|Launch Date||April 12, 2018 (Official)|
|Operating System||Android v7.1 (Nougat)|
|SIM Slot(s)||Dual SIM, GSM+GSM|
|Network||4G: Available (supports Indian bands)|
|Screen Size||5.0 inches (12.7 cm)|
|Screen Resolution||HD (720 x 1280 pixels)|
|Pixel Density||294 ppi|
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909|
|Processor||Quad core, 1.1 GHz, Cortex A7|
|Internal Memory||16 GB|
|Resolution||5 MP Front Camera|
|Optical Image Stabilisation|
|Image Resolution||3264 x 2448 Pixels|
|Shooting Modes||High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)|
|Camera Features||Fixed Focus|
|Standby time||Up to 240 Hours(2G)|
|Network & Connectivity|
|Network Support||4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G|
|Wi-Fi Features||Mobile Hotspot|
|USB Connectivity||Mass storage device, USB charging, microUSB 2.0|
|Audio Jack||3.5 mm|
|Other Sensors||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer|
The Coolpad A1 is a very basic low-end budget smartphone which does not have any USP. However, it is good for first time smartphone users. We get a good build quality, HD display, good overall performance, average battery life and decent cameras. In terms of cons, there is no metal body, no fast charging and no gyroscope. So if you want to purchase a decent low-end smartphone, you can go with the Coolpad A1. In case you want to check out the competition, then have a look at the Redmi 5A, Yu Yunique 2 and iVooMi Me5.
Coolpad had a good run in the Indian market in 2015 and 2016 when they had launched the 'Note' series exclusively on Amazon. However, the company faded away in 2017 as they had very few launches around that time. Now, it seems that Coolpad is reconsidering their strategy and will now be focusing on the offline market. In order to start their offline branding, they had launched the Coolpad A1 and Mega 4A, two low-end budget smartphones in the market back in April 2018. Today, we will review the Coolpad A1 in order to find out how good the smartphone is for first time smartphone buyers and if it stands out from the crowd. Before checking out the review, do take a look at the specifications of the mobile first.
The Coolpad A1 is powered by a Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor, coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory (expandable up to 64GB). The phone sports a 5-inch HD display and runs on Android 7.1 Nougat OS. In the camera department, we get a 8 megapixel primary rear camera along with a 5 megapixel selfie shooter. There is Dual SIM connectivity along with 4G VoLTE support. Others include WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. In the sensor department, we get an accelerometer, proximity and ambient light sensor. Under the hood, there is a 2500mAh removable battery.
The Coolpad A1 is made up of polycarbonate but it feels very solid in hands. The phone looks quite good and has an aesthetic design. It has a pretty good build quality. The front of the A1 looks decent because of the edge-to-edge display panel but we still get thick bezels on top and bottom of the display. There is a champagne gold metallic strip running around the device, which adds glamour and also makes it look very sharp. It is a very compact phone as it has a 5-inch screen and hence it is easy to use it with one hand. The A1 is quite light and you will have no issues in using it over long period of time. The back panel has a matte finish for added grip.
On the front, there is a 5-inch display along with the selfie camera, LED notification, earpiece and couple of sensors. We get three capacitive buttons below the display but they are not backlit. The volume rocker is placed on the left while the power/lock button is seen on the right of the phone. The microUSB port and primary microphone are at the bottom while the 3.5mm audio jack sits at the top. Turning towards the back side, the primary camera along with the LED flash and secondary microphone sit at the top. The Coolpad branding and the speaker holes are found at the bottom. Upon opening the removable plastic back cover, we get a 2500mAh battery along with Dual SIM and microSD card slots. Overall, the Coolpad A1 has a pretty good build quality and decent hardware.
The Coolpad A1 features a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels (HD). It is a generic display as we get HD resolution in this segment in most of the smartphones. Although, the quality is good and the color accuracy is on point. The viewing angles are decently good while sunlight legibility is average. The texts, photos and videos look quite crisp and clear but not as good a Full HD panel. Anyway, you can watch your favorite videos and play your favorite games on this display. There is no branded screen protection like Corning Gorilla Glass but we get some glass which protects it from daily wear and tear.
The touch response of the A1 is quite fluid and it is mainly due to the smooth interface and good display quality. Overall, the Coolpad A1 comes with a good display like most other smartphones in this category.
The Coolpad A1 is powered by a Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor clocked at 1.1GHz and 2GB RAM. This chipset from the house of Qualcomm is quite basic and low-end but it can perform the basic day-to-day tasks without much lag. The UI does not show any stuttering during general usage but it does stutter a bit when you run high graphics intensive apps or games. When it comes to multitasking, you can do light multitasking without facing any issues but do not expect to run a lot of apps together. The A1 can run normal 3D games easily but you cannot play high-end games at the highest graphics settings. The Coolpad A1 comes with 16GB of internal storage, out of which you will get around 10GB of free space. However, you can expand it up to 64GB by adding a microSD card in case you want more storage. This budget smartphone does not come with a fingerprint sensor and that is not a surprise as most others in this price segment do not have one.
Talking about connectivity, we get dual SIM support along with a dedicated microSD card slot. Both of them supports 4G VoLTE but they will not work simultaneously. Thus, you can use 4G on one SIM and 3G on other SIM simultaneously. The A1 has a battery capacity of 2500mAh and it is removable. You can get up to one day of battery life with light to moderate usage but there is no fast charing support.
Overall, the Coolpad A1 is a relatively good performer.
The Coolpad A1 rocks a 8 megapixel primary camera at the back. In terms of picture quality, the photos clicked in bright outdoor lighting look quite good. They come with a good amount of detail and the colors look bright and vivid as well. Although, they have a lot of grain when clicked in low light environments. The colors look dull and the details are missing. However, this problem exists in most budget smartphones. The focusing mechanism is on the slower side but it is accurate. HDR pictures look decently good while macro images have nice depth of field effect. On the front, there is a 5 megapixel camera and it helps in clicking good selfies. We do not get a LED flash light or wide-angle lens but it can click basic selfies in good lighting conditions.
The camera app of the A1 has a simple interface and is quite easy to use, even for first time smartphone users. There are a lot of shooting modes but you should stick to Auto mode for best results in all kind of lighting conditions. The primary camera can capture HD videos but the quality is just average. Overall, the Coolpad A1 has a decent set of cameras.
The loudspeaker of the Coolpad A1 is located at the bottom on the back side. The audio quality is very decent and it is quite loud as well. The audio does not distort even at the highest volume levels. Since the speaker is located on the backside, the sound easily gets muffled when the phone is kept on a flat surface. There is a native music app and it has all the necessary features for you to enjoy good music. Also, we get the Google Music app and you can stream online music using that app.
When it comes to video quality of the A1, you can watch both HD and Full HD videos without facing any lag but it will stutter if you try to run 4K videos. For the best video watching experience, just download a third-party app like MX Player since the stock app does not have a lot of features. Overall, the Coolpad A1 has decent audio and video playback quality.
The Coolpad A1 runs on Cool UI based on Android 7.1 Nougat OS out of the box. It is certainly not the latest Android OS version but Nougat is certainly better than Marshmallow for sure. Also, the Cool UI has improved a lot and has become more refined now. Talking about the Cool UI, it has iOS lookalike app icons and design, so all the apps are located on the home screens since there is no app drawer. The interface is customizable and feature rich. There are a lot of gesture options such as Double tap to wake, draw patterns to open apps and more. We get shortcut options in the notification panel. It comes with a multitask button that will enable a side tray where you can put all the desired apps for real multitasking. Then, just select two apps and run them simultaneously in two different windows vertically. It worked well with normal apps but high-end apps did lag sometimes. Otherwise, the UI is quite lag free and fluid. We get a lot of pre-installed apps (bloatware) but you can easily uninstall them if you plan to not use them. If case you do not like the interface, then simply download a third-party theme such as Pixel Launcher to change the look and feel.
Overall, the Coolpad A1 has a lag-free interface based on Nougat along with good customization features.