• The TCL 10 Pro, TCL flagship smartphone for $449. [credit: TCL ]


TCL is primarily known as a company that builds cheap TVs, but it has also been building smartphones for awhile now. After Blackberry quit the smartphone market in 2016, TCL licensed the brand and started pumping out QWERTY-equipped Android phones. It licenses the Alcatel brand from Nokia and builds cheaper slab phones. It bought the Palm trademark from HP and produced the microscopic "Palm Palm" smartphone. Starting now, though, TCL is actually going to put its own name on the smartphones it makes, and the first is this set of three devices that all cost under $500.
The lineup here is kind of strange since the most expensive phone is not the fastest phone of the bunch. The most expensive is the $449 TCL 10 Pro, which has a Snapdragon 675 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 4500mAh battery, and a 6.47-inch, 23401080 OLED display. The design is pretty flagship-y, with an in-screen fingerprint reader, a front camera notch, a display that curves along the sides, and an always-on display mode. There are four rear cameras, a 64MP main, a wide-angle lens, a macro camera, and a "low light video cam." TCL says this phone is coming out in "Europe, North America, Australia, and the United Kingdom starting in Q2 2020 for 449/$449/399."
The Snapdragon 675 is the one oddball listing in that spec sheet. This is an 11nm, eight-core SoC with two Cortex A76 cores and six Cortex A55 cores. This SoC was first introduced in 2018, which makes it pretty old. Now let's get weird and compare this $449, 4G, Snapdragon 675 phone to the next phone in TCL's lineup, a Snapdragon 765G, 5G phone for... $430?

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