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Coolpad Modena in the test: stuttering China Ferrari for little money
China smartphone for 170 euros: dream and reality are far apart in the Coolpad Modena.
Assessment of the editors
The Coolpad Modena sounds promising, but disappoints in practice. Apart from the low price and the good workmanship, the German debut for the Chinese hardly offers any incentives to buy. The screen is large, but the quality is no longer up-to-date and the outdated technology also requires a lot of patience. Particularly bold: advertising promises and reality are far apart! So look around for smaller alternatives or put a little more money on the table - there are better smartphones: for example the Lumia 640 XL, the current Moto G or Huawei's P8 Lite.
- Cheap price
- Inexpensive memory expansion thanks to micro-SD
- Dual SIM
- Outdated screen resolution
- Weak technology makes the system sluggish
- The camera does not take good pictures
- The battery cannot be changed
A smartphone for 170 euros: e-waste or a bargain? COMPUTER BILD took a closer look at the Chinese Coolpad Modena.
Champagne? More like champagne or seltzer!
Fiery emotions fall by the wayside from the very first contact. Instead of bright red Ferrari red, the usual color palette awaits you when you unpack: The Modena comes in white, black or in the champagne variant available at COMPUTER BILD. Their pale gold should give the smartphone a noble and high-quality appearance - just like sparkling Dom Pérignon. This succeeds to some extent with regard to the comparatively low standards that are set for devices in the lower price regions, but the bottom line is that it looks more like cheap sparkling wine from the next best petrol station.
Modena Coolpad: XXL smartphone for 170 eurosSpeaking of scale: The Coolpad Modena is visually reminiscent of a mixture of Apple's iPhone 3GS and the Galaxy S3 from Samsung - and with its rounded back, it cannot deny similarities to the ZUK Z1. Incidentally, contrary to what the first glance suggests, the rear is not made of metal; instead, slightly roughened plastic is used. There is not much left of the Italian high gloss, but the Modena is at least surprisingly comfortable to hold.
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Lots of frame around stone age display
The heart of the new Coolpad, however, is the large 5.5-inch screen - if the resolution were right ... A Full HD display (1920x1080 pixels) would of course be wishful thinking given the low price. But even an HD panel (1024x768) is not used in the Modena. Instead, the Chinese built a screen with the ancient resolution of 960x540 pixels - the relic from prehistoric times was now considered to be almost extinct. A questionable decision, which, given the large screen diagonal, involuntarily seduces to count the coarse pixel mass. With a pixel density of 200 ppi, the relatively dark LC display is hardly up-to-date.
The screen lacks sharpness, but presents colors well.
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Patience is (not) a smartphone virtue
Optics can be discussed, but bare numbers don't lie: Will the Coolpad journey into the smartphone past also continue on the inside or is a Ferrari wolf in Fiat sheep's clothing slumbering here? Anyone who expects a lightning-fast sports car engine with the latest electrical technology is clearly wrong with the Modena. The Snapdragon 410 from Qualcomm clocks with 4 times 1.2 gigahertz, 1 gigabyte of RAM supports the chip. Full throttle drives in the fast lane are hardly manageable, instead the lazy everyday life runs between other smartphone forty-toners.
The waiting times until the app starts are long, but the journey through the surface is fluid.
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The low resolution of the display has a positive effect on the battery, which stores energy reserves of 2,500 milliampere hours (mAh). In the practical test, it lasted a working day with normal use without any problems, but asked for new juice in the evening. The comparatively small battery size is surprising, however, and inexpensive Chinese smartphones such as the ZTE Blade A452 now have capacities of 4,000 mAh and more. But it can be exchanged without any problems - at least that is what the trained eye believes when removing the back. But a closer look speaks a different language! The circuit board of the energy dispenser is permanently built into the body. A change is therefore not possible, although the structure and shape suggest it. The internal memory is also tight. Of the specified 8 gigabytes (GB), there is no net 5 GB left. At least the space problem can be solved with the help of a micro SD memory card - the memory can be expanded by an additional 32 gigabytes if desired. The Coolpad Modena also features WLAN-n, LTE with all important frequencies (CAT4 with up to 150 megabits per second) and Bluetooth 4.0. In addition, two nano SIM cards can be operated in parallel.
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Dreary camera technology off the shelf
When it comes to the camera, the Coolpad Modena really doesn't tear up trees: the rear lens offers a resolution of 8 megapixels, and a single LED flash also provides some light. But that doesn't help - the test photos taken are a dreary shadow of modern smartphone cameras. The snapshots lack everything, especially details, sharpness and variety of colors - that makes even the cheaper competition with fewer megapixels significantly better! The same picture with the front camera: With its 2 megapixels, only a few intoxicating self-portraits succeed. Hard-core smartphone photographers try the hardly better video mode, which captures the moving images in full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels).
VGA, is it you? The quality of the photos is reminiscent of cell phone pictures from ten years ago.
Coolpad Modena: prices, availability
The Coolpad Modena will be available from the end of February 2016 in champagne, white and black at a price of 169 euros. But that is only supposed to be the beginning of the major offensive. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer plans to launch the Torino S and the Porto S for 199 euros each in March. A waiting time that should be worthwhile: The mobile companions are not only smaller than the Modena, but also sharper thanks to the HD display (1024x768 pixels).
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