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TCL 10 Pro and TCL 10L smartphone reviews – delivering features, quality and value

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  • VERDICT

The new TCL 10 Pro and 10L smartphones have energized the mid-tier category and push the boundaries in terms of features, quality and value. TCL might be a relative newcomer to the smartphone space but these new devices still manage to show established brands a thing or two about putting together an attractive device that will appeal to a wide range of customers.

TCL is name we know well in TVs but it is also quickly making a name for itself in smartphones on the strength of its latest devices – the TCL 10 Pro and the TCL 10L.

These Android smartphones offer a premium design and impressive flagship features but at a mid-tier price well below $1000.

TCL brings to the table its extensive expertise in its proprietary display technology to provide high resolution screens for its latest smartphones.

These TCL-built displays incorporate the company’s advanced NXTVISION technology to provide remarkable colour accuracy and SDR to HDR (high dynamic range) real-time conversion.

Tech Guide has road-tested both the TCL 10 Pro ($749) and TCL 10L ($449).

The TCL 10 Pro has a smooth and sleek design with a beautifully curved 6.47-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen and edges.

The rear panel features a four camera system (64-megapixel, 16-megapixel, 5-megapixel and 2-megapixel) with the lens flush with the back chassis. The only slight protrusion are from the dual flashes.

On the front, peaking through a small teardrop notch is a 24-megapixel camera.

TCL 10L has a 6.53-inch FHD+ display and has a slightly wider body than the 10 Pro.

Design-wise the TCL 10L doesn’t have the same curve on the edges of the screen as the 10 Pro display but it does have a gentle curved on the rear panel.

Also on the rear panel of the 10L is a four camera system (48-megapixel, 8-megapixel, 2-megapixel and 2-megapixel).

There is also a 16-megapixel camera which can be seen through the Dotch (dot notch) display.

The TCL 10L is also slightly wider than the 10 Pro which has a smaller and longer aspect ratio (19.5:9) so it’s easy to hold in one hand.

TCL 10 Pro

The display on the 10 Pro is a real head-turner. For a start it’s an AMOLED screen so you’ve got beautiful deep blacks and bright colours that pop.

You will never get tired of looking at that screen.

Your photos and videos, apps and streamed content looks amazing on the screen.

TCL 10 Pro

The curved edges also give it a near borderless look so all you can see if your content.

The display also takes your eye health into consideration with features like adaptive tone, reading mode and eye comfort mode so you get the best viewing experience regardless of the ambient lighting.

The TCL 10L has an LCD that is sharp and bright with 395ppi (pixels per inch).

TCL 10L

The TCL 10 Pro is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor with 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage along with an expandable memory card slot.

The TCL 10L is running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 655 processor with 6GB RAM and 64GB of onboard memory.

Both of the new TCL smartphones offers the choice of either using a second SIM card or expanding the memory with a microSD card.

TCL 10L

The camera is one of the strongest features of the TCL smartphones.

The versatile TCL 10 Pro camera produces some stunning images in all conditions including low light situations.

There are modes for portrait shots which offers a nice background blur, Super Night mode that can somehow find the light in an otherwise dark situation and Pro if you want to take manual control.

Image taken with the TCL 10 Pro

On the video side, the 10 Pro can also capture 4K at 30fps.

The TCL 10L is also no slouch and also have most of the same modes of the 10 Pro as well as Super Macro for this up close shots.

Quality-wise the more expensive 10 Pro has the edge over the 10L because of the sheer pixel count but the 10L still holds its own with phones in the same price range.

Image taken with the TCL 10 Pro
Same image taken with the iPhone 11 Pro Max

The TCL 10 Pro really enhances the colours of your image on the fly and pumps up the blues and greens and reds like real-time photoshop to give your images a brighter look.

Night shots are also quite impressive with the TCL 10 Pro and we gave it ultimate test by shooting the night sky – and the result was stunning.

Image taken with the TCL 10L

On the battery side the TCL 10 Pro manages to fit in a 4,500mAh battery while the 10L has a 4,000mAh battery.

During our reviews we found both smartphones were miserly power users and the charge lasted well into the next day.

Both phones also include a headphone jack so you are still able to plug in headphones and earphones if you haven’t gone wireless.

One thing you don’t get with either of the TCL phones a water resistant rating so take care near liquids.

Macro image taken with the TCL 10 Pr0

Neither TCL phone has wireless charging although, interestingly, the TCL 10 Pro  has reverse charging so it can wirelessly charge another device but can’t charge itself wirelessly when placed on a charging mat.

As for device security, the TCL 10 Pro has an in-screen fingerprint reader and Face Key while the 10L has a fingerprint reader on the rear panel and Face Key as well.

The TCL 10 Pro will be available for $749 at JB Hi-Fi and online at Officeworks from August 10. It comes in Ember Gray and Forest Mist Green.

The TCL 10L will be available for $449 at JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks (in-store and online) from August 10. It comes in Arctic White and Mariana Blue.

VERDICT

The new TCL 10 Pro and 10L smartphones have energized the mid-tier category and push the boundaries in terms of features, quality and value. TCL might be a relative newcomer to the smartphone space but these new devices still manage to show established brands a thing or two about putting together an attractive device that will appeal to a wide range of customers.