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The best below 100€?
Package
Built quality
Screen
Battery
Android
Translations
Memory
Dual sim
3G/4G support
Photo / video
Performance
Conclusion
Where can I buy the Cool1?
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Leeco Coolpad Cool1 test / review

Leeco Coolpad Cool1 test and review

Category: Tests / Reviews


The best below 100€?


Nowadays, for less than 100€, you don't get anything, especially in the world of smartphones. I wanted to buy an entry-level smartphone for my mom and looking at what's available in Europe for that price, I quickly decided to look for a Chinese smartphone. I was looking for an easy to use smartphone with a decent screen, solid, with a good battery and capable of taking good pictures. All that for less than 100€, was I dreaming too much? In Europe and for that budget, you only get the lower end of the Alcatel or Acer range, whereas in China we find very good devices for the same price range. I first thought of buying a Xiaomi but most of their models don't support our European 3G/4G frequencies very well. I finally bought a Leeco Coolpad Cool1 and here is my review, it's nothing scientific, it's just a personal experience.





Package


The packaging of the Cool1 is very basic and the few pictures on the box do not inspire quality but don't let the packaging fool you, beauty is inside. The box contains the strict minimum: a manual in English reduced to its strict minimum (just a foldable sheet), headphones, a charger/usb, a protective film and of course the phone. It doesn't take more than that to use a phone but a needle to open the sim card compartment would have been a good idea, I had to struggle a little bit to open the sim card compartment. Package is very basic but you don't use the package so in the end it doesn't matter so much.




Leeco Coolpad Cool1 test avis review


Built quality


The Leeco Coolpad Cool1 is the first Chinese smartphone I've bought. Before having the phone in my hands I was a little bit concerned about quality. Cheap Chinese devices usually feel and look cheap too and the packaging didn't reassure me. I immediately changed my mind when I picked up the phone in my hands. The phone is impressive with its 5.5-inch screen and the materials used really give the impression of having a solid and well built phone. Share it with your friends and challenge them to find the price of this Cool1, hide the brand and ask for their first impression, they will all tell you this phone feels like medium range or at least way above its actual price.

Build quality is a double-edged sword because when it comes with cheap phones, you tend to expect more from the phone and forget that it's a cheap phone. I often thought about that when writing these lines, each time I compared my experience with what I would expect from a much more expensive phone. If you keep in mind that this phone is available for less than 100€, you'll probably reconsider some of your criterias. This Coolpad Cool1 if probably one of the best phones in this price range.

The phone is made of metal in a mate finish, it does not squeak when held, the edge is chrome-plated. The camera comes out a little bit at the back without but nothing to worry about. Fingerprint sensor is at the rear below the camera. Leeco has opted for front panel physical buttons, a button for the task and menu manager, a button for returning to the home screen and a button for going back. These buttons are only visible when you actually press them.

On the side there are two buttons for volume (up and down) and a button to turn the screen on/off. You can take screenshots by combining the button to decrease the volume and the button to turn the screen on/off. It is better to hold your finger on the on/off button first, otherwise you'll keep on lowering the volume instead. They should have used the home button instead as you need both hands to take a screenshot with this combination.

Build quality and finish is exemplary, the design is nice, the screen covers a maximum of space. A nice achievement!





Leeco Coolpad Cool1 test avis review

Screen


The screen has a 1920x1080 resolution for a pixel density of 403pp, this type of resolution is not common for phones below 100€. Pixel density is good without being exceptional. When I switched on the phone for the first time, the first thing that struck me was the lack of depth of black. I've been using for several years now an old Nokia Lumia that offers really black blacks where you hardly see any difference between the black edge of the phone and the black of the screen. Coolpad Cool1 Coolpad is not as good as my old Nokia at that level, the blacks are not black enough because of the backlighting. It is far from catastrophic but it impacts image quality.

Apart from black, the colour rendering is quite ok, colours could be a little warmer but it's all a matter of personal taste. The screen can easily compete with much more expensive devices, it won't embarrass you (unless you compare it with a Galaxy S8 or similar).








Battery


With more than 4000 mAh the Cool1 offers a high capacity battery, so you should expect in theory an above average autonomy but in reality, the autonomy is good without being exceptional. The large screen size probably plays a role. My reference in the matter is my old Nokia Lumia which after 4 years of good and loyal service still offer a 2 days autonomy in intensive use where many newer and more expensive phones don't last that long.

After fully charging the phone for the first time, I let it run without much use, the battery lasted 3 days. In normal use, the phone will last 2 days and in intensive use, you should be able to last a day. Given the size of the screen, this is not a bad performance at all, quite the contrary! It takes about 2 hours to fully charge the phone.








Android


The Cool1 comes with Android 6 (Marshmallow) but the interface has been modified by Leeco and renamed EUI. This Leeco interface does not change much to the Android experience, it is neither better nor worse. I'm not used to Android and it really didn't disturb me, I quickly found my marks and I didn't encounter any particular problem. I didn't have the slightest crash or error message, the operating system is well developed. The learning curve is not steep, a non-Android user should be able to find his way without any problem.

There's one thing I didn't really like, but as I'm not an Android specialist, I don't know if it has anything to do with the phone or Android. I find that the font size is really small and even at maximum size, it's still small. If you don't have good eyesight, this phone may not be right for you.
Leeco Coolpad Cool1 test avis review







Translations


Coolpad Cool1 is sold in an international version, so you should theoretically find a lot of languages. The list is indeed long but the French translation was incomplete. Only part of the menus are in French, the rest is in English and sometimes some traces of Chinese. For my part, I don't have a problem understanding English, so I didn't have a problem with that. If you are not fluent in English, this phone is not for you. You can partially work around the problem by installing correctly translated applications, but this will not solve the problem of phone menus that will remain in English (or Chinese).




Leeco Coolpad Cool1 test avis review

Memory


The version I tried had 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Even if 3Gb is more than enough for normal phone use, you may need to close some applications after a while or you'll end up not having memory left to use your phone. This problem is not specific to this phone, it's just a limitation that you have to be aware of when buying an Android phone with 3Gb.

The phone does not have a memory card slot. With 32b, you will be able to store a lot of photos but one day you will inevitably have to clean up and transfer your photos elsewhere. The applications will also quickly occupy living space to the point of obliging you to make choices. This phone is therefore not designed for people who use a large number of applications at the same time because the RAM memory will not allow them to run at the same time and the storage space will force them to compromise.








Dual sim


You won't find many dual sim phones in Europe, it's something more common in Asia. The Coolpad Cool1 has two micro-sim slots but since it doesn't have two sim cards, I couldn't test this feature but I thought it was worth mentionning.




3G/4G support


Support for European 3G and 4G frequencies is often a problem with Chinese smartphones because even if the phones are 3G or 4G compatible, they do not always use the same frequencies as in Europe, this is often the case with Xiaomi. So you end up with a handsome phone that doesn't work with your network provider. The Cool1 is an exception to the rule, it perfectly supports European 3G/4G frequencies and does it quite well. Proximus network coverage at home is almost non-existent, most of the time I'm offline. With the Cool1, I've seen an improvement, it does it better than my Nokia. I didn't expect this at all from a Chinese phone.







Photo / video


The camera is made of a dual sensor such as the Huawei P10, this dual sensor takes one color and one black-and-white picture to ensure better contrast. There is nothing exotic about this system, you see this on more and more devices nowadays. What is the Cool1's camera worth? The photos are correct, the quality is quite acceptable but we will not remember this phone as a champion in terms of photography. In any case, in this price range and especially among the Chinese phones, the Cool1 scores pretty well. The colors are a little too cold and in low light, the image quickly becomes grainy but all this doesn't matter much if you just want to capture memories without printing them on very large formats.

Below you will find a picture taken with the camera, it illustrates quite well what the camera can do. The light was not good, it was a rainy day. The 2.0 aperture captures a lot of light in low light conditions but the photo becomes a bit granular (but not in a disastrous way). With a 2.0 aperture you also clearly see the limits in terms of depth of field, the focus is on the ship and everything in the front and rear is quickly blurred. The colors are a little cold but that can be modified with the camera application. Sharpness is good in the center but fades away rapidly, if you shoot with a 2.0 aperture, you'll need to take this into account.

Leeco Coolpad Cool1 test avis review

The lens opens at 2.0 which allows a maximum of light to enter. This type of aperture makes it easier to take pictures when the lighting conditions are not optimal, but of course there is a backlight. With such an aperture, the depth of field is limited and an object will quickly find itself in the blurred area. With the manual parameters, I didn't see any possibility to manually choose the aperture, it must be possible somewhere tough. This may never be a problem for the majority of users, but when you're interested in photography, it's the kind of thing that can turn you off.

The camera is very fast, it's quite rare on cheap phones, the shooting is almost instantaneous. This is one of the strong points of the device. The photo application also offers all sorts of filters to play with, I personally find it quite useless but each one has its own taste. With the proposed 13 million pixels, you can easily sacrifice a few of them to play with visual effects.

Video quality is good, it's aligned with what you get from photos, here too there are a lot of filters and effects to awaken the artist in you. The video is of correct quality and again taking into account the price, one can not blame much for the image quality.







Performance


Performance is one of the strong points of the device, it exceeds 70,000 points on Antutu and for those who don't understand what that means, know that this kind of performance at this price is quite rare. The phone reacts quickly, the camera is fast and switches from one screen to another without the slightest delay. Performance is above all a marketing argument for gamers but here we also feel the advantage in the daily use of the phone. Phones like the Galaxy S8 are 3 to 4 times more powerful than the Cool1 but the price is 6 to 7 times higher, so the Cool1 is doing just fine.







Conclusion


The Leeco Coolpad Cool1 is a nice surprise. This phone offers good performance, long battery life, good connectivity to the 3G/4G network and correct photos without compromising manufacturing quality. I bought this phone for 94 € (delivery included), at this price you will not find many phones of this quality there.




Strengths

- performance
- speed of the camera
- battery life
- stable and easy to use OS
- photo quality
- 3G/4G compatibility



Weaknesses

- translations
- no memory card slot
- font size



This phone will appeal to a fairly large audience because it offers everything you can expect from a smartphone without being the best in a particular category. Apart from the missing translations, it has no major flaws either. I had bought it for my mother, it was her first smartphone and after a few explanations, she did very well. The next day I received my first picture by e-mail. If I had to buy a phone for me, I would not take this phone because I am much more demanding in terms of photography but in this price range, I would never find happiness.



The overall score is a subjective assessment of the telephone experience, taking into account its price.




Where can I buy the Cool1?


Aliexpress
Gearbest
Please note that purchases in China may incur additional customs charges.

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