Review: Coolpad Note 5 Works Well, But Redmi Note 3 a Better Bet

The Note 5 from Coolpad is a good looking mid-range phone for those on a budget.

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Tech News
3 min read
The Coolpad Note 5. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)

Ever since Coolpad joined forces with LeEco, a lot was expected from the partnership, especially how and where the new products would be slotted.

Coolpad’s new budget offering, the Note 5, comes as a breath of fresh air, but how does it fare at the retail point of Rs 10,999? We take a look.

Snapshot

Pros:

  • Battery life
  • Metal and glass body
  • Fast processor

Cons:

  • Poor image quality
  • No protective glass cover
The Coolpad Note 5 gets a 5.5-inch full HD display. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The Coolpad Note 5 gets a 5.5-inch full HD display. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

What’s Good?

The Coolpad Note 5 is an all-metal phone, which makes it handy, thanks also to the curved edges on the back. As regards display, the phone has a 5.5-inch full HD screen, which is bright and quite crisp. Sunlight viewing suffered a bit though when we went out in the day.

The 4G VoLTE phone delivers an impressive backup of almost two days on a single charge. This is made possible by its 4,010 mAh battery. We used the phone to make calls, surf the internet, watch videos and also as a portable hotspot for Wi-Fi, and it still managed to enter the second day. This is clearly one strong USP of the phone.

The phone gets a full metal body design. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The phone gets a full metal body design. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

Under its hood, the smartphone has a Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor paired with 4 GB of RAM. The phone feels fast, right from the fingerprint sensor and even while switching between apps. But there was a visible lag while going from front camera to the rear one, or vice versa.

What’s Bad?

The phone has a decent camera department on paper, at least. There’s a 13-megapixel shooter at the rear and a 8-megapixel selfie camera. The cameras work well in decent light, but images lose details on a closer look.

The 13-megapixel camera failed to excite us. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The 13-megapixel camera failed to excite us. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

The images are not sharp near the edges, and have more of a pastel look. They’re good enough though for your basic social media requirements. We believe firmware updates may address these issues in the future. But yes, the camera app has a lot of modes to keep you engaged.

2.5D glass display has become the norm for mid-range phones. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
2.5D glass display has become the norm for mid-range phones. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

Some of the other downsides of this phone are cosmetic, yet important. The capacitive buttons on the front bottom panel don’t have backlight support, which makes them difficult to use in the dark. The 2.5D glass screen on the display is not Gorilla glass, and may be prone to sudden jerks or cracks.

Why Buy It?

The Coolpad Note 5 clearly looks like a premium phone. It feels great to hold, and manages to satisfy the needs of an average user.

But there's something which may dissuade you from going for this. That's the similarly priced, equally specced Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, which has most of what the Note 5 lacks. Now it’s up to you to decide which one is the right fit for you.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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