Verizon – This 5G Android cellphone is shockingly good for $399
It has been a breakout yr for TCL, which used to commit its smartphone efforts to constructing units below different corporations’ model names, however has spent 2020 making telephones for itself. And the TCL 10 5G UW may be the cellphone maker’s crowning achievement.
The TCL 10 5G UW takes the finer points of different telephones TCL has launched this yr — a wonderful show, enticing design and serviceable cameras — and provides 5G connectivity. On the similar time, it delivers all of that in a handset that prices $399 — a fraction of what you will pay for lots of the finest 5G telephones.
There are extra full smartphones than the TCL 10 5G UW on the market. However few different telephones ship such sought-after capabilities for this low a price. On this TCL 10 5G UW overview, we’ll take a look at whether or not this inexpensive 5G cellphone is the appropriate alternative for you.
TCL 10 5G UW overview: price and availability
The TCL 10 5G is a Verizon-exclusive, bought via the provider for $399. Purchase the cellphone in month-to-month installments, and you will pay $16.66 a month for 24 months.
This is among the least costly 5G-capable units you should buy. The OnePlus Nord N10 5G is coming to the U.S., although OnePlus hasn’t set a price but. The truth that the cellphone prices ´£329 within the UK. suggests it will likely be about as a lot because the TCL 10 5G when it does land right here. In any other case, if you’d like a 5G cellphone, you are wanting on the Google Pixel 4a 5G or the Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, each of which price $499. (Today, gross sales on the Galaxy A51 deliver the price of the 5G model right down to the TCL 10 5G’s stage.)
TCL 10 5G UW overview: Design
The best praise you possibly can pay to the TCL 10 5G UW is to notice that it would not seem like a sub-$400 cellphone at first look. Choose up the handset and faucet the plastic again, and the key’s out of the bag, however TCL excels at designing telephones that disguise their price range origins properly.
To accommodate the cellphone’s 6.53-inch show, you get a 6.Four x Three x 0.37-inch system that is fairly straightforward to slot in one hand. That is taller, wider and thicker than Google’s Pixel 4a 5G cellphone, in addition to the Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, each of which accommodate smaller screens (though not that a lot smaller, within the case of the 6.5-inch A51). The TCL 10 5G additionally packs on extra weight at 7.Four ounces than the 5.9-ounce Pixel 4a 5G and 6.6-ounce A51.
You will respect the truth that the TCL 10 5G UW nonetheless features a headphone jack on the highest of the cellphone — a vanishing sight on many smartphones today. Verizon provides solely a Diamond Grey model, and the again of the cellphone actually picks up fingerprints, particularly across the fingerprint sensor on the again.
TCL 10 5G UW overview: Show
In its brief time making smartphones below its personal model identify, TCL has stood out for its shows, using lots of the options that assist make it a number one TV provider. Certainly, after I reviewed the TCL 10L earlier this yr, I believed the LCD display on that price range cellphone was one among its prime options — one thing you normally do not say about telephones that price $400 or much less.
You may make the identical argument for the 6.53-inch LCD panel on the TCL 10 5G UW. No, this is not an OLED display — to get that, you’d should go for the costlier TCL 10 Professional — however the colourful footage it offers are greater than sufficient to outshine different price range handsets.
Credit score the Nxtvision applied sciences TCL has constructed into the cellphone to enhance the TCL 10 5G’s show. From the Nxtvision tab in Settings, you possibly can activate SDR-to-HDR upconversion to get brighter highlights, higher distinction and bolder colours as you watch movies. You may also set the cellphone to mechanically regulate the display’s colour temperature primarily based on the ambient gentle round you, whereas options like a Studying Mode may give the display an e-reader-like solid when you have got a protracted e-book or article to scroll via.
That mentioned, different telephones seize extra of the sRGB colour spectrum, primarily based on the 105.1% studying we received after we examined the TCL 10 5G UW in our lab. The Pixel 4a 5G reproduced 128.3% of these colours, whereas the OnePlus Nord N10 5G tallied 124.8%. The TCL 10 5G’s colours are pretty correct, in accordance with its Delta-E ranking of 0.28, edging forward of the Pixel 4a 5G’s 0.Three however trailing the Nord’s 0.22 rating. (Numbers nearer to zero are higher.)
I did not discover any of that, although, after I fired up Disney Plus on the TCL 10 5G UW and watched the traditional Three Caballeros. Disney‘s colourful South American-inspired animations popped on the display and the blues, reds, yellows and greens on Donald Duck and his two feathered pals regarded as correct as they do after I watch the identical film on my TV.
Switching over to The Final Jedi, I loved the intense purple colours of Chief Snoke’s throne room and the flash of lightsabers as Rey and Kylo Ren went to city on the Praetorian Guard. Some scenes in Jedi have been a little bit bit darkish, however cranking up the brightness on the cellphone took care of that.
And that is my one criticism concerning the TCL 10 5G’s display, echoing one thing I’ve seen with different TCL telephones: It is approach too dim. We measured a peak brightness of 385 nits with a light-weight meter, and that is properly behind the superbly brilliant screens of the Pixel 4a 5G (638 nits) and iPhone SE (653 nits). Even the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, which I discovered distressingly dim, outperformed the TCL 10 5G with a 406-nit studying.
TCL 10 5G UW overview: Digicam
The cameras on the TCL-branded telephones we have reviewed up to now have not actually blown us away, delivering stable footage, however scuffling with general consistency. That pattern continues with the TCL 10 5G UW, which does not actually problem the finest digicam telephones we have seen however will produce usually pleasing photographs for a tool that prices you lower than $400.
Three rear cameras deal with the picture-taking duties on the TCL 10 5G, with a 48MP foremost lens doing the heavy lifting. To that, TCL has added an 8MP ultrawide digicam and a 5MP macro lens.
I’ve had points with among the colour in TCL-produced photographs, however that is not in proof right here on this image of a lamb burger. The burger itself is good and pink, and the TCL 10 5G additionally precisely captures the purple onion and inexperienced pickle I’ve positioned below the highest bun. In reality, I would even go as far as to say that the burger in TCL’s shot appears to be like tastier than the muted colours that the Pixel 4a 5G produced.
Nevertheless, the tiki mugs within the background are a little bit out of focus — significantly the C-3PO and Jawa mugs. The Pixel 4a 5G would not have that drawback, placing every part in sharp focus for a better-composed shot general.
The colour wasn’t as constant after I tried out the TCL 10 5G’s ultrawide lens. There is a streak of washed-out leaves on the timber on the left facet of the photograph that is not current within the Pixel 4a 5G shot. As an alternative, Google’s cellphone does a greater job teasing out these colours on the tree leaves as they’re hit by a beam of daylight. You may also make out among the detailed wear-and-tear on the dome over the far left of the home within the Pixel 4a shot.
That is to not say the TCL 10 5G stumbled right here. Should you zoom in on the home, you possibly can nonetheless make out particulars within the woodwork that lesser digicam telephones would have did not seize. I additionally suppose the colours of the home are correct, though the brick colour of the driveway and trim feels a bit richer on the Pixel’s model.
I am very impressed by how the TCL 10 5G dealt with a low-light photograph with its Tremendous Night time mode, though this cellphone lacks the devoted 2MP sensor the TCL 10 Professional options to assist with darkish pictures. In reality, the TCL 10 5G even holds its personal in opposition to the Pixel 4a 5G, which options among the finest low-light photographs I’ve seen in a mid-range digicam cellphone.
I believe the Pixel has the higher general shot, capturing extra of the inexperienced within the Oakland A’s hat and highlighting the brown wicker footrest that will get a little bit over-exposed within the TCL photograph. Nevertheless, the TCL 10 5G does an excellent job contending with the shadows, and it actually would not wash something out the best way different cheap telephones generally do when making an attempt to compensate for low gentle.
I proceed to be baffled by why cellphone makers insist on placing devoted macro lenses on their handsets. But when we’ve to get telephones with superfluous macro options, not less than allow them to carry out in addition to the TCL 10 5G’s macro lens did. It saved many of the petals of this pink rose in focus, and you may even spot some flecks of filth on the leaves of the flower. The Pixel 4a 5G, which has no macro lens, struggled to maintain the rose in focus after I received up near the flower.
The TCL 10 5G UW cannot fairly sustain with the Pixel 4a 5G on the subject of portrait pictures, however that is largely as a result of Google chooses to crop in nearer on the themes of your portrait. At the very least TCL’s computation software program appears to determine the place my daughter ends and the background begins, as even stray strands of hair are saved in focus. The background blur is a little more fashionable within the Pixel’s model, although.
For selfies, the TCL 10 5G UW depends on a 16MP digicam that guarantees brighter pictures due to 4-in-1 huge pixel know-how. The shot TCL’s cellphone took of me is definitely brilliant, to the purpose the place the lemon tree behind me is horribly overexposed. You can also’t inform what colour shirt I am sporting, because the TCL 10 5G has made it virtually look blue. It is purported to be purple, as you possibly can inform from the Pixel 4a 5G photograph, which additionally cuts in nearer and would not flip the lemon tree behind me into an vague smear.
TCL 10 5G UW overview: Efficiency
One of many methods TCL is saving prices on its 5G cellphone is by foregoing the Snapdragon Eight collection chipsets that energy the most costly models, in favor of a much less highly effective system-on-chip that also delivers 5G connectivity. The TCL 10 5G UW runs on a Snapdragon 765G — a fairly good processor for a $399 cellphone, contemplating you will discover it in units that price $300 greater than TCL’s handset.
Because of this, the TCL 10 5G fares properly when its benchmark outcomes are in comparison with different midrange 5G telephones. On Geekbench 5, the TCL cellphone produced a multi-core rating of 1,932. That is properly forward of the Pixel 4a 5G’s 1,617 end result, and even tops costlier Snapdragon 765G-powered units just like the $699 LG Velvet (1,927). It in all probability helps that TCL included the identical 6GB of RAM present in these two telephones.
On the graphics entrance, the TCL 10 5G’s efficiency was on par with the LG Velvet within the 3DMark Wild Life Limitless take a look at, posting a rating of 1,670 (10 frames per second) to the LG cellphone’s 1,680 (10 FPS) rating. The TCL 10 5G outperformed each the Pixel 4a 5G (1,199 or 7 FPS) and the OnePlus Nord N10 5G (809 or simply below 5 FPS) by some measure.
When it comes to real-world use, which means the TCL 10 5G UW goes to have the ability to deal with many of the apps and duties you throw at it, particularly if you happen to primarily use your cellphone to surf, stream and add issues to numerous social networks. Even graphically demanding video games carry out all proper on the TCL 10 5G. Working PUBG Cell, I seen just a few stutters when driving a jeep throughout a battlefield, however I by no means bumped into the sort of pauses or glitches that will mar gameplay on much less succesful telephones.
The UW on the finish of the TCL 10 5G’s identify stands for Extremely Wideband, which is the identify Verizon offers its high-speed 5G community. That ought to offer you some concept of what sort of 5G connectivity you possibly can anticipate from this cellphone, although Verizon‘s Extremely Wideband installations are restricted to elements of 51 cities, and so they’re primarily outdoor.
Most of your Verizon 5G connectivity will come from the provider’s lower-spectrum nationwide community, which covers some 1,800 cities and cities throughout the U.S. You may expertise barely sooner speeds than you’d get from LTE, however nothing alongside the strains of the 1 Gbps speeds that Extremely Wideband can ship when circumstances are proper. That determine ought to enhance as Verizon‘s community expands, however do not anticipate game-changing 5G if you happen to go for this cellphone.
TCL 10 5G UW overview: Battery and charging
The 4,500 mAh battery within the TCL 10 5G UW is greater than able to getting you thru the day on a cost. In our battery take a look at, which entails having the cellphone surf the online over mobile till it runs out of energy, the cellphone lasted a mean of 11 hours and seven minutes. That is properly forward of the typical for smartphones and locations the TCL 10 5G UW on our finest cellphone battery life listing.
We run our battery take a look at just a few instances to get that common end result, and it is worth noting that the TCL 10 5G produced a variety of outcomes — topping 12 hours on one event, dropping down beneath 10 hours on one other. We’ll chalk that as much as the vagaries of Verizon‘s just lately launched nationwide 5G community, however in on a regular basis use, I discovered that I might get from solar as much as solar down with out having to plug in TCL’s cellphone for an influence enhance.
TCL says its assist for quick charging can get a drained cellphone again as much as 37% after 30 minutes. Utilizing the included charger, we have been capable of confirm that declare, as our cellphone hit the 40% mark after half-an-hour. That is not as a lot because the Pixel 4a 5G or the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, which hit 46% and 68%, respectively, however it’s a lot sooner than the iPhone SE’s 5W charger, which solely reached the 29% mark after 30 minutes.
TCL 10 5G UW overview: Software program
The TCL 10 5G UW ships with Android 10, although an Android 11 replace is on its approach. Sadly, that is probably the one Android replace you will be getting with this cellphone, as TCL has dedicated to only one new model of Android for its 10 collection of telephones, together with two years of safety updates.
As a result of it is a Verizon-tied cellphone, you will discover plenty of preinstalled apps ready for you once you first hearth up the TCL 10 5G. Some — just like the My Verizon app for logging into your account, or the Disney Plus app — are fairly helpful. (Verizon‘s limitless information plans, which you will want for 5G service, embody both a Disney Plus trial or a complimentary subscription.) Others, like Yahoo Mail or Verizon‘s cloud storage app, merely take up area.
The TCL 10 5G UW options each a rear fingerprint sensor and face unlocking amongst its security measures. The latter is a fairly fast method to unlock the system, particularly since TCL’s fingerprint reader, positioned on the again of the cellphone, could be a little difficult to find. Tapping the sensor with a acknowledged finger will get up and unlock your cellphone in a single fell swoop, although.
TCL 10 5G UW overview: Verdict
I stay satisfied that the Pixel 4a 5G continues to be the most suitable choice for individuals who need a 5G-capable cellphone, however do not wish to pay prime greenback for the privilege. However after all of the testing for this TCL 10 5G UW overview, I am satisfied that TCL’s 5G cellphone is a good different for individuals who need a 5G cellphone that prices lower than $500.
The Verizon tie-in can be a put-off to individuals who need extra flexibility on the subject of selecting a wi-fi supplier, and the Pixel 4a 5G’s cameras definitely outperform what the TCL 10 5G offers. However TCL’s cellphone is able to taking good footage, and you will get a wonderful show, a long-lasting battery and efficiency that matches costlier telephones as a part of the cut price.
A number of telephones promise 5G compatibility. However few ship it at as low a price as what the TCL 10 5G UW can boast.