Coolpad Quattro 4G review

Coolpad's Quattro 4G can't quite compete in the budget realm

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Sadly, the Coolpad Quattro 4G is like that inappropriately aged guy at a college party. With a chunky build, dated Android 2.3: Gingerbread operating system and mediocre processing speed, it's behind the times and a little out of touch.

That might sound cruel, especially since the Quattro is marketed as a value phone. However, when you discover that MetroPCS has filled the home screens with ads, and the battery can't even make it through the day, pity for the device starts to dissipate.

We liked

For a phone of its price point, the Coolpad Quattro is not bad looking. Smart, if a tad bland, and the bubbled rear pattern makes it easy to hold.

Coolpad Quattro 4G review

The 800 x 480 is pretty good. While not terribly dynamic, it's on the money for this price point.

The base price is affordable. A $50 mail in rebate brings the $129 asking price down to a bargain bin $79. That makes the Coolpad Quattro 4G one of the cheapest 4G handsets we've seen.

While MetroPCS packed this phone with apps of questionable usefulness, they're removable. That's usually not the case with carrier software, and we appreciated that. There's also an app or two you may actually want to use, like Easy WiFi. It's a handy way to jump on a hotspot and save your data plan.

We disliked

Let's get into those data plans, shall we? While 250MB of 4G data isn't highway robbery, it doesn't allow for much browsing, let alone video watching. Unless you stick exclusively to email and Facebook, or watch your data usage like a hawk, you'll likely go over that.

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And sure the Quattro is 4G-capable, but that will only matter to customers in 14 cities. Anywhere else the Quattro will have a dated 2G connection from MetroPCS. Most other carriers have at least some 3G coverage, so if the Quattro isn't in a big city it will have a slower connection than most other phones.

Then there's the Android 2.3: Gingerbread OS limiting your options in the Google Play Store. You'll be browsing a rather dated selection of apps, and have ads bothering you when you play games or just unlock the phones.

Finally, there's the call quality, the most basic of smartphone functions. The Coolpad Quattro gave most calls a tinny, robotic quality.

Verdict

The Quattro might be suitable for cash-strapped, city-dwelling 4G addicts who are between devices and need a quick fix. This Metro phone is an ideal candidate to fill that role, since its contract can be dropped at any time. But those people will also get nickle-and-dimed for a lot of features that come standard on other plans.

Going contract-free can cost more in the long run, but if it's your only option, there are better deals and nicer tech out there than this. We'd especially recommend the Exhibit II 4G, or even the Motion 4G before the Quattro.

For those looking for a nice phone to last them a while, the Quattro is not a good option. There are much better phones at a reduced price with, with or without yearly contracts. The Coolpad Quattro 4G came to the party late, and now it needs a ride home.