Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad has placed all its bets on the mid-range segment in India, which is one of the fastest growing segments. The company has a slew of devices that start for as low as Rs 6,999. The next big step for the company is expanding its presence offline, with exclusive stores expected pretty soon.
Following the dual camera trend, Coolpad recently launched its Cool Play 6 smartphone which packs a combination of dual 13MP lens at the back. The company is pitching the device for heavy gaming thanks to 6GB RAM and a 4,000 mAh battery. Coolpad Cool Play 6 is priced aggressively at Rs 14,999 and it competes with the likes of Lenovo K8 Note, Honor 6X, Lenovo Phab 2 Plus, and its own Cool 1.
We spent some time with Coolpad Cool Play 6 and here’s our review:
Coolpad Cool Play 6 Specifications: 5.5-inch HD display | Octa-core Snapdragon 653 processor | 6GB RAM | 64GB storage | 13MP + 13MP rear camera | 8MP front | Li-Ion 4,000 mAh battery | Android Nougat
Coolpad Cool Play 6 Price: Rs 14,999
Coolpad Cool Play 6 Design and Display
One look at the Cool Play 6 and you’ll be reminded of Coolpad’s Cool 1 smartphone, which also features dual rear camera setup. Coolpad Cool Play has a sturdy built and a premium finish, which looks pretty stylish. There are prominent antenna bands on top and bottom of the back cover.
There’s a vertical dual rear camera setup with dual LED flash with a circular fingerprint button placed right below the camera unit. Fingerprint sensor gets a mirror finish, which adds to the Cool Play 6’s style quotient.
Coolpad Cool Play 6 is comfortable to hold thanks to curved sides at the back and rounded corners. Fingerprint sensor is within easy reach, which makes the phones easy to use. Power button along with volume rocker keys are on the right edge. Cool Play 6 uses a USB Type-C port for charging and a 3.5 mm headset jack has been placed on top.
Coolpad Cool Play 6 has a 5.5-inch Full HD display, which is easy to look at in most cases. In bright sunlight, the brightness levels need to be set to maximum to look at the screen.Viewing angles are great and colours look good, contributing to an enhanced gaming experience.
Coolpad Cool Play 6 has capacitive touch buttons at the bottom bezels which light up for a few seconds when the screen is turned on. The phone has thick bezels on top and bottom, while those on sides are barely noticeable which I liked.
Coolpad Cool Play 6 Camera
One of the highlights of Coolpad Cool Play 6 is its dual rear cameras (13MP+13MP) where one is a monochrome lens, while the other is a RGB one. The cameras perform really well considering the sub-15k price-point. It is capable of taking some stunning shots in places where there’s good amount of light, and I didn’t have to struggle with the focus either.
The pictures appear sharp, detailed and I liked the colour reproduction as well. As for focus, it does struggle in dimly-lit places. I really liked the Night mode in Cool Play 6, which lets you take great shots in places where there isn’t ample light. I used this mode in a museum and I was quite impressed with the results.
There’s a bokeh mode as well, which essentially blurs the background while keeping the subject in sharp focus. Remember this is a Rs 15,000 phone and bokeh here won’t be the same as that on iPhone 7 Plus. Given the price-point, bokeh mode takes decent pictures.
The rear camera comes with a host of features such as slow video, mono photo, long exposure, panorama, and more. Of course, there’s a beauty mode and photo filters which has become a standard on most phones. It makes it easier to post pictures on social media without the need to edit them, a feature that a lot of people will find extremely useful. The 8MP front camera takes good pictures in well-lit outdoors but don’t expect much of it in poorly-lit places. It takes a lot of time to focus, colour reproduction is decent, and details are average.
Coolpad Cool Play 6 Performance, Battery, and Software
Coolpad Cool Play 6 is top-notch when it comes to performance thanks to 6GB RAM and Snapdragon 653 processor. Apps open quickly and I didn’t encounter lags or crashes even while multitasking. Cool Play 6 is capable of handling graphics-heavy games such as Asphalt-8 smoothly, which is great. Fingerprint scanner was quick to unlock the device on most occasions. It does get a little warm within 30 minutes of watching videos online, but not something you should worry about.
Coolpad Cool Play aces in the battery department as well as it easily lasts for more than a day on moderate to heavy usage. I mainly used the phone to watch videos online, listen to music, make 4G VoLTE calls, and click pictures. The phone takes more than two hours to fully charge from about 20 per cent, which was annoying for me. Given Cool Play 6 has a massive 4,000 battery, it makes sense for the company to add fast charging support.
On the software front, Coolpad has really cut down on customisations and bloatware, which is great. It runs Android Nougat with company’s new Journey UI. You can open two apps in two different windows simultaneously or use two instances of the same app like WhatsApp etc. These features I felt were quite useful.
One thing that I found annoying is that you can’t really swipe away notifications in one go. Swiping right an individual notification will ask you to either block or delete it. Though you can make all notifications go away with by tapping on a cross icon below but that of course, has a different use case.
Coolpad Cool Play 6 Verdict
Coolpad Cool Pay 6 is a pretty great smartphone when you look at the overall performance. Given the price-point, the device won’t disappoint people who’re into smartphone gaming and dual rear cameras are an added advantage. However, the sub-15k segment is growing rapidly and there’s a ton of other options to choose from as well.
For those a slightly lower budget, the Lenovo K8 Note makes a lot of sense. The mid-budget segment does not have a lot to offer yet when it comes to dual cameras, but there are a whole of devices that offer a good overall performance. Options include Moto G5 Plus and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.