In November it was time to replace my Cubot GT99 Quadcore with a new phone which had to be faster, with a longer battery life, a better camera and a slightly bigger screen while it also shouldn’t cost too much. A Chinese flagship-smartphone alternative was needed! Another requirement was that it should support the installation of custom ROMs. After a short search my attention was drawn to the unknown Coolpad F1 and its impressive specifications. Despite the simple website of the manufacturer it convinced me to buy the Coolpad F1, the high quality of the components, the well structured specification images on their website and good reviews on user forums were decisive. Besides that it turned out that Coolpad (Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific) is a top brand in China. It is the 6th largest smart phone manufacturer worldwide and the 3rd largest in China. If you are like me and also never heard of them before, then that’s because their primary market is Asia.
|Model||Coolpad F1 8297W|
|Release date||April 2014|
|OS||Android 4.2 (standard) / Upgraded with 4.4.2|
|Dim.||141 x 71.5 x 9.3 mm|
|Screen||5-inch HD screen (Gorilla Glass)|
|Camera (back)||13MP (Sony brand)|
|Processor||Octa-Core 1700MHz (Cortex A7)|
|CPU/GPU||MTK6592,GPU: Mali-450 MP4|
|Battery capacity||2500 mAh|
|Storage (in)||8 GB|
|BAND||2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 900/2100MHz
Since a couple of weeks I’m a more than satisfied owner of the budget flagship Coolpad F1 (8927W). I ordered the phone at Banggood and without a coupon it costed $163.89, at that time the cheapest and most reliable site.
After unboxing and powering up the Coolpad it was smooth and everything worked very well out of the box. But what I already expected was that many Chinese Apps where pre-installed, that is the reason to apply a custom ROM which also upgraded the Android version from 4.2 tot 4.4.2 for me. After rooting the phone (with V-Root app) I applied the following ROM: “AOSP V4 laek.17 KitKat REPACK (v3 kernel)”. More information and download links can be found on Modaco and NeedROM.
Using the Coolpad
The phone was ready for usage and it was more than satisfying! Full HD movies are sharp and fluent, the battery lasted up to 2,5 days with normal usage and all apps and other functions worked correctly. One minor issue is that the Bluetooth function is somehow not working with all other Bluetooth devices. For instance my awesome WeLoop smartwatch cannot be linked with the phone. But overall the phone impressed and I can really recommend it to everyone looking for a cheap but powerful smartphone. The Bluetooth function is hopefully a ROM issue and will probably be resolved in a newer version. The plan is to upgrade the current ROM with the upcoming new Android 5.0 Lollipop.
See the following video and pictures to give you an indication on the quality of the SONY back camera.
Coolpad F1 PLUS
Not long ago the Coolpad F1 PLUS was released on the market which is cheaper, itsupports 4G:FDD-LTE B1/B3 1800/2100MHz and Bluetooth 4.0. Compare them at devicespecifications.com and buy them at Banggood $145.99 or Pandawill $142.99. Please don’t forgot to look for a coupon.
Standard Coolpad F1
The standard Coolpad F1 version can still be bought but I can imagine that Coolpad won’t produce them anymore and probably will get out of stock soon. But for those of you who prefer the old version you can try the following links:
Pandawill: Coolpad F1 8297W Smartphone MTK6592 5.0 Inch Gorilla Glass OGS Screen 2GB 8GB 3G GPS $ 152.99
Banggood: Coolpad F1 8297W 5-inch 900 2100MHz Octa-core Smartphone White $ 189.99 (SOLD OUT)
Do you want to buy a flagship phone for a reasonable price? The Coolpad F1 Plus is certainly a good choice. If your budget is a bit higher please consider to buy the successor: the Coolpad F2.
Help Others, Share Your Thoughts
Comment below and share your questions and knowledge. Help each other with shopping in China, we all appreciate it.