TCL is a massive company that many regular consumers may not be aware of; they are one of the biggest consumer electronics producers in the world and the third-largest television manufacturer by market share.
They have been developing mobile phones for years, but in partnerships with other brands, this includes Alcatel which itself is owned by Nokia, and then also the recent Blackberry phones, though that deal ends this year.
Towards the end of last year at IFA 2019 they tentatively entered the market directly with the TCL Plex. The phone was well received by tech publications; however, I don’t think I have ever seen it sold in the UK or known anyone owning one.
Now TCL is launching three new phones and by the looks of things they are serious about marketing the phones this time around.
Price & Availability
The TCL 10 Pro technically sits at the top of the pack, followed by the 10 5G and finally the affordable 10 Lite. The TCL 10 5G will be launching sometime in the future, but the 10 Pro and 10 5G should be launching in June. I am not 100% sure if the official launch date has been announced, but Clove.co.uk have the two phones listed with the TCL 10 Pro available in June for £399 and the 10 Lite available for £199.
TCL 10 Pro Specification
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
- Display: 6.47 inch 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution AMOLED
- Operating system: Android 10 with TCL UI
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 128GB internal with microSD card support
- Cameras: 64MP main camera, 16MP ultra-wide lens with 123-degree field-of-view, 5MP macro lens, and 2MP super low light video camera. 24MP front-facing camera.
- Wireless technology: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS
- Battery: 4,500 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support and charger
- Dimensions: 158.5 x 72.4 x 8.6 mm and 187 grams
- Colours: Gray or Green
TCL 10 Pro vs 10 5G vs 10L vs TCL Plex
So, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the specification of the TCL 10 Pro and 10 5G, I have no idea what the thought process was when deciding to do what they have done.
The top of the range and most expensive Pro model is 4G using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, which was announced almost 2-years ago. It is the same chipset used in the TCL Plex and the two other notable phones launched with it are the Samsung Galaxy A70 launched March 2019, and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro also launched in March 2019.
The more affordable TCL 10 5G uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G which was announced in December 2019 and looks like it could end up being one of the most popular chipsets this year, offering superb performance and 5G connectivity at an affordable price.
The only logical explanation I can think of is that the TCL 10 Pro was in development long before the 10 5G and therefore didn’t have access to the SD765G, however, the SD675 is quite a low specced chipset for a £400 phone.
TCL has priced the two phones closely enough to make choosing between the two quite hard.
The TCL 10L which is half the price of the Pro uses the Snapdragon 665 which is probably about right for its price.
The Pro model has a beautiful 6.47 inch 1080 x 2340 pixel curved AMOLED display with in-display fingerprint scanner while both the 10 5G and 10L have a 6.53 inch 1080 x 2340 pixel IPS display with a rear fingerprint scanner.
I have not seen all three phones in real life, but this makes the aesthetics completely different. The TCL 10 Pro is beautiful, while the other two look good, but nothing stand out about them.
All three phones have a slightly different camera spec, the TCL 10 Pro sits at the top with:
- 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF
- 16 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm
- 5 MP, f/2.2, (macro)
- 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
- 24 MP selfie
Then the TCL 10 5G drops the 16MP ultra wide and 24MP selfie and swaps them out with:
- 8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
- 16 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.0μm
Finally, the TCL 10L swaps out he primary lens for:
- 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.25″, 0.8µm, PDAF
Going back to the TCL Plex, it is very clear the new TCL 10 series is an iteration of this. The Plex shares the same chipset as the Pro. It only has three rear cameras, but the ultra-wide and selfie are the same as the Pro, but the Primary lens is similar to the 10L with 48MP. It looks like the display is identical to the 10L and 5G models. The TCL Plex launched at 329-Euros which is 70-Euros below the 10 5G and 120 Euro below the Pro.
TCL 10 Pro Product Shots
I will provide more photos in the full review, but in my opinion, the phone looks great, it feels quite small in the hand. The curved display is both aesthetically beautiful and the quality of the AMOLED panel is superior to most other phones at this price. The CE and model markings ruing the aesthetics of the rear, many other brands have ditched these.
TCL 10 Pro Camera Samples
The camera spec is OK but on paper looks worse than the Realme 6 or Realme 6 Pro, which are both considerably cheaper. However, the actual quality of the photos is superior for many shots.
The following shots are a small sample with more available in the full review.
TCL 10 Pro Snapdragon 675 Benchmarks – Antutu – Geekbench – 3D Mark
- Antutu – 218535
- Single Core: 502
- Multi Core: 954
- 3D Mark Slings Shot Extreme:
- OpenGL: 1034
- Vulkan: 1078
With this phone using the same chipset as the TCL Plex and Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro, there is nothing new to review here.
The Snapdragon 675 has interesting benchmarks because its two Arm Cortex A76 cores allow it to achieve an impressive score for the single-core Geekbench results with its score only a little behind the Mediatek Helio G90T, and I think this is reflected with day to day use.
However, the GPU is woefully underpowered for a phone at this price. For most people, this probably won’t be an issue, but for gaming enthusiasts, it is not the best.
The full review will come later on in the week, but so far, I have slightly conflicting feelings about it.
It is a beautiful phone with an amazing display which is clearly the standout feature, off the top of my head, I am not aware of any other phone that looks this impressive at this price.
The camera specification is OK for the price, but the actual camera performance is better than other (more affordable) phones with a superior camera spec, such as the Realme devices. This is a good example of how software processing makes a big difference with cameras.
Performance has actually been better than expected, but I am struggling to get over the bizarre decision to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 in the Pro model vs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G. While performance is good now, I am concern that it will degrade with time due to software bloat.
Even without touching the phone, the inevitable conclusion is that the Pro should have been priced higher featuring the SD765G. Then have a 10 4G with the SD675 at a lower price point.
However, it is undoubtedly an impressive start from TCL; they clearly know how to make a good phone, but they perhaps just need to tweak the specification and pricing for future models.
A full review of the phone will be live on the 15th of May at 2pm GMT (hopefully).
TCL 10 Pro vs 10 5G vs 10L vs TCL Plex Specification Table
|TCL 10 Pro||TCL 10 5G||TCL 10L||TCL Plex|
|Launch Date||June||After June||June||October 2019|
|Data Connectivity||GSM / HSPA / LTE||GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G||GSM / HSPA / LTE||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|Dimensions||158.5 x 72.4 x 9.2 mm (6.24 x 2.85 x 0.36 in)||163.7 x 76.6 x 9 mm (6.44 x 3.02 x 0.35 in)||162.2 x 75.6 x 8.4 mm (6.39 x 2.98 x 0.33 in)||162.2 x 76.6 x 8 mm (6.39 x 3.02 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||177 g (6.24 oz)||210 g (7.41 oz)||180 g (6.35 oz)||192 g (6.77 oz)|
|Build||Glass front, glass back, aluminum frame||Glass front, glass back, aluminum frame||Glass front, glass back, aluminum frame|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Type||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.47 inches, 102.8 cm2 (~89.5% screen-to-body ratio)||6.53 inches, 104.7 cm2 (~83.5% screen-to-body ratio)||6.53 inches, 104.7 cm2 (~85.4% screen-to-body ratio)||6.53 inches, 104.7 cm2 (~84.2% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~398 ppi density)||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~395 ppi density)||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~395 ppi density)||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~395 ppi density)|
|HDR10||450 nits average brightness (advertised)||HDR|
|OS||Android 10, TCL UI||Android 10, TCL UI||Android 10, TCL UI||Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675 (11 nm)||Qualcomm SDM765 Snapdragon 765G (7 nm)||Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)||Qualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675 (11 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver)||Octa-core (1x2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Prime & 1x2.2 GHz Kryo 475 Gold & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver)||Octa-core (4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)||Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver)|
|GPU||Adreno 612||Adreno 620||Adreno 610||Adreno 612|
|Card slot||microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)||microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)||microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)||microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)|
|Internal||128GB 6GB RAM||128GB 6GB RAM||64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM||128GB 6GB RAM|
|UFS 2.1||UFS 2.1||64GB eMMC 5.1, 128GB UFS 2.1||UFS 2.1|
|Real Cameras||64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72", 0.8µm, PDAF||64 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72", 0.8µm, PDAF||48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.25", 0.8µm, PDAF||48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF|
|16 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1", 1.0µm||8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0", 1.12µm||8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0", 1.12µm||16 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1", 1.0µm|
|5 MP, f/2.2, (macro)||5 MP, f/2.2, (macro)||2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)||2 MP, f/1.8|
|2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)||2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)||2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)||Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|Features||Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama||Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama||Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720p@960fps, gyro-EIS||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/120fps||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720p@960fps, gyro-EIS|
|Front Camera||24 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8", 0.9μm||16 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.1", 1.0μm||16 MP, f/2.2, 28mm (wide), 1/3.1", 1.0μm||24 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8", 0.9μm|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD||5.0, A2DP, LE||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO||Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QSS||Yes, with A-GPS, GALILEO||Yes, with A-GPS|
|Infrared port||No||No||No||FM radio|
|Radio||FM radio (market/region dependent)||FM radio||FM radio||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|USB||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 4500 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 4500 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3820 mAh battery|
|Charging||Fast charging 18W, 50% in 35 min||Fast charging 18W||Fast charging 18W, 50% in 32 min (advertised)|
|Quick Charge 3.0||Quick Charge 3.0||Quick Charge 3.0|
|Colors||Gray, Green||Chrome Blue, Mercury Gray||Arctic White, Mariana Blue||Obsidian Black, Opal White|
|Models||T799B, T799H||T790Y, T790H||T780H|
|Price||450 EUR / £399||400 EUR||250 EUR / £199||About 330 EUR|