This is the first truly affordable 5G smartphone for the US market

This is the first truly affordable 5G smartphone for the US market
Based in China, Coolpad is no match for compatriots like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, or Vivo when it comes to global smartphone sales numbers. But the company, which is virtually unknown in Europe, has been making headlines stateside for quite some time with its incredibly affordable devices often offering premium designs and very respectable features for customers of several major mobile network operators.

It shouldn't come as a surprise therefore that Coolpad is gearing up to release by far the most inexpensive 5G-enabled handset in the US. Interestingly, the as-yet unnamed phone will not be made available exclusively on T-Mobile or any other specific carrier. Instead, PhoneScoop reports you'll be able to purchase this thing unlocked and use it on a grand total of three of the nation's big four mobile networks.

Because 5G rollouts have been extremely messy so far, and there's no sign of that changing anytime soon, you also shouldn't be shocked to hear the 5G-capable device will not be compatible with every super-advanced cellular technology under the sun. Nonetheless, it's great to see an unlocked phone combine 5G support on bands 2, 5, 12, 25, 41, 66, and 71 to work seamlessly (at least in theory) across T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint's sub-6 GHz networks. 

Verizon is the big holdout, although the budget-friendly Coolpad 5G handset is also not compatible with the current and upcoming mmWave 5G networks of the three aforementioned carriers. In other words, you won't be able to get the highest 5G speeds available, but you will be covered on a much larger surface for slightly less substantial connectivity improvements.

With a jumbo-sized 6.53-inch FHD+ display sporting a discreet notch and chunky chin, as well as a 4,000mAh battery, dual 48 + 8MP rear-facing camera system, single 16MP selfie shooter, and pre-installed Android 10 software, the 5G handset will go on sale sometime during the year's second quarter for "under $400." In comparison, Samsung's Galaxy Note 10+ 5G costs a whopping $1,300 at Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, while Sprint's "affordable" OnePlus 7 Pro 5G starts at $840.

Of course, this unnamed future member of the Coolpad Legacy family will pack a mid-range Snapdragon 765 processor instead of a state-of-the-art Snapdragon 855 or 865 while making a number of other small compromises in the memory, storage, and aforementioned screen and design departments compared to existing and impending 5G high-enders.

In other news, Coolpad is also prepping a colorful smartwatch for kids for an April 2020 launch. The aptly titled Dyno 2 will follow in the footsteps of the CES 2019-unveiled Coolpad Dyno, fetching $190 with an "upgraded chipset" and "new application platform." Everything else remains under wraps for now.

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5 Comments

1. Duncdawg26

Posts: 192; Member since: Jan 20, 2017

Certainly an interesting proposition. I can't imagine anyone would be interested in 5G from a CoolPad phone but an sd765 for under $400 would be something worth looking into

2. cevon3239

Posts: 65; Member since: Jan 01, 2020

On monthly payments, technically ANY phone is affordable. Right? On VZW the Note 10+ 5G is $1300, but over 36 months, its only $36 or so per month, or $54 on 24 months. You did specifically mention US market. So on monthly payments, the Note 5G or even the S10 5G are both quite "affordable". Your title should be, a lower costing 5G phone is available. Almost anyone in the US can afford either device on a payment plan. The Note doesn't cost more just because it has 5G. It cost more because it has more features than any premium model.

3. tuminatr

Posts: 1179; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Interesting, I didn't know that Verizon offered 36 month payments. I thought just t-mobile did that

4. cevon3239

Posts: 65; Member since: Jan 01, 2020

Yep. It appears to only be available on the Note 10+ 5G, as I didnt see it for the S10+ 5G.

6. Simba7

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Probably because everyone doesn't have $1300 cash to fork over for a new phone.

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