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The Coolpad Legacy phablet phone offers incredible value for $130 – CNET

coolpad-legacy-in-hand

The Coolpad Legacy is a big, big phone with a small, small price.


Rick Broida/CNET

Now here’s a phone for cheapskates. The Coolpad Legacy is a 6.36-inch behemoth, squarely in phablet territory, but it has a list price of just $130. Unlike other big phones in this price range (such as the Blu R2 Plus), it doesn’t stick you with limited RAM, a low-resolution screen or a pokey processor. It looks and feels like a phone that costs considerably more.

Read more: The best phones for 2019

Before I go any further, there’s one key thing to know: For the moment, the Legacy is available only from Metro by T-Mobile, and only in-store. However, if you port in an existing number and activate a service plan that’s at least $50 per month, rebates bring your total phone cost down to just $30.

I’ve spent the past 24 hours poking and prodding the Legacy, expecting to find some major limiting factor, some gotcha that says, “This is why this phone costs $130.”

I haven’t found it yet. That’s not to say it’s perfect; it doesn’t offer wireless charging (though it does have a USB-C port and QuickCharge 3.0 support) or features like tap-to-wake or raise-to-wake. The upper and lower bezels feel a bit dated in these days of all-screen fronts.

But in terms of overall usability, the Legacy ticks the important boxes. The 18:9 screen offers full-HD resolution (2,160 x 1,080) and looks plenty sharp, and the combination of Qualcomm’s SDM450 processor and 3GB of RAM results in reasonably quick performance.

I didn’t benchmark it, but apps loaded quickly, web pages scrolled smoothly and graphics-intensive games like Mortal Kombat didn’t lag. The fingerprint sensor unlocks the phone almost immediately upon touching it.

The camera also loads quickly and almost instantly adjusts to different lighting conditions, which I tested by pivoting from indoor lighting (i.e., my living room) to outside my window. I was particularly impressed when trying to shoot a selfie in front of that window; the front-facing camera adjusted to highlight my face instead of keeping me in shadow.

The Legacy has dual rear-facing cameras for capturing, among other things, bokeh portraits. I took a handful of test shots; they looked pretty good overall, even in low-lighting conditions, though this isn’t my area of expertise.

I like the build quality of the phone, which is metal around the edges and feels very substantial overall.

Beyond that, I’ll turn you over to ZDNet’s Matthew Miller, who took a more in-depth first look at the Coolpad Legacy. His takeaway is pretty much the same as mine: How can this phone cost only $130?


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Bonus deal: Wireless sport earbuds for $13 (save $15)

True-wireless earbuds may be all the rage right now, but for certain activities I’m still partial to so-called sport earbuds — the kind with ear loops that make it impossible for them to fall out and a neck strap so they can dangle when you need to have a conversation.

xcentz-wireless-sport-budsxcentz-wireless-sport-buds

$13? Yes, please.


Xcentz

At last count, Amazon was home to roughly seven zillion of these, all pretty similar, most priced anywhere from $20-35. But here’s a slightly cheaper option: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Xcentz Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Sport Earbuds are just $13 when you click the on-page $2-off coupon and then apply promo code XCENTZ134. Regular price: $28.

As noted, these incorporate ear loops to withstand even the bounciest of workouts, and they’re IPX5 water-resistant to withstand even the sweatiest. Warranty: an impressive 18 months.

The product currently has just 13 reviews and a 4.7-star average. However, while Fakespot says those reviews are mostly legit, ReviewMeta says you need to toss out half of them — but then you’re still left with a 4.6-star rating. The Cheapskate says for $13, why not toss a pair in your gym bag?


CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

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