TCL 20 5G smartphone review – excellent features and tremendous value

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  • VERDICT

The TCL 20 5G provides tremendous value with an impressive line-up of features including a triple camera system, stunning display and a sleek design that rivals its more expensive flagship rivals but at a fraction of the price.

If you’re looking for a great balance of value and features then take a look at the new TCL 20 5G smartphone which has a design, camera, display and innovation that rivals flagships phones that are more than twice the price.

Priced at less than $500, the TCL 20 5G is a compelling mid-tier offering for those customers who want a slick looking device, an excellent triple camera system, an impressive display and 5G connectivity.

In this increasingly competitive market more customers than ever are looking for value.

Post COVID, there are also many users who simply can’t justify spending thousands of dollars on a smartphone.

The TCL brand is no stranger to many customers with its TVs already popular in Australia.

The company is also one of the major sponsors of the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league team.

But in recent years it has been the company’s smartphones which are getting our attention.

Last year’s 10 Series proved TCL is the real deal and the new 20 Series – the TCL 20 5G ($499), the TCL 20 L+ ($399)  and the TCL 20 SE ($299) – has consolidated that feeling.

For this review, Tech Guide took a look at the TCL 20 5G.

The TCL 20 5G has an attractive design with a two-tone rear panel with curved edges that are nicely shaped around the side buttons and controls.

On the top edge is a headphone jack (yes, TCL kept it in) with speakers on the bottom on either side if the USB-C charging port.

But the most eye-catching feature is the 6.67-inch Dotch (camera whole punch) display which contains TCL’s proprietary NXTVISION 2.0 technology.

TCL know a thing or two about producing a display (Hello? They make TVs!) and the display on the TCL 20 5G smartphones contains a lot of that quality and technology.

For a device you’re going to look at all day long, the TCL’s display is something you’ll be happy to gaze upon because of its quality and clarity.

It also has SDR to HDR conversion along with enhanced colour calibration so whether you’re using an app, browsing the web, looking at your photos, watching videos and streaming content – it looks amazing.

The screen has a nice 20:9 aspect ratio so it’s comfortable to watch videos, browse websites and use apps.

With the SDR to HDR conversion, users can stream HDR content from Netflix and enjoy the increased HDR quality.

The TCL 20 5G is also capable of Hi-Res audio playback which would explain the headphone jack so you can maintain the quality with a cable.

But it also offers Qualcomm’s aptX technology so you can also wirelessly enjoy Hi-Res audio.

Under the hood is an 8nm octa-core Snapdragon 690 5G chipset so performance was spot on with snappy operations, scrolling and switching between apps.

It also has 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage which can be expanded with a microSD card.

On the security side, the TCL 20 5G has a fingerprint reader that’s incorporated into the power button on the right edge of the device.

Image captured with the TCL 20 5G

And it’s positioned perfectly because your thumb naturally lines up with the button when you pick up the phone and it unlocks instantly.

But one of the best features of the TCL 20 5G is the triple camera system which is made up of 48-megapixel, 8-megapixel and 2-megapixel ultrawide, macro and lowlight cameras with 10x zoom.

Image captured with the TCL 20 5G

And on the front is an 8-megaixel camera that’s capable of portrait shots – and it does a great job. If you love taking selfies then you’ll love this camera.

The results are spectacular. Images have a nice punch to them with bright and bold colours.

Image captured with the TCL 20 5G

The TCL 20 5G does a bit of onboard processing to your image and uses AI to pump up the colours and make them stand out.

That’s the point and shoot mode but you can also take manual control of the camera if you prefer a more natural or subtle look.

Image captured with the TCL 20 5G

The power is definitely in the user’s hands.

Users can also connect over 5G for extra fast data streams and data upload and downloads.

The 5G network footprint is expanding at a nice pace with an estimate it will reach 75 per cent of the population in the coming months so having a device like the TCL 20 5G in your pocket means you’re even more future proofed.

Image captured with the TCL 20 5G – selfie with portrait mode

The TCL 20 5G has a 4,500mAh battery which has incredible stamina to easily last a day and half before you have to worry about charging.

And when it’s time to charge it has fast 18W charging. What it doesn’t have is wireless charging.

The device is also not water and dust resistant but it does come with its own silicone case to protect it from bumps and drops.

The TCL 20 5G is priced at $499 and is available now at Harvey Norman and Officeworks.

VERDICT

The TCL 20 5G provides tremendous value with an impressive line-up of features including a triple camera system, stunning display and a sleek design that rivals its more expensive flagship rivals but at a fraction of the price.

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