Coolpad Cool 1 Dual: The imperfect performer
Let’s just get it out there. We have too many Chinese budget smartphone makers in the Indian market today and what’s worse is that almost all of them deliver great features for the price, which makes taking a decision to buy one tiring and confusing. Almost all of them perform well and in some cases, look identical too.
What I liked
The first thing that I liked about this smartphone is the display.
The display is bright, vibrant and has decent viewing angles. The sharp panel is perfect for media consumption and reading text. The front of the phone also houses three LED backlit touch capacitive buttons at the bottom which are a neat inclusion and really come in handy in dark or poorly lit conditions.
The next thing I fell in love with is the performance of the device. The Cool 1 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 processor paired with 4GB of RAM, which is a great budget performer that results in a snappy smartphone that can handle heavy multitasking with ease. The phone also handles demanding game titles like Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2 with ease.
For software, Coolpad has collaborated with LeEco and brought EUI to its smartphone. Underneath the skin, The Cool 1 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow but is far from a stock Android experience.
However, the best feature of this smartphone that I truly loved was the battery life. Coolpad Cool 1 Dual gets a huge 4060mAh battery, which for me, lasted a day and a half easily, basically over 30 hours with my usage including constant 4G LTE connectivity, watching videos, listening to music, texting and browsing the web. For a normal user, the device would surely last two days with ease.
What I disliked
For all it’s good points, the Cool 1 does fall short in some key areas which might make people consider other
The aesthetics of the device are average and the device is also bulky at 167g, when you consider the fact that the device is also fairly thick at the edges at 8.7mm, this amounts to something that is uncomfortable to hold in the hand, not to mention is also horrible for single handed use.
The metal back of the device is surprisingly rough and not smooth or refined like other metal-clad smartphones we’ve seen in this price category, like Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 or
Coming to the optics on the Cool 1 Dual, as I mentioned earlier, the device gets a dual-camera setup at the back with two 13-megapixel snappers. The camera modules have an f/2.0 aperture, support phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and are paired with a dual-tone LED flash. For selfies, the device gets an 8-megapixel camera at the front.
Although the dual-camera setup might sound fancy, the camera performance is downright average. We clicked some decent pics while shooting in daylight or well-lit conditions, the photos had decent detail on them with accurate color reproduction. When the lights went out however, the camera was just plain awful. It could barely focus on a subject, the background had tons of noise, while the detail on the subject was blurry, resulting in poor images.
The dual camera setup also allows users to create a faux shallow depth of field effect, as seen on expensive DSLR lenses, however, the images end up having a very fake defocus effect that looks shabby, to say the least.
The rear camera also supports 4K video recording, which is a first in this price point, however lack of OIS or optical image stabilisation results in shaky and jittery video which is not very impressive.
The front camera, on the other hand, was surprisingly good and has a wide field of view, which accommodated groupies with ease.
Another drawback with the Cool 1 Dual is the storage available on the device. The device gets 32GB of internal memory which cannot be expanded using a microSD card. Moreover, the device isn’t available in a larger storage variant, which is a real bummer.
The device gets a single speaker at the bottom, which is not really loud as you’d expect it to be. So if you’re planning to binge watch shows on this, make sure you have a good pair of headphones in your pocket. The device also lacks quick-charging capabilities and it takes a good two hours to fully juice up its large battery.
Coolpad Cool 1 Dual is a decent smartphone with noticeable rough edges. The device delivers great performance, brilliant battery stamina and a vivid display but with average looks, poor ergonomics, a not-so-impressive camera and a missing microSD card slot which pinches really hard.
A buyer who wants the Coolpad Cool 1 Dual will have to set his/her priorities straight. The price of Rs 13,999 makes the decision-making process even more difficult.
If you what you are looking for is a true workhorse with insane battery life, the device is worth going for. If you want a handy device with great camera capabilities, I’d say pick Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 or the Honor 6X as they will deliver better results and look better too.