The first phone announcement of 2021 isn’t from Samsung. It’s from TCL, and there are two of them.
A new year typically means new phones, and while we’re not even two weeks into the year, we already have two new phones. That was quick.
However the new phone news might not be from someone you expect, because while Samsung has a launch later this week, the first phone news of 2021 isn’t from Samsung, but rather TCL.
That’s a brand that has already announced new TV tech this week, as well as a wearable screen and a new take on screen technology, but isn’t just resting on those categories, and is showing what we can expect from phones in 2021.
The owner of Alcatel’s smartphone business as ambitions of its own to make it bit in the phone world, and this year will launch the TCL 20 series, which in the beginning arrives in two models, the TCL 20 5G and the TCL 20 SE.
Both aim to offer big screens with a focus on the screen tech playing a key role, thanks in part to the work TCL is doing with its display technologies. However these won’t run with the CES 2021 announcement of NxtPaper, and are more like conventional smartphones, complete with Android.
However don’t let that stop TCL from making a dent, with the TCL 5G sitting at the top of the pile, sporting a 6.67 inch Full HD+ screen complete with the camera in the top-left, a feature TCL calls “dotch” design that reminds us of other things that rhyme with that name. Ignoring the name and screen design, TCL is including a standard dynamic range to high dynamic range conversion process to make images stand out more, plus a way to calibrate the screen, if that sort of thing matters to you.
The screen is clearly important here, but underneath, TCL has opted for a mid-range Snapdragon 690 chip, making it a 5G capable phone, and sitting on top of op a 4500mAh battery with three cameras, too.
That’s the first of TCL’s 20 series, with the second being a 4G model arriving in the TCL 20 SE, a slightly larger 6.82 inch phone though with a lower resolution display on top of a 5000mAh battery. There’s also four cameras here, though they’re not quite as high end as the 48 megapixel module, with this phone sporting a 16 megapixel standard, 5 megapixel ultra-wide, and 2 megapixel cameras for depth and macro.
Neither have Australian release dates as of yet, but TCL did suggest to Pickr that pricing for the new phones would likely see the TCL 20 5G at a little less than $600, while the TCL 20 SE would be less than $400 when it launched locally.