|Launch Date||October 15, 2018 (Official)|
|Operating System||Android v8.0 (Oreo)|
|SIM Slot(s)||Dual SIM, GSM+GSM|
|Network||4G: Available (supports Indian bands)|
|Screen Size||5.99 inches (15.21 cm)|
|Screen Resolution||1080 x 2160 pixels|
|Pixel Density||403 ppi|
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)||84.58 %|
|Processor||Octa core (1.5 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53 + 1 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53)|
|Internal Memory||64 GB|
|Resolution||8 MP Front Camera|
|Image Resolution||4616 x 3464 Pixels|
|Settings||Exposure compensation, ISO control|
|Shooting Modes||Continuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)|
|Camera Features||Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Touch to focus|
|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|
|Fingerprint Sensor Position||Rear|
|Other Sensors||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer|
With phones like Redmi 6 Pro, Zenfone Max M1, Nokia 5.1 Plus, and others, the Coolpad Note 8 is a phone that lags behind in many aspects. Though it packs decent build, modern design, the cons overweigh what's good in the phone. The performance is average, cameras are underwhelming, and there is no certainty with software updates either. The company could have at least provided the phone with a better chipset which could have made the slightest difference. So, if you are in the market looking for a phone, you can blindly skip the Coolpad Note 8 and go with any of the above-said phones.
Coolpad which has been off the grid for a while is yet again back in the news with the surprise launch of the Coolpad Note 8 back in October. The company by no means is consistent with their launch cycle as it comes and goes now and then and this really confuses the small group of followers it has. Owing to the competition, the company seems to be taking it slow, but that's now how the smartphone space in India works. Brands shouldn’t give space and time as there is a chance that a competing brand comes and takes over it. In our today’s review, we shall be taking a closer look if Coolpad’s with its latest attempt could succeed in conquering the Indian market. Let’s get started.
Coolpad Note 8 Specifications: The Coolpad Note 8 sports a 5.99-inch (2160 x 1080 pixels) Full HD+ 2.5D Curved Glass display and is powered by the MediaTek MT6750 SoC clocked at 1.5GHz Octa-Core processor with Mali-T860 GPU. There is 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage that is expandable with up to 128GB via microSD card.
It runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with June security update. Talking about the camera, it packs a 16MP rear camera with LED flash, f/2.0 aperture, and a 0.3MP secondary camera for portraits. There is an 8MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS. A 4000mAh battery is on board.
Build quality is the most important aspect for any smartphone as it gives the first impression of how the phone is going to be. The Coolpad Note 8 packs an all plastic build with a glossy rear panel. It not only looks boring for today’s day and time but also attracts fingerprints quite a bit. The in-hand feel is decent thanks to the 18:9 narrow build. However, the wider ergonomics makes it hard to reach all corners of the phone with a single hand. The edges are rounded, and the rear panel is slightly curved, so it doesn’t hurt to use the phone longer. The 2.5D curved glass makes the user experience pleasant. We wish every brand includes a curved glass on every smartphone.
The silver-plated rim around the camera module, the fingerprint sensor makes the device look cleaner. Despite the large 6-inch display, the phone comfortably fits in hands but needs two hands to use. Overall, the in-hand feel and the overall weight distribution are decent enough.
Moving to placements, on top, you have the 3.5mm audio jack while the speaker grill, microUSB port, and primary microphone are present at the bottom. On the left, you have the SIM tray which has a hybrid setup. On the right, you have the power on/off button and volume rockers. On the front, you have the usual set of sensors; proximity and auto brightness sensor, primary earpiece, and an 8-megapixel selfie camera, and notification LED. Down below, you have the three capacitive buttons which are placed within the display. Flipping the device to the rear side, you find the 16MP + 0.3MP rear cameras, LED flash, fingerprint sensor, Coolpad branding. The back panel isn’t removable, so the battery unit is also non-removable. Overall, the build and design of the Coolpad Note 8 is decent enough, but not sufficient.
The Coolpad Note 8 sports a 5.99-inch (2160 x 1080 pixels) Full HD+ 18:9 2.5D Curved Glass display. There is no notch, but considerably thick bezels on top and bottom. Thanks to the 18:9 IPS display, the device packs an impressive screen-to-body ratio for media consumption and gaming. The 1080p Full HD+ panel offers good colors and saturation balance for the price. The display is punchy and vivid which is a good thing. The Viewing angles are decent; we didn’t notice any distortion even when viewing from extreme angles. Text and images look sharp and crisp with no signs of pixelation issue when zooming in on pictures or browsing the web.
The brightness levels are impressive; we were able to access the display even under direct sunlight. I was able to access the content even with around 70% brightness. There is an auto-brightness sensor, so you don’t have to adjust the brightness all the time once enabled. The touch response is smooth, and it is responsive when scrolling or while playing games. Since the UI is almost stock, there is no option to tweak the display modes. There is no protected glass on top, so you will have to apply the provided screen guard to prevent scratches. Overall, the display of the Coolpad Note 8 is impressive and may as well be one of the best in the segment.
The Coolpad Note 8 is powered by the MediaTek MT6750 SoC clocked at 1.5GHz Octa-Core processor with Mali-T860 GPU and 4GB RAM. There are n-number of new chipsets even from MediaTek, and the company chose an age-old chipset that underperforms in every department giving us an impression that the company could have done a better job. It can perform regular tasks like taking calls, sending messages, browsing, social media, and others, but fails to run extensive graphic apps with ease. There are a slight delay and lag in the UI which becomes annoying after a while. The device couldn’t pull 5-6 apps actively running in the background. It does become a little warm as well, however, not something that is unbearable.
Moving to gaming, we played a wide range of games including PUBG mobile, Asphalt 8, Leos Fortune, Nova 3 and much more. Though it couldn’t pull through heavy gaming with highest graphics settings, it was able to do fine with medium to low-graphics. If you were planning on gaming on this smartphone, here’s a disappointment for you. It has a fingerprint sensor and face unlock, both work fine and are quick in identifying. Overall, the performance of the Coolpad Note 8 is a big let-down. Despite the presence of many better performing chipsets, Coolpad’s move towards an older chip is a let-down.
The Coolpad Note 8 packs a 16MP rear camera with LED flash, f/2.0 aperture, and a 0.3MP secondary camera for portraits. There is an 8MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture. Like with most camera interfaces, the Note 8’s camera app has a swipe to navigate the menu. There are options for video, flash, filters, and much more. It comes with modes like Panorama, Faces Beauty, Photo, and Video, and HDR.
Moving along, given the good lighting conditions, the camera was able to click decent images that are rich in color and details. Zooming in produces crispier details, and this is a good thing. There weren’t any noise or grains in the image even in semi-artificial lighting conditions. Since there is a dual rear camera, the 0.3MP sensor makes it a lost cause. The portrait shots are blurry and don’t actually produce fruitful results. The edge detection is sub-par, and it makes us wonder why even include such a bad sensor in the first place. The HDR mode brings decent lighting and brightens the dull images. Moving to low-light, the quality of the photos drop significantly like most budget phones these days.
The noise in the images make them look washed out, and they are totally unusable. The presence of LED flash doesn’t help much either. The rear camera can record 1080p videos, and the quality is decent. The lack of OIS is clearly evident as it doesn’t stay focused. The front 8MP sensor, on the other hand, is acceptable. The images are social usable, so it is a good thing. Overall, the cameras of the Coolpad Note 8 are just average.
The Coolpad Note 8 packs a good 4000mAh battery with no support for fast charging. Considering the huge battery, it sad to see no support for fast charging. Our usual working day use cases usually includes Checking emails, stream music/videos through 4G or Wi-Fi, GPS navigation, taking calls, sending messages, social media, watch YouTube videos and much more. Thanks to the massive 4000mAh battery, the phone was able to last an entire day without stressing much. During the testing, we always ended our day with around 20% juice still left. We managed to even push into the second day keeping the usage to moderate.
We achieved a screen on time of over 5 hours consistently which is a good thing. Though there are better performing phones, the Coolpad Note 8 isn’t bad either. With heavy to continuous usage, the phone could last until the evening time, but you will have to charge once again if you wish to pull through the end of the day. The software optimizations are impressive as there were no idle battery drains or drastic drops with usage. With the bundled charger, the phone took close to 3+ hours to charge fully from 1-100% with no interruptions. This is a stretch, but considering the price point, we couldn’t help but settle for what is offered. Overall, the battery of the Coolpad Note 8 is impressive, but the lack of fast charge is disappointing.
The company didn’t include headphones within the box, so you will have to shell out some bucks. The speaker grill is present at the bottom, and the quality is sharp and crisp. It was able to cover an entire room without any distortion even when the volume levels are kept at a maximum. There is no equalizer support, so you can’t tweak the sound profiles. He phone did a decent job in balancing the sound and producing it more accurately with detailed highs and clear bass. Since the speaker grill is present on the bottom, your hands might block it when holding it in the landscape mode. The 3.5mm audio jack is present on the top, and the quality of sound via it is impressive. The default music player was able to play most audio formats.
Moving to the video department, thanks to the impressive screen-to-body ratio and a 6-inch display, the device offers impressive video watching experience. It was able to play 1080p videos, and we didn’t notice any heating or freezing issues when streaming through 4G as well. Overall, as said above, you will have to shell out additional bucks on a good set of headphones for better audio and video experience.
The Coolpad Note 8 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box with an interface that is close to stock. It is not Android One phone nor the company is known for pushing out an update, so the future of Note 8 software department lies hanging. Since the interface is close to stock, there are very limited customization options. It doesn’t have support for themes, so you will have to rely on PlayStore and custom launchers for tweaking the look. There is an app drawer where all the icons are arranged, and it is a good thing for first-time users or for those who prefer Stock UI. The limited customization features might be a drawback if you are into theming.
Apart from Google default apps, it comes with FM Radio, file manager, Newsdog, UC browser, Prime Video, Amazon, Prime Music, Xender come pre-installed, and you can’t uninstall them unless you are rooted. It’s finally good to see Coolpad moving past its Cool UI which not only is clumsy but also very laggy. It comes with 4GB of RAM out of which around 2.5GB is free when just the default services are running. Since the interface is quite stock, the available RAM was able to run apps and handle the interface quite smoothly. It was able to handle more than 6-7 apps in the background, and they never run of memory, so memory management is decent enough. But as mentioned above, with Coolpad owing a poor name of not pushing updates regularly, we’re not sure when the company would roll out updates in the future. So, that’s that. Overall, the Coolpad Note 8 software department is good enough, but we hope the company pushes at least one major update.