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Coolpad Max Review – Best of Both Worlds

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Coolpad came into India and with the success of Coolpad Note 3, and here comes the flagship, Coolpad Max which is an upper-midrange smartphone having a sleek metal unibody with 2.5D curved glass, a solid ‘Dual Space’ feature and plenty amount of storage and RAM. We are using the device for a couple of weeks and here is our Coolpad Max review.

Coolpad Max Unboxing

In the Box

  • Coolpad Max with non-removable battery
  • USB Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • Earphones
  • Screen Protector
  • Protective Case
  • SIM Ejector Pin

Coolpad Max Review (13)

Coolpad Max Specifications:

  • Display: 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display
  • Operating System: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Cool UI skin
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, on the back
  • CPU: 1.5 GHz octa-core processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC
  • GPU: Adreno 405
  • RAM: 4 GB RAM
  • Rear Camera: 13.1 MP
  • Front Camera: 5 MP
  • Storage: 64 GB internal, Expandable using a MicroSD card
  • Connectivity: Micro USB port, 3.5 mm Audio Jack
  • Network: 4G LTE, Hybrid SIM Tray (Dual SIM or Single SIM + MicroSD)
  • Others: Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
  • Battery: 2800 mAh
  • Colors: Rose Gold, Royal Gold
  • Price: ₹24,999

Design and Build

Unlike its two Coolpad siblings, the Coolpad Max flaunts a premium metallic and stylish unibody with rounded edges that looks gorgeous. Well, it is quite easy to hold it in one hand (170 grams) albeit having a 5.5-inch display. Coolpad Max is quite slim (7.6 mm) compared to many phones out there.

The Coolpad Max has a solid build quality and feels pretty much stronger. We also noticed the nice 2.5D curved glass on top, chamfered edges and those thin bezels. The design looks truly attractive to me.

coolpad max review

coolpad max review
2.5D curved glass, Full Metallic Body

If you have been known to its previous devices like the Coolpad Note 3 which exhibits a plastic body with a removable back cover, the Coolpad Max is categorized in the premium smartphones segment. The smartphone uses a high-grade metal construction. Coolpad Max has a bead-blasted aluminum alloy body having a matte design on the back thus any fingerprint smudges aren’t been recorded.

coolpad max review

coolpad max review

Talking about both the cameras available on the smartphone. The main camera is 13 megapixels with phase detection autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. The front camera is 5 megapixels. There is also a fingerprint scanner when you flip the phone just like their Note series.

coolpad max review

coolpad max review
Fingerprint Scanner

Coolpad Max used rather on-screen buttons instead of the external touch buttons. The bottom area could have been used for the external navigation buttons.

coolpad max review
No External Touch Buttons

On top, you will find a usual 3.5 mm headphone jack and everything else is kept plain. Moving to the bottom, you have two grills where the right one is actually a microphone instead of another loudspeaker. The second microphone is at the camera side. What else you’ll find at the bottom is rather a standard Micro USB port instead of the new USB Type-C. The phone do has fast charging options and supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.

coolpad max review

coolpad max review

On the left side, the volume rocker buttons give you a pleasant feeling same as the power key on the right side. The right side also has a dual SIM tray or you can say it’s a hybrid SIM tray. You can put two nano SIM cards at a time. The smartphone supports 4G LTE network. You also have the option to choose either dual SIM cards or single SIM plus MicroSD card. Apart from the big 64 GB storage, you also have the option to expand it further with the MicroSD card which I don’t think you will require for sure.

coolpad max review

coolpad max review

coolpad max review

Coolpad Max Review (1)

Display

When you talk about the display, the Coolpad Max has a neat and vibrant 5.5-inch IPS display having a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display looks beautiful with those thin bezels. It is covered by a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 with 2.5D curves on the edges. The images and text are crisp with its full HD screen, the colors are reasonably natural but appear on the darker side. There isn’t any option provided in the ‘Brightness and Display’ settings to change the color environment.

Coolpad Max Review (2)

The brightness is somewhat higher compared to the Coolpad Note 3 and certainly won’t disappoint you. The viewing angles are fairly good. Under direct sunlight, you can’t view the screen properly but does the job under sunlight shades. We have no big complaints in the display section.

Fingerprint Scanner

As effective as their Note series, the fingerprint scanner on the Coolpad Max is very fast. We were simply surprised, it unlocks with just a tap of the finger.

coolpad max review

It has an easy no-frills fingerprint setup. Place your finger on the fingerprint scanner and verify for 6 times to add a fingerprint. It supports 360-degree fingerprint recognition and supports up to 5 different fingerprints. It also supports gestures like taking photos by tapping the scanner with your finger when you are in the camera app.

coolpad max review

coolpad max review

What we missed here is the FP Lock app that we used to see in their previous Coolpad phones like the Coolpad Note 3. What this app does is, it secure the apps using your fingerprints i.e. it can lock certain apps with your fingerprint.

Software and User Interface

The software on the Coolpad Max is a customized Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Cool UI 8.0. The user interface doesn’t have app drawer and much like we have seen in the Coolpad Note 3. While the visuals are quite different and isn’t appealing. Looks dead to me.

Coolpad Max - First Impressions (1)

Coolpad Max - First Impressions (2)
User Interface Isn’t Appealing

Coolpad Max Review (28)

The on-screen navigation buttons below can disappear if you tap the three small dots symbol on it. It also comes with a C button as seen in the other Coolpad phones. It is a floating widget having shortcuts like back, screenshot, restart, and more so you can access and navigate stuff quickly. Virtual-Key settings can make the  on-screen sticky as well as customize the way you like to interact. The Zen Mode lets you set priority notifications. There you can see a floating widget of on-going call which is similar to what we know as floating chat heads.

Coolpad Max Review (30)

Floating Widget For Calling (Left), Cool Manager (Right)
Floating Widget For Calling (Left), Cool Manager (Right)
Coolpad Max Review (31)
Multi-Window
App Permissions
Control Autorun Apps (Left), App Permissions (Right)

Dual Space Feature

Coolpad Max has a unique feature known to be Dual Space. You can have two separate spaces having different app environment. So you have the option to use two different WhatsApp accounts, Facebook, Line, Snapchat, or any other accounts. It is like a separate homescreen provided where you can install the apps and games you like. Coolpad does it with a BiLogin technology and all the data is secured between both the spaces with embedded encryption technology.

coolpad max review
Space 1 (Left), Space 2 (Right)

As both the spaces are kept private and cannot be accessed from the other space, you have the option to share the files from one space to another. There is an app pre-installed ‘Spaces Sharing’ which lets you do it.

Coolpad Max Review (29)

We have explained Dual Space overview in this post.

Hardware, Performance, and Gaming

The Coolpad Max is powered by a 1.5 GHz octa-core processor from Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC along with a massive 4 GB of RAM. It sports an Adreno 405 GPU for gaming. Also notable is the huge 64 GB of storage. While the RAM and storage are very good, the CPU might look somewhat underpowered but well, it does the job. We aren’t saying the CPU is bad but we have seen a few smartphones offering a high-performance CPU instead of a midrange CPU which you can get at the sub ₹15k price.

Coolpad Max Review (4)

The booting time we note was 26 seconds. The performance of the apps are pretty smooth, no lags found. Multitasking is fantastic, you will really like it. There won’t be any problems if you install too many apps, there are enough storage and RAM.

The AnTuTu scored 43602 points in our tests. We aren’t surprised with the AnTuTu results as well as Geekbench. The score on the Geekbench 3 gave us 739 points (single-core) and 2819 (multi-core). Nothing surprised us at all. It was much expected due to its midrange CPU.

Coolpad Max Review (7)

Coolpad Max Review (5)

Coolpad Max Review (6)

We ran a few games to see if the gaming performance is okay. We ran games like Angry Birds Rio, Traffic Rider, Asphalt 8 – Airborne, Shadow Fight 2, 8 Ball Pool and Asphalt Nitro. The games in our test did not lag, and the gameplay was quite amazing. Know that the GPU on the Coolpad Max is not meant for high-end gaming. The performance of the gaming is good for games that require moderate hardware resources.

Games Tested on Coolpad Max:

  • Angry Birds Rio
  • Traffic Rider
  • Shadow Fight 2
  • Asphalt 8 – Airborne
  • 8 Ball Pool
  • Asphalt Nitro

Coolpad Max Review (9)

Coolpad Max Review (10)

Coolpad Max Review (3)

Coolpad Max Review (11)

The user gets more than 2 GB RAM free to use. The system took around ~600 MB of RAM and Apps took ~500 MB. You will get a plenty amount of RAM free, thanks to its big 4 GB RAM module.

Coolpad Max Review (12)

We haven’t found any heating issues. The temperature remains moderate and gone 40 degrees.

Coolpad Max Review (8)

Camera

Moving on to the cameras, the Coolpad Max comes with a brilliant 13 MP snapper on the backside that uses a Samsung ISOCELL 3M2 CMOS sensor with phase detection autofocus and f/2.0 aperture. It has a dual-tone LED flash. The front is having a 5 MP camera.

Coolpad Max is coming to India on 20th May with some exciting specs

Coolpad Max Camera Specifications

  • Camera: 13 MP PDAF, f/2.0, dual-tone LED flash
  • Sensor: Samsung ISOCELL 3M2 CMOS sensor
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): No
  • Zoom: 4x Digital Zoom
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Long Exposure, Panorama, Beautification, Face Detection, GIF, Refocus, PickZoom, Sound & Shot, Continuous Shot
  • Video: Max 1920 x 1080 pixels video recording
  • Front Camera: 5 MP
  • Front Camera Sensor: OmniVision OV5648

The camera is sleek and made clean. It supports a number of camera modes to get your desired scenes. It has HDR mode, Night mode, Pro mode, Panorama, Beauty, Long Exposure, PickZoom, ReFocus, GIF, and Sound & Shot. You can also access the various filters from the camera interface by tapping the filter button available on the camera interface.

It snaps the images in no time. You can also snap the pictures with the fingerprint scanner at the back, just tap the scanner while you are on the camera app. Also prominent is the Quick capture feature that lets you shoot images without unlocking the device. Pressing the Volume Down key quickly for 2 times will instantly capture an image, pretty smart feature, eh?

coolpad max review

coolpad max review

coolpad max review

Camera Samples

Now we are going to jump on a few Coolpad Max camera samples. We have shared them below. We have used the camera in certain lighting conditions such as daylight, artificial light, and low light.

coolpad max review
Daylight
coolpad max review
HDR

coolpad max review

Coolpad Max Camera Samples (12)

Coolpad Max Camera Samples (13)

coolpad max review (19)

coolpad max review

HDR
HDR

coolpad max review (16)

Coolpad Max Camera Samples (6)

coolpad max review
Panorama
coolpad max review (15)
Selfie With Front 5 MP Camera
coolpad max review
Front Camera
coolpad max review (17)
Indoors
4X Zoom
4X Zoom
coolpad max review
HDR
Coolpad Max Camera Samples (10)
Under Artificial Lighting
coolpad max review
Night Mode
coolpad max review
Flash In Action
coolpad max review
With Flash
Coolpad Max Camera Samples (4)
Night Mode

The shots appear to be very good in daylight, in fact, they did pretty well job but what seems to be getting me is the images tend to be on the darker sides and aren’t looking too bright. They lack the detailing which is why I said the darker images. If you look closely, the color output is somewhat saturated. When there is low light or less amount of light, the images will give you noise and grains but bright images. Although the performance of the night shots isn’t that good, we would say the camera performance is decent but we would certainly say the camera could have been made better. With the missing OIS, you’ll have to either hold the phone steady or end up using a tripod. The camera doesn’t support Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and 4K video recording while several smartphones have it in this price category.

The camera has been given various modes such as the Beauty mode and the Pro mode. With the Pro mode, you can manually set the options and tweak the ISO, White Balance, Manual Focus, Exposure, Color and Saturation to get better quality images.

The camera performance is pretty decent. If you are a camera enthusiast, we think you should take a look at other better options if possible. Otherwise is a good performer in daylight conditions.

Call Quality and Audio

The call quality on the Coolpad Max is exceptionally good. The voice clarity is good enough when you place a call. The loudspeakers do sound loud and clear without any distortion despite having a mono speaker.

Storage and Connectivity

The Coolpad Max has a huge 64 GB internal storage which can cover all your large stuff on the phone. From 64 GB, the user gets around 52 GB of free space. Also, you have the option to expand it even further using a MicroSD. While the MicroSD takes the place of the another SIM card, you will lose the dual SIM functionality. Nevertheless, I don’t think you’ll require MicroSD to support the internal storage.

Coolpad Max Review (25)

We checked the storage performance and we got some decent numbers for the read/write speed. The benchmark results shows above 268.97 MB/s sequential read and 133.87 MB/s sequential write speed. The random read speed is 20.58 MB/s and write speed is 9.07 MB/s.

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Talking about the connectivity, the Coolpad Max has a standard Micro USB port. A USB Type-C would be much great. We put the bundled earphones and got decent sound quality.

Battery

As the Coolpad Max flaunts a 2800 mAh non-removable battery which sounds decent. With its upper midrange specifications, how long do you think the battery survives? We have used the phone for more than a week and we will give you our opinions on the battery life.

Coolpad Max - Hands on Images (14)

We thought the Coolpad Max, being a flagship, could sport a larger battery as their previous phones are having a bigger battery capacity (3000 mAh) but we get a 2800 mAh which is close enough.

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 underneath the hood having an octa-core processor. Continuous and heavy usage cannot last the phone a single day. We used it on a dual SIM standby with both 3G data and GPS turned on with full social networking and gaming for some time. We also used the camera multiple times. As you can see in the history, the battery ran from the day start and ended before the dusk, I managed to charge the battery a few percentage to keep the phone running till dusk.

coolpad max review
Heavy Usage

When we used the Coolpad Max below moderate level on single SIM, the battery, surprisingly, lasted one full day without any hiccups and still having 50% of the amount of battery capacity left. We got nearly 2 hours of screen-on-time at 10% of the battery and 23 hours of battery runtime with the above usage.

While we haven’t used it continuously, so the battery was on standby most of the time. Our usage includes music playback both online and offline for about 1.5 hours, watched 30 minutes YouTube videos, surfed Facebook and Instagram, also played some games like Traffic Rider and Angry Birds Rio for about an hour. Moreover, we played 15 minutes video using the default video player and captured a few shots from the 13 MP camera. The battery runtime is decent, however, don’t expect anything spectacular  results if used heavily.

coolpad max review

The Cool Manager can handle the power management efficiently. We have performed a number of tasks including gaming so that you get an idea how much the battery is consumed. Check out our battery test results below.

Coolpad Max Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video3%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p)4%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Traffic Rider9%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Angry Birds Rio6%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Asphalt 8 - Airborne7%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Music (Offline)8%1 HourAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music (Online) - TuneIn Radio3%30 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Facebook5%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)

The Coolpad Max supports fast charging powered by Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The fast charger ships along with the phone.

Verdict – Final Words

Dual Space feature is a perfect solution for those who keep two different smartphones. As far as the overall performance of the CPU goes, it is decent and good for an average user. Talking about the price, the Coolpad Max seems to be on the higher side of the price (₹24,999) if you look at those specifications.

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Finally, with its stellar design, its unique feature ‘Dual Space, fingerprint scanner, and big numbers for storage and RAM could possibly award Coolpad Max a winner. We will recommend Coolpad Max if you are using two different smartphones for different activities.

Strength

  • Dual Space functionality
  • Premium metallic design
  • Solid build quality
  • Fast fingerprint scanner
  • Huge 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage
  • MicroSD support

Weakness

  • User Interface isn’t appealing
  • Camera could be better
  • Expensive
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