You’ve more than likely already heard of TCL thanks to their strangely good Roku-powered TVs, however you’re much less likely to bring to mind them as a phone manufacturer. That’s as a result of even as TCL has without a doubt made its fair share of phones over the years, it’s tended to place other manufacturers’ names on them, just like the BlackBerry Key2.
That makes the $449 TCL 10 Pro a little bit unique as a result of this is a large strive from the corporate to make a name for itself in the world of smartphones. TCL’s brand is right there on the back of the software and, thankfully for TCL, it makes an excellent first impact thanks to a large monitor, minimal bezels, and a graceful digicam array.
In the sector of TVs, TCL’s logo has grow to be a signifier of reasonably priced quality, and it sort of feels to be going for the similar result in smartphones. But its modest $449 ticket approach the TCL 10 Professional is launching into an an increasing number of crowded phase that comes with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy A51 and Apple’s new iPhone SE. Just Right first impressions aren’t enough if this telephone wants to be competitive while it launches on Would Possibly nineteenth in the US, where it’ll be to be had unlocked on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, but now not through any of the vendors.
Our assessment of TCL 10 Professional
Verge Score 7 out of 10
Sleek handset design Massive, bright colorful show Unobtrusive tool Headphone jack
So-so digital camera Monitor is vulnerable to unintended touches Shortcut button too easy to incidentally press Occasional efficiency stutters
The TCL 10 Professional includes a handset design that wouldn’t have appeared out of place on a flagship phone just a couple of years ago, and i imply that in an even means. It’s got slightly small bezels, a display that curves around its aspects, and a small, centrally situated show notch. all of it signifies that in spite of its massive, 6.47-inch display, the phone doesn’t really feel too cumbersome to carry.
I additionally truly like how TCL has controlled to avert the trade’s latest development toward large camera bumps with a virtually solely flat back. There are nonetheless four cameras right here, however TCL has successfully recessed them into the rear of the phone. The flash modules protrude ever so quite, but i believe it’s a big development over other much more dear units that continuously wobble when you put them down on a flat floor. It’s mainly a cultured point, but i believe it contributes to a far sleeker and extra premium-feeling phone.
There’s a devoted shortcut button on the side of the TCL 10 Professional, but it surely’s a little bit easily to accidentally press. You’ll find a THREE.5mm headphone jack on best of the instrument.
There’s a USB-C port on the bottom which will price at as much as 18W, but you won’t give you the chance to fee this telephone wirelessly. At this price point that’s now not an immediate deal-breaker, but it surely’s a feature that’s slowly showing on less expensive telephones just like the up to date iPhone SE. The Ten Pro has an IP52 water resistance rating, which means that it could possibly deal with mild sprays of water, however it won’t live to tell the tale being totally immersed. Again, at this value that’s common.
It’s a little laborious to evaluate a telephone’s battery lifestyles given everyone’s house-based life at the moment, but I had no issues of the 10 Professional’s battery existence. i used to be averaging any place between 4 and six hours of screentime between charges, that’s ok, but a bit of low considering this telephone’s fairly massive FOUR,500mAh battery. Regardless, it’ll be sufficient to get you thru a day of use without any issue.
There’s a headphone jack at the best of the tool, and reverse its aspect-mounted volume rocker and gear buttons, there’s a dedicated shortcut button. On the u.s. version of the phone it’s possible to assign up to 3 instructions to this button, and have it do anything else from establishing apps to turning the phone’s visual enhancements on or off. Then Again, at the UNITED KINGDOM model of the software I used, this button was once limited to summoning the Google Assistant. Regardless, I Found the button was once a ways too simple to accidentally press. i used to be constantly activating Google Assistant while striking the telephone into my pocket, as an example. In The End, I disabled it solely within the phone’s accessibility settings menu.
The TCL 10 Pro has four rear cameras.
The Ten Pro is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of expandable garage, which in 2020 terms translates to solid midrange Android specs. In day-to-day use it extra or much less did the whole thing i wanted it to, but I experienced occasional stuttering while switching between apps, and gaming efficiency used to be middling. Typically, I’d say that these specs are to be anticipated at this price element were it no longer for the fact that you simply can get Apple’s strongest processor within the similarly priced iPhone SE (2020). Apple’s funds phone is actually the exception as opposed to the rule of thumb, then again, and the ten Pro compares more favorably to its Android competitors.
In terms of tool, TCL has made a few good tweaks to Android, and in different cases the place it misses the mark, you’ll be able to easily undo its choices.
as an example, I grew to rely a lot on the Area Bar, which provides you a very easy shortcut to get admission to your steadily used apps. It’s not unique to TCL’s tackle Android and you’ll discover a similar function on Samsung’s up to date telephones or the Motorola Part, but its implementation is cast and i discovered it helpful for temporarily getting access to my password supervisor and authentication apps.
An “Side Bar” can be used to supply shortcuts to continuously-used apps.
on the other hand, I briefly became off TCL’s SDR to HDR conversion characteristic, which deepens blacks and makes highlights brighter in usual dynamic range content to make it look like HDR content. It’s now not the worst thing I’ve ever observed, however i feel it makes photographs look slightly processed and unnatural.
agree to Proceed: TCL 10 Professional
Each And Every sensible instrument now calls for you to agree to a sequence of phrases and prerequisites ahead of you’ll be able to use it — contracts that nobody in fact reads. It’s impossible for us to learn and analyze every single considered one of these agreements. However we began counting exactly how many instances you could have to hit “agree” to make use of devices after we evaluate them when you consider that those are agreements most people don’t read and positively can’t negotiate.
to make use of the TCL 10 Pro, you need to agree to:
There are also a few not obligatory agreements that you just need to get past all through setup:
Participation within the Consumer Enjoy Software Device steadiness reporting Built-in app updates for the phone, contacts, and settings apps
In overall, that’s five necessary agreements and three optional agreements.
aside from the misjudged SDR to HDR conversion function, I typically liked the way in which the TCL 10 Professional’s 1080p OLED display regarded. It’s brilliant, it’s colourful, and whilst you’re observing actual HDR content material it appears to be like great. My largest issue with the display is that its colours will also be just a little oversaturated, however switching the show to its “mild” color profile goes a long method towards fixing the issue, even if it nonetheless ends up looking a little bit too colourful for my liking.
The TCL 10 Pro options an optical in-display fingerprint sensor, which I Found used to be about as dependable as another in-display sensor I’ve used. It failed on me at so much once a day all through my time with the phone, which isn’t bad.
Unfortunately, if you’ve unlocked the telephone its show can also be a ache to make use of as a result of its curved aspects are some distance too prone to accidental touches. I’d clutch the telephone to turn it into landscape mode whilst observing YouTube, for example, and accidentally open an advert within the procedure. This isn’t an issue that’s unique to the curved reveal at the 10 Pro, but it surely felt much less attainable here.
I additionally had problems with the small dimension of the decrease bezel, due to the fact TCL hasn’t done a super task at optimizing this telephone whilst you’ve were given Android 10’s new gesture controls grew to become on. With the navigation buttons long past, the 10 Professional’s keyboard is far too far down the screen. A Few other folks hate the truth that other manufacturers like OnePlus insert a blank house beneath their keyboards, but if I used the TCL 10 Professional facet via side with the OnePlus 8 Pro, it used to be so much more straightforward to kind on a keyboard further up the monitor.
TCL has succeeded in creating a prime-end having a look phone with small bezels. However what it hasn’t performed is optimized this phone’s device with those small bezels in mind. It’s a flashy design, however that taste comes at the price of usability.
It’s an identical story when it involves the TCL 10 Professional’s cameras. they give the impression of being nice at the outside, but their exact efficiency leaves so much to be preferred.
The 10 Pro has 4 rear cameras, a chief 64-megapixel sensor, a 16-megapixel ultrawide, a FIVE-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth-sensing digital camera. There’s a 24-megapixel digital camera on the entrance.
These specs sound such as you would possibly get a half-respectable images revel in, but the ten Pro’s photos end up looking overly processed, unnatural, and every now and then totally fluorescent. It’s all summed up rather well by the trees on the most sensible left of the next symbol. not only are they completely oversaturated, they’re so sharpened that they appear nearly minimize out towards the sky. the same shot taken on a Pixel THREE presentations how the trees are supposed to look and provides an idea of what type of digital camera performance you could get out of the similarly priced Pixel 3A.
TCL 10 Pro (left) vs Pixel THREE (right).
When it involves faces, the 10 Professional makes them glance somewhat comfortable and brightened, and occasional-mild efficiency is actually unimpressive. This one shot of a bookcase got here out having a look love it had an Instagram filter carried out to it way to the best way its cameras messed up the white stability and distinction.
Likewise, the quality of video recording is nothing unique. The 10 Professional can move up to 4K at 30fps and does slow-movement video up to 960fps at 720p. Despite The Fact That the image stabilization is in general wonderful, the similar issues with oversaturation had been also provide when recording video, and that i also seen a few flicker and shakiness all over playback. Those could have been appropriate compromises even a couple of months in the past, but the iPhone SE 2 has just considerably raised the bar for video recording efficiency at this value level.
Images efficiency doesn’t live as much as the amount of hardware within the 10 Professional.
there’s a lot to love in regards to the TCL 10 Professional, however there are also some irritating first-gen kinks that need to be ironed out. Sure, there’s a nice massive colorful display with minimum bezels, however the telephone constantly thinks you’re touching the perimeters of the monitor. There’s a nice range of rear cameras, but TCL’s aggressive image processing can smash the footage they take. There’s a headphone jack, but in addition a shortcut button that’s somewhat too simple to incidentally press.
TCL has built so much of its up to date recognition off the back of its forged midrange TVs. It just might take a little bit longer for its emblem to stand out in the international of smartphones.
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Update May 14th, 10:07AM ET: Up To Date in light of recent data from TCL that the telephone’s shortcut button may also be remapped at the US version of the telephone.