TCL 10 Pro review: Stunning $450 Android phone rivals Apple’s iPhone SE Review

Nancy J. Delong

TCL has been earning smartphones for years, like the hottest BlackBerry and Alcatel phones. With the TCL ten series we see the initial TCL-branded phones launching for North American consumers. Just after just a day with the spectacular Ember Grey TCL ten Pro it is clear that TCL is providing a compelling choice for significantly less than $five hundred.

Currently, I’ve been testing the minimal value Apple Iphone SE and least expensive priced 5G cellular phone, the OnePlus 8, and the new TCL ten Pro provides something in among these two at a $450 value. The structure is pretty, the show is great, and there are sophisticated camera options in this new cellular phone.

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Considering that I’ve only put in a day with the new TCL ten Pro, make sure you depart opinions for what you want tested as I place it through its paces more than the future 7 days. I strategy to exam out the TCL UI features, battery everyday living, camera functionality, get in touch with excellent, reception power, and software functionality. 1st impressions are fantastic and we’ll see if it retains up more than the future 7 days.

Technical specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  • Display screen: six.forty seven inch 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution AMOLED (398 ppi)
  • Running program: Android ten with TCL UI
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB interior with microSD card guidance
  • Cameras: 64MP principal camera, 16MP ultra-broad lens with 123 diploma field-of-view, 5MP macro lens, and 2MP tremendous minimal light video clip camera. 24MP entrance going through camera.
  • Wireless technological innovation: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5., NFC, GPS/Glonass/Galileo, FM radio
  • Battery: four,five hundred mAh battery with Swift Cost 3. guidance and charger (18W charger bundled in the box)
  • Dimensions: 158.5 x 72.four x 8.six mm and 187 grams
  • Colours: Ember Grey

The TCL ten Pro also nonetheless has a 3.5mm headset jack and even an IR port to command your nearby infrared-enabled products.


The entrance of the TCL ten Pro is dominated by the pretty six.forty seven inch show with curved glass sides that changeover into a slender steel facet. The show is a waterfall show, providing you zero bezels on the sides. A base bezel of about 3mm and a top bezel of about 2mm help TCL achieve an amazing 89.5% display-to-overall body ratio.

Major ZDNET Assessments

The curve AMOLED display is manufactured by TCL and incorporates its NXTVISION technological innovation. This show and camera visual technological innovation is employed when viewing visuals and video clips captured by the cameras. There is a smaller NXTVISION button in the appropriate corner of the Gallery application so you can rapidly toggle it on and off and see the enhancements in authentic-time. There is also a authentic-time SDR to HDR video clip conversion aspect, giving enhancements in highlights, shadows, distinction and coloration.

WIth TCL generating the show, some of the options provided by TCL involve adaptive tone, reading mode, and eye consolation mode. Adaptive tone mode, toggle and schedule settings are obtainable, adjusts the coloration temperature and show brightness to supply the exceptional viewing knowledge in different situations. Looking at mode allows you decide on from a checklist of apps to have this mode enabled. When reading mode is on it gives a paper-like knowledge with monochromatic filters. The eye consolation mode eliminates 66% of the damaging blue light and is TÜV Rheinland Reduced Blue Mild Certification.

Also: TCL will halt promoting BlackBerry smartphones in August

The entrance-going through camera is positioned in the heart in a teardrop arrangement. It is a 24MP camera that includes different filters and a portrait mode. The top stereo speaker fits within the pretty slender top bezel among the glass show and steel top edge.

The fingerprint scanner is an optical version positioned underneath the show. It has been pretty responsive in my testing more than the previous 7 days. Fingerprint Swift Start can be toggled on or off within the fingerprint settings. Very long press the fingerprint spot to open the fast start panel that gives you with up to 4 options that can be launched when you unlock your cellular phone. You can also empower facial area unlock for a significantly less protected quickly way to rapidly use your cellular phone.

The electric power button is on the middle appropriate facet with a prolonged volume button over it. By default, you can double press the electric power button to launch the camera.

There is also a button on the middle of the remaining facet, termed the Smart Important. Inside the settings you can customize this button to launch apps or complete capabilities for a single press, double press, and prolonged press. Actions involve NXTVISION toggle, Google Assistant, scan codes, open the very last shot you took, or activate Smart Supervisor options.

The SIM card slot, a microphone, USB-C port, and base-firing stereo speaker are all on the base.

Another microphone, infrared port, and 3.5mm headset jack are positioned on the top of the cellular phone. The top and base of the cellular phone have an interesting structure where the steel is flat for considerably of the width with the steel tapering into the again, entrance, and sides.

Flipping more than the cellular phone to glance at the again reveals an extremely interesting and professional seeking structure. It really is matte finish glass with the Ember Grey transitioning from dark gray down to light gray from the top to the base. The term TCL is positioned in the higher 3rd of the again.

In the vicinity of the top of the again is the camera array that extends in a band of glass from a single facet to the other. The cameras are all flush with the cellular phone whilst the two flash lights are at both conclusion and have a slight lifted ring all around the lights.

Starting from remaining to appropriate along this camera array we have a flash light, 64MP ultra large resolution camera, 2.9μm tremendous minimal-light video clip camera, 5MP macro camera, 16MP tremendous broad-angle camera, and the next flash light.

Also: OnePlus 7T assessment: The finest smartphone worth of 2019

Just after a 7 days of hefty usage, like applying the cellular phone away from the dwelling for 3 days, I’m quickly having far more than a day with the TCL ten Pro. The Snapdragon 675 and large capacity four,five hundred mAh battery have served me on a regular basis knowledge far more than five several hours of display-on time on a each day foundation.

Supplied that it has a large capacity battery and Swift Cost 3. guidance, your cellular phone will very last for a prolonged time and also demand up rapidly when you use it for days. You can also use the TCL ten Pro as an external battery pack to demand up other products with guidance for OTG reverse charging. Simply plug in a USB-C cable and demand up other products.

The cellular phone has Bluetooth 5. inside and with this on the TCL ten Pro it comes with a aspect termed Super Bluetooth. This functionality makes it possible for you to join up to 4 Bluetooth speakers or pair your cellular phone with up to 4 sets of Bluetooth headphones. This functionality is a fantastic way to share your audio rapidly and quickly with many others.

I’ve been applying the TCL ten Pro with a T-Mobile SIM card. It really is not a 5G cellular phone, but has worked beautifully on LTE and WiFi. I done a several assessments of the reception power whilst out and about and find the cellular phone gives strong reception with quickly obtain speeds.

The retail offer also is made up of a gentle clear silicone gel protect with the Display screen Greatness branding stamped into the situation.

Also: CES 2020: TCL Conversation unveils initial 5G smartphone together with new Alcatel cell merchandise

Software program

The TCL ten Pro launches with a fairly inventory Android knowledge and TCL UI. The application is Android ten with the March one, 2020 Android security update current on the cellular phone. TCL educated us that the cellular phone will receive at least a single significant OS update (Android 11) and steady security updates.

Evaluation units are also jogging on pre-manufacturing application with an update prepared to arrive in advance of the conclusion of May. This update will deal with improvements to the touch panel, but I haven’t found any difficulties so am curious what will be enhanced.

Even though the TCL ten Pro isn’t going to glance considerably diverse than other inventory Android phones, there are some features current in TCL UI that I like. These involve folder browsing, extended application launcher sorting solutions (name, label, usage, installation, icon coloration, and class), Smart Important, and Edge Bar.

The Edge Bar is comparable to what we have found in advance of on Samsung with Edge Panels. Three tabs can be tailored to use with the cellular phone. These involve application shortcuts, contacts, and a ruler. The ruler is a twelve cm variant and has a couple of blue dots so you can location a single at the conclusion of what you are measuring and then see particularly how prolonged the object is in tenths of centimeters.

There is a environment, also appears as an application shortcut, termed NXTVISION. Inside this utility you can toggle on or off visual improvement, SDR to HDR, reading mode, display coloration solutions, and sunlight show.

The always-on show option can be tailored to your choices and is a single purpose I appreciate about Android phones.

The camera application is comparable to what we see on other Android phones with a shutter button on the base/appropriate facet, button to flip from again to entrance cameras, and gallery view. You can swipe throughout the show to change among capture modes. Modes on the TCL ten Pro involve vehicle, video clip, tremendous macro, large pixel, professional, portrait, tremendous night time, gradual movement, halt movement, light trace, and panoramic. You can edit the modes that appear on the principal viewfinder show (five modes) with the rest showing underneath the Additional option.

Even though the cellular phone isn’t going to have a telephoto lens, you can flip to the 64MP large pixel mode and then zoom in soon after the point. The 64MP large pixel mode utilizes pixel binning to output 16MP visuals.

Slow movement solutions involve 120fps, 240fps, and 960fps. The 960fps is also found on some other flagship phones and provides a tremendous gradual movement video clip option that can be employed for enjoyment creativity. There are also 12fps, 24fps, and 30fps solutions for halt movement video clip.

On the principal viewfinder there is a toggle for ultra-broad angle mode and electronic zoom (1x to 10x). There is also a button that demonstrates you unique, ultra-broad, and minimal light video clip sights. You then tap the mode you want to use and capture content.

Options in the camera application involve digital image stabilization, AI camera toggle, AI composition, dark shot (adjusts the camera to make changes for minimal light situations), calorie detection, touch to capture, grid, triple camera, and far more. There is also a watermark toggle obtainable and in the pre-manufacturing application this was toggled on by default.

The AI camera toggle allows calorie detection and AI composition toggles. Calorie detection is designed to exhibit you believed calories for foods when you issue the camera at objects. I noticed the calories appear a several times, but it wasn’t a pretty steady knowledge so maybe long run application updates will improve functionality here. AI composition functions as a scene detector so that your issue is identified and the camera could improve for that object. For illustration, transferring near to an object could empower macro mode, viewing a flower will exhibit a flower icon and modify camera settings for exceptional image capture, and far more.

The IR distant application, haven’t found this functionality for years, allows you established up and command TVs, air conditioning units, established-top bins, streaming content bins, projectors, DVD players, air cleaners, enthusiasts, and far more. Setup was effortless and since your cellular phone is with you most of the time it is quite effortless to have this functionality on your cellular phone.

TCL provides a several of its individual apps on the cellular phone, like Gallery, File Share, IR Remote, New music, Notes, Radio, and Movie. The IR Remote and Radio apps are worthwhile utilities that enable you use some of the more components options bundled in the cellular phone. I also like applying the Gallery application for effortless collage development.

TCL ten Pro vs Iphone SE (2020)

Supplied that the Apple Iphone SE was released a month in the past and the 128GB design is also priced at $450, quite a few men and women have been inquiring how these two phones compare to every single other.

Function TCL ten Pro Apple Iphone SE
Display screen measurement six.forty seven inch AMOLED inch Liquid crystal display
Processor Snapdragon 675 Apple A13 Bionic
Dimensions 158.5 x 72.four x 8.6mm 1638.four x 67.3 x seven.3mm
Bodyweight 187g 148g
Storage 128GB with microSD slot 128GB
Battery capacity 4500 mAh 1821 mAh
Rear cameras Four: 64MP/16MP/2MP/5MP Just one: 12MP
Front camera 24MP 7MP
Other 3.5mm audio jack, IR port IP67 rating, wi-fi charging

Every day usage ordeals and conclusion

It is rather spectacular to see a waterfall show, not to point out a large excellent a single, at this affordable $450 value issue. Supplied that the show is what you interact with consistently on a smartphone, TCL’s target on this aspect sets the TCL ten Pro over other sub-$five hundred smartphones.

The TCL ten Pro will launch on Amazon on May 19 for $449.99 and will be obtainable on Finest Invest in and Walmart later on this month.

Considering that I’ve been applying the TCL ten Pro as my each day driver for the previous 7 days, I captured practically a hundred pictures and video clips whilst out and about more than the previous 7 days. These involve pictures at parks, night time pictures, macro flower pictures, and far more. Look at out my gallery for some samples or entire resolution visuals in this Flickr album. I’ve been contented with the image excellent and functionality of the camera and am a significant fan of the different lenses that give you the skill to be far more imaginative than a single camera lens cellular phone.

Even though I’m not a gamer, I do use my phones for just about every little thing else and to be straightforward, I haven’t discovered any lag, lock-ups, or any functionality difficulties more than the previous 7 days. I essentially had to examine the specifications a several times to make guaranteed the cellular phone didn’t have some form of hidden large refresh charge since the knowledge has been flawless. I honestly would hardly ever have known the processor was a Snapdragon 675 if I wasn’t instructed this point upfront.

Even though I tend to adhere with flagship $one,000+ phones, the only rationale I would consider my SIM out of the TCL ten Pro is to go jogging in the rain with a cellular phone that has an IP rating. The knowledge has been fantastic and all through these times when men and women are out of perform and seeking for an cost-effective, able smartphone the TCL ten Pro is a fantastic option. I appreciate the structure, pretty show, and every little thing else that it is likely to be tough for me to take out my SIM from this evaluation unit anytime shortly.

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