One phone that gave Coolpad a very good image in the recent times was the Coolpad Note 3. Following that, the company had come up with a decent upgrade, the Coolpad Note 5 and now enters a rather budget-range option, the Coolpad Note 5 Lite. The smartphone is a choice for several reasons, though it isn’t the lone warrior, thanks to the strong contenders including the Xiaomi Redmi 3s, and the Swipe Elite Sense.
I have been keenly following the Note series from the Coolpad. Not all people watch out for top-notch highly-priced devices. In this market, some people usually change their phone after every few months. These people always are in search for decent specifications and reasonably priced mobiles. Coolpad’s Note series falls in that category and is targeted by people who want some decent power under the hood. The Coolpad Note 5 Lite is priced at Rs. 8199, and here’s what I feel about the device.
The Coolpad Note 5 Lite comes with 5-inch 720p IPS display with 294ppi. The screen is a 2.5D curved screen which gives a premium look to the device. Under the hood is the MediaTek’s MT6735 along with Mali 720 GPU. Both the cameras, being 13MP on the rear and 8MP on the front comes with a LED flash. The device has 16GB internal storage and 3GB of RAM, a rear mounted Fingerprint sensor and 2500 mAh non-removable battery.
Design, Form Factor
If you have seen the Coolpad Note 5 already, the design doesn’t much except for the size and everything are almost the same. It’s just that the 2.5D curved display tends to be more curved to feel because of the smaller 5-inch as compared to the Note 5 which has a 5.5-inch display. As on the Note 5, even the Note 5 Lite has the same metal body finish a slightly curved back panel.
The rear has a camera with a LED flash beside it in the middle. Just below that is the very spontaneous fingerprint sensor same as that of all the mobile in the Note tag and above the camera is a secondary noise-cancellation mic. Coming to the front, the front has three capacitive touch buttons, a speaker with a camera, a LED flash, and LED notification light just beside it.
Holding the device, it feels almost as premium as any high-end device. The 2.5D curved display adds a lot more to that. The Note 5 Lite perfectly grips into your hand as you hold it and is not at all slippery even while reaching the fingerprint sensor on the rear. And yeah, the screen is quite a fingerprint magnet. So, make sure to get a protector unless you want some prints.
The bottom of the device has micro USB charging port and a mic for calls and voice recording while the top of the device only has a 3.5mm audio jack placed a little left from the face of the screen. Taking about the sides, the right side has the power button, SIM card tray and the left side has the volume rockers same as that of the Note 5.
The buttons on this device I have here don’t feel as good as I expected. Both the power button and volume rockers are loose as a result, the press of the button don’t feel that much. Maybe it’s just a defect on the unit we received or all the devices have the same? Talking about the SIM tray, the 1st slot takes in a Nano SIM card while the 2nd one is a hybrid slot i.e., you can either choose to put a Nano SIM or a MicroSD card.
As earlier said, Coolpad has been integrating the same fingerprint sensor right from the beginning of the Note series of theirs. This fingerprint has passed the reliability test of million presses and lifetime of nine years. The fingerprint sensor besides unlocking the device can also be used to open certain apps, pick a call, and as a button for capturing a picture.
The Note 5 Lite’s display is a 5-inch 720p IPS display with 294ppi and we all know what to expect from this kind of display. The display size, just being 5-inches doesn’t effect the display much but if you compare it with a 5.5-inch 720p display, this surely is a winner. The viewing angles are pretty good along with the brightness. Don’t mind watching the display under direct sunlight at high brightness. But yeah, this would eat up your battery! The colors on this device also look good as what you can expect from a mid-range smartphone. Can conclude to say that, for the price you are paying, it is surely better.
The OS and UI
We all already know that Coolpad uses its custom OS known as CoolUI. This device, Note 5 Lite has the CoolUI 8.0 which runs on Android 6.0. As Google is now making way to the Android O after then Android N we are still running late on Marshmallow. However, Coolpad claims to be working on releasing new software updates by which we’ll be getting Android N. But I don’t trust much on the Coolpad’s OS updates as I have been keenly following their devices since the Coolpad Note 3. This part of the device is the downside for it. So, can’t expect much in terms of updates from Coolpad and also they are facing some development issues to which as in result is making the updates roll out slower.
But let’s see, as they reckon to be rolling out the updates soon, they can gain some pretty amount of users if done so. I just see lots of people worried about the updates while buying a Coolpad device. And yet they have the latest security patch level from Feb 5, 2017. I’ve also faced some kind of weird behavior from the UI. It wasn’t responding accordingly and there was some lag.
With the Cool UI, you get some inbuilt apps such as fingerprint manager for the apps, FM Radio, Xploree keyboard, Cool Service, Cool Store, and all the Google stock apps.
So to conclude about this part, as already said, UI and the OS are the downsides for this device. Hope it all gets fixed in the upcoming updates which we expect soon as told by the Coolpad.
Performance is one thing everyone looks upon for. The Note 5 Lite has a Quad-core processor clocked at 1.0 GHz by MediaTek MT6735 along with Mali 720 GPU. And with 3GB of RAM, it does work pretty good in multi-tasking and some mediocre gaming. You know what to expect from a 1.0 GHz processor right. I have been playing some light and some heavy games. Talking about the heating for that, it didn’t heat up much in indoors but when outdoors, it got heated up a little which is not by great extent at which you would feel uncomfortable using the device. It’s the same even for the connectivity. It just gets a little warmer and nothing serious. Coming to gaming of some heavy games, there are quite a bit of frame drops at times and the graphics don’t look so real.
Concluding, if you are looking for some hardcore gaming, this device is not for you is what all I can say. Keeping it aside, if you are a moderate user of the phone and don’t care much about the performance in heavy games, this phone is for you.
The Battery Life
Well, it’s not a compromise or something Coolpad has done on this device by equipping it with a 2500 mAh battery. They might have thought that, for a 5-inch 720p display, 2500 mAh would be enough. But no, it’s not. Okay coming to the point, if you are a heavy user like me with Wi-Fi or data always on and always surfing the internet and your social handles, you would want to carry the charger along with you. But, for a moderate user, it would totally last for a day or more. Coming to the pro point about the battery that everyone talks, you just get around 4 hours of screen-on time, so don’t expect much. The other sad thing is that it doesn’t have the Quick charge support which makes it slower to even charge up the battery. Just hope that Coolpad comes up with the update soon and fixes all these issues.
Now coming right on point, the Note 5 Lite has a 13MP f/2.2 rear sensor and 8MP f/2.2 front sensor. Both the cameras have a LED Flashlight alongside. So you don’t have to worry about low light selfies and pictures. Both the cameras do the best in job class and do the justice for the sensor’s they are equipped with. It might be that I am a better picture taker or the camera works just fine! Where it struggles at is the low light and night photography. Without it, the color reproduction is pretty good and good to see.
Both the rear camera and the front camera is capable of shooting videos at720p 60fps. It also has beauty mode, manual mode, HDR, and night mode. But yeah, even the night mode can’t do much in the case of low light conditions. Wrapping it up, both the cameras perform pretty and below are some camera samples you might want to take a look at.
How’s the Connectivity?
The Coolpad Note 5 Lite has all the connectivities which are required except for the IR Blaster and NFC. It is also VoLTE supported which makes the Jio work without any apps for enabling it. I have personally been using my Jio on this phone and I faced some issues where it shows no network at all. If it is a problem with the SIM it must be showing no SIM but all it shows is No Network. Restarting the device fixed it, though. But, I didn’t know is it only me who is facing such issues or not.
Coming to the Speaker, the speaker is on the rear bottom and I don’t find it loud enough as compared to other devices. But yeah, the Coolpad Note 5 has a better and louder speaker than this one. What all I can say is, it can’t even wake me up with its alarm unless I tie it around my ear with a rubber band. So, now you know how the speaker is.
Wrapping up, Final Verdict
Coolpad has tried hard to push things back in the market with this device. It’s not all good but it does the enough justice for its price and for the looks of the device. As mentioned above, the only lower side for not only this device but for all the Coolpad devices is the OS and the UI. And talking about the battery, the battery on the Coolpad Note 5 was way better than this one and I don’t know understand why Coolpad has compromised on the battery.
So yeah, there are a lot of other devices in this price range which would surely drop this device down. But if you are looking for a premium looking device with a good camera and decent performance, this phone might be the one for you to look for. Still, there are competitors that I mentioned in the beginning of the review that you should also consider alongside this.