With its wide range of budget offerings, Coolpad has managed a carve itself a very niche clientele in the country. Going by that pattern, the company’s Note 5 Lite handset deals no difference.

Coolpad has always sought to bring out smartphones with high-end features in a price range completely contradictory to those and has chosen to do the same with the Note 5 Lite. But, as always, there is a catch. We have been using the Coolpad Note 5 Lite for the last two weeks and are now ready to share our findings.

Coolpad Note 5 Mini Review India variant (1)

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Specifications

Model Coolpad Note 5 Lite
Display 5-Inch, HD IPS Oncell display
Processor 1.0 GHz MediaTek MT6735CP 64-bit Quad-Core Processor
RAM 3GB
Internal Storage 16GB
Software Android Marshmallow 6.0-based Cool UI 8.0
Primary Camera 13MP, LED Flash
Secondary Camera 8MP Front Camera, LED flash
Dimensions and Weight 145.3 x 72.3 x 8.7mm ; 148 Grams
Battery 2500mAh removable battery
Others 4G LTE, Dual SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3.5mm Audio jack; Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity, Light
Price Rs. 8,199/-

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Design, Build and Display

A shining metal body with a matte finish, rather compact form factor and a 2.5D curved glass on the front make the Note 5 Lite look way more expensive than it actually is (quite rightfully explains my gasps when I unboxed it).

The display, standing at 5-inches tall, gives it a very comfortable feel and is a delight for those who prefer one handed usage.

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The screen resolution (HD, 720p) is good enough considering the display size and the viewing angles are pretty wide too. The phone does struggle under direct sunlight, but other than that, we didn’t have any issue with display brightness and auto-brightness.

Yes, the capacitive buttons could’ve been backlit and the design a bit more creative, but considering the budget we have got no reasons to complain here.

Also Read: Reasons To Buy And To Not Buy The Moto G5 Plus

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Performance and Software

This is where the main issue lies, as far as the Note 5 Lite is concerned. Within just days of unpacking, the processor started giving away (for split seconds, though), but that gives us plenty to think about what is going to happen after the phone gets old.

The MediaTek MT6735 processor, clocking in with a frequency of 1.0GHz clearly isn’t the best in the business as is made evident by the presence of extremely short (time-wise) but regular lags with heavy usage.

The chipset is clearly not meant for high-end gaming or for moderate users, but basic first time users should be fine with the performance grade.

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Review (3)

Coolpad’s native skin, CoolUI, that is on top of the Android does little to help in this case and is a bit too cluttered for our liking. Also, there are umpteen pre-loaded applications that you may very well need not ever use taxing the precious native storage space.

The silver lining is the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, that is quick to unlock and can also be used to trigger various other tasks including taking pictures, sending and receiving calls and opening apps as well.

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Camera 

Let’s just cut to the chase here. The camera on the Note 5 Lite is not the ‘extremely powerful’ and ‘brilliant’ kinds and can be considered to be mediocre at best. Which lies within the realms of expected considering the asking price.

Coolpad Note 5 Mini Review India variant (4)

Within confined spaces or when indoors, it works reasonably well and manages to get some decent photographs. The HDR mode fine tunes the images to a considerable level (and not beyond that, I’m afraid).

When taken outdoors, in bright daylight, the camera shows some metering issues and mediocre dynamic range. The performance, understandably, deteriorates with low lighting. The images so obtained are grainy and have a lot of noise. Check out the camera samples below.

Also Read: Moto G5 First Impression – Why are we not convinced?

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Camera Samples

The 8MP front camera is decent enough (both with and without flash) and comes with a beauty mode that promises to make you look good (depends on your face, this one). The modes made available in the camera app are: Pro mode, Night mode, Beauty mode, Photo mode and the Video mode (720p and 480p).

It’s uncanny that our review of the camera mirrors our overall view of the phone, that is, good in patches.

Coolpad Note 5 Lite Battery, Connectivity, and Others

The phone comes with a 2,500mAh power unit keeps the phone ticking from morning till late in the evening, but will definitely require replenishment after that (you may be able to stretch it a bit more if you are a light user).

Pitted against the gigantic 4,100mAh battery of the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime, it pales out by a margin. The call connectivity was to the T and the Reliance Jio SIM worked perfectly alright. The audio output was okayish and left room for improvement, both with the speaker as well as the earphones.

Verdict

On the outside, the phone looks inch perfect (more so in black), and ticks most of the boxes except for a select few that may derail what all Coolpad has provided for, in the phone.

If you are a basic user, you can definitely have a look at this one as this is easily one of the better smartphones in the budget range right now. But if you are an avid multitasker with a busy schedule, we suggest you prefer something else over this one. Something more powerful.

Pros:

  • Looks good
  • LED Flash for front camera
  • fast fingerprint sensor

Cons:

  • Slow Processor
  • Hybrid SIM slot

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