Rehan Hooda Sep 05, 2017 18:31 PM IST
Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad has just launched its latest smartphone, the Coolpad Cool Play 6, at an event in Dubai for the Indian market. The company has priced the smartphone at Rs 14,999 and it will be selling exclusively on Amazon from 4 September onwards. At this price point, the Coolpad Cool Play 6 will be competing with existing incumbents such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Moto G5 and Lenovo K6 Power. But unlike these phones, the Cool Play 6 comes with a dual rear camera setup and a whopping 6 GB RAM.
Coolpad is one of the many Chinese smartphone makers in the country trying to gain a threshold. The interesting thing here is that most of these companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Coolpad and even Lenovo and its arm Motorola are competing amongst each other. Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo have dominated the market and it seems like Coolpad wants to bring the fight to them by beating them at their own game. Which really boils down to offering great hardware at an affordable price.
Let’s have a quick look at how the Coolpad Cool Play 6 stands up to its claims of being the first device in the budget market to pack 6 GB RAM along with a dual camera setup.
Build and Design
Cool Play 6 is a well-built smartphone having a metal back with plastic caps on the top and bottom along with a glass finish on the front. The device looks sturdy without any squeaking parts in the body. It is good to get a device that not only looks good but also packs impressive hardware.
Moving on to the design aspects of the smartphone, it's nothing out of the ordinary. It may look identical to the devices manufactured by the now bankrupt LeEco. The front comes with the 5.5-inch screen, navigation buttons at the bottom and the speaker grill, proximity sensor and the front camera on the top.
The volume rocker is located towards the top on the right side of the device with the power button right below. Coolpad has only added the SIM tray towards the top on the left side of the phone. The 3.5-mm headphone jack is on the top while the Type-C USB Port is located at the bottom of the device with two speaker grills.
Moving towards the back, you will find the dual camera system along with dual LED flash. The fingerprint sensor is located just below the dual camera setup.
Cool Play 6 comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS Panel with an effective resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The phone comes with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. Coolpad has added an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 clocked at 1.95 GHz along with Adreno 510 to power the smartphone.
It sports a dual camera setup with two 13 MP camera modules at the back. This camera setup includes one mono sensor and one colour sensor for better low light performance along with an 8 MP front camera. It packs a massive 4,000 mAh battery to power the device through a work day, Android 7.1.1 Nougat with July security patch out of the box.
The smartphone also comes with 4G-enabled dual nano-SIM slot, a USB Type-C port, 3.5-mm headphone jack, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and hotspot in terms of connectivity options.
The display is crisp and clear with generally good viewing angles, the brightness may take a dip while looking from extreme angles. Coolpad has also added ‘Screen color’ function for users to fine tune the colours on the display. The available options include ‘Normal mode’, ‘Vivid mode’, ‘Natural mode’, and ‘Eye care mode’. You can also specify the temperature of the screen using a slider at the bottom. The phone comes with ‘Ambient display’ as well as ‘Adaptive brightness’.
Chipset, RAM, and storage
Coolpad has added an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 SoC clocked at 1.95 GHz along with Adreno 510 to power the smartphone. The phone comes with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. The interesting thing here is the lack of expandable storage. Budget devices usually have the option for expandable storage in terms of a dedicated microSD card slot or one of the SIM slots is hybrid.
The device ran without any issues, lags or crashes during my limited time with it.
OS and Software
Android 7.1.1 Nougat is the OS out of the box. This is impressive as some of companies are still launching devices with Android Nougat 7.1 or Android Nougat 7.0. One thing to note here is that Cool Play 6 comes with a skinned version of Android that is running ‘Journey UI’ atop standard Android operating system.
This means that the smartphone will come with some bundled bloatware and custom system apps. The OS comes with ‘Phone Manager’, ‘Backup’, ‘Transfer’, and ‘App Freeze’ as system apps while the company has added ‘Facebook’, 'UC News’, ‘NewsDog’, ‘UC Browser’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Prime Video’ from Amazon, ‘Xender’. The company has added some features like ‘Dual app’ and built-in ‘Themes’. One particularly annoying thing that I experienced in the UI was that you can’t dismiss notifications by swiping and you need to ‘clear all’ notifications to dismiss them. I hope that they improve the implementation of clearing notifications.
The company representatives pointed out that the version of software on my device was pre-production level and the final version will come with a more optimised version of the operating systems. According to Coolpad, the Android 8.0 OTA update will be pushed out on the Cool Play 6 by December this year.
One of the most striking features of this smartphone is that it sports a dual camera setup with two 13 MP camera modules at the back. This camera setup includes one monochrome sensor and one colour sensor for better low light performance along with an 8 MP front camera. The camera packs a number of features apart from the usual ‘Video’, ‘Photo’, ‘Beauty’ and ‘Night’ modes. Other options include ‘Slow Video’, ‘Long exposure’, ‘Panorama’, ‘GIF’, ‘Mono photo’, ‘Mono video’, and the ‘PRO’ mode. ‘PRO’ mode allows you to select White Balance, ISO, Exposure, Exposure Time and Focus of the shot.
The phone can allow 16-second long exposure photographs at any given time. On the top of the interface, you will find the flash, ‘SLR Mode;, HDR, Switch camera and advanced settings options. SLR mode is an interesting mode which fuses images from both the camera modules to create a shallow depth of field image. The ‘aperture’ here, ranges from an impossible f/0.95 till f/16. The camera still needs to improve on the low light performance of the device
Connectivity and Battery
The smartphone also comes with 4G-enabled dual nano-SIM slot, a USB Type-C port, 3.5-mm headphone jack, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM Radio, and hotspot in terms of connectivity options.
It packs a massive 4,000 mAh battery to power the device through a work day. I didn’t get time to check the battery life but it went for 6 hours from 50 percent while I was using the device and using it as an hotspot device, sharing the internet to my laptop. We will need more time with the device to pass a final verdict on the battery life of the device.
The overall package is compelling especially with the decent Dual-camera setup, 4,000 mAh battery and 6 GB RAM. There are no devices at this price point who have all these features. The only device that comes close to this is Xiaomi 5X which is not available in the Indian market at the time of writing. However, despite that and an attractive price point of Rs 14,999, the company needs to market the device so that consumers can take Coolpad as a serious contender against more known Xiaomi,
The Coolpad Cool Play 6 is priced competitively at Rs 14,999 which seems like a decent price for the overall package. We will run the device through its paces and see how it compares with competition in our full review which will come out soon.
Disclaimer: The correspondent was invited for the launch of Coolpad Cool Play 6 in Dubai. All travel and accommodation expenses were taken care of by Coolpad India.