Chinese brand Coolpad has unveiled its Coolpad Mega 3 and Coolpad Note 3S smartphones in India, continuing its focus on the country's budget segment after launching the likes of Note 3 (Review), Note 3 Lite (Review), Note 3 Plus (Review), Note 5, and Mega 2.5D (Review). Of the two new models, the Coolpad Mega 3 is more unique because of its triple-SIM feature, while the Coolpad Note 3S is an upgrade to the popular Coolpad Note 3.
One of the obvious questions that we had about Coolpad Mega 3 was whether there is demand for a triple-SIM smartphone. A Coolpad executive at the event talking about the strategy behind the new triple-SIM phone claimed that mobile operators are coming up with new offers for subscribers every month, and devices like the Coolpad Mega 3 will give users an opportunity to try offers without bothering about the limitation of a handset. Syed Tajuddin, CEO, Coolpad India added that the Coolpad Mega 3 will allow smartphones to work with multiple operators for better connectivity.
It's worth noting that Coolpad Mega 3 is not the only smartphone with triple-SIM feature; there have been phones with three SIM slots before including the Acer Liquid X2 and LG Optimus L1 II Tri, but not many have launched in India.
It will be interesting to see how consumers respond to Coolpad Mega 3 and its triple-SIM feature considering that even dual-SIM devices can be confusing when it comes to choosing operators for each voice call and message. On the other hand, dual-SIM has been the norm for most Android phones for many years now. Interestingly, the Coolpad Mega 3 has a microSD card slot independent of the three SIM slots. Coolpad has definitely gone with a different approach with the Mega 3 compared to some of the vendors who use hybrid SIM slots which restrict usage of even a second SIM slot when a microSD card is needed.
Other than its headline feature, the Coolpad Mega 3 smartphone sports a minimalistic design. The front features a 5.5-inch HD (720x1080-pixel) IPS display with 269ppi pixel density. The Coolpad Mega 3's screen was legible to us in direct sunlight, and text appeared crisp. We felt that the display was slightly dull at maximum brightness, but viewing angles were good. At 8.3mm thick, the Coolpad Mega 3 isn't the thinnest smartphone we have seen and it definitely felt slightly heavy at around 170 grams. Nevertheless, Coolpad Mega 3 was still easy to use with just one hand, and our thumb was able to reach the top of the screen as well as the bottom. A volume rocker is on the left, while the power button is on the right. The tactile feel of the buttons was good. The Coolpad Mega 3's rear shell is made of plastic and can be removed to reveal the battery compartment, three SIM slots, and microSD card slot.
The Coolpad Mega 3 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the company's CoolUI skin. There is no app drawer, which means all app icons are spread across the homescreens. The Coolpad Mega 3 unit we checked didn't have many preloaded apps. The phone packs a 3050mAh battery and supports 4G with VoLTE, which means it should be usable on the Reliance Jio network.
In the time we spent getting acquainted with the Coolpad Mega 3, we found that it was responsive to our touch inputs and was quick with multitasking. It is based on a 1.25GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 processor and has 2GB of RAM. The Mega 3 smartphone also 16GB of inbuilt storage with support for up to 64GB microSD cards.
The Coolpad Mega 3 has 8-megapixel rear and front cameras. Both have apertures of f/2.2. We found the camera app on the Mega 3 quick, and it launched without any delay. Shots taken in daylight looked decent, with reasonable colour accuracy but a lack of detail. The Coolpad Mega 3 front camera took passable selfies. Stay tuned for our detailed Coolpad Mega 3 review when we really get a chance to test the performance and cameras of the smartphone under varied conditions.
Coming to the Coolpad Note 3S, it has the same design that we saw on the Coolpad Note 3. The overall look is plain, with the screen dominating the front. A fingerprint scanner is located on the back. At 8.6mm, the Coolpad Note 3S is thinner than its predecessor which measured 9.3mm, though it's slightly heavier at 167 grams compared to 155 grams.
The Coolpad Note 3S features the same 5.5-inch HD (720x1080-pixel) IPS display as the Note 3. The company has however added 2.5D glass on the new Note 3S. The display was bright and colour reproduction was decent. Black levels looked good as well. Coolpad Note 3S runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based with the CoolUI 8.0 skin. It looks heavily customised, with a whole new set of icons.
The Coolpad Note 3S sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and an f/2.2 aperture, while there is a 5-megapixel selfie camera with fixed focus and an f/2.2 aperture as well. Notably, the Coolpad Note 3 had similar camera specifications. The Coolpad Note 3S camera app was easy to use with a few options available with a single tap. The camera app had photo, video, beauty, pro, and night modes. Images we took in daylight showed good details and were bright. We could see noise on the sides of the images when zooming in. The Coolpad Note 3S front camera took decent selfies.
Coolpad Note 3S's processor is the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 processor, and is backed by 3GB of RAM. We found that the apps launched quickly, and the screen was responsive to touches. The Note 3S smartphone comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage and support for microSD cards of up to 32GB.
Coolpad Note 3S battery capacity is 2500mAh, which the company claims can deliver up to 200 hours on standby. We are slightly disappointed with the company's decision to reduce the Note 3S battery capacity, considering that the Coolpad Note 3 had a larger 3000mAh battery.
The Coolpad Mega 3 and Coolpad Note 3S have been priced at Rs. 6,999 and Rs. 9,999 respectively. Both models will go on sale from December 7 and will be available exclusively on Amazon India. It will be interesting to see how the Coolpad Mega 3's unique triple-SIM feature is received by consumers in India. The Coolpad Note 3S is an upgrade to the already popular Note 3 family. Both new smartphones can expect to see strong competition from the likes of the Moto E3 Power, Xiaomi Redmi 3S, and other smartphones priced within the same band.