Coolpad Quattro II 4G Hands-on: Pure Android on the Cheap

Coolpad made a name for itself on Metro PCS last year with its original Quattro phone, which delivered 4G LTE goodness for just $79 sans contract. The sequel to that handset, the Quattro II 4G, is heading to regional carrier C Spire wireless this summer. Here at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas we spent some hands-on time with the device, which offers a fairly big screen and a pure version of Android Jelly Bean 4.1. 

Expected to be the value play on C Spire, compared to the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5, the Quattro II features a 4.5-inch display with 960 x 540 resolution, a 1.2-dual-core processor and a 5-MP back camera. A 1,800 mAH battery supplies the power. We like the textured finish of the back cover, but the handset felt a bit chunky.

Although the software isn't final yet, the Quattro II boasts one of the most refreshingly clean builds of Android we've seen this side a Nexus. You won't find any sluggish skins here. Navigating the device proved pretty fluid using the capacitive Menu, Home and Back keys.

Coolpad had another device up its sleeve in the Coolpad 8920, which is China-only but is interesting because its the first handset that offers both TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE technologies. That means it can run on pretty much any network offered by China Mobile. The 8920 offers a bigger 5-inch 720p screen and a quad-core CPU along with a 3,300 mAh battery.

Given that Coolpad is No. 3 in China in terms of smartphone sales, the company very much hopes to carve a niche here in the U.S. The Quattro II 4G could be a nice step in that direction if other carriers come calling.

Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.