TCL is set to heat up the competition in Australia’s affordable smartphone market with its affordable, lower mid-tier TCL 10L. Given its low-price tag of $449, the 10L delivers impressive specs.
When I began reviewing this smartphone the first thing that struck me was the quality of its display. TCL, which is best known for its popular TVs, has built the 10L with a 6.53-inch FHD+ Dotch display. With its large, vibrant display, this smartphone was great for watching movies.
The 10L also features NXTVISION visual technology, which optimises six axes of colour, 2D edges and targeted contrast in real time. NXTVISION can enhance the detail of streaming video from any source to provide HDR-quality.
NXTVISION also offers a ‘reading mode’ that alters the display to make it as comfortable as reading an e-book reader. I found this particularly useful when using the smartphone at night, as it significantly reduced, harsh blue light from the device.
In order to achieve a screen-to-body ratio of 91%, TCL opted for a cut-out, 16MP selfie camera that sits on the upper left of the screen.
This front camera also has an LCD flash and can record video at 1080P/720P at 30 frames per second (fps). It features face beautification codes and portrait modes too.
On the rear, the 10L has a quad camera set-up, with the cameras sitting in a row, closed in by two LED flashes. The main, high-res camera is 48MP, followed by an 8MP super-wide camera, 2MP macro camera and 2MP depth camera.
Via the rear high-res camera, the 10L can shoot 4K video at 30 fps, as well as slow motion video in 1080P at 120 fps and 720 at 240 fps. Other included photography features include Google Lens, HDR, in-recording snapshots, Light Trace Mode, Macro Mode, Panorama Mode, Portrait Mode, Pro Mode, real-time bokeh, scene detection, Slow-Mo Video Mode, Stop Motion Video Mode, Super Night Mode, and Wide-Angle Mode.
The cameras are really a stand-out feature on this smartphone. The TCL 10L takes vivid photos with bright colours. I was particularly impressed with the macro lens, which captured stunning detail for close-up shots.
In terms of security, the 10L can be locked with a standard passcode, your fingerprint or facial recognition. The facial recognition didn’t work when I was wearing mask, but worked well without it. There is also a fingerprint sensor on the back of the smartphone if you prefer that unlocking method.
It offers a solid 4,000mAh battery, which offers up to 16 hours of video playback time at default brightness and 8.3 hours at max brightness.
The 10L is powered by the Qualcomm Kryo 260 Octa-Core processor with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset, with a TCL UI Android 10 operating system.
A handy feature of the smartphone is ‘super Bluetooth’, which allows it to connect to up to four Bluetooth speakers or headphones, an important feature if you want to provide sound for a party or household with multi-room speakers.
This smartphone is available now at JB HI-FI and Officeworks for $449.
Overall, I was impressed by how capable this smartphone was given its very low price point. TCL has delivered on its promise to design premium smartphones for the low-tier market. The 10L took incredible photos (a significant step-up from my own phone) and a great display for watching videos.
Display: 6.53-inch FHD+ Dotch display
RAM & ROM: 6GB/64GB
Processor: Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665
Operating system: Android 10
Rear cameras: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP, with dual flash
Front camera: 16MP