“The new Coolpad Note 3 Plus is essentially a Coolpad Note 3 with a full HD display”
Most of you are going to watch the Captain America: Civil War, despite the fact that the The Winter Soldier was sort of a disappointing sequel to the really awesome Captain America: The First Avenger. For that matter, even the Avengers: Age of Ultron was not as majestic of a sequel as the first movie. But what made you go gaga? The word 'Avengers' and 'Captain America' in the title. That’s just how it works. Setting the first foot right is crucial. And Coolpad did that with its Note 3 smartphone, which had its flaws, but was a successful smartphone in the segment. The Coolpad Note 3 sold 80,000 units in its first three flash sales… being the most affordable phone to offer both 3GB of RAM and a fingerprint sensor. As the moniker was familiar among consumers, Coolpad decided to launch a toned down version of the Note 3 and called it Note 3 Lite (first impressions). The Note 3 Lite took its predecessor’s place and is currently the most affordable smartphone to offer both the aforementioned features. Now, the company got our attention when it asked us to come and experience the Plus edition of the Coolpad Note 3. It’s got the same name after all. While we expected something a little more drastic, what we got was a device which is essentially a Note 3 with a full HD display. We got our hands on the Coolpad Note 3 Plus, and here’s what we think.
The smartphone features the same old design and that is a disappointment. It feels bulky in our hands, and its thick. Club that with a 5.5-inch display and you get a phone that’s just not meant for one hand usage. It feels slightly slippery in the hands as well. The design language of the smartphone is boring, with only a thin trim in a champagne gold finish saving the day. The back panel is matte, and that should keep smudges at bay. However, the white variant is likely to get dirty. That reminds us, the other difference between the Coolpad Note 3 and Coolpad Note 3 Plus is a gold variant you get for the latter. The gold variant should look better than the plain-Jane white one.
The back panel sports a primary camera module, followed by a fingerprint reader, and it can be removed to unveil two micro-SIM slots, and a microSD card slot. The latter remains non-removable.
The rest of the port placement is standard, and exactly similar to the Coolpad Note 3.
In terms of software, the phone runs CoolUI on top of Android Lollipop v5.1. There’s no app drawer, as is the case with almost every Chinese smartphone. You get a bunch of third party apps, as well as a native themes app called CoolShow.
The phone supports screen-off gestures and the fingerprint reader on the Note 3 Plus can store up to five fingerprints, just like the Coolpad Note 3. Since its practically the same phone, barring the display, you can read more about the software in our review of the Coolpad Note 3, in detail.
Talking about the fingerprint sensor… the one on the Coolpad Note 3 was snappy and efficient. You can perform the same set of functions with the biometric sensor on the Note 3 Plus as well, including clicking a picture, opening an app, and making a call among others. While it should be just as fast a fingerprint reader as on the smartphone’s older sibling, we’ll let you know more about it in our review.
The Coolpad Note 3 Plus is powered by a MediaTek MT6753 chip, which is an octa-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. The processor is aided by 3GB of RAM. In terms of storage you get 16GB of built-in memory, out of which about 10.3GB is available for your use. You can top up the storage by 64GB using a microSD card.
In the shooting department, the Coolpad Note 3 Plus sports a 13MP primary camera assisted by an LED flash. On the front, it gets a 5MP shooter for selfies. You can refer to the review of the phone’s elder sibling to have an in-depth look at the camera UI.
In a nutshell though, the UI is clean and standard with a bunch of shooting modes, real time effects, and an option to shoot in the Pro mode, to let you control the ISO, exposure, white balance, etc.
The Coolpad Note 3 Plus comes backed by a 3,000mAh battery. The same battery delivered some pretty amazing results on the Coolpad Note 3, however, the Note 3 Plus sports a higher screen resolution, which will affect the battery backup of the phone. While it still sounds enough to make the phone last through a day, we’ll be reviewing the phone to give you an idea of the battery performance.
The Coolpad Note 3 Plus has been priced at Rs 8,999, which is what the CoolPad Note 3 was launched at. Interestingly, the average display was one of the qualms we had with the latter, and the company seems to have fixed it for most part. At the price point, the Coolpad Note 3 Plus competes directly with the likes of 2GB of RAM version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (review), and the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus (review). Both of these phones ship with just 2GB of RAM. However, the Redmi Note 3 gets additional perks like a metal body and powerful Snapdragon 650 SoC. If we talk in terms of just specifications though, the Coolpad Note 3 Plus is still an unbeatable option at its price. We’ll review the smartphone soon to see if the company has optimised the camera software (psst… camera performance was the other issue we had with the Note 3), and if the increased number of pixels on the screen make it the perfect budget all-rounder.
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