Camera review: Coolpad Note 5

Coolpad’s new budget smartphone offers a 13-megapixel camera with some cool modes and filters


Coolpad Note 5
Coolpad Note 5

Camera is often the key talking point in smartphones made by Chinese companies. Some impress with their picture quality, while some offer interesting modes and filters which are not available on phones of Indian makers. Priced at Rs.10,999, Coolpad’s new budget smartphone Note 5 offers a mix of both.

The smartphone comes with a 13-megapixel camera with aperture f/2.2 and can record videos at 1,080p @ 30 fps. It also supports touch to focus and has a LED flash for low-light shots. There is also a low-light mode which can light up darker areas and deliver slightly better results in low light. The camera app shows a few modes on the home screen itself, while a few are hidden away and can be accessed by tapping on a few screen buttons. One of the on screen-buttons takes you to the various live filters, where you can see what the final shot will be like. The other button takes you to camera modes such as Long exposure, Watermark and Panorama. The modes on the screen include night, beauty and professional.

Landscape

This is a long shot of the top few storeys of a building with the sky in the background. The sky in the background shows a dull shade of blue, which is what it actually looked like to the bare eyes. It hasn’t tried to enhance colours for effect, which suggests you will get mostly accurate shots out of this camera, at least under natural light. Though detailing is good as we could see the windows and balcony of the top storeys clearly, the image loses its crispness.

Food

This is an indoor shot taken under yellow light, yet the white colour on the sugar particles and the brown of the donut looks affected. This shows that the camera can handle reflections well, but struggles when it comes to getting the focus right. There is no macro mode which could improve things.

Flower

In another close-up but under natural light, the camera has captured the pink in the flower very accurately. The darker shade within the pink colour in the flower petals stands out from the lighter shades clearly. The background looks well-illuminated. As a result, the fine lines on the leaves are clearly visible.

Street view

Darker colours look a bit hard to decipher here. The green colour in the trees looks a little too bright, for example. Lighter colours such as the colour of the sky and that of the buildings look near-real, though. We could read the text in shops clearly but as we zoomed in, the level of noise increased significantly.

Low light

Like most budget smartphones, low-light photography is not one of the strong points of the Coolpad Note 5. While colours look realistic to a great extent, the lack of sharpness was visible on the phone’s screen itself. On a bigger screen, the amount of noise becomes clearer.

READ MORE