Price (RRP): $199
The Mintt Coolmintt A3 costs $199 and is available via online sales only that purports to offer better value than distribution via major retailers.
We put the Mintt Coolmintt A3 through the usual paces and were pleasantly surprised – it passed every test we would put phones costing up to $200 more through.
On that basis alone the Mintt Coolmintt A3 is a strong contender in the sub<$200 market.
Mintt Coolmintt A3
Further reading on Mintt and its excellent X3 ($299) and Y3 ($399) phones is here.
We are not going to bore you with a long detailed under the bonnet review. Why? Because if you have $199 to spend you need the handset to do certain things.
The phone is similar to the ODM version of the Teno Spark 4 that gets good ratings in India and Africa.
Screen: 6.08-inch, 1520 x 720, 160ppi, waterdrop, 19:9 89.2% STBR
PASS – It is a decent IPS screen tending to cooler tones. Good for 720p movies (Playback H.264, H.265 up to 30fps), YouTube and productivity.
Processor: MTK 6739, 4 x Cortex-A53 1.28GHz
PASS – it is an entry-level, four-core SoC that provides over 30,000GIPS adequate for basic phone functions. It is not a gamer’s device and will throttle down by 50% in heavy use. It is in phones including Motorola e6, Hisense H12, Alcatel 1X and many more lower-cost devices.
Yes, there can be a little lag.
3/32/microSD to 256GB
PASS – It uses slower LPDDR3-667Mhz and eMMC 5.1 (22GB free) storage but a 256GB microSD expansion is great.
Dual Sim LTE B1/3/5/7/8/28
PASS – 150/50Mbps DL/UL, support VoLTE and Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS). Signal strength is -89dBM (excellent and picks up the next tower at -91dBm
Wi-Fi N 2.4/5Ghz, BT 4.2, GPS (no e-0Compass), FM radio/fingerprint sensor
PASS – Excellent Wi-Fi signal -38dBm and 135Mbps. BT codec is SBC. GPS is a tad slow but fine for turn-by-turn if you clear all other background apps.
PASS: It is a metal/plastic clip-on back, plastic frame. It is not water-resistant.
Size: 157 x 74 x 9mm x 180g Obsidian or Silver. Watch for screen scratches – no screen protector.
Removable 3000mAh battery with a micro-USB 5V/1A (5W) charger. The battery should be easy to find – I am sure Mintt will have them, and it’s a generic style sold on eBay for about $25.
Charge time with 5V/1A is 6 hours. Battery temperature is between 25-40°.
Battery discharge rate varies between 60 (idle) and 400mAh (load), so it should give a good 24+ hours under typical use. One advantage of micro-USB here is that it will charge from 5V/.5A in 12 hours.
OS: Pure Android 9.1
PASS – will receive security updates for the life of the device but it is doubtful that is will get OS update.
13MP, plus .3MP f/2.8, 1.26um depth rear camera. [email protected]
8MP, f/2.8, 1.12um front camera with 2D Face ID, AI Beauty
The camera app is pure Android, and there are limited options and no pro mode
It takes reasonable shots in daylight, reasonable office light and forget low light.
Video has no stabilisation, but there is an EIS switch that does not seem to work. It is a social media standard camera.
GadgetGuy’s take – The Mintt Coolmintt A3 is a basic, quality $199 phone
Reviewing 14 smartphones in the past month ranging from $199 to over $1500 gives you a good feel for what you can expect in each price bracket.
This offers more than most $199 handsets and compares well to phones that sell for $50 to $100 more. So as a $199 device, it meets or exceeds all paradigms. On that basis, it scores well.
But the market changes rapidly, and you may have noticed that JB Hi-Fi now offers ‘online exclusive’ for brands including realme and vivo – online means lower overheads so it can offer devices at lower costs. Where the Mintt CoolMint was excellent, almost unbeatable value in September, there are a couple of new entrants nipping at its heels.
This is an attractive, well-made phone that does more than most $199 phones. Dual rear camera, dual sim (and good reception), fingerprint and face ID – It gets the tick.