Coolpad Cool 1 Dual Review - Other than an average camera, a wonderful smartphone for its price






Coolpad Cool 1 Dual Review - Other than an average camera, a wonderful smartphone for its price




























The year of dual camera phones has embarked upon us. And it won't be long before smartphones with single rear camera become a part of history. And keeping with the tradition, Coolpad launched its flagship dual camera smartphone called Cool 1 last month. The phone has been developed in close partnership with LeEco and the effects are immediately visible both in the external as well as the internal parts of the phone. The device boasts of some pretty good features at a throwaway price of Rs. 13999. The phone has some fierce competition though in the likes of the very recently launched Honor 6X, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and a few more. Today we are going to review the Cool 1 and see if it has the guts and glory to strike the right chords with the consumers.

You can buy Coolpad Cool 1 in Gold color from Amazon here.

Design

Coolpad Cool 1 has a minimalistic design and it sure looks and feels good in the hands. The metallic body adds to the premium appearance. Nowhere does the design go overboard and the brand has not tried anything flashy with the phone's looks. The front of the phone makes the user feel there is no bezel on the sides but on looking closer at the display, you'll see a thick black border. There are the regular sensors, loudspeaker and an LED light at the top while the bottom chin sports touch capacitive buttons which are thankfully backlit. The edges are chamfered and the back tapers slightly towards the edges making the device feel slightly thinner than it actually is. The back houses the dual camera lenses, the dual tone LED flash and a fingerprint sensor other than the Coolpad logo. The phone still has the 3.5 mm audio jack. The metallic power button as well as the volume rocker provide decent throw. There is a USB-C type port but strangely, a microSD card slot is missing and you would have to be satisfied with the 32 GB memory the device comes inbuilt with. The dual SIM device has nice build quality and we feel the minimalism of the design makes the phone likeable.

Coolpad Cool 1 Dual Review - Other than an average camera, a wonderful smartphone for its price




























Specifications

The USP of Cool 1 are its dual rear cameras both of which sport a resolution of 13 Megapixels each. The camera further provides a bokeh pro mode. The resolution of the front camera is 8 Megapixels. The device boasts of a 5.5 inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and its protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The phone, which is available in two colors of Silver and Gold is powered by an 1.8 GHz Octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor alongside 4 GB RAM for the online model. Another variant with 3 GB RAM would sell offline. The GPU powering the smartphone is Adreno 510. The biggest pain point lies in the lack of a microSD card, thereby allowing only the inbuilt memory of 32 GB available for usage. The battery capacity stands at 4000 mAh which comes along with fast charging support. Connectivity options include 4G, VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, FM Radio, 3.5 mm Audio Jack and USB Type-C port. A mirror fingerprint sensor that can unlock the device in 0.5 seconds is also present at the back of the phone. 

Coolpad Cool 1 Dual Review - Other than an average camera, a wonderful smartphone for its price




























Display

Cool 1 has a 5.5 inch IPS display running at Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display is fairly bright but is a bit reflective forcing us to keep swerving and tilting the device so that it does not show us our faces. Color reproduction is on the cooler side but it does not hurt the eyes on prolonged usage. The adaptive brightness setting does not jump up or down too quickly thereby giving the eyes appropriate time to adjust to the display. The display is fairly usable under direct sunlight too.

Operating system

Coolpad Cool 1 employs LeEco's EUI which for sure has a learning curve. For starters, you don't get the settings toggles if you swipe down from the top, rather you need to use the left touch capacitive button to find the toggles as well as the ability to close recent apps or move across them. There is no app drawer either with all the apps arranged under scrollable home screens. The control centre appearing on touching the left touch capacitive button is customisable under settings. You can also configure notifications as well as the appearance of the operating system through the settings. However, we do feel a lack of gestures on the device. The smartphone comes preloaded with very little bloatware thankfully since heavy bloatware could have been detrimental for a device where you don't find a microSD card and need to stick to the inbuilt 32 GB memory.

Camera

The camera app is a simple one but offers a wide variety of options and settings to configure. Other than the normal settings you find on most phones, Cool 1 also uses the dual rear camera lenses to capture bokeh images and the same finds an independent place in the camera app. Here are a few pictures we clicked with the rear camera.

Coolpad Cool 1 Dual Review - Other than an average camera, a wonderful smartphone for its price




























Coolpad Cool 1 Dual Review - Other than an average camera, a wonderful smartphone for its price





























Coolpad Cool 1 Dual Review - Other than an average camera, a wonderful smartphone for its price





































Coolpad Cool 1 Dual Review - Other than an average camera, a wonderful smartphone for its price




























Cool 1 employs two 13 Megapixel camera sensors in the back, one of which captures color data while the other captures monochrome data. Though Coolpad would like to market the phone for its cameras, the color reproduction suffers a bit. Landscapes and portraits look a bit bland and washed away. The images also lack the sharpness that a high end camera should deliver. The bokeh mode can be handy but works awkwardly at times. Low light images also tend to suffer from noise and graininess. In terms of video, the addition of 4K recording is a major highlight for the phone. Focusing is fast but the rear as well as the front cameras are all usable at best and do not provide the kind of quality a professional would look out for.

Performance

Cool 1 is a fast performer and shows no lag whatsoever while using the phone generally. Multitasking, specially opening and closing apps as well as switching between them is very speedy. The phone does not heat up much either during any kind of usage. There are no frame rate drops during gameplay. Call quality is loud and clear but the loudspeaker quality is not up to the mark with the loudspeaker sounding very muffled on low and medium frequencies. The fingerprint sensor works wonderfully well though and can also be used to capture a selfie.

Battery

The 4000 mAh battery ran for about 1.5 days of moderate to heavy usage and can be stretched up to 2 days with a little miserly usage. This is impressive battery life for a smartphone that does not cost a bomb. Anything that lasts for more than a day is very impressive. The fast charging on Cool 1 also works well and the phone does charge very quickly with the stock charger too.

Rating

4 stars

Pros

- Minimalistic design
- Throwaway price
- Great battery life
- Fast charging
- Sharp display
- Minimum bloatware
- Fast performance
- Superquick fingerprint sensor

Cons

- No microSD card slot
- As a design choice, settings toggles don't appear on swiping down from the top
- Learning curve for the operating system
- Low quality loudspeaker with muffled low and medium frequencies
- Camera quality could have been better

Verdict

Cool 1 Dual is a wonderful smartphone for its price. It almost ticks all the boxes right. It has great battery life, a bright display, fast performance and a super quick fingerprint sensor. The only problems with the device are its lack of microSD card as well as a loudspeaker of pedestrian quality. The image quality from the cameras is slightly questionable as well. As for the competition, the smartphone will rival Honor 6X head on. The Honor phone has just been out and it would be a while before its reviews are comprehensively posted. But for our money, Cool 1 Dual is a great phone too and the brand should be able to sell a lot of this model as well.

You can buy Coolpad Cool 1 in Gold color from Amazon here.


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