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Coolpad Note 5 Lite Review

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Coolpad launched a lite variant of its Coolpad Note 5 smartphone in India to tackle the competition. Impressively, the 5.0-inch Coolpad Note 5 Lite looks a lot like its elder sibling with trimmed down specifications. The Coolpad Note 5 Lite offers extraordinary perks such as the front 8 MP selfie camera with LED flash, a fingerprint scanner, and a premium look, still price is kept on the lower side ₹8,199. To know more, check out our Coolpad Note 5 Lite review.

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Specifications

  • Display: 5.0-inch IPS HD Display (1280 x 720 pixels resolution | 294 ppi) with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, at the back
  • Software: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, CoolUI 8.0 on top
  • CPU: 1.0 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, MediaTek MT6735CP
  • GPU: Mali-T720 MP2
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Storage: 16 GB internal storage, MicroSD up to 64 GB (SIM2 Slot)
  • Main Camera: 13 MP f/2.2, autofocus, LED flash
  • Front Camera: 8 MP f/2.2, LED Flash
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, Dual nano SIM (GSM + GSM), SIM2 as MicroSD, VoLTE-enabled
  • Battery: 2,500 mAh Li-Po (non-removable)
  • Dimensions: 145.3 mm x 72.3 mm x 8.7 mm
  • Weight: 148 grams
  • Colors: Space Grey
  • Price: ₹8,199

Design and Build

Coolpad Note 5 Lite boasts a 2.5D curved glass design with a metallic back. We got the Space Grey color for a review and it looks quite amazing. The looks follow the trails of its higher variant Coolpad Note 5. When we compare the predecessor Coolpad Note 3 Lite, the major difference is the metallic body and 2.5D curved glass. I assume this is the same Note 3 Lite in a different body, but with a few upgrades especially the camera. According to me, the Coolpad Note 5 Lite signifies the combination of Coolpad Note 5 (design), Coolpad Mega 2.5D (front camera), and Coolpad Note 3 Lite (hardware).

Coolpad Note 5 Lite is pretty compact, its 5.0-inch size gives you a comfortable grip due to its rounded edges. The top is covered with polished Gorilla Glass 3 and the overall feel is strong enough. It doesn’t carry much weight, just 148 grams. By far, Coolpad Note 5 Lite has the most promising design, looks better than most phones in this price range.

On the back, you will find a 13 MP f/2.2 camera with LED flash. Surprisingly, this is the first smartphone to have a front LED flash at this price. The front holds an 8 MP f/2.2 camera with LED Flash. Below the camera, there is a fast fingerprint scanner that unlocks the device. The scanner is as fast as what we have seen in the Coolpad Note 5.

coolpad note 5 lite

coolpad note 5 lite

coolpad note 5 lite

coolpad note 5 lite

Sadly, the loudspeakers are blocked when kept on a flat surface. The design is same as the Coolpad Note 5 so, everything you see is relevant here. The right side has a power button and a hybrid SIM tray, the left has volume rockers button. You can put two nano SIM cards or a MicroSD on SIM2. It supports 4G network and VoLTE enabled. Unlike the Coolpad Note 5, the Lite variant doesn’t offer earphones.

Display

Coolpad Note 5 Lite uses a small 5.0-inch IPS display (1280 x 720 pixels resolution, 294 ppi) in contrast to its bigger sibling 5.5-inch Note 5. The display is protected by a 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3.

The brightness on the phone is adequate for indoor use. The screen is highly reflective and drives finger smudges, hence, it won’t be easier to read when in bright daylight. There is no color mode or display enhancements offered. You can set the LED indicator in the display settings.

Software & User Interface

Coolpad Note 5 Lite runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Cool UI 8.0 on top. The CoolUI 8.0 is the new version of the CoolUI with several features shaking phone changes wallpaper, take scrolling screenshots, record screen activity, lock apps using the fingerprint scanner, a built-in ad block, and many others. However, the interface is a bit sluggish at times and it really has to do something with the weak GPU or the CoolUI not optimized well since it is new. Future updates may solve the issues.

The interface is much handy in my opinion as it has no app drawer, all the apps are present on the homescreen. The shortcuts drawer can be accessed from the bottom swipe. CoolUI offers the C button for quick access. There are gestures like double tap to wake, slide down to take photos, draw M for music, etc. Furthermore, you can take screenshots using three fingers.

Fingerprint scanner

Now if we talk about its fingerprint scanner, this one could be the fastest fingerprint scanner as of now at this price. I haven’t seen any other smartphone offering a fingerprint scanner this fast. It unlocks the device pretty quick, quick I mean really quick in a blink of an eye. I believe this is the same fingerprint scanner used from its higher variant Coolpad Note 5.

There is plenty much of things you can do with the scanner, you can do is answer a call, take selfies, stop alarms, record a call, and record a video. It can also be used to lock the phone when you double tap on it. And that’s not all, locking apps is just another trait we saw in other Coolpads, so whenever you require locking the apps, just secure them with your fingerprints.

Hardware, Performance & Gaming

The Coolpad Note 5 Lite is powered by a 1.0 GHz quad-core Mediatek MT6735CP combined with a large 3 GB RAM which seems efficient for everyday tasks. Since it has a 3 GB RAM, multitasking won’t be a problem unless the CPU is bottlenecking. The overall hardware specifications are entry level and should be equivalent to its predecessor Coolpad Note 3 Lite. In fact, they don’t seem to be much upgraded in the specs division and you should know that they are almost the same specs from last year.

So, how the device performs? Well, it works as good for daily tasks without breaking a sweat, but it certainly won’t be good enough if you stress the CPU and run heavy intensive tasks. Running social networking apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and browsing the web will do all good for the CPU.

The clock rates seem culprit here, 1.0 GHz frequency is weak for today’s applications. Coolpad could at least make use of a higher clock rate processor i.e. Snapdragon 425 CPU and that would be a deal breaker for this price. But we can’t forget that it also offers other perks such as the sweet camera package and a metallic design with 2.5D curved glass.

Moving to the numbers, AnTuTu scored a decent 30,592 points, Geekbench 4 got 523 points (single-core CPU), 1,429 points (multi-core CPU), and 906 points (Mali-T720 GPU). Quadrant Standard Edition showed us 11,537 points. All the benchmarks we got were satisfactory. The scores are merely closer to the ₹5,999 Xiaomi Redmi 4A with Snapdragon 425 CPU.

AnTuTu Benchmark

  • 30,592 points

Geekbench 4

  • 523 points (single-core CPU)
  • 1,429 points (multi-core CPU)
  • 906 points (GPU)

Quadrant Standard Edition

  • 11,537 points

Quadrant Standard Edition

There’s a Mali 720 GPU which settles down for entry level gaming. Playing basic games on the phone will deliver the best otherwise lag when you play graphic-intensive games like Dead Trigger 2 and similar. We played Mario Run, Ninja Arashi, and Ludo King and they all ran just fine.

Gaming freaks, I suggest you see other options if you want to play games on this device. Pick a smartphone with a Snapdragon CPU. The last year’s Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is performance device with a powerful Snapdragon 650 (which is nearly 3x faster than MediaTek MT6735CP). It should probably play all the games you demand.

Games Tested on Coolpad Note 5 Lite

  • Mario Run
  • Ninja Arashi
  • Ludo King
Mario Run
Ninja Arashi

There are no heating issues with the phone. The phone remains to be on the cooler side.

Storage & Connectivity

The 16 GB storage is the entry level storage you find on most smartphones these days, so it wouldn’t be fair if Coolpad had offered an 8 GB internal storage despite having a MicroSD card slot. Thankfully, the Note 5 Lite still offers a 16 GB internal storage with the MicroSD slot. You can expand it up to 64 GB.

Moving to the benchmarks, when we talk about the storage performance, it is mediocre. Ideally, at this price, we can’t ask for more, but it still feels a little less offered as compared to other smartphones in this price range, especially its competitor Xiaomi Redmi 3S.

A1 SD Bench

  • 99.31 MB/s (Read)
  • 74.87 MB/s (Write)

AndroBench

  • 199.75 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 64.64 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 25.44 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 8.2 MB/s (Random Write)

Cameras

The main camera Coolpad Note 5 Lite offers is 13 MP f/2.2 with LED flash. The front camera has got an 8 MP camera with LED flash. So, there is a 13 MP + 8 MP camera combination offered at ₹8,199 which is great. The 13 MP camera records 720p videos and no slow motion videos.

13 MP Rear Camera With LED Flash
8 MP Camera With LED Flash

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Camera Specifications

  • Camera: 13 MP f/2.2 autofocus
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
  • Rear Flash: Single LED
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Panorama, Beauty, Pro, Night, GIF, Sound & Shot, Burst Shot
  • Video Recording: Up to 720p @30fps
  • Front Camera: 8 MP f/2.2
  • Video Recording: Up to 720p @30fps
  • Front Flash: Single LED

Since it is an entry-level smartphone, we do not expect much from its camera. The shots captured in daylight are decent, but, the low light shots generate noise and fewer details. The camera still offers a night mode and a pro mode followed by Beauty mode, Panorama, and GIF which clearly tells us the camera has extraordinary features included.

The front 8 MP camera turns out to be remarkable for selfies. If you are the one who likes to take selfies and all you have is a little budget to spend for a selfie phone, Note 5 Lite should be the one to look for. The flash comes a bit handy if you take selfies at night. The overall camera package is decent for this price.

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Camera Samples

Battery Runtime

As for the battery Coolpad Note 5 Lite is providing, it packs an average 2,500 mAh capacity battery. Having a power efficient processor won’t actually consume much battery and this is where the Note 5 Lite shines out. The battery performance is what you can rely on. You can easily get 1.5 days battery life on moderate use. Using it less obvious will eventually increase the battery life, thanks to its HD display and the power efficient processor. The batter has a very good standby time.

We got a 4-hour screen on time with the battery lasting 1 day 8 hours on moderate usage. In our usage, we played games, surfed the internet on Chrome, played YouTube videos and offline videos, played music stored on the phone, used SoundCloud, and used the camera to capture a few shots with Wi-Fi turned on all the time.

It charges the 2,500 mAh battery from 0 to 100 in about 1 hour 45 minutes with its 5V, 1.5A charger. A 2-ampere charger would merely charge the device faster, anyways.

1 Hour 47 Minutes To Full Charge

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p)3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Ninja Arashi6%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Mario Run6%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Music (Offline)4%1 HourAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music Streaming - SoundCloud3%30 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Facebook4%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Instagram4%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)

Pricing & Availability

Coolpad Note 5 Lite is priced at ₹8,199 and it is available on Amazon India. There is only one color variant as of now i.e. Space Grey.

Verdict – Worth Buy?

Coolpad Note 5 Lite ticks all the right boxes a user needs on a phone. For ₹8,199, you get a 4G smartphone with a sleek and strong body, a fast fingerprint scanner, decent battery life, and good overall camera package especially if you love taking selfies. Much good if Coolpad had provided a better CPU but we can’t ask everything given the price. Coolpad Note 5 Lite is good for light users, heavy multi-taskers should opt for a better processor phone.

Strength

  • Solid Build, Metallic Body, 2.5D curved design
  • Remarkable Selfie Camera with LED Flash, Takes Good Selfies
  • Fast Fingerprint Scanner
  • Decent Battery Life

Weakness

  • Weak CPU, Lags Occasionally
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