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Coolpad Note 3S first impressions: decent but still faces an uphill battle considering its powerful rivals

|December 1, 2016 |Android Phones, First impressions, Coolpad

"The Coolpad Note 3S is the company's latest contender in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment"

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Alongside the Coolpad Mega 3 (first impressions) which boasts three SIM slots, the company launched another contender in the sub- Rs 10,000 segment, dubbed the Coolpad Note 3S. Apart from the unusually glossy finish on its back, the Note 3S sports some rather mainstream specs, which may or may not work in its favour in a market crowded with similarly-priced and similarly-specced devices. We got a chance to play with the smartphone for a while at the time of its launch and here's what we think.

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The device sports titanium alloy frame, but the back is still plastic. The glossy finish on the back has been provided to complement the 2.5D curved glass on the front and in our opinion, it works in the favour of the smartphone. Since the back features what looks like a layer of acrylic resin, the phone does not feel slippery at all, despite the smooth finish. One-handed use of the Note 3S looks iffy, but the curved edges do help in the easy handling of the phone.

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You will find all the ports and buttons in their usual places.

The display is HD and spans 5.5-inches. The screen looked surprisingly sharp and the black levels were really impressive. However, the display is highly reflective and you could have issues with sunlight legibility, despite ample screen brightness.

The Note 3S is powered by a Snapdragon 415 chip along with 3GB of RAM. A few devices in the competition sport better chipsets, but that said, we didn't encounter any lag navigating and switching between screens during our short usage session.

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Out of the 32 gigs of built-in memory, the smartphone offers 22.5GB for personal use, which is a little less than we’d expected. The Coolpad Note 3 runs Android Marshmallow and the UI remains almost stock.

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Much to our delight, the company hasn't loaded the phone with CoolUI. You will find a few preloaded apps like Amazon Shopping, Cool Service, Cool Store, and Xploree Keyboard preloaded though.

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With a standard 13MP plus 5MP camera configuration, the Coolpad Note 3S does not offer much to talk about in terms of shooting prowess. The default camera app offers almost all standard shooting modes and features while keeping the UI minimal. In a quick camera test, we were impressed by the details and the colour reproduction of the primary snapper, but our final comments are reserved until after we've properly reviewed the device.

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The Note 3S is backed by a 2,500mAh battery, which sounds a little disappointing to us, mostly because the competition offers so much more. However, using the power saving mode when needed, you might be able to draw out at least a day’s usage from the phone.

The Coolpad Note 3S, at Rs 9,999, stands right against the likes of the newly launched Lenovo K6 Power (first impressions), and the 2GB RAM variant of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (review), both of which are rather high-interest devices. Whether or not does the Coolpad Note 3S manage to find a spot in the market and proves to be a good daily driver, we’ll tell you in our full review, so make sure you keep watching this space.



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