Coolpad Note 3 Lite: The Lite Heavyweight

Coolpad has very successfully disrupted and quite literally thrown open the budget segment. For a company that is relatively new in India, they have very quickly become a force to reckon with. They have accomplished this by very consistently coming out with budget devices with very impressive specs and almost flawless performance. They created quite a wave with the Note 3 and now they are pushing the envelope further with the new Note3 Lite. There is nothing lite about this one though! Let us look at this device today

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First up, it is good to see the “Made in India” tag on a good device. This one is in partnership with VideoCon we are told. Technically, this is a scaled down version of the Note3. But I am unable to use the “scaled down” analogy with this one. This device has no noticeable issues whatsoever.

The device comes with a MediaTek MT6735 quad-core chipset, Mali T720 GPU and the RAM is 3GB. The internal storage is 16 GB and you also get a microSD slot. Regular features like Wi-Fi b/g/n, USB OTG, Bluetooth 4, GPS and FM radio are there. This is a dual SIM device with support for 4G LTE networks. This one also has the Coolpad fingerprint scanner that was quite the rage in the Note3. It has a 2500mAh battery and is easily able to last a day on a single charge when I tested it.

 

The design is simple and uncomplicated. There are no drastically different design elements here. They design is functional and very normal. This one is not in the game for the design. Having said that, I liked the slightly matte type finish on the back which makes gripping the device very easy and does not allow slippage from the hand. The Volume rocker, power button, fingerprint scanner are all exactly in the same position as the Note 3 that created a big ripple last year. Right down to the faux metallic ring around the screen which is champagne colored this time, unlike the chrome ring on the Note 3. Another good thing is the micro SD card slot is separate from the SIM slots, hence not messy to add storage and no sacrificing a SIM slot for it.

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It is really good to see that the fingerprint scanner on this device performs just as well as it’s cousin on the Note 3. The scanner is fast becoming a defining USP for Coolpad and I am guessing that they are loving it. When I heard of the device, I was expecting a severely scaled down version, given that the price is only 6999/- but this one very clearly punched way above it’s weight and impressed me.

After the fingerprint scanner,  3GB of RAM is very clearly the next wow factor of this device. The amount of RAM on this device makes the performance very smooth and without even a jitter. After loading all the apps that I use regularly, I had about 1 GB free RAM left and that is quite a bit. I was able to run heavy apps, graphic intensive games and multitask effortlessly. All this with no stutters, stoppages or any sign of lag.  And given the price, this is very impressive. Many makers falter at performance in an attempt to lower price barriers, but not this one.

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The device comes with a 5-inch screen that has 720p HD resolution and pixel density of 294 PPI. The display is above average given the segment. Coolpad has given some type of protective layer on the screen. The viewing angles are good . The screen is a magnet that attracts smudges and fingerprints rather fast. But no complaints as cleaning them off is a breeze.

Reception is good and voice quality in calls was fine. All the usual ways to connect work flawlessly 2G/3G and 4G. Though India is a bit too nascent in 4G signal strength, it is good to have that option working fine. Media playback and sound quality are good. The speakers are adequate and serve their purpose very well.

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The phone has a 13 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front camera. The rear camera is good. it is able to come up with decent images in daylight and normal lighting conditions. The front camera is decent for selfies. It is only in low light that there is noise and distortion in images and again given the whole package and segment positioning, one can hardly complain or bring it up as a concern. The cam app is good.

The OS is Android 5.1 with Cool UI 6 skin atop. The skin is minimal and smooth.The app drawer isn’t there, you can customize the UI with ease. The themes need some improvement and I am guessing that the team is working on it. There is also a tinge of transliteration to english from the chinese source that is left in places of the UI, this is a bit of a concern.

Verdict

At 6999/- this is a very very impressive device! There are no two ways about this. If you are looking for a great android experience that does not cost a bomb ,this is the one for you! By all means go and buy it! It will also be very interesting to see in the coming days how the other makers respond to the challenge that Coolpad has thrown at the whole segment and quite literally set it abuzz! This is a Lite Heavyweight!

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