Coolpad kickstarted its new year with the launch of Cool 1 dual in the budget category of smartphone under Rs. 15,000. The Coolpad team is on the upbeat with its dual camera innovation and is touting Cool 1 Dual (review) as a revolutionary product in its class. However, it’s not the lone warrior in the same price range with a dual snapper. It faces a fierce challenger in Huawei Honor 6X which also packs two rear cameras and will retail (most probably) for under 15,000 INR on Amazon.in. We have been sizing both against each other under a variety of lighting conditions to find out which one wins.
Camera Specifications and Default App
The Coolpad Cool 1 Dual primarily comes with a dual 13-megapixel sensor with dual-tone LED flash and f/2.2 aperture optics. The camera lacks laser autofocus but its is compensated by phased autofocus (PDAF). The rear camera can shoot up to 2160p at 30 frames per second. On the front, you will find an 8-megapixel front facing the camera to capture selfies. It can also record full HD videos.
The Honor 6X, on the other hand, sports a combination of a 12-megapixel and 2-megapixel sensor. The primary sensor is 1/2.9-inch in size. It too lacks laser autofocus but has PDAF and LED Flash. If you are a fan of videography, then Honor 6X can shoot up to 1080p videos at 30fps and 720p slo-mos at 120fps. The 8-megapixel front camera manages to capture selfies and videos up to full HD resolution.
The default camera app on both phones has a striking similarity. The interfaces are simple and well laid out as both apps come with a chunky virtual shutter button and a large viewfinder area. On the Honor 6X, shutter button is flanked between gallery shortcut and video recording mode. Whereas on the Coolpad Cool 1 Dual on the right of the shutter button is stock Gallery app while on the left there is a button to switch camera. Both of these apps comes loaded with various shooting modes including an SLR mode (controls for which are exactly same on both) which creates a bokeh effect in the images. Manual Mode is also available on both devices with granular controls. Overall, both phone apps are convenient and handy.
The dual camera implementation is different on both phones. The Cool 1 combines a color sensor and a B&W or monochrome sensor. Theoretically, this helps in gathering more light thus improving low light performance. This also helps Cool 1 click true monochrome images, something you can’t do on Honor 6X. The Honor 6X, on the other hand, relies only on one sensor for imaging. The other 2MP shooter is for sensing the depth of objects in the image frame, and then to refocus or blur background or foreground.
Colors and Dynamic Range
In our extensive camera test, we first hit the street to compare dynamic range of these two phone and how they perform in tricky lighting. On a simple glance, you will notice that color tones in the image capture using Cool 1 Dual are slightly warmer than the Huawei Honor 6X. On the sign board, you will notice the colors are more punchy in the image on the left. Looking at the sky in both images, it appears Honor 6X manages highlights better than Cool 1 Dual. On the other hand, details of the object in shadows are murky in the image on the left while the image on the right manages to pick up more details of the same object in shadows.
In these two shots capture on a sunny winter morning once again affirms our above-mentioned statement that the image coming straight out of the Cool 1 Dual camera appears more pleasing to the eye in comparison to Honor 6X. Having said that, the Honor 6X dual camera doesn’t lie far behind. Both images are pretty good.
When it comes to HDR photography, the Honor 6X camera almost knocks out Cool 1 Dual with a straight punch.
The latter blows up shadows and makes a mess of the image. The edges of the foliage and its colors have gone for a toss.
On the other hand, the Honor 6X camera manages to prove that it’s better equipped to handle HDR photography. Not only does it clicks HDR images faster than its competitor, it also does justice with the scene. The colors look close to what our eyes witnessed and the details and highlights are also more prominent in the snaps taken using the Honor 6X.
Depth of Feild
This is a closely fought bout. Both of them come loaded with an SLR mode to make the most of the highlighted dual-camera hardware.
Both phones with their dedicated SLR mode let users play with the (false) aperture in a range between f/0.95 to f/16 to create a shallow depth-of-field effect in the images. That’s not all, both of them also allow users to adjust focus point and intensity of bokeh effect.
As the above images show, the Coolpad’s dual 13MP (RGB+Monochrome) sensors manages to capture more details which are evident from the flask edges, flower petals edges and other objects in the image.
The background blur effect looks equally good from a distance. However, when we observed closely, the edges were more clearly defined by the Cool 1 Dual camera.
The Honor 6X SLR mode, however, works a tad faster in comparison.
Sharpness & Details
The images produced by the Cool 1 Dual has a tad more details than the Honor 6X. As it can be witnessed from the above images, the holy Basil leaves appear more prominent in the image captured from Cool 1. The edges of the build in the background are more pronounced in the images clicked with Cool 1. Though results of Honor 6X can’t be termed as mediocre. On its own right, the Honor 6X camera doesn’t lag far behind.
One again, both cameras manage to impress us with their low light performance. There is an ample amount of details in both images. Having said that, the Honor 6X manage to capture much more light whereas the object appears crisper in the Cool 1 Dual image. Clearly, Honor 6X bumps up the exposure and consequently, the objects in the background are more visible. On the other hand, Cool 1 Dual highlights the main subject, the flame. Once again, we like the Cool 1’s approach better.
Neither of the two cameras is consistent with selfies. Sometimes we loved the Honor 6X selfies better and sometimes we sided with the Cool 1 dual. Either way, neither of the two is outright impressive when it comes to selfies. The Honor 6X Selfie camera additionally benefits from Selfie Flash (display lights up to act as fill flash, and it works).
Due to the presence of Monochrome sensor, you can shoot excellent Monochrome shots on Cool 1. On Honor 6X, you will have to use external filters to accomplish the same.
Both phones also offer robust pro modes, but the one on Honor 6X by far works better. The Honor 6X has a slight edge when it comes to video recording as well, even though it can’t shoot 4K Videos like the Cool 1 dual.
Both the Honor 6X and Cool 1 Dual cameras are winners individually and it becomes really tough to compare two well-balanced competitors. It is as if you are forced to compare Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi where if you decide to pick one over other you are disrespecting others talent and skill.
On their individual displays, contrary to the reality, the images captured by Honor 6X appear to have more punch and colors in comparison to CoolPad Cool 1 Dual. It’s only when you examine them on a bigger screen that you will be able to notice the slight difference in quality and colors. Having said that, it is extremely difficult for a novice to pick up these differences.
Though it is hard to pick in between the two I will stick my neck out and say that Coolpad Cool 1 Dual camera is better than the Honor 6X.