Chinese manufacturers have undeniably changed the whole price performance equation on its head. Budget phones with top-notch specs are the norm of the day, and the Coolpad Note 5 is another smartphone trying to cash in on this rage. Priced at Rs. 10,999, the phone seems to have it all to give the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and the LeEco Le2 some solid competition. But does it deliver where it matters, we try to find out in our review.

Box Contents:

  • Coolpad Note 5
  • standard USB cable
  • Wall charger
  • SIM Ejector pin
  • in-ear earphones
  • Screen protector
  • User manual

Build and Design

Despite the price tag, the Coolpad Note 5 looks nothing like a budget phone. Thanks to the metal body and smoothly curved edges, the Coolpad Note 5 oozes a premium look and feel from every angle. The 2.5D glass on the front blends seamlessly into the frame, while the curved back makes it rather easy for one-handed usage. The fingerprint scanner on the back is ergonomically placed and easily accessible, and the phone fits rather comfortably in the palm. Though at 173.4g, it does feel a bit bulky, but still manageable with its nicely curved back and smooth edges.

Coolpad Note 5 oozes a premium look and feel from every angle.

Display

The Coolpad Note 5 packs a 5.5-inch Full HD display with a pixel density of 401ppi. Needless to say, it’s quite impressive to see a budget phone rock a 1080p screen. As far as performance goes, it’s bright, sharp, and offers excellent viewing angles. Colours appear vibrant and eye-popping while text looks crisp.

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Besides, the screen is bright enough and has no issues in bright sunlight whatsoever. It’s ideal for watching videos and playing games. That said, it doesn’t give you the option to tweak colour settings which would’ve been a great addition while reading or during prolonged gaming sessions to reduce eye strain.

Hardware and Performance

Under the hood, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor bundled with Adreno 405 GPU and a hefty 4GB of RAM. The CoolPad Note 5 has enough power to handle anything. The phone belts out snappy responses, be it app load times, switching among multiple apps, or during multi-tasking. Also, there were no signs of heating even when the device is stressed while running high-end games such as Asphalt 8. Games run beautifully without any lags, and I didn’t come across any frame drops or stutters during gameplay or in-game shifting of menus.

In our synthetic benchmark tests, the Coolpad Note 5 scored 46667 in Antutu. While in Geekbench 4, the device pulled-off single and multi-core scores of 692 and 2173.

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Even the phone’s 4010 mAh battery is quite a workhorse and has no issues making through an entire day of usage for a heavy user. For regular users, it can even last for around two days without having the need to charge. That said, it lacks support for fast charging – it takes just shy of 3 hours to reach full capacity with the microUSB port.

The fingerprint scanner at the back is also super-fast and unlocks the device in less than half a second. On the connectivity front, the phone comes with 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. While as far as storage goes, the Coolpad Note 5 gets 32GB of built-in storage, which is further expandable up to 64 GB via the hybrid SIM slot. However, there’s no dedicated microSD slot neither, the option to use USB OTG.      

Software

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The Coolpad Note 5 runs Cool UI wrapped over Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. It’s the usual iOS-inspired interface we usually find with Chinese smartphones. For instance, there’s no app drawer, the quick settings menu shows up by swiping upwards while swiping down brings the notifications panel. Everything seems well-optimised, as apps open snappily and transitions feel smooth. That said, unnecessary changes to the already excellent stock Android interface appear rather needless.

Coolpad Note 5 in one heck of a phone for the price.

Camera

The phone’s 13MP rear camera is nothing to brag about, but it still manages to capture satisfactory images. Focus is quick, and the overall image quality is decent. Low-performance is just about on par for the segment as noise is easily detectable, though the level of detailing in macro-shots is pretty impressive. There’s a Pro mode as well, along with many live filters and other shooting modes. Even the 8MP front-facing shooter does a decent job at capturing selfies. The beauty-mode certainly helps in removing marks and blemishes on the face, and you get plenty of Facebook or Instagram-worthy selfies.

Pros:

  • Looks premium
  • Solid overall performance
  • Gorgeous Full HD screen
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Slightly bulky
  • CoolUI kills the stock Android experience

Wrap-Up

For the price, the Coolpad Note 5 is quite a cracker of a deal with its all-metal design and stonking performance. The phone doesn’t feel cheap at all and runs high-end games beautifully. The 5.5-inch Full HD display looks gorgeous whether you’re gaming or watching videos. Besides, the Coolpad Note 5 also does well in the camera and the battery department. The only thing I wasn’t stoked about was the CoolUI. If you can get past that — the Coolpad Note 5 is one heck of a phone for the price. 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build and Design
7.5
Display
8
Performance
8.5
Camera
6.5
Software
6.5
Battery
8
Value for money
8

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