pictures, open apps, etc. An impressive fingerprint sensor is just a small word to explain it.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite Battery and Connectivity: The device houses a 2500mAH battery on board, and the battery performance is quite good. I used it as my daily driver for over a week, and it lasted me for a whole working day with my kind of usage like push notifications, always WiFi on, some videos, etc. Which is a moderate kind of usage but if you are a heavy gamer or a heavy user you might want to stick to a place where you charge it the second time before the day ends. Charing, while we are at it, there seems to some issue with the battery with my unit or maybe not, but the bundled charger takes more than 3:15 hours time to charge it completely, it is painfully slow which is a biggest deal breaker for me. The screen-on time will vary according to every user to it’s quite incorrect to post the stats but if you insist on knowing we juiced out a maximum screen on time of over 3:30 hours which is quite good for a budget smartphone. But the painfully slow charging time will surely bother us.
The device supports 4G LTE, and it seems to work fine for us in Hyderabad with Airtel 4G, the call reception is also quite good so is the call quality. The device supports 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi and the reception is just about ok as it loses the signal after the certain distance. Bluetooth 4.0, GPS all work just fine.
Verdict: Coolpad Note 3 Lite has a lot going on at its price point, and we are far from complaining anything in particular except for the minor issues we had in each department, and still we would recommend this device to a regular user who barely games and clicks images all the time. The device excels with the robust and solid build, amazing fingerprint sensor, good display and the in particular form factor is amazing. But on the con side, terribly slow charging time, the average camera may trouble some. So there you go these are Pro’s and Con’s, and this is my Review on the Coolpad Note 3 Lite.