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Coolpad Cool 3 Plus review: Average battery life, camera suffers shutter lag in low light

Due to the small screen, the overall dimensions of the phone are also compact.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 05, 2019, 04.18 PM IST
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​Cool 3​ Plus is the first smartphone from Coolpad to come with a notch style display. ​
Cool 3 Plus is the first smartphone from Coolpad to come with a notch style display.
Coolpad Cool 3 Plus
Price: Rs 5,999 (2/16GB), Rs 6,499 (3/32GB)
Rating: ***

Specifications: 5.71-inch dewdrop notch screen, 1520 x 720 pixels, quad-core Helio A22 processor, 2/3GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, 13PMP rear camera, 8MP front camera, Hybrid dual SIM slot, expandable storage, rear fingerprint scanner, 3,000mAh battery, Android 9.0

Coolpad is one of those smartphone brands that lurk around in the back in the Indian market. After every few months, we see an announcement from the brand and then they go silent for the next few months. The latest launch from Coolpad is the Cool 3 Plus - an entry-level smartphone for budget-conscious consumers.

In a world, where more and more brands are trying to offer large screens (6-inch+) on a budget, the Cool 3 Plus, comes with a 5.71-inch size display. Due to the small screen, the overall dimensions of the phone are also compact. Considering the limited number of choices available in a small size phone, the Cool 3 Plus has an advantage here. Build quality is also above average - while it has plastic construction, the unibody design with gradient finish on the rear makes the phone look good. What we didn't like is the glossy finish - it picks up fingerprints and smudges immediately. You get a fingerprint scanner on the rear which is placed ergonomically and works great.

This is the first smartphone from Coolpad to come with a notch style display. You get a dewdrop style notch with thick bezels around the screen - considering the price, we can overlook the bezels. However, the screen quality is a letdown - the brightness level is sub-par and the screen suffers from washed-out colours as well. Thankfully the viewing angles are good and the HD resolution keeps things sharp on-screen.
Coolpad Cool 3 Plus

Performance is another area where the phone struggled. Our review unit was powered by the quad-core Helio A22 processor with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. However, we saw the phone suffer from random sluggishness and slowdowns in day to day use. We were able to play PUBG Mobile Lite on the phone but even that suffered from frame drops here and there. Battery life is also average - with mix usage, we had to reach for the charger by 4 pm. This means you would have to charge the phone twice a day at least if you are a heavy user.

On the rear is a 13MP camera that captured photos good enough to view on the phone only. Even in daylight, we noticed a lack of details in the photos when viewed in full resolution. In low light, the camera managed to take well-lit photos, but they suffered from visible noise. Trouble is that the phone suffers from shutter lag in low light. It also has a dedicated bokeh mode which proved to be a hit or miss - at times it managed to take photos with decent edge detection and good bokeh effect while other times the edge detection, as well as bokeh effect, was completely off the subject. Its front 8MP camera also delivers similar results - daylight photos are good to view on phone but suffer from lack of details and visible noise. The portrait mode for the front camera also suffers from a horrible shutter lag but surprisingly the edge detection is better than the rear camera.

On the software front you get a custom interface based on Android 9.0 which comes preloaded with various bloatware apps that cannot be uninstalled. You do get some handy features including battery saving modes, one-touch cooling, game boost, health guard and app cloner. Face unlock works well but it's not as fast as what we have seen on competing devices. We also didn't like that there is no dedicated microSD slot - you can either have dual SIM or one SIM and microSD card for storage.

The Coolpad Cool 3 Plus tries to be a value for money offering with its aggressive pricing. However, the competition has caught up in terms of pricing and you have a better option available in the same price segment. The Realme C2 in the same price gives a better Helio P22 processor, larger screen and larger battery with dual cameras. If you want a compact phone, you also have the option of the Redmi 7A with Snapdragon 439, larger 4000mAh battery, better rear camera and a 5.45-inch display.


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