TCL are mainly known for their television range, and their focus on picture quality makes this affordable smartphone one of the very best options in its $499 price range.
The TCL 20 Pro 5G sports a 6.7-inch, 1080p LCD, with a pixel density of 395ppi. Impressive for the price point, sure, but given TCL’s success in the television realm, it’s no real surprise that the screens are the main drawcard here. The secret is TCL’s NXTVISION technology, which upscales content, given the impression of a far more hefty OLED screen.
Camera-wise, there are four rear cameras: a 48MP f/1.7 main, 16MP f/2.4 ultra-wide, 5MP f/2.2 macro and 2MP f/2.4 depth-sensing camera.
The front camera is a 32MP f/2.45 snapper. They will all do the job, and photos look sharp and naturally lit. The camera struggles a little in lowlight settings, but, again, the price is right.
Power-wise, the 20 5G is driven by a Snapdragon 750G chipset from Qualcomm, as well as a mighty generous 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
Battery life is fair – with moderate-to-heavy use, the 4,500mAh battery should last you an entire day, and charging is quick – with wireless charging available as well, and not as slow as most wireless charging devices.
The sides of the phone house a USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone, plus power and volume buttons on the right, and a customisable button on the left.
There are a few major design flaws which seriously hamper the use of this phone. Firstly, the larger-fingered people of the population will have a real issue accidentally hitting the home button, which is situated down the bottom middle of the screen, mere millimetres from the ‘space’ bar on your keyboard, the search button on Spotify, and enough heavily-used buttons that you’ll find yourself cursing TCL as you exit apps without meaning to.
Secondly, the button on the right hand side of the screen is set as the default thumb-print activation button, meaning each time you soup the phone out of your pocket or bag, you’ll inadvertently exceed your log-in attempts before you get the device into your hands.
Finally, this thing is huge – and struggles to fit snugly into most jean pockets – which may become an issue over time.
These are minor annoyances that will add up quickly over a short period of time, and while some option toggling will no doubt sort it out, these problems will taint your early experience with what is otherwise a fantastic phone for its price range, with a bright, crisp screen and an impressive camera to boot.