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Coolpad Note 3 Review

Coolpad’s first…Note 3??

Aesthetically speaking, Coolpad Note 3 looks very familiar compared to many models that one would have seen from time to time. It has a reflective screen with the NEG glass protection that does tend to be a smudge magnet, there’s a chrome border and has a plastic white cover on the back.

But it’s a pretty big phone (feature wise and dimensions) for its price tag and it does come with a fingerprint sensor. A 5.5″ 720p resolution screen, but it’s an IPS panel. We ALWAYS hear the sentence ‘You get what you pay for!”. With an Indian MRP of IN Rs. 8,999/-, the question one needs to ask is- Do you get what you pay for this phone??

Coolpad Note 3 21

Packaging, Accessories and Specifications

Packaging is very important especially when a phone is exclusively sold online. Irrespective of the e-commerce site and the reputation of its delivery track record, the packaging of the phones should be good enough to take care of the unit and its accessories inside. Coolpad Note 3’s packaging is small and compact, with hard cardboard as its exteriors. Once you open it, you’ll see the phone right in front of you with a plastic wrap.

Though the hard cardboard will do a good job, I wish there was a foam sheet over the Note 3’s screen from within. That said, Coolpad Note 3 uses an NEG glass protection to protect the front section of the phone. Usually, online retailers do bubble wrap the box, so it’s all good!

What I did notice is that the model ‘Note 3’ is not mentioned anywhere on the packaging. It does have the model number ‘Coolpad 8676-I02’ mentioned on the rear packaging label though. The contents are mentioned, along with the colour of the smartphone. Coolpad provides a 1-year warranty on the device. As mentioned on the box, the phone supports LTE network.

Once you remove the phone and the plastic tray, you’ll find three essentials- the USB cable, the charger and an earphone. Note that the battery is built-in. Also, note that there are no variable ear tips with the bundled earphones. There is no user manual or any reading materials with it.

The power adapter has a voltage input between 100v to 240v, which means is that you can use this plug on any country with different voltage rating, as long as you have the appropriate socket converter for this. This is appreciated, considering I’ve seen China and India specific PC power supplies begin to cheap out by restricting it between 220-240v, including tier 1 internationally reputed manufacturers.

The specs are as follows:

Model Coolpad Note 3
Screen 5.5-inch 720p
Processor MediaTek MT6753 octa-core 64-bit processor
RAM 3GB LPDDR3
ROM 16GB
Expandable Storage Up to 64GB MicroSD
Rear Camera 13-megapixel with LED flash
Front Camera 5-megapixel
Battery 3,000mAh inbuilt
Connectivity Dual SIM 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
OS/ UI Android 5.1 Lollipop with CoolUI 6.0
Launch Price Rs 8,999 IN

The MediaTek MT6753 SOC uses 8x ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.30GHz which can adjust its clock speed between 299 MHz to up to 1.30 MHz and can use or stop the number of cores depending on the workload. The phone relies on Mali-T720 for graphics.

Overall Design

The design is nothing out of the ordinary- rounded edges with a chrome border. The dimensions are 151mm x 77mm x 9.3mm. The phone is very lightweight and weighs 170 gms. Coolpad Note uses NEG glass protection so that the front display will be protected from accidental drops or damages. Towards the top, you’ll find the front-facing 5MP camera towards the right side of the speaker grill and towards the bottom, you’ll find the capacitive buttons. Note that these do not have any backlit.

The rear is a white plastic cover. Towards the top, you’ll find a flash, a 13-Megapixel front-facing camera and a fingerprint sensor. The camera does protrude a bit from the casing, and the fingerprint sensor is recessed. Both the camera and the fingerprint sensor has a chrome border. The top has an audio jack, and the base has a MicroUSB port for charging and data transfer.

As you would expect, the curved design lets you hold the phone with good enough comfort. The back cover is not textured, but the matte finish cover does make easy to hold a phone of this size. The screen size is too big for a single-hand use and you will use both your hands from time to time. I am sure many acknowledge that’s expected from a large phone, and that’s probably why some smartphone manufacturers make a mini version of the bigger brother.

The back cover can be removed easily and Coolpad did provide a small access towards the bottom right corner to take it out. The battery is non-removable. Towards the bottom, you’ll notice there’s a generously large speaker with a filter to prevent any dirt from getting in.

The phone lets you use up to two micro SIM cards and a single MicroSD card up to 64MB viz. inserted on top of the SIM 2 slot.

Coolpad Note 3 SIM and MicroSD 3

Notice that there is a small but easy enough access to eject the SIM 1 card. For the SIM 2 card, there’s a red lever where the user needs to push it in to eject the SIM card. MicroSD card can be removed easily because of the groove on the card itself, but there is no spring loaded mechanism where you find in certain phones that require you push the card in so that it can eject. Fair enough.

Viewing Angles and display impressions

Coolpad emphasized that this phone uses an IPS panel. Though I would have liked to see a 1080p panel, this phone has a pretty good viewing angles from all the four sides.

But with direct sunlight, that’s another story…

The phone does have a reflective surface when you’re looking at the screen from an angle. That’s annoying when you use the phone under the bright sun, or with some light source bouncing from the screen surface. You could avoid certain light source by moving away or looking at the screen with no tilt, if possible. Smudges on the screen can be easily seen as well.

Camera Impressions

  • Rear-Facing Camera

The rear-facing 13MP Camera has twelve sets of colour effects seven photo modes. What caught my attention is the photo pro mode where you can set the white balance, the brightness, the ISO (100, 200, 400, 800) and the focal point.

The photos above were taken from two modes from two different locations- Landscape and Portrait.

The above shows the amount of detail in a cropped photo.

ISO 100 seems to be the cleanest of all. After bumping from there, you can observe there is a noticeable amount noise in the photo from ISO 200 and above.

The video quality for this phone is pretty good, and it records 1920 x 1080p resolution.

  • Front-Facing Camera

The Front-facing 5MP camera could use some work. There’s no flash for the front so taking photos in a low-light environment wouldn’t produce a satisfactory photo quality. Having the least amount of blur could be tricky since it depends on the phone and the subject(s) to be stationary.

But in natural light, the quality of the image from the front-facing camera is pretty decent.

Most would be tempted to simply use the normal shot auto mode for the front-facing camera to get the best possible image quality in a natural sunlight. The following cropped images reflects the amount of noise reflects post crop:

Audio Quality Impressions

The recording is done with two modes: Least amount of noise in the background and second with a ceiling fan running at full speed as a background noise. The recording from both types of setup should give a decent idea of the voice recording quality.

The audio is recorded using the default .aac audio format. The phone’s onboard microphone is used for recording.

The recording without the background noise is a very clear quality audio. With the background noise, though it still very audible, the background noise sounds a lot less like a background noise and more as if it is coming from the subject.

Bundled Earphone Impressions

The cable length between the 3.5mm jack and the control is 31″ and the cable length between the control and the earphones are 11″ each. Both channel earphone cables are not of the same length. Excluding the 3.5mm jack, the control and the earphone housing, the total cable length is 42″. For some strange reason, there is no left or right channel indicator on the earphone housing or anywhere else. The only way you could know which is which is when you listen to either left channel or right channel specific audio. The 3.5mm jack is not right-angled.

The quality of the voice recording from the earphones are as follows:

SAR Rating

As per Indian government’s DoT (Department of Telecom), a handset manufacturer requires to disclose the SAR rating during the point of sale- such as on the product page, e-commerce site and/or on the packaging. DoT (and US-based FCC) made it mandatory that all devices should have a SAR rating up to 1.60 W/Kg, measured over 1 gram of tissue.

The only display of the SAR rating for this phone is on the phone itself, but not on the packaging or via its exclusive seller Amazon India:
SAR Rating Coolpad Note 3

I’ve informed Coolpad to make the necessary changes if possible. On this phone, the SAR rating can be accessed via the phone by dialing *#07#. There is also a section on the rear where although the rating section is present, the actual values are not mentioned.

Battery Life

Coolpad uses a 3000 mAh battery. What’s more important is that the Note 3 has a pretty good efficiency when it comes to a single battery charge. With Bluetooth and WiFi on, I can last with this phone’s single charge for a bit more than a day.

UI Impressions

  • Initial Setup

Initial setup of the phone is as user-friendly as you would expect, but this phone has only two language options.

  • Fingerprint Setup

The fingerprint setup is very easy and the setup ensures accurate fingerprint recording. Half the credit goes to the fingerprint sensor. It’s as quick as other options to unlock the phone. The best part is that you don’t have to rely on a fixed upright position for the sensor to identify the saved fingerprint. As long as it’s the right fingerprint, you can place it over sensor from anyone of the four directions. The recessed placement of the fingerprint scanner does help a user to place their finger in the right position. Those with certain higher-end or flagship models with a fingerprint sensor would be pleasantly surprised at the response time of the fingerprint scanner.

You can place up to 5 fingerprint records.

  • Pre-bundled Software

A lot of people are not a fan of bloatware- be it on a PC or something like a smartphone. Unfortunately, unlike on a typical Windows PC, you cannot uninstall the bloatware from the smartphone. Unfortunately, when it comes to Android phones irrespective of the brands, many of them cannot be uninstalled. At best, you can only uninstall it’s updated and disable it. Oh, joy!!!!

There are some pre-installed apps that most of the users eventually download and use- WhatsApp, Facebook, an Office suite which requires the user to use the fingerprint to get access to it, so that’s appreciated!

There are a couple of useful additions: C-Button and Multi-Task. Multi-Task creates an additional where you can expand or retract the list of the apps that you’ve prioritized for easy access. C-Button gives all the quick access phone options like a jog dial.

  • Interface Experience

At the time of writing, this phone is using Android 5.1 (Lollipop) at the time when Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) is already out. The Android update is not yet available on this phone. Coolpad uses its own UI called Cool UI 6.0.

One thing I noticed is that during benchmarking, the upper section of the phone (both sides) does tend to heat up. In a real-world scenario, you’ll experience this when you’re running a movie in maximum brightness with the adaptive brightness set to off. I was running Big Buck Bunny 1080p movie via Video loop app, but the upper section started to warm up well before the first loop can be completed. There is a hidden LED light to notify its users about a particular activity from an app, such as from messenger apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.

For reading and watching, both view modes offer large space for reading thanks to the screen size. As one will expect, landscape view will require the user to use both of his hands. Portrait view typing can be done with a single hand just as easily.

Performance Benchmark

  • AnTuTu 64Bit Benchmark

With the Click and Go test suite, Antutu will comprehensively test all aspects of a device, including UX, GPU, RAM, CPU, I/O and more. Each item is individually assessed and given a score. These scores can be uploaded to the Antutu database, and then used to rank your device among all other Android devices.

Benchmark Items:
User Experience (UX) – Overall device performance with detailed scores.
CPU Tests – Measures the power of the CPU, and gives hard numbers for its actual performance.
CPU Single Test– Measures the power of CPU by running CPU single test algorithms.
RAM Tests – Investigate the real processing capability of the RAM.
GPU Tests – Measure the performance of real graphics processing, 3D effects, games, and video playing.
I/O Tests – A direct score that reflects the actual input/output (I/O) performance your system permits.

  • Futuremark Benchmark- PCMark for Android

PCMark for Android introduces a fresh approach to benchmarking smartphones and tablets. It measures the performance and battery life of the device as a complete unit rather than a set of isolated components. And its tests are based on common, everyday tasks instead of abstract algorithms.

PCMark for Android is protected by rules for manufacturers and supported by a detailed technical guide that explains exactly what’s being measured and how the scores are calculated.

PCMark

  • Futuremark Benchmark- 3DMark for Android

Benchmark your Android smartphone and tablet with 3DMark, then compare its performance with more than 2700 other devices. You can even compare your Android benchmark test scores with phones and tablets running iOS and Windows.

3DMark is used by millions of people, hundreds of hardware review sites and many of the world’s leading technology companies. It’s the industry standard benchmark for graphics performance measurement, a professional-grade tool available to home users for free.

Slingshot test was very heavy on the Note 3 to a point that the frame rates were flickering throughout the test. The test below is a lighter variant called ‘Ice Storm Extreme’.

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme Coolpad note 3

  • Geekbench 3

[toggler title=”About Geekbench 3″ ]

Geekbench 3 is Primate Labs’ cross-platform processor benchmark, with a new scoring system that separates single-core and multicore performance, and new workloads that simulate real-world scenarios.

[/toggler]

Geekbench 3 Coolpad Note3

  • Performance Depreciation Test

Devices with multiple cores tend to heat up. As a result, there’s a CPU throttling just like it would happen to a desktop CPU, decreasing the clock speed and hence the performance. While desktop systems have the flexibility to allow the user to upgrade to a better CPU cooler, smartphones don’t have this option. This test will reflect the amount of performance depreciation you can expect from a constant heavy workflow. The test is done by running Geekbench 3 tests eight times in a row with a 5-second delay in between with 24 degrees Celcius room temperature.

Now understand that there will be a performance depreciation due to near-constant workload unless there’s a pretty sophisticated heat dissipation method while maintaining the slim profile. What’s important is that we know how much performance gets depreciation during a near-constant workflow.

Geekbench 3 depreciation performance coolpad note3

When comparing 1st run with the 8th run, you’ll notice that the benchmark scores took a dive of 9.31% of performance depreciation. The difference between the first two runs shows a performance depreciation of 3.70% depreciation.

Conclusion

While the CPU and GPU performance isn’t really something to write home about, its expected for a phone under such price segment. It has a larger 3GB RAM that any user will eventually require in a long term even for the general day-to-day workload. 10.6GB out of 16GB of internal storage can be used by the user, but you can add a microSD card for a larger storage.

The coolUI 6.0 looks good, and using the fingerprint scanner is pretty flawless most of the time which is good enough. Initial setup is user-friendly. No complaints there. The phone by default is bundled with Android 5.1 Lollipop. I hope Coolpad rolls out Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the future.

The quality of the rear-facing camera is pretty good. Front Facing could be a lot better with a low-light setup. You can use the fingerprint sensor to take photographs as well, not that it’s unexpected.

Battery life is great- idle or on load. I wish it was a removable battery so that user can simply replace if they wish to do so at some point in the future. Of course, that would not be required if the inbuilt battery does not degrade in time, depending on the usage and the number of time one requires to charge the device.

But I really feel it’s about time that all smartphone manufacturers should unlock the ability to allow users to uninstall pre-loaded apps should they not require. I am used to seeing some type of documentation in any hardware or electronic items. Terms and conditions, troubleshooting guide, warranty information, etc are something that provides an overall assurance of a complete product. Not having its product name on the box is just something I haven’t seen or heard of.

The reflective screen can be annoying, especially under a bright light source like the sun. Sure, you can look at the screen with no tilt to avoid the reflection. but that’s just going to be awkward to hold and use the phone. The resolution of this IPS screen is 720p. 1080p screen resolution would have made this phone a much harder deal for people to resist. To be fair, phones like Lenovo K3 Note costs IN Rs. 1,000 more. It does have a 1080p 5.5″ screen, but it’s with 2GB RAM and no fingerprint sensor- and it can take MicroSD up to 64GB.

Its just weird that the main capacitive buttons are not LED backlit. It may have been a good idea if the capacitive buttons were within the screen (Like how Sony does with its phones, like the Xperia L and the Z3 compact) so that the buttons can be illuminated while using, if not backlit.

Let’s also not be surprised if people wished there was a black variant of this phone. Coolpad Note 3 is sold only via Amazon India at the time of writing, with the price tag of Rs. 8,999/- IN.

Coolpad's first...Note 3?? Aesthetically speaking, Coolpad Note 3 looks very familiar compared to many models that one would have seen from time to time. It has a reflective screen with the NEG glass protection that does tend to be a smudge magnet, there's a chrome border and has a plastic white cover on the back. But it's a pretty big phone (feature wise and dimensions) for its price tag and it does come with a fingerprint sensor. A 5.5" 720p resolution screen, but it's an IPS panel. We ALWAYS hear the sentence ‘You get what you pay for!”. With an…

Review Overview

Build Quality
Computing Performance
Audio Performance
Camera Performance
Ease of Use
Display
Battery
UI Experience
Value for Money

Overall Score

Summary : The overall device is fairly decent for its time. The fingerprint sensor helps the user to unlock his handset quicker. As a brand new brand, Coolpad could have provided the stock Android experience that most users prefer. Some bloatware couldn't be removed so that is annoying. An average, large phone from a brand new smartphone company.

User Rating: Be the first one !

 

About Roshan Ashraf Shaikh

20 comments

  1. Hariharasuthan KS

    Very good review. I am really surprised to see that there is not even a single comment on such a detailed and in-depth review. Posting the page link in the Coolpad Facebook page.

    It would be really fantastic if a video review also could be done and published by you.

    • Hi,
      I appreciate the thought! 😀

      The site is brand new, at least a bit older than a week. But I run a PC hardware specific review website called Hardware BBQ for 5 years and counting. With that experience of testing motherboards, processors, graphic cards, SSDs, storage- internal/external, etc. I hope a part of it will help to make good reviews for mobile products. I have some ideas to reflect some testing for everyone to understand and relate to with their past experience of their phones, like the performance depreciation test which shows how much depreciation you can expect in a certain constant load which eventually produces heat.

      I will be doing an overview video and posting in on YouTube. But thank you so much for your comment and for the vote of confidence. I hope my reviews helps you to make a good purchase decision now or in the near future!

      Cheers!

  2. Was wondering about the crisp-ness of the display. Dont care about viewing angles or maximum brightness.Its only 269ppi on a 5.5′ display!! Doesnt that make it look pixelated? Reports say that human eye cannot differentiate pixels over 300ppi, but i could see pixels even in my older 1+1!
    How would i feel if i was comingfrom a 1+1 with 401ppi? I am really confused now…i ordered this today from amazon!
    Shall i cancel this order and wait for other phone like zenfone max or lenovo vibe p1.
    Thanks for the nice review btw!!

    • Amit kumar Shukla

      Yes, i too have same query, does the display 269 ppi, heating are really the weak points of this phone..
      Also i doubt about the weight of 115 gm only? Pld recheck.. Also you have not done any gaming review, pls also include that to judge the capacity of processor and heating problem too. Since you are doing hardware review, also check the mediatek 6753 capabilities.. BTW your review was really well.. Keep up the good work.. Thanks

      • I will explain this with a bit of a trend that PC follows, so forgive me if I am blowing this out of proportion.

        There was a time people were under the impression that we cannot see more than 30FPS when it comes to gaming. All sorts of weird nonsense are/were used to justify it by comparing movies which are always in fixed FPS to dynamically produced graphic content in games. Fanboys of both PC and consoles made it worse. However, that’s been proven false time and again. The reality is that when it comes to registering frames or anything, humans are not sure what’s the true capability of our eyes. Even Linustechtips did a tech quickie episode on this.The funny part was that this came at the time when a game developer made an irresponsible comment that anything beyond 30FPS will make any game look like a Hobbit movie, to which company have taken back the statement. Now if you see games, they either have an FPS lock for 60 or 100 FPS on the PC when usually they’re the port version of the consoles. True PC games whose FPS depends on the graphic card does reflect different experience with different LCD panels- the type of panel, resolution, PPI and even refresh rate, something that I haven’t seen a lot of cellphone manufacturers talking about.

        Now, if see the refresh rate- 60Hz. is the bare minimum for LCD monitors- gaming or non-gaming. Anything below will flicker for gaming and non-gaming activities. But if you compare it with a 75Hz or more CRT monitors, the quality of the CRT is far better (forget the resolution and screen type for a second). If you see monitors now- Premium monitors with 120Hz, and 144Hz. They give you a much better display experience than larger resolution panels but with a lower refresh rate (60Hz). The way I see it, we don’t really know what our eyes are truly capable of unless we experience it.

        It was the same for iPhone 4s retina display, where Steve Jobs claimed that the magic number was 300 PPI when you hold it somewhere between 10 to 12 inches. It was debunked almost immediately because of the simple fact that you cannot measure the resolution of the eye in terms of pixels (as said by Display Mate in WIRED). Note that iPhone 4’s PPI was 326.

        The gentleman who explained via WIRED made a very scientific explanation which is better to read it there. Do read the following article:

        http://www.wired.com/2010/06/iphone-4-retina/

        Display makers- TVs, desktop monitors, notebook monitors, mobiles, tablets, etc. -overexaggerate on specs with far-fetched statements and gimmicky words that would put the best of alien conspiracy theorists to shame. We’ve seen it all- resolution, screen size, 16:10 vs 16:9 aspect ratio, contrast ratio, TN quality panel’s response time. There are variants of IPS panels as well, cheapest being e-IPS panels. Unfortunately, very rarely you’ll find them mentioning what kind of IPS panel it is. But manufacturers do the rinse-and-clean-and-repeat method. Marketing gimmick flunked for TVs? take it to display and use the word “gaming monitors”. Failed in that? trickle it down to other devices until a feasible quality option comes at some point from panel OEM makers- LG, Samsung, etc. Unfortunately, actual end product makers don’t really have much to say about it unless you’re someone like LG or Samsung who can make their own panels. Of course, LG and Samsung are going to do the same like how other does, unless it commands a certain premium.

        To my understanding- one person’s quality of sight will differ to another person’s quality of sight. If you see the desktop panel markets, we have curved panels now. Because of the curve, it creates an (illusion?) that the pixels are pressed together, hence making it look ‘seamless’ when watching videos or games. But for a lot of people, when they read content from that angle, it just doesn’t look good. It’s a dish where people may or may not like it even after trying it a few times. But that experience could change depending on the quality of the panel, its type, resolution, refresh rate, PPI, etc.

        Of course, the way we look at notebooks, desktops and TVs is completely different with tablets and phones because (one of the reasons) it’s nearer to us. In regards to Coolpad Note 3, you can see some level of pixelation if you take a closer look. In situations such as images with a lot of variable colours and even in certain icons on the main screen. The HD icons does look crisp. But the ones which are not, has pixelated borders when you look closer. But through my perception, it’s not that half bad, though I feel 5.5″ display size and 720p resolution is just weird. I wouldn’t mind paying 1k more for something with a better res. But then there’s the Vibe P1 as you’ve mentioned.

        Judging by my experience: The crisp that you will see in a 19″ 1080p resolution monitor will be much better than 20″ 22″ or worse 24″ inch panels even if they all use the same LCD made by the same OEM and fixed refresh rate of 60Hz. The same funda applies here, more because it’s going to be near to you compared to an LCD screen.

        In my experience with this phone, when I watched a movie with a lot of bright colours (like Big buck movie), I barely noticed it unless you’re seeing from a much shorter distance. But if you’re watching videos with no CGI and with ‘dull’ colour, you would tend to see certain pixelation, but only when you’re too close. It’s the similar effect that the icons had, however, the icons and the background images were static.

        Purely judging by specs, P1 has 401 PPI. A good and proper 5.5″ display with 1080p res. It just looks too good on paper. To be honest, you should hold out for Vibe P1. I will try to ask Lenovo if they can send a review unit for the Vibe P1. If reviews from me or from other source say otherwise, Coolpad Note 3 is a click away.

        Unfortunately, I don’t do review from Asus India purely because of the issue I had with the component department’s management (with motherboard specifically where they had a former review contributor for Hardware BBQ to test with a special BIOS, something where both people tried to keep me out of the loop which backfired before publishing them). They do make good products and I know that the management for mobiles is different. But a series of personal remarks, even with involving my friends (it stings when someone calls you names for their mistake being caught red-handed, and a couple of your friends who benefits from the brands like the comment while the PR at the time strongly implied that they can make or break any review sites) and also because of a lack of confidence the potential investors had at the time when this happen, I just don’t have the heart or the state of mind to interact anyone from Asus. But they do make good products, and I am sure there are websites out there who do similar/better reviews than I do. I wish the best of luck to Asus India and to those sites that can be made or broken.

        I appreciate your time in asking questions. Do ask whatever you need to. This way I can understand what you want as a user, which would help me in the future to devise a testing method to reflect that in the real world sense.

        • Man! That reply explains a lot! It even covered some doubts i had from years. I am so thankfull for the in depth explanation you have given.
          As i mentioned in earlier reply even with above 400 ppi i could see jagged lines(diagonal lines) in HD icons or text(when zoomed) of my oneplus one. But while watching a full Hd video or playing a game ,it was perfect! No pixels at all!

          So i have decided to keep the Coolpad for my Dad and i will buy myself the vibe p1.
          I have heard samsung is already ready to launch a phone with 8k display in January with crazy 1200-1300 ppi😑
          And regarding your review, its the best one for coolpad as far as i have seen till date! Video reviews dont cover much details and i prefer to read written reviews.
          Some more things you could cover in future reviews are-:

          1-Clearly mentioning about dual sim and sd card slots.Lot of phones in this range or even higher, have hybrid sim tray! Where you can use only one sim and one sd card or both sims and no sd card. Thats the only reason i am avoiding Meizu M2 & M2 note!!

          2- Sound quality from bundled earphones and external speaker loudness. You did provide a sample of recorded audio. You can also provide a small clip of some song playing on the phone. I know it will be not accurate to judge loudness of it while hearing the clip from our own phone, but still it does give some hint.

          3- Root-able or not? Now a days most phones find a forum space over xda as soon as they launch. But companies like this are likely to be ignored. If we can root, unlock bootloader and put a custom recovery(TWRP/CWM) , than we can enjoy custom Roms too! It would be a good idea to just mention if there is any sort of development for a particular phone or not.

          4- A bit more photo samples in low light with and without flash. This way one can judge intensity of flash, especially in such phones that hav single flash like the coolpad. Most phones in this range have dual or even dual tone flash. Some phones like moto G have very bright flash even with just one led!!

          5- Battery test could be a bit more detailed. Now i have seen a big mistake all reviewers make here is that rhey test the phone’s battery with internet over wifi only! Come on, most people are going to use the phone more over 3G signals than wifi! Most Indians rely more on 2G/3G than wifi because of availability problem. Browsing internet over wifi will save lot of power compared to the ever varrying (signal strenght) 2G/3G networks. You can test over wifi as well as 3G networks. Looks like i am asking too much…lol. Even gsm arena doesn’t go in such details. I just wanted to share what i miss in most reviews . Also if you have 100% battery and you start watching continous videos(stored on sd card and not stream) with full brightness and 3G on,how long will the phone last to get at 15%. Same about browsing internet over 3G or gaming or calling. Also charging time from 0 to 100% can be mentioned.

          6- SAR value? Most people doesn’t care about this but i think its important factor to account for.

          7- Display colors are adjustable or not? Like hue, saturation,reds,blues etc? Are there inbuilt color modes like vivid mode? How bright the screen can get? Brightness in nits compared to other phones of this range. Night mode or night black themes for night usage available or not. Also if you have checked out cool pad’s FB page or Amazon page you will notice that they are potraying it like a side bezel-less phone! Whats the screen to body ratio? Its actually not bezel less and the black bezels add ugliness with the white toned front panel.

          8- Call quality from ear piece or headphones can be tested too. Does the headphones have buttons to control volume?

          Well thats all i can think of now. Sorry if i mentioned something thats already covered.
          And BTW the phone’s weight is 157grams i think. Please correct it.
          Thank you

          • 1-Clearly mentioning about dual sim and sd card slots.Lot of phones in this range or even higher, have hybrid sim tray! Where you can use only one sim and one sd card or both sims and no sd card. Thats the only reason i am avoiding Meizu M2 & M2 note!!

            Ans: Done and added.
            —-

            2- Sound quality from bundled earphones and external speaker loudness. You did provide a sample of recorded audio. You can also provide a small clip of some song playing on the phone. I know it will be not accurate to judge loudness of it while hearing the clip from our own phone, but still it does give some hint.

            Ans: Done and added

            3- Root-able or not? Now a days most phones find a forum space over xda as soon as they launch. But companies like this are likely to be ignored. If we can root, unlock bootloader and put a custom recovery(TWRP/CWM) , than we can enjoy custom Roms too! It would be a good idea to just mention if there is any sort of development for a particular phone or not.

            Ans: Yeah, I need to check up on that, though I am more tuned towards hardware than software. I hope it doesn’t have a qfuse or something like how Google has for Nexus 6P.

            4- A bit more photo samples in low light with and without flash. This way one can judge intensity of flash, especially in such phones that hav single flash like the coolpad. Most phones in this range have dual or even dual tone flash. Some phones like moto G have very bright flash even with just one led!!

            Ans: I’ll do it during night time.

            5- Battery test could be a bit more detailed. Now i have seen a big mistake all reviewers make here is that rhey test the phone’s battery with internet over wifi only! Come on, most people are going to use the phone more over 3G signals than wifi! Most Indians rely more on 2G/3G than wifi because of availability problem. Browsing internet over wifi will save lot of power compared to the ever varying (signal strength) 2G/3G networks. You can test over wifi as well as 3G networks. Looks like i am asking too much…lol. Even gsm arena doesn’t go in such details. I just wanted to share what i miss in most reviews . Also if you have 100% battery and you start watching continuous videos(stored on sd card and not stream) with full brightness and 3G on,how long will the phone last to get at 15%. Same about browsing internet over 3G or gaming or calling. Also charging time from 0 to 100% can be mentioned.

            Ans: I’ll give this my best shot. The thought did cross my mind so I’ll need to work on it. I was told that there is an equipment which could simulate 2G, 4G and LTE signal of various signal strengths with a specific set of SIM card that can detect these signals from these devices which can be used to accurately used to record battery life in a more controlled setup. I need to see if it’s a feasible (and if it’s legal- you’ll never know!) option. Or else, I’ll use my own 2G/3G via SIM. I will be upgrading my WiFi router from N to an AC router so that battery life with WiFi can be properly evaluated.

            6- SAR value? Most people don’t care about this, but I think its important factor to account for.

            Ans: Done and added.

            I also plan on getting a thermal imaging camera so that it can show the heat map of anything. This way I can show heat map when on idle, load, using WiFi, 2G, 4G, Bluetooth during activity. For the moment, its still in the works.

            7- Display colors are adjustable or not? Like hue, saturation, reds, blues etc? Are there inbuilt color modes like vivid mode? How bright the screen can get? Brightness in nits compared to other phones of this range. Night mode or night black themes for night usage available or not. Also, if you have checked out cool pad’s FB page or Amazon page you will notice that they are portraying it like a side bezel-less phone! What’s the screen to body ratio? It’s actually not bezel-less and the black bezels add ugliness with the white toned front panel.

            Ans: I wanted to calculate brightness using a brightness meter or better- a colour calibration tool like a Datacolor Spyder to accurately calculate hues, saturation and all that. Coincidentally, it will also enable me to do display review for Hardware BBQ :D. For the moment, it’s a bit unfeasible but I will work on it. I can’t help but wonder if I can use the same to evaluate print out quality, hence having a solid real world testing for printers and hence printer review section for Hardware BBQ!

            Coolpad Note 3 does have a light sensor where the proximity sensor is (I was told. I used a light sensor app which displays LUX and a small LED focus light (placed with 1.5″ distance between the light and the area of the phone). It does have a brightness auto mode, and it did adjust the brightness to maximum when I placed the LED light on the area where the light sensor is placed from within.

            8- Call quality from ear piece or headphones can be tested too. Does the headphones have buttons to control volume?

            Ans: The headphones do not. All it has is a pinhole microphone on one side and a button to pick a call. Interestingly, they don’t have ‘L’ and ‘R’ indicator on the earphone’s housing nor on the strain relief (weird). Review updated.

            I may get a good audio equipment to record audios for video, but can be used to record quality of the earpiece or headphones. This could be more feasible than the other two testing methods since I have two sites and they have their own youtube channel. It would be a similar method where PC hardware reviewers use to record fan noise from case/CPU cooler fans, usually used in aftermarket fan reviews.

            This is great! I really appreciate your time and effort to put these up. It did give me some ideas and also improve on this review. I’ve made the necessary changes to the review and will apply more once they’re feasible.

        • Amit kumar Shukla

          Dear Sorcerer,

          Thanks for clearing doubts regarding heating and ppi display in a very comprehensive way.. Indeed your level of knowledge and detailing is way above most of shortcut money making reviews the net is crowded this day.. Keep up the good work. I m bookmarking your site.. Best of luck..

          Also request you to do some gaming check, software UI test and voice call test also .. Also explain the matter relatively easy way also so that the layman can also benefit from your learned knowledge.. Btw is the coolpad note 3 is good value for money buy against yureka plus, k3 note.,

          • Oh, I never made any money yet. Hardware BBQ’s hosting and resources relied on the money I earned as a news poster for eTeknix and then for Tweaktown for a year. I figured that if I do PC and portable stuff where certain real world test can be used for both, best to make it more feasible by having two separate sites without alienating loyal readers belonging to a particular tech genre preference.

            I do plan on it, but I need to check out an ideal game that’s neutral irrespective of the GPU SOC, like how its observed with games for the PC where most developers get funding (and hence more optimization) towards a particular GPU maker. That’s why I have the 3DMark benchmark though relating that with a game performance is tricky.

    • The reply to your query is just below this comment!

  3. But, many sites says, there is no Gorilla Glass on top !

  4. Thanks for the review dear, is the heat too much….some what unbearable one? and what about while doing normal tasks like net surfing with wiFi switched on,does it heat up during that also?

    Dear could you also do a detailed battery test and post the results in your website. Thanks in advance

    • No. It’s warm but not really a problem. These tests run the processor at 100% load.

      Every processing unit will have its own TDP/ maximum cold/heat threshold with or without operating it. Warm and hot- two different words.

      However, if the phone was cool from the outside during load, I would be more worried if there’s any mechanism to help to dissipate heat from the processor to the surface. True, there are more sophisticated phones that have better heat dissipation methods- but two things happen. Either the phone is shaped in a way that it may become difficult to hold, or some sophisticated cooling method which would be not feasible for a phone of particular price point. Therefore, passive heat dissipation method is the only option, and it shouldn’t be an issue as long as its well under the processor’s specs. That’s why I’ve mentioned variable clock speed. Low load, lower clock speed= low heat generation. High load, full clock speed= high heat generation. SOCs and subsystem chips are usually durable so no biggie. Alas, Mediatek did not mention in public about its TDP rating or the maximum heat threshold for maximum clock speed:

      http://www.mediatek.com/en/products/mobile-communications/smartphone1/mt6753/

      It’s like desktop processor coolers. During a full load, naturally the CPU cooler will become warm. If it doesn’t then it’s not doing its job to dissipate heat. For phones, it relies a more low profile way to dissipate heat, which, unfortunately, comes up on the surface. It’s not bad because the heat is spread evenly rather than concentrating at one spot, indicating that its a heat trap. When the heat spreads on the surface, it helps to evenly dissipate heat. On the bright side, the heat generation happens on the top area, the area where you wouldn’t hold unless you’re holding with two hands for a landscape.

      That’s the reason why I have the performance depreciation test there. Because what’s more important is the rate of performance depreciation during near constant load. Of course, the situation of that happening is unlikely in the real world unless you’re doing some heavy processing workload, but it’s nice to know what you should expect when it happens.

      I am working on a battery test, but I need to understand about other phones and the processors to use to devise a way for a battery test. I can always run the processor at 100% load till it exhausts the battery with WiFi and Bluetooth on, but I seriously doubt that’s something people do in the real world, and hence wouldn’t reflect a real world situation. But rest assured I am working on it and eventually it will be a part of the review in the future.

  5. Hello, you have mentioned at the top coolpad 3 has Gorilla Glass protection, is it confirmed, the company officials says it has NEG LCD so are these same or different, better or bad, can you please explain. Officially its no where mentioned it has Gorilla Glass

  6. Best review I have ever found! Great job.

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