Coolpad took everyone by surprise by launching the specs-heavy Note 3 smartphone at a ridiculously low price of Rs. 8,999 a couple of months back.
The smartphone boasts a combination of high-end specs including a fingerprint sensor, 13MP rear camera, 3GB RAM, 3,000mAh battery, and more, which is rare to a phone in this price segment. In fact at the time of its launch, Coolpad Note 3 was the only budget smartphone under Rs 10,000 category that featured a fingerprint recognition technology.
With such specifications, the Note 3 smartphone sets a benchmark in the budget smartphone segment. However, considering that specs mentioned on paper might work differently in reality, we tested the camera of the phone to know more about it.
To recap, the Coolpad Note 3 has a 13MP rear camera paired with an LED flash and support for full-HD 1080p video recording. Moreover, it has f/2.0 aperture, a 5 piece lens, and 1.4 micron pixel size. The phone has a 5MP front-facing selfie camera. The camera software inlcudes beautification mode, Panorama and other tools.
Here is our shootout of the Coolpad Note 3 camera to give you a detailed review of how it works in different conditions:
Outside, Day light:
From slightly closer:
The 13MP camera on Coolpad Note 3 took nice picture in daylight (partially cloudy winter afternoon), with nice colour reproduction, and good contrasts and brightness. Most pictures were well detailed but some of them were not exactly sharp. However, if we compare the camera results with others in this price range, we would that the phone's camera is far better than many others in this segment.
Close up/ Macro shots:
The Coolpad Note 3 is surprisingly good for macro shots, especially for a smartphone of this genre. We tried its camera at different day times and lighting situations, outdoors as well as indoors, and found the pictures to be nice and detailed, with vibrant colours. As you can notice in the sample shots, the colours have come really well even in outdoor locations. Good part is that the camera focuses really fast and there is not much noise in images.
Pictures that we took from a distance were not actually disappointing. You will not get depth in images, and can notice pixilation on zooming in slightly in to images.
Indoor/ Dim light shots:
We also tried capturing images indoors and noticed that the camera does not work wonders in ambient lighting conditions. As can be seen in the images, the camera highlighted the focused part well but blurred areas around it, when used in ambient light. The f/2.0 aperture does help in letting in more light, but you notice lack of details and ruptured textures on zooming in to images to their actual size. Some of the images were washed out.
You can notice the disruption in these images clicked from slightly different angles:
Photo from another angle, at a differnent time of the day, in slightly better light!
The 5MP camera on the phone is pretty good. We shot some nice selfies in good as well as low light situations. The camera software helps the front camera in clicking better images, with retouches. However, it is not exactly best as we have seen better.
Selfie clicked in day light:
Selfie taken in low light:
The Pro mode actually allows a user to tweak ISO settings, exposure, and white balance to add drama to the images. The feature has a ring like interface with setting options for ISO, exposure, and white balance, and is quite handy to be used.
Here is another shot!
The Coolpad Note 3 has a good camera for a budget smartphone, but has some shortcomings as well. It actually works wonder in day light and is capable of taking some brilliant shots, however when it comes to photographing in dim light conditions, this is an average performer. The phone can shoot photos with good colours and details, but there are times when you will notice noise in images, mostly when shot indoors.
Moreover, the camera on the phone is supported with few effects, and various modes including HDR and Panorama. Modes and effects can easily be applied to the images and help in making pics look better.
Overall, we give a thumbs up to the Coolpad Note 3 for its camera performance, considering its price and less number of good camera phones in this price range.