The budget phones segment is highly dynamic one. What seems like the best spec sheet for an x price today is replaced by an even better one tomorrow. Probably this is the only industry that changes fast. So what can you buy today for a mere $110? Coolpad Note 3 Lite.
But what makes it special? Its spec sheet (vs. price) makes you instantly say ‘Woah’. The specs which were once reserved for high-end phones have appeared on a phone like this one already. General audience likes ‘more’, so this one has 3GB RAM. There is a fingerprint scanner, too. There’s no other phone at this price right now with these two features.
Frankly, there’s no differentiator in terms of design. Had it not been for the physical navigation keys on the bottom, Note 3 Lite would have looked liked an enlarged iPhone 3GS, especially the black one. The back has a nice matte finish, but the overall quality of the plastic used here is pretty average. One of the trade-offs when you’re buying a budget phone. I guess it will still take some time before we see start seeing metal shells here.
Thanks to its dimensions, the Note 3 Lite fits perfectly in your hands. The back panel is removable, but the battery isn’t. The Coolpad Note 3 Lite hides a couple of micro SIM slots and a microSD slot under the back panel. All the physical keys are in just the right positions. The rear camera is protruding, and the ring around it does very little to prevent it from the scratches.
What truly makes Note 3 Lite a value for money package is its hardware. It has a lot to satisfy the hunger for specs. The logic is quite simple -more is powerful. Per this logic, many users will be lured by the inclusion of 3GB RAM. At the time of writing this review, there was no other phone that featured the same amount of RAM. The processor, however, is MediaTek MT6753. That’s just powerful enough to keep this phone running. It’s more like a 7 seater family with an engine good enough for driving on a straight road. Load all 7 seats and take it to the hill where you will find it lacking that power. That’s more or less the case with Note 3 Lite. You will have no issues with daily apps n tasks but don’t expect Asphalt 8 run as smooth as it does on OnePlus One.
Its 5-inch 720p display is on the cooler side of the spectrum. But the display isn’t quite pleasant to look at with its high contrast. It kind of tells that the Note 3 Lite is indeed a budget device. I would personally prefer a display like one on Lenovo A6000.
The battery and its behavior is what left me disappointed. The 2,500 mAh battery isn’t really a performer especially when you’re using it with both the SIM cards and mobile net. In my case, I could barely get it to last for 8 hrs (without mobile data). I’ve seen phones do better than this. As if that wasn’t enough, charging acts weirdly on Note 3 Lite. If it gets even slightly warm, it will slow down the charging. So you cannot use it while charging or have WiFi or mobile internet on. Otherwise, you will see battery going down while still connected to the charger.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite has an 8MP camera with a single LED flash. As usual, the it was my primary device for everything, and I used it to take some snaps on my trek as well. The UI is simple and straightforward. I liked the fact that there’s almost no clutter in the UI. Since this is a budget device, there are no pro controls like manual focus, but then those who want such features will buy a better cameraphone.
As far as the quality goes, it is good enough. For an 8MP camera, it could have been better. It still resolves a good amount of details as you can clearly read the inscription in the photo of Gateway of India. It does lack the sharpness, though.
This one is quite a no brainer. Note 3 Lite has dual SIM slots, and 4G LTE is now a norm. Signal reception was quite good even for a MediaTek chipset. I absolutely had no issues with calling except for when my (ex) carrier’s network sucked. The earpiece is something very few phones have got right. Note 3 Lite could certainly have used a better earpiece.
The answer to this question is never straightforward. There are times when the reviewers are criticized for giving multiple choices. But that’s part of the job.
At Rs.7,999, Coolpad Note 3 Lite does offer a plethora of features. For one, it’s really hard to ignore the convenience the fingerprint scanner has to offer. But the erratic behavior of battery and charging offsets that along with an average camera and display.
If you’re not really bothered with any of these shortcomings or buying it for someone who is going to use it for few calls and WhatsApp, Fb, it’s just fine.
There, however, are some other phones that you should consider once before opting for Note 3 Lite. The Honor Holly 2 Plus and Lenovo K5 Plus cost just 500 bucks more but are more polished than Note 3 Lite is. While both of them offer 13MP cameras, the Holly 2 Plus has a massive 4,000 mAh battery whereas the K5 Plus has a FullHD display.
If everything boils down to budget and of course value for money, Note 3 Lite remains unbeatable (until someone else takes over the badge).