CoolPad Note 5: A Long Awaited Device

There are a few things most of us wouldn’t like to compromise with, when choosing a phone. I find these to be security, ease of use and camera quality. The CoolPad Note 5, released on Amazon India on the 18th of October, is one such.

Security is a prime point of concern these days, as our phones have become the repositories of our credit card details, work related information, intellectual property and intimate family member information among other sensitive subjects. While fingerprint sensors provide unbeatable security, most devices I have used, including my current phone, are quite clumsy about it and inaccurate to boot. To begin with, when enrolling fingerprints on my phone, it took a random number of attempts, somewhere between 8 to 20 per finger. After doing so and attempting to access the phone via my fingerprint, it took anywhere between 1 to 5 attempts to get the sensor to correctly recognise my fingerprint. The problem with this sort of inconsistency is that, my phone now has no security because I can’t be bothered with entering a PIN each time nor do I want to tap the sensor repeatedly in futile attempts to unlock the phone.


Cut to the CoolPad Note 5. I enrolled four fingers, and all four were enrolled in exactly the same number of taps on the sensor. Attempting to access the phone with my fingerprint was equally easy and fast. You’ll never switch off fingerprint scanning on this one!

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Ease of use is an important factor, given how most of us use our phones for taking photos, editing photos, making movies, finding restaurants, paying for purchases using mobile wallets, writing notes, reviewing documents of different types, downloading and listening to music and movies, navigating a city, reading the news, playing games, maintaining accounts of our expenditures, keeping in touch with social networks, doing grocery shopping, ordering food, buying stuff, booking cabs… in addition to making calls (cellular, data, video), sending and receiving SMS and maintaining contacts among other activities.

All of this can be really really irritating when the phone stutters and stumbles and limps its way across applications and tasks. There’s really no getting around the activities I’ve mentioned earlier; for most of us, they represent an average day! The only way a phone can seamlessly manage all of these activities across apps is through a fair bit of added memory and processing power. Yup, the CoolPad Note 5 has both – 4GB of memory and a superior processor – a Snapdragon 617 1.5 Ghz, OctaCore (8 cores) processor. What this means is, you can load more apps into memory at the same time and the phone has enough memory and power to store them and keep them running without being painfully slow about it.

There’s one more important feature that’s sometimes not given its due – battery capacity. Regardless of how much memory or processing power a phone has, if the battery doesn’t have enough juice, it’s all really quite pointless isn’t it? One wouldn’t be thrilled at having an awesome phone for 2 hours and a dead one for the rest of the day, yes?


The CoolPad Note 5 comes with a 4010mAh battery that’s more than enough to keep it going throughout the day, even with its brilliant 5.5″ 1920 x 1080 Full HD display! In fact, the company was kind enough to lend me a unit during a recent trip to the US and the battery was a blessing. Roaming is always stressful for phone batteries due to the constant network searches among other factors and the Coolpad Note 5 just kept going without pause.

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Camera quality has become one of our top criteria when choosing a new phone. Perhaps this is due to the number of times a day we share photos on social media such as Facebook and Instagram among others.

The Pro mode on the phone makes it easy to control the outcome of your shot, without needing to post-process photos using other tools
The Pro mode on the phone makes it easy to control the outcome of your shot, without needing to post-process photos using other tools. The photo on the left has enhanced contrast.

Given that we’d all like to post handsome looking, near-perfect photos on our social media walls, it isn’t a surprise to know of the many photo processing apps available for phones. Seriously though, wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to click photos with our phones that were instantly ready for posting online? This doesn’t happen most of the time for three reasons – first, phone displays aren’t usually good enough to really display our photos for what they actually are. Second, phone cameras aren’t good enough to take great photos and finally, stock camera apps don’t usually offer the kind of manual control that is required for great photos.

While I loved the photo on the right, taken in default mode using the stock camera app on the CoolPad Note 5, the second one was taken using Pro mode, with enhanced colour saturation and contrast.
While I loved the photo on the right, taken in default mode using the stock camera app on the CoolPad Note 5, the second one was taken using Pro mode, with enhanced colour saturation and contrast.

For most purposes, a slight deepening of the shadows, mild contrast enhancement and a little colour saturation is all that’s required. As you can see from the examples above, with zero post processing, the CoolPad Note 5 has the features to create lovely photos, ready for sharing.

Another great feature is what CoolPad calls the Selfie Flash. If you’re tired of grainy selfies with friends, this is a great way out!

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Price is what decides quite a few of our explorations as consumers and phones aren’t an exception. The CoolPad Note 5 retails for a very reasonable INR 10,999. Yup, its crammed with memory, power, battery life, a great camera and loads of more feature that you’ll discover when you pick up the phone and it’ll cost us the price of two, maybe three dinners. Howzatt?

Sid Khullar

Sid is the primary contributor to and editor of Chef at Large. A self confessed food addict who likes cooking, writing and photography… and travel, if it gets him closer to a good book and interesting food. He’s spent 21 years in varying functions of technology, leaving the field after a stint heading software research & development for electrophysiological medical diagnostics. He now applies himself to learning more about food and building food and beverage brands online for Brands at Large clients.

Sid covers Delhi/NCR for Chef at Large and can be reached at [email protected]

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