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Sub-$100 Coolpad Arise coming to a Kroger market near you (hands-on)

One American grocery store has started stocking an unusual item: cell phones from one of China's emerging brands.

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Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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Haven't heard of Coolpad? Don't sweat it. Its phones for the US market are numerous enough to count on one hand. Still, this Chinese company, which sells a number of high-end devices in China (with real leather backings, one might add) has found a nontraditional way to make it into Americans' hands.

The Coolpad Arise will soon join its cousin, the Coolpad Quattro II 4G ($100), in Kroger supermarkets across the country. Although there's no pricing or launch date for the Arise yet, a Coolpad representative assures CNET that the price will come in under $100 and will run on Sprint's 3G network (it doesn't support LTE).

Coolpad Arise: The phone you can buy with your groceries (pictures)

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Specs for the chunky phone are basic, and the rough construction quality makes it seem like it's been stamped out from a sheet of black plastic. With 4-inch screen, the starter phone also has a dual-core CPU and a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Coolpad hadn't officially announced the phone when we saw it at CTIA 2014, so we'll have to wait for more specs and pricing.