+ Saturday November 23rd, 2019

TCL is today entering the Australian smartphone market, firing a shot across the midrange bow with the TCL Plex, a smartphone that packs a lot of value in for its $500 asking price.

Plex is a big phone with an all-screen face. The display is a Full HD+ 6.53-inch model of TCL’s own making, with a discrete punch-hole camera at its top left.

The Plex’s screen is one of the big draws here – TCL is known for its TVs, and the company is drawing on that reputation and technology for the screen here. It’s put special focus on video performance, with technology within designed to provide a HDR-like upgrade to non-HDR content and deliver vivid and realistic images. TCL calls it NXTVISION, and we’re expecting to see this become A Thing on subsequent phones too.

There’s also an interesting tick on the specs sheet on the Bluetooth front, with Plex able to connect to four Bluetooth headphones or speakers at once. TCL calls this Super Bluetooth (and why not?), and it sounds like it could power your next party.

Plex is also packing a triple camera on the back of the phone, with 48MP main and 16MP wide (123-degree) sensor/lens combos coupled with a 2MP large-pixel sensor for collecting additional light. On the front, there’s a 24MP f/2.0 sensor with a 78-degree field of view. Apertures in the sensors range from f/1.8 to f/2.4. The company says it comes with some solid low-light performance, and we’re looking forward to putting it to the test.

Software-wise, Plex is running Android 9.0 Pie out of the box – not too surprising given how new Android 10 is in market, but TCL’s promising that upgrade in January 2020. Through the setup process and some basic early use, the phone looks to have a pretty light touch over “stock” Android, a welcome point of difference.

Internally, there’s a Snapdragon 675 running the show, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB built in storage and microSD expansion (up to 256GB). The battery is a beefy 3,820 mAh unit with USB C charging and Quick Charge 3.0 taking it to 50% charge in just over 30 minutes.

The TCL name might be new to our smartphone market, but the company has extensive local knowledge as they also sell phones here under the Alcatel, BlackBerry and Palm brands. We’re expecting to see big things from them as they establish their name – TCL’s also been talking about bringing affordable folding phones to market, and they definitely know their displays. Watch this space, and watch this company.

You can find TCL Plex at JB Hi-fi stores around the country now, selling at $499.

We’ve got a Plex on the Ausdroid test bench, so if there’s anything you’d like to know about the phone, give us a shout in the comments.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Jason Murray

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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Dan Murphy
Ausdroid Reader

Does it have NFC?

Shaun Briggs
Guest
Shaun Briggs

Could you compare to Samsung a70. Cheers

Peter
Guest
Peter

With the Plex now available and also the oppo a9, which one would be your choice? Or any other in the same price range.

Cheers

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