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Crazy-big, stupid-cheap FreedomPop Liberty boasts 7-inch screen for $90

This is no joke. This Android phone is the biggest -- and cheapest -- we've seen yet, thanks to relying on VoIP for calls. Is it even a phone, then?

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Jessica Dolcourt
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Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Money, How-To & Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she's passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to help them reach their goals.

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2 min read
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At 7 inches, the FreedomPop Liberty is the largest "phablet" we've seen; and the cheapest, too.

FreedomPop

Look at the size of that thing! Its low-end specs may not grab your attention, but the FreedomPop Liberty's dimensions and pricing sure will.

The FreedomPop-branded handset has a 7-inch display (that's almost too big to be a handset -- there are plenty of tablets this size) and a $90 price tag, which makes the enlarged Liberty the crown king of screen-to-price ratio.

In releasing the kraken, FreedomPop puts price before hardware, giving that 7-incher a 1,024x600-pixel resolution (for a pixel density of 170 ppi) and a 4-megapixel camera on the back -- accompanied by a 0.3-megapixel lens on the front.

There's also a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 4GB of onboard storage and an option to expand using a microSD card. A 2,400mAh battery metes out power for the hardware and for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operations.

What's different about FreedomPop's phones is that the company's status as a VoIP player means that although the Liberty has a dialer and a texting app, it doesn't have a cellular radio (arguably taking the "ph" out of "phablet").

No radio means one less component for the year-old company to purchase for its fleet, and a little more off the bottom line.

Its VoIP positioning means that FreedomPop isn't a traditional MVNO at all, instead relying on the Internet to send texts and relay calls. That also saves bucks, since it doesn't have to buy voice or text services from an existing wireless provider like Sprint or T-Mobile.

The major downside here is that if you don't have an active Wi-Fi connection, you won't be able to use the Liberty as a phone.

In October, FreedomPop will sell an LTE version of the Liberty, called the Frenzy, for $99. The wireless provider is also teasing another $90 Android phone down the line, and plans to stock the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Note 3 phablets at slashed prices.

Interested buyers can get the Liberty and other devices -- including tablets and hotspots -- directly from FreedomPop's website.

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