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printed September 20, 2014
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Review: Coolpad Quattro 4G for MetroPCS

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Is It Your Type? Body Performance  

Screen

The Quattro's 4-inch screen has 800 x 480 pixels. The smaller size (compared to today's leading devices, anyway) and decent pixel count combined mean the Quattro's display looks really good. I had to hold it less than six inches from my eyes to pick up individual pixels. From a standard viewing distance (12 - 18 inches) pixels are invisible and all the text, graphics, and icons look smooth. Brightness is decent, but not stunning. I was able to use the camera outdoors, and see basic screens, but reading email and checking text messages had me running for shade.

Signal

The Quattro performed very well on both MetroPCS's 1X and LTE networks in the North New Jersey and NYC areas. MetroPCS's LTE 4G network is scattered in terms of availability, but if it was there, the Quattro found it. When LTE wasn't available, the Quattro fell back to 1X seamlessly. Whatever network was available, the Quattro connected phone calls on the first dial consistently and didn't drop any during my tests. Data performance was on par for each network type: slow on 1X, and good on LTE.

Sound

Call quality was just OK. Calls made with the Quattro were mostly - but not totally - free of distortion and noises. Voices coming through the earpiece were a bit robotic, though, and not all that pleasant. Perhaps most importantly, the earpiece produces enough volume only for quiet environments. In my silent home office, I was able to hear calls fine, but at a coffee shop I really struggled to hear conversations -- even with the volume all the way up. If you're out and about, you may need to seek privacy to hear calls. The speakerphone offered about the same quality of calls that the earpiece did, and was also mediocre as far as volume goes; fine for quiet spaces, but not loud enough for the real world. Ringers and alerts were similarly too quiet. I missed several calls because I didn't hear the Quattro from several rooms away. The vibrate alert was good.

Battery

The Quattro will live for 24 hours at a time, but not much beyond that. That means if you unplug it at 7AM, use it for a day, and forget to charge it at the end of the day, it'll be dead when you wake up the next morning. Charge it every night; don't forget.

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