Coolpad has been in the Indian market for quite some time now and has of late launched quite a few decent budget Android smartphones. These include the likes of the Note 3, Note 3 Lite and Note 3 Plus along with the Mega 2.5D and Note 5, which have been able to given smartphones from companies like Xiaomi and Lenovo-Motorola a run for their money. Coolpad’s approach to the Indian market has been pretty clear — offer high-specced smartphones at almost all price points in the budget segment. The strategy isn’t bad at all in my opinion, when you consider there’s a massive demand for such devices in India. Coolpad has stuck to that approach and has launched two new smartphones — Coolpad Mega 3 and Note 3 – priced at Rs 6,999 and Rs 9,999 respectively. I briefly spent some time with the two new Coolpad smartphones, and here are my first impressions. Also Read - Upcoming Coolpad COOL 20 specs revealed ahead of May 25 launch
First up is the Coolpad Mega 3. At first glance you know the Coolpad Mega 3 isn’t one the contemporary metal-clad smartphones, and instead it features a removable plastic back. That said, it is not really a bad looking device. It has textured plastic back that is supposed to deliver a better grip, while the camera module on the back along with the flash looks like a small circular shirt button. It is pretty light and feels compact enough for a 5.5-inch smartphone with necessary volume and power buttons easily within the reach. Also Read - Airtel Wi-Fi Calling: Compatible phones from Tecno, Vivo, Infinix, Coolpad and Itel
The smartphone comes with a 5.5-inch HD (720p) display with 291ppi. While the display seemed pretty decent with the brightness cranked up to full under sunlight, I will refrain from passing any judgment about overall legibility without having thoroughly reviewed the device. As far as the interface goes, the UI based on Android Marshmallow appeared fluid enough and easy to get familiar with. The smartphone is powered by a MediaTek MT6737 1.25GHz quad-core processor along with 2GB of RAM.
Looking at the price point, this combination may be slightly underwhelming because at the same price you have the Xiaomi Redmi 3s, which has Snapdragon 430 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. Moreover, the Redmi 3s has a larger 4,000mAh battery as compared to Coolpad Mega 3’s 3,050mAh battery. The Coolpad Mega 3 comes with 16GB of onboard storage along with microSD support for additional storage.
The Mega 3’s highlight though is its unique triple SIM slot (micro SIMs) along with a dedicated slot for the microSD card, which will help it stand out in the crowded market. Currently, a lot of smartphones offer dual-SIM support through a hybrid setup where one can use either two SIM cards or one SIM card and one microSD slot. Triple SIM-slot seems little far stretched, and a tad gimmicky, but it is a welcome option for customers nonetheless. The smartphone supports VoLTE and all 4G bands in India.
Except the triple SIM-slot feature, the Coolpad Mega 3 in my opinion is at a risk of getting easily forgotten considering devices like the Xiaomi Redmi 3s and Moto E3 Power are already popular. Even Coolpad’s own Note 3 Lite seems a better proposition that has high-end specifications along with fingerprint scanner. Launched in January this year, the Note 3 Lite has 5-inch HD display, 3GB of RAM, MediaTek’s MT6735 64-bit quad-core processor, 16GB onboard storage (expandable up to 32GB via microSD). The smartphone is priced at Rs 6,999.
Now, let’s talk about the Coolpad Note 3S. Priced at Rs 9,999, the smartphone joins the other popular Note series of devices from Coolpad. The Coolpad Note 3S seems more contemporary in terms of design and form factor. It has a metal body with 2.5D glass on the front and a curved back. It also has a fingerprint scanner at the back. During the brief time I spent, the smartphone seemed compact enough for a 5.5-inch phone but felt slightly bulky.
The Note 3S comes with a 5.5-inch HD display which seemed pretty satisfactory during my brief usage. Though what I really liked was the stock Android-like UI, which felt pretty fluid. For performance, the smartphone relies on a Snapdragon 415 1.36GHz octa-core processor along with 3GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB of onboard storage and supports expandable storage via microSD. Connectivity options include dual-SIM card slots, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11n and GPS.
Coolpad’s Note devices have had an edge over the competition with top-end specifications and features. However, the Coolpad Note 3s lags behind the competition like the Redmi 3s and newly launched Lenovo K6 Power. Both smartphones are powered by Snapdragon 430 processor along with 3GB of RAM. Also, both phones have metal body, fingerprint scanner and more importantly a larger 4,000mAh battery as compared to 2,500mAh on the Coolpad Note 3S. That being said, we would give you a final verdict on the Note 3S when we have thoroughly reviewed the smartphone.