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TCL 10 Pro Review – Could have been great but let down by poor chipset choice

The TCL 10 series is the follow up to the TCL Plex launched at IFA last year, with the new phones being more of an iteration of the Plex rather than brand-new phones.

The TCL 10 Pro and the affordable TCL 10L will be launched UK Week 23 (week commencing 1st of June) with Ireland Week 27 (week commencing 1st of July) and the US 19th of May.

The official pricing of the phones is €449EUR/ $449USD/ £399GBP/ $899 AUD

For the past couple of weeks I have been trying out the TCL 10 Pro which technically sits at the top of the line-up, but at the same time falls short of the more affordable TCL 10 5G in some key areas.

The TCL 10 Pro is certainly the best looking phone I have used at this price point, but does that make it a good phone?

Specification Overview

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  • Display: 6.47 inch 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution AMOLED
  • Operating system: Android 10 with TCL UI
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB internal with microSD card support
  • Cameras: 64MP main camera, 16MP ultra-wide lens with 123-degree field-of-view, 5MP macro lens, and 2MP super low light video camera. 24MP front-facing camera.
  • Wireless technology: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support and charger
  • Dimensions: 158.5 x 72.4 x 8.6 mm and 187 grams
  • Colours: Gray or Green

TCL 10 Pro vs TCL 10 5G vs Plex

I covered this in more detail in my initial impressions posts, and I am still finding the hardware choices for the phones very frustrating.

For some reason, TCL has decided to use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 they used in the TCL Plex. While this is not a terrible chipset, in fact, I found it quite good while using this phone, it is very much a mid-range chipset and not something I would expect to see in a £400 phone.

To make things more confusing, the more affordable TCL 10 5G uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G which is considerably more powerful, as well as being 5G. We are not talking a little bit of difference here either, the SD765G is reported as scoring 50% higher in the Antutu benchmark than the SD675.

The TCL 10 5G uses the same body and IPS display as the older Plex but downgrades the camera to a triple-lens setup with 48MP/16MP ultra-wide and 2MP depth sensor, but a better 24MP selfie. It then has a smaller battery too.

The TCL 10 Pro updates the whole design with a beautiful curved AMOLED display which I have not seen on a phone at this price before, but it then uses the same chipset and almost the same rear camera specification as the cheaper Plex.

This gives you a confusing choice when you factor in the price:

  • TCL 10 Pro – €449
  • TCL 10 5G – €399
  • TCL Plex – €330

Design and Display

The star of the show is the overall design combined with the display. This seems to be where most of the money goes. Off the top of my head, I am not aware of a phone that competes at this price point in overall aesthetics. The slight taper to the edges of the AMOLED panel give the phone a similar aesthetic to the Huawei P30/P40 Pro, phones that cost double this.

While the display is a relatively standard 1080 x 2340 AMOLED panel running at 60Hz with a notch, the overall quality is excellent with beautiful vibrant colours.

TCL have something called NXTVISION under the options menu, and this offers some visual enhancements that seem to work well. This automatically adjusts the contrast, sharpness and saturation to make the screen image clearer with a richer depth of details and improved brightness for dark scenes. This software will also artificially convert SDR content to HDR.

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Maikel Du

I worked in many technical fields, but I always resort to blogging which has become an addiction to me
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