Coolpad Cool 5 Review: not worth its price

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Rating: 6/10

Yay

  • Sturdy Design
  • Decent Display 
  • Ample Battery Life

Nay

  • Sluggish Software
  • Poor Performance
  • Bad Cameras

Introduction

Coolpad has come up with a new sub Rs 10,000 smartphone with is supposed to be their flagship device. By Flagship, it is meant to be the representative of its entire range in the country. Once upon a time, Coolpad had a gaming device in Sub Rs 20,000 price segment, well, not anymore. I have been using Coolpad Cool 5 for more than a week and it’s easy to summarise this device, which is what you can read it in the title of the story. Now let’s dive into the details if you care to read. 

Coolpad Cool 5 – Design & Display

The Coolpad Cool 5 comes equipped with a 6.22-inch display, which company calls it a dewdrop display. Due to its v-shaped notch design, it has probably got that name. The screen resolution is at 1520 x 720, its HD+ resolution if you have been wondering. But unfortunately, it’s a bezel-less display you have been seeing advertised on Amazon India and the company’s website. There are many thick bezels, not just on the top and bottom, but on the side as well. 

Speaking of the Widevine L1 certification, it doesn’t have one. So, you can forget viewing HD content on Netflix, Prime Video, or any other OTT player on the Cool 5. Keeping aside the design and support for HD playback, it is fairly decent display if you’re not someone who views a lot of content online. It’s a bright display, so you don’t struggle under sunlight. It has good viewing angles, but I didn’t enjoy playing movies on it. 

Moving to the design of the phone, it comes with a sturdy body. It’s durable, it’s solid. I don’t have any complaints regarding the quality of the body. But I believe Coolpad could have done a better job with the volume rocker and power button. Plus, there should have been a distinguishable finish on the buttons. 

Talking more about the design, the rear of the device is surprisingly smudge-free. Where most brands struggle to offer such design, Coolpad has achieved it on its sub Rs 10,000 smartphone. The fingerprint sensor placed on the center top is said to sport anti-oil design. It essentially means you can unlock the device under any condition. That’s all for the design and display.  

Coolpad Cool 5 – Hardware & Software

You will expect lag-free performance from an Octa-core processor, but not from the Helio P22. This MediaTek processor fails to offer a lag-free experience. Or it’s probably the sluggish software that compels the hardware to not give you best-in-class performance. Yes, I feel strongly against the user interface as well as hardware performance. After using so many sub Rs 10,000 handsets in the market. I believe this could be the worst of them all. Not an experience you’d like for your daily driver handset. For someone who has limited usage, its fine, but it’s a dealbreaker for people who like to multitask on their smartphones. 

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Coolpad could have done a better job as far as the optimization is concerned. I’m not happy with the performance of the device. While it sports a good amount of RAM and storage configuration, i.e 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Speaking about the software experience, it is powered by an Android 9.0 Pie-based custom interface. The skin feels slow, incomplete and unnecessary at times. While using this device, I did receive an update, but my concerned shifted when I learned that this device is still on the July security patch. For a device launched in October, running a July security patch tells you a lot about security concerns. 

Coolpad Cool 5 – Cameras

The most important feature of them all, the cameras on your smartphone. When a brand doesn’t get this right in the era when there are quadruple rear camera setup handsets, I don’t get why such brands even exist. With Coolpad offering, a dual rear camera setup having a configuration of 13MP + 2MP was beyond my understanding. The primary 13MP camera is said to be equipped with AF technology, while the aperture information is missing. 

Speaking of the software experience, the camera app is one of the worst I have had tested in recent times. The viewfinder will give you headaches as most of the times it struggles to showcase properly what you’re seeing through it. This means you won’t have an incredible camera experience on the Cool 5. 

Coming to the real talk, I have shot multiple images from this phone in different scenarios. While I’m what you’d call an Instagrammer, I like to Instagram everything and I didn’t like a single photo worthy of putting out there on my social profile taken from this phone. That sums up the rear camera performance. To talk it briefly, the photos were really washed out, they came out blurry most of the time. It’s not a snappy camera setup. 

Same goes for the selfies, I’d rather forget that it has a selfie camera of 16MP resolution than click pictures on it. It’s that bad. There’s no proper software optimization done in the camera. The selfies come out as if you have shot on a 2MP camera, washed-out details, too much sharpness, and poor colour accuracy. So, better forget you have a selfie camera when you’re using this phone. I know I did after using it a couple of times during the first few days while reviewing it. 

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I would sum up the camera experience by saying that it did give me good shots when I gave my efforts. It isn’t completely bad camera experience, but the point is that the phones have become good these days even in this category, as far as the camera department is concerned. Let’s hope, Coolpad is hearing the feedback. 

Coolpad Cool 5 – Battery 

The only thing that’s wonderful about this phone is its battery life. A 4000mAh capacity makes sure you have juice on the device to get you through not one but two days on medium usage, while the heavy usage still gets you through a complete 24 hours. There are various battery power-saving modes that you can opt-in case of low battery life. And they work really well. 

Verdict: Should you buy it or not? 

Even though sporting fairly entry-level pricing at Rs 7,499, the Coolpad Cool 5 doesn’t stand a chance against its competition. With all the Redmi’s and Realme’s available in the market, offline and online, both, you’d not want to take a look at this device again. Because it’s not worth the price tag it is being offered at. I’d suggest you stir clear of this one. 

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Vishal Toshiwal
vishal.toshiwal@u2opiamobile.com

Vishal is a storyteller with multi-faceted talent. Born and brought up in Noida, he has spent four years of his life living in the City of Nizams, Hyderabad. He claims to be not a less of a Hyderabadi than any of his friends in the city. In conversation with him, if you brought up Hyderabad, he won't stop talking about his time in the city. He has an uncanny love for the city and its language. In fact, you'd find him listening to Telugu songs more than Hindi, or English. Say whatever, but this dude has a natural talent for photography. When he is not writing for Mr. Phone you'd see him Instagramming. And oh, we forgot to mention his second love TV Shows.