Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Review: Coolpad Mega 2.5d is a big screen phone on a budget

Coolpad's new smartphone ticks off almost everything you would expect from an affordable Android phone

The perception about big-screen phones is changing. Some of these phones do not feel unmanageable and heavy to use anymore, and they also look good in most cases. Coolpad’s Mega 2.5d is one such smartphone which fits that description of big-screen phones very well. Priced at 6,999, this affordable smartphone is one of the best looking budget smartphones in this price point. The smartphone is available only on Amazon.in at present.

Design: Big yet handy

The Coolpad Mega 2.5d is a job well done when it comes to the design and build quality. Despite the plastic body, the phone feels well-built and looks as good as perhaps some of the more expensive smartphones. The soft matte finish, the curved back design and flat edges along the spine adds to the good grip of the phone. Interestingly, the phone weighs just 140g, making it one of the lightest big-screen smartphones we have come across recently. The Moto G4 Plus weighs 155g and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 tips the scales at 164g.

Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

The SIM and microSD card slots are placed on the side panel, while the volume and power keys are placed on opposite sides, minimizing the chances of accidentally pressing the volume keys instead of the power button. The camera module on the back juts out a little but is uniquely designed and looks good.

Display: Big screen is not the sharpest

The 5.5-inch display has a resolution of 1,280x720p. This isn’t much on paper and one can see a bit of roughness around the app icons and in games. However, it is still not entirely a letdown as the colours look rich. The screen looks good from wide angles and holds well in bright light as well. Surprisingly, it looks clean and doesn’t pick up smudges as readily as budget smartphones tend to do. Clearly, Coolpad has used some sort of oleophobic coating on the screen.

Software: new Android with a confusing UI

The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, which makes it one of the few smartphones in this range to run the latest available version of Android. Coolpad uses its own custom UI which looks like any other Chinese phone interface. It is a colourful interface with eye popping themes. The UI feels a bit overwhelming and is not as easy to figure out as stock Android. The fact that it allows users to change the way it looks isn’t its only highlight. Some of the Android 6.0 features such as Now OnTap was available in Google settings but it wasn’t working. Also, there aren’t too many apps, which means more free space for users to download what they want.

Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Swiping down on the home screen at point shows a search tab where you can look up for anything including an app, contact or photo on the phone. We have seen a similar feature in Huawei’s Honor smartphones.

Performance: Good with most mainstream tasks

The Coolpad Mega 2.5d is powered by a MediaTek MT6735P octa-core processor which is paired with 3GB RAM. While it is strong enough to handle day-to-day tasks such as social networking, web browsing, movie playback and YouTube videos quite well, it is no different from a majority of budget smartphones when it comes to handling heavy tasks. With graphic-intensive games such as FIFA 16 or Asphalt 8, it tends to feel a bit sluggish at times. There is no heating up, though.

The phone offers 16GB of internal storage, while the microSD allows one to add up to 32GB to it. Both SIM slots support 4G networks, which is good news for Hotstar and Youtube users.

The phone’s 2,500mAh battery is a mixed bag and barely lasts a day if you don’t stress it.

Camera: Fails to impress

The smartphone comes with an 8-megapixel camera with flash. It is fast and easy to use but struggles when it comes to detail and colour reproduction. Even under bright daylight, colours look washed out. Night-time shots look noisy and marred by light reflections. The results from the 8-megapixel front camera are comparatively better and even indoors, you can take good enough shots for your social media posts.

Verdict

The Coolpad Mega 2.5d has great build quality and design, and is one of the few truly affordable and genuine big-screen phones.

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