The Indian smartphone market is the most exciting market and everyone reading our blog knows it as we are very bullish on it. One of the latest entrant in this market from China is Coolpad. The company has launched two devices in India partnering exclusively with Snapdeal. One is a flagship, the Dazen X7 and another is a budget smartphone, the Dazen 1. Today, we bring you the Coolpad Dazen 1 review.
The budget smartphone market, which ranges between Rs 5,000-9,000 in India, is the most happening market. Couple of years back, Motorola gave birth to this niche with the Moto E and now we have each and every manufacturer trying their luck at this segment. This has led to a lot of ‘good’ budget devices, which provides a great overall Android experience, which was not the case couple of years back. Coolpad Dazen 1 is another wannabe to crack this market. Priced at Rs 6,999 and exclusively being sold on Snapdeal, that too via flash sales, it has certainly grabbed a lot of eyeballs. The device saw more than 1,00,000 registrations for its pilot sale, which took place on June 9. According to the company officials, 10,000 units were sold out in a couple of seconds. Well that’s good to see but not surprising at all considering the hardware these devices comes with.
Hardware and Build Quality
The Dazen 1 by Coolpad features a 5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD IPS display and is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 64-bit processor along with Adreno 306 GPU. It has 2 GB of RAM and comes with 8 GB of internal memory, which can also be expanded via microSD card.
The top houses the 3.5mm audio jack whereas the right side holds the power button. On the left, we have the volume rocker and at the bottom we get the microUSB port for data syncing and charging. The rear camera sits at the top half on the back along with the LED flash by its side and also a secondary microphone. Below that, we have the dazen branding. At the bottom, we get the Coolpad branding followed by the speaker grill. On the front, we have a front-facing camera at the top right paired with a couple of sensors. Below the 5-inch 720p display sits three capacitive touch buttons, which are backlit.
This budget phone has a plastic body but it isn’t flimsy like most devices out there. It feels good in hand with a solid grip due to the 9.3 mm thick body. It weighs 151 grams, which is a sweet spot of not being too bulky or being too skinny. In spite of rocking a 5-inch display, we can grip the phone with one hand easily and reach all the four corners. This makes it easy to hold and use it for long duration without any stress. Overall, it has a good build quality but certainly has room for improvement.
Coolpad Dazen 1 Review: Display
The Coolpad Dazen 1 has a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. It boasts of 178-degree viewing angle and 16-million colour depth. It is a good display but not the brightest and colours are on the softer side. The touch screen is also over sensitive to our liking. We are spoilt by some great displays available in this range. Thus, in spite of being a good display it is only above average due to the cutthroat competition in the market from the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 2, Lenovo A6000 Plus and many more.
Coolpad Dazen 1 Review: Performance and Gaming
The Dazen 1 houses a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) processor. It is the latest gen 64-bit chipset and comes with Adreno 306 GPU. Coupled with the chipset, we have 2 GB of RAM, which takes care of the day-to-day performance. The smartphone did not lag or drop frame rates during normal usage. It did not heat much as well which is always a good thing. Overall, the performance is smooth, thanks to the 2GB RAM and the tried and test Snapdragon 410.
Coming to the gaming performance, if you play graphics intensive games like Asphalt 8, Mortal Kombat X, Modern Combat 5, etc, it surely will lag and drop frame rates. As a budget device, it is expected and none in this range can play those smoothly. However, it takes care of 3D games like 8Ball, Temple Run, etc ensuring smooth gameplay. Overall, we would say it does a pretty decent job on both the aspects.
Coolpad Dazen 1 Review: Camera
We get a 8 megapixel rear shooter on the Dazen 1 which comes with a LED flash. It can shoot at maximum resolution of 720p at 30 fps. The auto-focus camera has problems focusing sometimes which is not so encouraging to say the least. The images shot by the camera produces soft colours and sometimes has a lot of grain, even during daylight. Don’t even think of capturing low light images with this one, as it will not come out well. The camera UI comes with professional mode but is cluttered and not easy to access, with options all over the place. We would have liked a cleaner UI but that can be done in future updates to Cool UI. The video captured by the camera is also not up to the mark.
On the front, we have a 5 megapixel camera, which lags quite a bit while taking selfies or video calling with someone. It also produces soft images, which is average. Overall, if you’re buying a budget smartphone to showcase your photography skills, then stay away. If you’re okay with a decent camera and expect nothing fancy, then you’re good to go.
Coolpad Dazen 1 Review: Software and Battery Life
Coolpad brings Cool UI to the Dazen 1, the in-house custom UI built on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. The Cool UI 6.0 needs a lot of refinement and we believe it will get there in time. It looks a lot like the MIUI but has an option of enabling app drawer. Users not so familiar with iOS style UI can switch that on and will not face any issues. It comes with bloatware and has two separate icons for locking and changing wallpapers. Not so cool, Coolpad! The UI is sluggish and lags sometime but with timely updates, it can be fixed. It has a lot of gestures. It also has an in-built Themes app but it looks like Coolpad has forgotten to upload themes. We are sure the company will push new themes in the near future. Overall, it is usable but has certain issues, which are fixable.
It rocks a 2,500 mAh battery under the hood which easily lasts for a day on moderate usage. Usually, we got 4 hours+ of Screen on time (SOT) with mixture of multimedia content, surfing and gaming. The phone takes around an hour and half to fully charge from 0-100.
Coolpad Dazen 1 Review: Final Verdict
Coolpad has done a fairly decent job with the Dazen 1. Priced at Rs 6,999, an affordable budget phone, the device justifies the price tag. It certainly is not the leader in the budget smartphone category in the Indian market but deserves a place in the top 3. If you’re looking to try something new and refreshing at an affordable price or looking to specifically try out a product from Coolpad, a new entrant in India, then go ahead with the purchase. It is being sold exclusively on Snapdeal every Tuesday via flash sales. In case, you want to grab it on the next sale (June 16), registrations start at 11am, June 11.
Do let us know in the comment section below if you liked our Coolpad Dazen 1 review or not and give suggestions for further improvement. We will have a lot of other smartphone and app reviews in the pipeline which are coming soon.