Coolpad Recently Released their CoolPad Mega 2.5D Smartphone which came in at a sweet price of bellow Rs 10,000 price bracket, a segment where we haven’t seen any new phone for some time now. The last phone that added some spark in the segment was with the launch of Xiaomi Redmi 3S and the Redmi 3S Prime. Now with the Coolpad Mega 2.5D Coolpad is trying to change the game and provide consumers with better build quality and more of a premium device in under RS 10,000 smartphone segment. Does the Coolpad Mega Fulfills its promises? Let’s find out in the CoolPad Mega 2.5D Review.

Coolpad is also another Chinese brand known for disrupting the market with their budget offerings. Their phone is only available through the flash sale model, for now, the Mega 2.5D is a selfie-focused smartphone with a big emphasis on design. Although it might seem like major competition for the Redmi 3s, we feel the Mega 2.5D is a great choice for those who are looking for a larger screen in the sub-RS 10,000 segment.

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Design and build

The Coolpad Mega 2.5D is certainly a good looking smartphone in its golden avatar and we can see Coolpad has paid close attention to the build as well as fit and finish of the chassis. The 2.5D in its name refers to the curved glass on top of the display and the mega specifies is larger screen size. This display glass is manufactured by NEG (Nippon Electric Glass) and we can expect a certain degree of scratch protection. There are black bezels on the either side of the display, which creates a nice illusion of an edge-to-edge panel when the screen is turned off.

 The 5.5-inch display has to make do with just HD resolution, which is fairly common in this segment. However, due to the size of the display, the pixel density is a bit low which makes it looks a little bit blurry and has jagged edges around the text. There’s a notification LED on the top and onscreen navigation buttons, so you save some space at the bottom.The Coolpad Mega 2.5D is an easy smartphone to live with although some of its software features may seem to be a replica of Apple iOS but overall the phones feel great to use, and thankfully, it’s not too heavy (143 grams) and fairly slim. The phone has a metal frame but the entire back is made of plastic. Other than the screen, the rest of the phone doesn’t attract fingerprints so it’s easy to keep it clean. The buttons feel responsive to touch and their placement is fairly ergonomic.

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 The hybrid SIM tray is placed on the right while the headphone and Micro-USB ports take their place on the top and bottom respectively. The back has a slight curve, which makes it feel less of a slab in your hand. There’s a camera module on the top and a speaker at the bottom. The problem with the rounded back is that it blocks the speaker completely when it’s placed on a flat surface, thereby muffling any incoming alerts.The camera module juts out a bit too which could scuff the paint job after prolonged usage. The Coolpad Mega 2.5D ships with a 7.5W power adapter, data cable, and headset. The phone has good aesthetics and is built well. There’s no fingerprint sensor here but that’s forgivable given the price.

The camera module juts out a bit too which could scuff the paint job after prolonged usage. The Coolpad Mega 2.5D ships with a 7.5W power adapter, data cable, and headset. The phone has good aesthetics and is built well. There’s no fingerprint sensor here but that’s forgivable given the price.

Specifications and software

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Under the hood, we have a MediaTek MT6735P quad-core SoC, which honestly, isn’t the best choice in this day and age. Any other budget chipset from Qualcomm (expect maybe the Snapdragon 410) would have been welcomed here. Coolpad also throws in 3GB of RAM, which no one else does at this price point, yet. However, having more RAM doesn’t mean better performance and the benchmarks reflect this. AnTuTu returned only 24667 points while GFXbench’s T-Rex test gave us just 8fps, which is very weak.The rest of the specifications include 16GB of storage (expandable by up to 32GB), Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB OTG, FM radio, and GPS. The phone also supports 4G on both SIM slots for Indian bands.

Android Marshmallow is completely unrecognisable with Coolpad’s CoolUI 8.0 skin running on top. The changes are quite unnecessary if you ask me. Swiping up from below brings up Control Centre, which has brightness control, a row of shortcuts to apps, and customisable toggle switches for pretty much everything you’ll need. There’s also screen recording baked into the firmware.C-button is similar to Xiaomi’s Quick Ball implementation, which gives you a floating circular overlay which sticks to the edges of the display. Pressing it opens up a carousel of shortcuts which you can flick through. It has its uses if you want to navigate Android with one hand, but other than that, it can be annoying as it tends to get in the way of what you’re doing.

There is a C-button, which gives you a floating circular overlay which sticks to the edges of the display. Pressing it opens up a carousel of shortcuts which you can flick through. It has its uses if you want to navigate Android with one hand, but other than that, it can be annoying as it tends to get in the way of what you’re doing.

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There are some UI design choices we wish were done differently. For instance, the notification shade is translucent which makes it hard to read a notification without having to open the app. There’s no quick way to control the music player from the home screen either. Bundled apps include Transfer, for migrating your data to another phone over Wi-Fi; Cool Manager, which lets you block calls, manage data traffic, and lock apps; Cool Service, which shows you nearby service centres; Rock Wallpaper, which randomises your wallpapers; and Cool Store, which was added in the most recent build (V019), lets you shop for apps, games and presents you deals on random products.

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Bundled apps include Transfer, for migrating your data to another phone over Wi-Fi; Cool Manager, which lets you block calls, manage data traffic, and lock apps; Cool Service, which shows you nearby service centres; Rock Wallpaper, which randomises your wallpapers; and Cool Store, which was added in the most recent build (V019), lets you shop for apps, games and presents you deals on random products.

Performance

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Display performance is quite good in terms of colour reproduction and sunlight legibility although the ambient light sensor is a bit slow to react at times. Touch response is not the best as on many occasions, the phone refused to register our input. Call quality is good but the volume level of the speaker is too weak for a telephone call. The phone runs cool mostly, however the back and the display gets very warm when using the camera.  

CoolUI 8 is pretty snappy at first but after setting it up with a few apps and games, the performance isn’t great. The heavy skin coupled with the weak chipset is most likely the culprit here, and there’s nothing the 3GB of RAM can do to save the day. There’s quite a bit of micro-stuttering in the transition effects too.

Another annoyance is the notifications for Zuimei weather and headphone jack alerts, which cannot be dismissed and end up cluttering the notification shade. Also, the latest update seems to have introduced a new bug where the GPS icon constantly flashes, despite killing all apps that use it. Google’s Now on Tap doesn’t work too, even though you can enable it. Coolpad says that functionality should come in a future update.

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The Mega 2.5D can play back full-HD videos but once again, audio performance through the speakers  is average. Audio quality is better through the bundled headset. The phone has a custom music player called Coolmusic that is functional, and also includes many equaliser presets for tweaking your music.

The phone has 8-megapixel cameras for the front and rear, both of which do an average job at best. The camera app is simple and easy to use. You can swipe up or down to switch between shooting modes like Video, Beauty, Night, and Pro. You also get Panorama, Sound and Shot, and GIF modes. Focusing speeds are slow and due to the shutter lag, you need to be very steady to get good picture. Macros have decent levels of detail although objects that aren’t in focus tend to have a halo effect around them.

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Landscape shots lack good detail and objects appear a bit fuzzy when you zoom in, even in daylight situations. Low-light performance is pretty weak, as expected from phones in this price segment. Video recording maxes out at 720p, which once again, is only usable if you shoot in good lighting conditions. For a selfie phone, the camera app lacks any added features like gesture or voice capture. You do get Beauty mode with different levels of facial enhancement options, but overall it could have been done better. The quality of the front camera is good, even indoors.

 

Verdict

The Coolpad Mega 2.5D looked quite promising for its price.The phone has the makings of being a very good large-screen alternative to the Redmi 3s, but poor choices in components and software implementation may be a flaw.

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We’re talking mainly about the chipset and the battery, both of which ruin the experience of the phone. To add to its woes, the heavy skin on top of Marshmallow feels unnecessarily bloated and sluggish due to the weak processor.

The aesthetics are probably the only good thing about the phone, but then you don’t buy a device based purely on looks. We hope to see an updated version of the Mega 2.5D with a powerful CPU, bigger battery, and a more optimised interface as we do feel such a device has a good chance of success at this price point,