TCL has planted a stake in the ground for the launch of its TCL 20 5G and TCL 20 SE smartphones – you can expect to find them in Australian stores in June (and slightly earlier, if you’re in a Harvey Norman store).
The company wants to put premium features in affordable smartphones, and these phones offer some impressive capabilities for their price points. The TCL 20 5G starts at $499 (we’re guessing this is the 128GB version, with 256GB also on offer) while the TCL 20 SE comes in at just $299.
Both phones feature TCL’s head-turning NXTVISION technology, leveraging the company’s extensive know-how coming from their experience in the TV space. It’s a bit cheeky, but we’re expecting best-in-class displays at this price point — and there’s quite a bit of competition to see off. NXTVISION is getting an upgrade to 2.0 here, with improved SDR-to-HDR conversion, colour calibration and eye safety features the headline enhancements.
TCL 20 5G
The focus of today’s announcement is the 5G model phone, coming in just under $500. This price point seems to be the new 5G battleground, with a number of manufacturers offering 5G-capable options here.
The TCL 20 5G has a 6.67-inch Full HD display. It’s a full-face display with a “Dotch”, which means that what we would have previously called “the notch” to house the front-facing camera has been reduced to a small hole in the centre top of the display. This is my preferred way of housing a front-facing camera as it helps keep the display symmetrical and doesn’t distract your eyes.
On the back of the phone there’s a triple-camera array with a 48MP main sensor paired up with 8MP and 2MP sensors. It’s all housed in a pretty shiny and sparkly finish in either Mist Gray or Placid Blue.
TCL’s offering is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB storage. It’s running Android 10 with TCL’s UI. Inside, there’s a 4,500 mAh battery, and the phone supports 18W fast charging.
There’s a fingerprint reader on the side of the phone (in the power button) and the phone also appears to feature a secondary button that can hopefully be configured to launch apps of your choice.
You’ll be able to pick up the TCL 20 5G at the end of May from Harvey Norman, and in June from Officeworks. Pricing starts at $499.
TCL 20 SE
Despite having a very similar-looking name (5G/SE, anyone?) the SE model has a big focus on value for money, with a $299 price point and a focus on providing the best media consumption experience, designed to ensure nothing obstructs the device’s speakers in either orientation.
The display is ever so slightly larger than the 5G model, coming in at 6.82 inches. Unlike the big (small) brother though, it’s using a V-notch to house its front-facing camera. That knocks out a larger area of the display, but retains the symmetry that makes it less distracting than a left-/right-oriented front facing camera, so it also gets a tick in my book.
The back of the phone has a quad-camera array (the main camera is 48/16MP depending on the model you’ve chosen, with 5MP, 2MP and another 2MP secondaries) and you can have it in any colour you want, as long as you want Nuit Black.
The SE is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 processor, paired with 4GB RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. It’s running Android 11 with TCL’s UI atop, and comes with a generous 5,000 mAh battery inside with 18W fast-charging support.
There’s a fingerprint reader on the back of the phone this time, and it looks like the secondary button is also along for the ride here.
You can pick up the TCL 20 SE from Officeworks in June, with pricing starting at $299.