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Coolpad Note 5 Review

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Coolpad Note 5 stormed the market with an unbelievably 4 GB RAM just ₹10,999. Last year’s Coolpad Note 3 was notably highlighting its specifications primarily its 3 GB and fingerprint scanner. With its success, the Note 5 came in with spectacular specs including the 4 GB RAM along with a Snapdragon 617 octa-core CPU. We spent some time with the device and here is the Coolpad Note 5 review below.

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What’s in the box

  • Coolpad Note 5 with built-in battery
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Power Adapter (Output: 5V, 2A)
  • Earphones
  • Screen Protector
  • User Manuals and Warranty Card

Coolpad Note 5 Specifications

  • Model: Coolpad 3800I
  • Display: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS Display (1920 x 1080 pixels resolution) covered with 2.5D curved glass
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, on the back
  • Software: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with CoolUI 8.0
  • CPU: Up to 1.5 GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, Snapdragon 617 (MSM8952) SoC
  • GPU: Adreno 405
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Storage: 32 GB internal storage, MicroSD support up to 64 GB
  • Main Camera: 13 MP, f/2.2 with LED flash, 1080p video
  • Front Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2 with front LED flash, 1080p video
  • Connectivity: Micro USB, 3.5 mm stereo jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, Hybrid SIM Tray, two nano-SIM cards (GSM + GSM) OR (GSM + MicroSD), VoLTE enabled
  • SAR Value: 0.465 W/Kg @1g (Head), 0.689 W/Kg @1g (Body)
  • Battery: 4,010 mAh Li-ion (non-removable)
  • Power Adapter: Output 5V, 2A
  • Dimensions: 152 mm x 75.7 mm x 8.9 mm
  • Weight: 173.4 grams
  • Colors: Royal Gold, Space Gray
  • Price: ₹10,999
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty

Design and Build

Coolpad Note 5 fully features a metal chassis with 2.5D curved glass. The 2.5D glass seems to be becoming a new trend in the smartphone industry. The back is has a matte finish design which pleases you on touch. There’s chrome finished lining on the side edges that looks quite elegant.

The design reiterates the Coolpad Mega 2.5D in terms of design. Also, the design is now metallic where its predecessor, Coolpad Note 3 was made from plastic.

The fingerprint scanner on the back is super fast. I haven’t witnessed such fast fingerprint scanner at this price.

coolpad note 5 hands on

coolpad note 5 hands on
Metallic Back

The Coolpad Note 5 bulkier than its predecessor (173.4g vs 130g) and I believe it is due to the larger battery 4,010 mAH and yeah, it’s also thicker (8.9 mm) than many other smartphones in the industry. Nevertheless, the handset feels comfortable in the hands.

The front branding is eliminated unlike its selfie companion Coolpad Mega 2.5D still no backlit touch buttons from Coolpad.

coolpad note 5 hands on
2.5D Curved Gorilla Glass 3, Front Camera Has LED Flash
coolpad note 5 hands on
Still No Backlit Buttons

Coolpad Note 5 seems not upgrading its camera, at least, on paper. It 13 MP camera sounds like its same from its predecessor, however, the front is upgraded to 8 MP camera with surprisingly front LED flash. This is where Coolpad Note 5 has an edge. Not all phones come with a front flash until now. Hence, Coolpad Note 5 could be a complete standout among others. Front flash is probably something new for this price segment as well.

coolpad note 5 hands on
13 MP f/2.2 Camera

The left side has volume buttons, the right side has a power button. The fingerprint scanner can unlock the phone without pressing any buttons. What’s more on the right is the hybrid dual SIM tray. The tray holds either two Nano SIM cards (GSM + GSM) or  (GSM + MicroSD). The Micro SD can be expanded up to 64 GB. Coolpad Note 5 supports 4G network along with VoLTE.

Moving to the bottom of the device, you can see the standard Micro USB and not the latest USB Type-C. There’s a microphone at the bottom and another microphone at the back above the main camera. The top has a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

coolpad note 5 hands on
Left
coolpad note 5 hands on
Right
coolpad note 5 hands on
Bottom
coolpad note 5 hands on
Top

Display

The Coolpad Note 5 comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display covered with 2.5D curved glass. The viewing angles are good under sunlight shade. The reflective glass often exhibits reflections making it hard to read otherwise has a bright screen. The display quality appears sharp and the colors are vibrant.

Software and User Interface

CoolUI 8.0 is the new interface from Coolpad based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow carrying the September security patch.

coolpad-note-5-review-android-marshmallow

The user interface looks quite particular to most Coolpads you see just a different design of UI. It gives you slightly stock Android feel. But the shortcuts are placed at the bottom. Swiping from the top doesn’t get you the common shortcuts like Wi-Fi, Data, Torch, Rotation, Brightness, etc but you have to pull the bar from the bottom instead which is just the same in Coolpad Mega 2.5D.

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coolpad-note-5-review-software-1

The software I felt is somewhat sluggish and the animations were lagging. Not by the performance but the software itself is not perfect and maybe Coolpad should update it. It also happened in the Coolpad Mega 2.5D. While the app performance is great and it’s 4 GB is effective in multitasking.

Coolpad could incorporate the Dual Space feature in Note 5 but that’s a signature feature of Coolpad Max. If you don’t know about Dual Space feature, read our post illustrating the overview of Dual Space feature.

Coolpad includes apps like Cool Manager and Cool Store that helps in taking control of the device and customizing the interface the way you like. The UI is gesture-based so you can control the phone by playing gestures like drawing M for music which was present on previous Coolpads.

We have already covered the rest of the software section in other Coolpad phones. Do check them out.

Fingerprint scanner

Coolpad Note 5 sports one of the very fast fingerprint scanner. I feel it’s as fast as HUAWEI/Honor flagships and Nexus 6P. Coolpad Mega 2.5D was already missing a fingerprint scanner. Note 5 has the fastest fingerprint scanner in its price.

It takes 11 attempts to add a fingerprint. It recognizes your fingerprint in any direction and there’s a maximum limit of 5 fingerprints at a time. The scanner also supports various gestures like capturing selfies, answering calls, opening locked apps.

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Hardware, Performance and Gaming

Coolpad Note 5 uses a hardware from its flagship Coolpad Max. Snapdragon 617 (MSM8952) and 4 GB RAM is midrange hardware packed in Coolpad Note 5. The Snapdragon 617 has eight power-efficient Cortex-A53 cores out of which 4 cores are clocked 1.5 GHz and the remaining 4 at 1.2 Ghz. Note 5 provides an onboard 32 GB of storage which can be expanded further using a MicroSD card.

The performance of the phone is exceptionally good. The phone did not lag most of the times, however, the interface was a bit sluggish Zenfone 3, otherwise is a good performer. Coolpad Note 5 can handle all day-to-day tasks with almost no lags. The free RAM you get is around 2 GB in most cases. The actual RAM you get is 3.5 GB and 4 GB. The phone can be used for multitasking considering the amount of RAM it has.

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AnTuTu benchmark score we got was 46,285 points, far in terms of competition like Redmi Note 3 and Honor 5C despite having a large 4 GB RAM module. On Geekbench 4, we received a score of 686 points (single-core) and 2133 points (multi-core). Still not bad, but still there are others ahead in the game. The GPU benchmark scored 1874 points.

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The device is though not meant for hardcore gaming. It has an Adreno 405 which is an entry level GPU. You can expect to play games that require moderate resources. I played games like Trials Frontier, Traffic Rider, Shadow Fight 2, Asphalt Nitro, 8 Ball Pool, and Angry Birds. Anything that requires higher requirements may show a little lag while playing. Some graphics hungry games may struggle for its entry level GPU.

Games Tested on Coolpad Note 5:

  • Trials Frontier
  • Angry Birds
  • Asphalt Nitro
  • Shadow Fight 2
  • Traffic Rider
  • 8 ball Pool
coolpad-note-5-review-gaming
Trials Frontier
coolpad-note-5-review-asphalt-nitro
Asphalt Nitro
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8 Ball Pool

No sigh of heating, thanks to its metallic design. The Note 5 remains cool while playing games and when using the camera.

Storage and Connectivity

As for the storage, Coolpad Note 5 offers a 32 GB internal storage with MicroSD card slot for storage expansion. The system takes a whole lot of space (9.86 GB) from 32 GB and lefts around 22 GB of free space for the user.

coolpad-note-5-review-storage

On benchmarking the storage, Note 5 received 180.95 MB/s read and 55.55 MB/s write speed on A1 SD Bench. The sequential read and write speed on AndroBench are 262.82 MB/s and 65.96 MB/s. The random read and write are 17.25 MB/s and 7.98 MB/s.

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Coolpad Note 5 can host USB devices. You can plug a thumb drive or a portable hard disk using a USB OTG cable or connector

Cameras

The camera isn’t the most comprehensive thing like the fingerprint scanner, we found out that the camera performs pretty good. Coolpad Note 5 comes with a 13 MP f/2.2 rear camera with LED flash. The 13 MP sounds too mainstream considering its predecessor also used a 13 MP camera.

What’s surprising here is the front 8 MP camera also boasts LED flash. This wasn’t expected since many smartphones do not offer a front flash, not even flagships. This is where Coolpad can get an advantage here.

coolpad note 5 hands on

Coolpad Note 5 Camera Specifications

  • Camera: 13 MP f/2.2 aperture
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
  • Rear Flash: Single LED Flash
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to focus, HDR, Beauty, Pro mode, Night mode, Panorama, GIF, Watermark, Long Exposure
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p video @30 FPS
  • Front Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2 aperture
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p @30fps
  • Front Flash: Yes, LED Flash

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Coolpad Note 5 Camera Samples

The camera is somewhat average, not much camera features, flaunts a single LED flash, no slow motion video, no OIS support. And at this price, it is justified. I remember ZenFones offer a camera interface stuffed with many-many features.

There are only certain things the camera can perform like HDR shots, Panorama, Night shots, GIF images, and Long Exposure. The camera also has beauty and pro features. Pro mode is the manual camera where you get options to tweak the ISO, White balance, contrast, manual focus, etc.

The daylight photos turn out to be good to an extent. The camera focuses on the objects quicker, yet not the best camera in its class but it does the job. The low light quality is average. Shooting videos in low light creates a lag and captures laggy videos. You can’t capture sow motion and time lapse videos due to the camera limitations. Otherwise, captures decent shots when there are enough incoming lights.

The front camera is similar to Coolpad Mega 2.5D. It captures average shots with ample amount of noise and lack details. It also suffers the low light scenario like the rear camera.

Battery Life

Coolpad Note 5 packs a big 4,010 mAh battery that can lead to a longer battery life. As most smartphones nowadays come with an just an average 3,000 mAh battery, Note 5 can certainly perform better in this regards.

The battery runs above normal and gives you a day and a half battery backup on moderate usage. Depending on the usage, you can even pull out the remaining half making it 2 days battery life on moderate usage. I got 1 day 20 hours runtime on mix usage with 10% juice left.

I also kept the phone on standby turning on the 4G hotspot and to my surprise, it ran almost 9 hours with 41% battery remaining. It’s even better than most wireless routers offer.

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4G + Hotspot Usage
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Mix Usage

Cool Manager has a battery saving trait where you have the options to change how you use the phone. There are three modes – Common, Smart, and Ultra that can be chosen to tweak the battery life. Depending on that, Coolpad gives the best battery runtime. What else I find amazing is the Battery Endurance which shows you how many hours you have left if you do a specific activity or task.

coolpad note 5 battery
Cool Manager

coolpad note 5 battery

Check below how much battery apps and games consume on Coolpad Note 5.

Coolpad Note 5 Battery Test Table

Tasks/Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video3%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Mobile Data)
YouTube (1080p)3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
YouTube (1080p)4%20 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)
Trial Frontier4%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
8 Ball Pool (Offline)2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Mobile Data)
Asphalt Nitro6%20 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)
Music Playback (Offline)2%1 HourAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Mobile Data)
Music Steaming (Online) - SoundCloud3%30 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)
Facebook App3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Instagram App4%20 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)

Pricing and Variants

Coolpad Note 5 is priced at ₹10,999. There are total two variants:

  • Coolpad Note 5 (Royal Gold)
  • Coolpad Note 5 (Space Gray)

Verdict

Coolpad Note 5 is reasonably priced at ₹10,999. This can be your all-rounder budget smartphone if you’re on a tight budget. It’s metallic design and the 2.5D curved glass easily picks up anyone’s attention. Moreover, the 4 GB RAM ensures all multitasking activities run smoother. The amazingly fast and accurate fingerprint scanner, the camera taking decent daylight shots and not forgetting that its CoolUI 8.0 is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow where its competitor lags behind. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is still on Android Lollipop.

Taking all things into consideration, if you want more storage, a front camera with LED flash, and large 4 GB RAM while on a affordable price, consider Coolpad Note 5.

Competitors:

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (16 GB) – ₹9,999
  • LeEco Le 2 (32 GB)- ₹11,999

Strength

  • Solid Build, Metallic body, 2.5D curved design
  • Flagship-grade Fingerprint scanner
  • Good multitasking performance (4 GB RAM)
  • Decent daylight photography
  • Front Camera LED Flash
  • Amazing Battery Life
  • MicroSD card support

Weakness

  • Sluggish UI
  • Can’t play 4K videos properly
  • Weak Low Light Camera performance
  • A little bulky (173.4g)

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