Reader review: COOLPAD 8122 Review – $43 Android smarpthone

MTKForum member Milkboy has sent in his hands on review with the budget minded, Coolpad 8122 Android smartphone. Find out what he thinks in his indepth review here!

CoolPad 8122 Key Specifications

  • ANDROID JB 4.2.2
  • 4 inch TFT 800*480 multi-touch capacitive screen
  • MTK 6572, Dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 at 1.3GHZ
  • 4GB ROM 512MB RAMwith MicroSD slot
  • Triband GSM900/1800/1900 Dual sim
  • 1500mah battery
  • 2MP Fixed Focus rear Camera
  • Stereo Dual front speaker with DTS
  • FM radio
  • 720p video playback
  • 258 CNY price tag ($43)
  • WIFI and BT


  • No GPS
  • No 3G (save for China 3G TD-SCDMA)
  • No front camera for video chat/call
  • No back lighting for front key
  • No light sensor, hence no automatic brightness

Design, Build Quality and General usage Impressions

coolpad 8122 review

The CoolPad 8122 is manufactured with a silver-grey plastic with white rim, with an overall outward appearance the popular HTC One. Build and design are very good and the feel of the phone in the hand is comfortable thanks to its small size. The HTC One inspired design also means the CoolPad 8122 boats front dual stereo speaker plus there is a physical home key.

It’s nice having a 4″ INCH screen, despite being small by todays standard, it’s the perfect size for one-hand operation, and slides nicely in to skinny jeans, a small bag, purse and just about everywhere a phablet cannot.

coolpad 8122 review

Although it costs just $43 here in China the CoolPad 8122 never feels sluggish for general usage. The phone is responsive and fast, opening an app is almost instantaneous thanks to a dual-core Cortex A7 chipset, the MTK6572 by Mediatek, and its generous 512RAM, which can be considered plenty for its price.

Display and Audio (Movie and Music Playback)

A 4″inch 800*480 TFT pixel equates to a 233PPI screen, a common screen configuration at this price with a quick, standard saturation and brightness, and it is legible under a direct sunlight . What is surprising about the screen is, despite being a TFT screen, it has surprisingly wide viewing angles! Much better than I expected. Although it cannot  be compared to an IPS screen in terms of colour saturation and contras when viewing at an angle, it is still legible if you view it at ~160 degree angle.

coolpad 8122 review

coolpad 8122 review

It plays 720p videos smoothly with its HW accelerations, and it can play up to 1080p, low bitrate, with its NEON capable CPU.

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display angle steep side view

What I love the most about this phone, is its front placed dual stereo speaker with DTS. The front dual stereo speaker give a surround sound experience and plays video’s audio or music loudly which is helped by its placement, albeit not as clear compared with flagship phones.

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Camera Photo/Video quality

photo sample 2

There is nothing to write about its 2MP fixed focus camera. It has a low dynamic range, low ISO range, and it takes a bad photo or picture with a noticeable purple tinge. Its low resolution makes it incapable of reading barcodes and any small QR Codes i tried (medium-large QR codes read just fine). If i have to write a nice thing about it, despite its lackluster performance, i would say its smile detection feature, which will take automatic photo upon detecting a face with a smile.

Having a bad camera also means that video recording will not be in anyway fantastic or acceptable for than matter and on the Coolpad 8122 this is the case. Even though it can capture 720p video and 2MP stills, it is more of a gimmick rather than a real camera.


This being my first MTK6572 phone I wasn’t really expecting all that much when it came to pure grunt performance but the 8122 scored higher than what i expected.

coolpad 8122 review

Battery life

The new 28nm MTK6572 is really efficient, paired with a small screen, it give out about 2+ days of normal usage (music, few calls, chatting, little gaming ang browsing) even though it only has a 1500mah battery. Battery life can be extended to just about 5 (yes, five) days of usage by using the auto power on/off function before the battery going flat.

It takes about 6 hours and 20mins, playing SD video in a loop with 50% brightness and 50% volume, to drain the battery from 100% to 2%. As you can expect, I’m quite satisfied with its battery life.


Even though the Coolpad 8122 is not a technological marvel, it is, in my opinion, a revolution in the budget phone sector. It offers great performance, it out shines any its competitor by a wide margin (mainly the non-smartphones or other chinese smartphone sporting the usual Spreadtrum’s SC6825/8825 dual-core ARM Cortex-A5) in terms of performance/value in its price range, and battery life is amazing!

As price is its main strength, I would forgive or forego its weakness, the camera, the TFT LCD screen, no backlighting front key and its lack of GPS.

I loved its front dual stereo speaker. Battery life is more than satisfactory. Performance is more than enough for many smartphone users. This phone is perfect for those who are looking for a no-frills Android smartphone, like my parents, or people tight on budget who are looking for a decent smartphone.

Previous Moto G with unlimited data plan packaging leaked, another blow to Chinese phone makers?
Next Coolpad could launch the 7-inch, 8-core Coolpad 9976A this month!


  1. Nick Landsberg
    January 2, 2014

    this model doesn’t have the right to be called a smartphone.
    $43 of pure garbage.

    • David Peterson
      January 2, 2014

      It is a smartphone for sure, and is better than my first smartphone I got all those years ago!

    • milkboy
      January 3, 2014

      how do you define smartphone?
      secondly find me a new current, simillarly spec android phone, without contract, for $43?
      imo, it is a great BUDGET smartphone.
      i’ll emphasize again, its a budget smartphone.
      if i was asked to choose between nokia asha “pseudo-smartphone” or other brand “dumb-phones” in the same price range, i would choose coolpad8122 always.

  2. Florin
    January 3, 2014

    It was looking like a really nice review, but I stopped reading at “No GPS”.

  3. Ry Spears
    January 5, 2014

    Add $30 with GPS, 3G and bump it up to a 5MP camera and I’d buy this in a heartbeat.

    Heck I’d buy three of them just so I could run them into the ground. 🙂

    Long battery life, access to Internet Banking, and the occasional game is all i want in a phone.

  4. January 17, 2014

    Thanks for the review. Surprisingly good for the price. The camera is bad but that is expected.