Blog 21: September 29, 2020 at 3:50 pm by @otto.magazin.eng
💬 I’ve been looking for less expensive smartphones to test, and this newcomer from TCL popped up…It’s called the TCL 10 Pro.
This guy costs a cool $450, which is half the price of the other flagships we’ve been testing.
Even though it’s TCL’s first branded phone, they are calling it a number 10…probably so that it’ll fit in with the Samsungs and iPhones.
You know, like a fake ID that makes you seem older than you actually are. Tricky, but also kind of smart.
This is the Ember Gray color, which I guess if you look at the gray part of an ember it does kind of match.
Before we turn the phone on, let’s see what else ships with the TCL
We have the SIM card removal tool, along with\na transparent rubber protective case.
I’m a fan of that. And an 18 watt fast charging grip. This is the same wattage of brick that ships with the iPhone 11 Pro.
But it’s only about half the watts that we normally see with Android!
All of the inexpensive bells and whistles in the world won’t matter if the phone is durable.
So, It’s time to see if this newcomer can handle my strong durability test.
Let’s get started Guys:
I mean, yeah, it is a little weird for a company known for their TV’s to plop a logo on their smartphone, but to be fair I have owned a reasonably priced TCL TV in the past for like 5 years and it worked just fine.
So I’m interested to see what they can do with a reasonably priced cell phone.
Let’s start with the scratch test guys:
You know how this works. A scratch at level 2 or 3 would be a screen made from plastic.
Level 6 or 7 would be a screen made of glass. And a level 8 or 9 would be a screen made from sapphire, which is kind of fun. It’s hard to describe,
But this glass does feel a bit different than other screens, almost like it’s harder.
The glass does still scratch at a level 6 with deeper grooves at a level 7…but I don’t know. It does seem different, I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Either way though, the front glass will protect the top teardrop 24 megapixel selfie camera and keep it from scratching.
The sensor can do optical face unlock.
And the super thin earpiece lid up top doesn’t have any grill inside that will be falling out.
The right side of the phone is made from metal… so far, so good… along with the power button and volume rocker.
The top of the phone has more metal, a headphone jack, and an IR blaster for remote controlling TV’s, which is a rather brilliant addition from a company that literally makes TV’s.
Thumbs up for that little perk, TCL.
Another fun little trick is that the left side has a programmable button that can be mapped to anything.
Personally I’m going to map mine to the camera app, and I can even do a double tap on the button to immediately start recording, which is absolutely brilliant considering what’s going on right now.
Nobody really believes anyone unless it’s caught on video, and even then, good luck.
But it is cool that this phone can start recording The bottom of the phone has a USB-C port, along with the SIM card tray, and expandable SD card slot.
There is no water-resistance which is a bummer. We’ll have to check for sure from the inside, but at least it’s got everything else.
The back glass in the TCL 10 Pro is frosted. I’d say it’s mostly gray, but every now and then I do catch a hue of purple in there.
You can hear the difference in texture as I cross from the frosted glass to the smooth flush camera.
The first camera on the left is a 64 megapixel main camera.
Then we have a 2 megapixel low-light camera, and a 5 megapixel macro camera, followed by the 16 megapixel super wide camera. All under the same piece of back glass.
It does have two little flash circles sitting on either side. These are ever so slightly raised, which is good because:
1) it keeps the phone from rocking,
2) it also keeps the camera lenses from getting scratched when you set it down on a table Smart.
This 450 phone does have an underscreen fingerprint scanner.
I’ll set my fingerprint and then scuff the surface of the scanner with some level 7 deeper grooves.
It’s an optical scanner and it does seem to work every time even with the damage in place.
And it does not work with my other unscanned fingers. So that’s pretty good.
Now a TV company probably has display stuff pretty well figured out.
And on paper this TCL 10 Pro has a 6.4 inch 1080p AMOLED display.
But when you hold it under a lighter, which is like normal behavior, after about 30 seconds the screen goes white, pulses, and then gets left with a permanent blue hue on the pixels underneath the glass.
TCL does say they have a special eye comfort mode that reduces blue light, so maybe there is some kind of extra layer in here that goes blue when burned.
I really have no idea, but it’s always interesting, when something new happens.
Now it’s time to find out if you need to treat the new TCL with TLC.
The quickest way to see if the structural integrity of a phone can last a few years is with a bend test.
When bent from the front you get a minor flex, but no creaks, cracks, or catastrophes.
When bent from the other side, same thing. Aside from the screen being a bit blue, the TCL 10 Pro passes my durability test.
I’d be a little nervous to buy a company’s first smartphone, but it is still pretty cool to see a $450 phone that has more features and the same durability as flagships costing twice as much.😜
A trend that heads towards cheaper, feature-rich, solidly constructed phones is something I can definitely get behind.
Although, if you want to find a phone that will break, we’ll need to go even cheaper.
Let me know down in the comments if there’s a phone that you think won’t make it.
I’ll see you soon guys.✌😉