Coolpad, a largely unknown entity outside of China, has quietly captured a significant portion of the global smartphone market in recent years, making TrendForce’s list of the top ten smartphone brands based on market share in 2014. That being said the company has not released many devices that are truly exciting for consumers, which has certainly dampened their mind share when compared to other Chinese OEMs such as Oppo, Huawei, OnePlus, and even ZTE in recent months, who have managed to gain recognition amongst consumers outside of Asia due to the striking hardware they have released so far this year. Not to be left out of the limelight, Coolpad is working on a mystery device that may have that “wow” factor that truly captures consumers attention and desire.
A leaked image that has recently surfaced reveals a Coolpad device sporting a minimalistic but sharp design that will potentially make use of premium materials. Though we can’t say for certain that the device has a metal build the image certainly points to an aluminum or steel unibody featuring chamfered edges on the front and back, with a slightly curved rear that should make the device sit nicely in the hand, much like HTC One M7, whose sharp edges and curved back made it easy to grip while being pleasing to hold. The device also features a round camera module that protrudes slightly from the rest of the case but is relatively inoffensive; which, is also rumored to be a 20.7 megapixel sensor. Beneath the camera lies a fingerprint scanner that looks exactly like the one found on the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 released last year. Sure, it might not be an original design, but it does look good, and if it is the same hardware underneath should be very accurate.
Though Coolpad’s mystery device technically has an appealing design it does not inspire excitement. Had it been released a year ago, yes, it would have that “wow” factor necessary to generate attention and mindshare. However, we have seen a lot of devices from Chinese OEMs sporting a similar design since the release of the Huawei Ascent Mate 7 late last year. A minimalistic alloy build, chamfered edges, cutouts for antennas on the rear, possibly a fingerprint scanner on the back or 2.5D glass on the front with minimal side bezels; the Ascent Mate 7, Honor 7, Huawei P8, Oppo R7 and R7 Plus, Umi Iron, and more have adopted this simple formula for design. This design formula isn’t a bad place to start, hopefully Coolpad can bring something more to the table in terms of specs, features, and software to set them apart from their domestic competitors. Considering the device is expected to be officially announced quite soon we won’t have to wait long to see what else Coolpad has up their sleeve.