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CoolPad Note 3 Lite: Cheap is as Cheap Does

CoolPad Note 3 Lite: Cheap is as Cheap Does

Pros:
Cheap, 4G, dual-SIM, Fingerprint sensor works well, Feels sturdy, Looks more expensive, Comfortable to hold

Cons: 
Display leaves much to be desired, Uninteresting software, Unnecessary preloaded apps

Cheap phones do rather a lot these days. The specs they come with wouldn't have been heard of on a budget phone a year ago.

The Coolpad Note 3 Lite is the baby version of the Coolpad Note 3 launched late last year for Rs 8,999. The Lite costs Rs 7,999 and is to be available online on Amazon via those annoying flash sales.

The Note 3 Lite has a rose goldish line running through the sides and accents on the back. That's meant to say 'Who you calling cheap?'. It doesn't quite do the job, the rest of the phone being all plastic and regular looking on the front, but overall the device doesn't look bad at all. Certainly no worse than others at higher prices.

The back cover is removable, in case you're a fan of that feature. On the back, you can also see the fingerprint sensor and 13MP camera. A big deal is made of fingerprint sensors these days, mostly because they've been a spec that is making it to budget devices, but buy it for that reason only if you're really sensitive about security and appreciate a quick-unlock sans password. No one touches my phone so I don't even bother locking it with a fingerprint even when I have the sensor on my device.

If you often use a phone one-handed, then this 5-inch gadget should suit you. I found it quite comfortable to hold. There's nothing so annoying as being cheap and then paying no attention to details, but on the Note 3 Lite enough has been done to make the phone easy to use.

The main Coolpad Note 3 was a bigger phone with some of the specs being higher as well. But the screens on the two are the same 720p displays. I found the display okay but washing out a little on being tilted.

But at this price, really, there's no cause to expect the moon. The other specs include a 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek processor with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage -- plus space for a memory card for adding up to 32GB.

The device runs Android Lollipop 5.1 and "Cool UI 6.0" which doesn't have much cool about it except a bunch of apps Cool this and Cool that.

Otherwise, there’s no bells and whistles. This is a dual SIM (Micro) phone and supports 4G – both have become hygiene, I think. The 2,500 mAh non-removable battery lasts about 12 hours of mixed use.

The cameras on this phone are not bad, considering. They do try to introduce light into darker images and get a bit noisy doing so, but I've seen worse on low-end phones and like I said, let's not expect too much here.

I can’t say yet how well the Note 3 Lite will age, or whether there will be any real after-sales support. But it's a nice package for the price.

Lila Ray is a corporate consultant who likes her gadgets almost more than her shoes. Write to her atraylila@outlook.com


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