TCL do a lot more than TV’s, in 2020, they expanded their mobile line up with the TCL 10 series, which were favourably received by publications. I found that the TCL 10 Pro offered one of the best screens on the market at its price point. The TCL 10 5G offered genuine competition against more established affordable 5G options from the likes of Xiaomi, Realme and OnePlus.
At CES 2021, TCL has continued to expand its product line up. It seems they are focussing on the lower end of the market rather than trying to compete with the competitive flagship category. Probably a wise choice with the economic shift thanks to Covid.
TCL 20 5G vs TCL 10 5G
The TCL 20 5G appears to be targeting a lower price point than its predecessor. The brand has opted for the new Snapdragon 690 5G vs the SD765 on the older model.
They also appear to have downgraded the cameras a little dropping from 64MP to 48MP, and ditching the depth sensor, but keeping a macro. Then the selfie drops from 16MP to 8MP.
The display increases in size from 6.53 inches to 6.67 inches while retaining the same IPS technology, resolution, brightness and refresh rate.
The design has also tweaked to be a little more aesthetic, the ugly camera strip has gone, replaced by a more generic module on the left, and the fingerprint scanner has been shifted to the power button.
The 20 5G is currently on sale in Italy and will expand to other countries in February; it costs €299.
The TCL 10 5G had a launch price of €399/£399 so hopefully, this will come in at £299
TCL 20 SE
Even more affordable is the TCL 20 SE, which is a 4G phone using the Snapdragon 460 chipset. It then has 4/64 GB memory, plus a microSD slot for up to 256GB more. The setup on the back includes a 16MP main and 5MP ultrawide-angle cameras as well as a couple of 2MP auxiliary units.
The TCL 20 SE gets an ample 5,000mAh power cell, supporting up to 18W fast charging, although you only get a 10W adapter in the box. It comes with Android 11 offers FM Radio, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, and NFC.
The TCL 20 SE will be sold in Black or Green at the price of €149 and will start appearing at markets before the end of January.
Possible the most exciting device from the TCL lineup is the TCL NXTPAPER Android tablet.
The basic specs are a bit unremarkable, using a low-end Mediatek MT8768T chipset that features eight Arm Cortex-A53 cores, which is then combined with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Then running Android 10, which is starting to look a little old for a 2021 device.
The exciting part is the display which is an 8.88” running at 1440x1080p, which may not sound too impressive. However this is a low-power reflective LCD that the company said “reuses natural light,” doing away with backlighting.
This then gives the NXTPAPER a E-Ink style quality to it, or paper, as the name suggests. The company states the screen does not flicker and has no harmful blue light; you can then use the tablet in most scenarios with the brightness turned down very low.
Even in low light, you can still use the display as long as you have a reading light.
So while this isn’t competing with high-end productivity tablets, it is ideal for leaning, reading, or even basic productivity like writing/emails.
It will be available in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific for €349 in April.
Considering the Kindle Oasis costs £230, I’d sooner spend a little extra for the NXTPAPER which will offer vastly more functionality.
TCL TAB 10s
If you would prefer a more traditional tablet then the TCL TAB 10s could be the solution. I have recently reviewed a few affordable tablets and they have not been the best, so it is good a bigger brand name is entering the market, especially when TCL specialise in displays.
With pricing from €199 this is powered by the same MT8768 chipset as the NXTPAPER, so not exactly geared towards gaming or anything demanding, but should be fine for day to day use such as browsing, streaming and social media.