TCL 10 5G review: Excellent specs, build and performance for the price Review

Till recently, TCL was most effective identified in the smartphone marketplace for producing BlackBerry and Alcatel phones underneath licence. But the Chinese producer has now struck out underneath its possess model with the TCL ten collection. Again in Could, my colleague Matthew Miller was pretty impressed with the “capable, economical” TCL ten Pro, a mid-selection six.forty seven-inch cellular phone centered on Qualcomm’s 11nm Snapdragon 675 chipset with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of inside storage and five cameras (1 entrance, 4 rear).

Below we are hunting at TCL’s to start with 5G cellular phone, the TCL ten 5G, which has a advisable price tag of £399/€399 and is currently accessible from the UK’s 3 cellular network for £19 upfront and £19 a thirty day period.

The ten 5G model bumps up the screen dimensions to six.fifty three inches and boosts the platform with Qualcomm’s 7nm Snapdragon 765G chipset, even though retaining the 6GB RAM/128GB storage combo and a quad rear camera array. At to start with glance, it seems like an additional fantastic-value featuring — but what is actually the in-depth verdict?

Design and style

As noted, the TCL ten 5G is a a little bit greater handset than the ten Pro, with its six.fifty three-inch screen sitting in a chassis measuring seventy six.6mm wide by 163.7mm deep by 9mm thick (3.02in. x six.44in. x .35in.) and weighing 210g (7.forty one ounces). That’s 4.2mm wider, 5.2mm deeper and 33g heavier than the Pro — the thickness of the two handsets — 9mm as opposed to nine.2mm — basically the exact.

Development-sensible, the TCL ten 5G is the typical slab of glass in an aluminium body. The primary style and design component is a glass again with a “gentle-catching metallic gradient” thanks to “20 trillion nano-patterned micro-pyramids”, which is wonderful. However, the to start with thing I did on placing up the cellular phone was put it in the supplied obvious bumper case for a superior grip, which tremendously dilutes this effect. The TCL ten 5G is admirably fingerprint-resistant, both entrance and again, and is accessible in Chrome Blue or, as reviewed here, Mercury Gray.


The six.fifty three-inch TCL ten 5G operates on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inside storage.

Photographs: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

The primary variances amongst the TCL ten 5G and Pro handsets occur down to the use of a (flat) IPS Lcd — which occupies extra inside quantity due to its backlight — for the 5G model as opposed to a (curved) AMOLED panel for the Pro. This signifies that, fairly than making use of an optical in-screen fingerprint reader, as on the Pro, the 5G handset’s fingerprint reader is a different unit on the again. The ten 5G’s quad-camera array also protrudes noticeably from the again, while it can be extra pleasingly flush on the Pro model. At the entrance, the 5G model has a gap-punch camera, while the Pro uses a modest teardrop-style notch.

Top ZDNET Critiques

The TCL ten 5G has a screen-to-entire body ratio of 83.4%, with the most noticeable bezel at the base. This is some way driving the ten Pro, which, with its curved AMOLED screen, has a sleeker-hunting screen-to-entire body ratio of 89.six%.

The energy and quantity controls are on the suitable side, even though the SIM slot (twin SIM or SIM+MicroSD card) is on the remaining, previously mentioned a Intelligent Crucial that launches the Google Assistant. The leading of the cellular phone houses a microphone and a 3.5mm audio jack, even though the base has a USB-C port flanked by grilles masking a mic on the remaining and a speaker on the suitable. Compared with on the TCL ten Pro, you will find no infrared port at the leading.

As with a lot of mid-selection phones (which includes the Pro model), the TCL ten 5G lacks an IP ranking for dust and water resistance. 


The Snapdragon 765G that powers the TCL ten 5G is a mid-selection chipset aimed at the economical finish of the 5G smartphone marketplace. It is no flagship-class Snapdragon 865, but the mix of the octa-core Kyro 475 CPU working at up to two.4GHz, Adreno 620 GPU, X52 5G modem and Qualcomm AI Engine delivers pretty creditable overall performance (see underneath), even for gamers (the ‘G’ in 765G references a number of gaming optimisations, which includes “ten% faster graphics rendering compared to normal Snapdragon 765”). As noted earlier, there is 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inside storage, the latter expandable by means of MicroSD card in a shared SIM slot.

The exhibit is a six.fifty three-inch IPS Lcd with FHD+ (1,080 x two,340 pixels, 395ppi) resolution and 450 nits maximum brightness. TCL uses the phrase ‘Dotch’ for the gap-punch camera in the leading remaining corner (as opposed to ‘notch’). Even if it wasn’t trademarked, I really don’t see that catching on. 

In the Configurations application you can toggle or plan dim manner and eye consolation (lessened blue gentle) manner, and pick out adaptive screen brightness, even though the NXTVISION application presents different adjustments: ‘Visual enhancement’ for optimised image distinction, sharpness and saturation in Vivid screen color manner ‘SDR to HDR’ for HDR-like video clip improvement and ‘Reading mode’ for a e-book-like reading through knowledge, as perfectly as ‘Color manner & temperature’ and ‘Sunlight display’.


The NXTVISION and Intelligent Supervisor apps.

Photographs: Charles McLellan / ZDNet  

The entrance camera, in the ‘dotch’, has a 16MP sensor and an f/two.two wide-angle lens — a phase down from the 24MP ‘notch’ camera in the Pro model. Like its Pro counterpart, the selfie camera can seize 720p and 1080p video clip at up to 30fps.

There are four cameras at the again, arranged horizontally in a a little bit protruding panel, flanked by a pair of flash units. The primary camera has a high-resolution 64MP sensor and a wide-angle f/1.nine lens. This is complemented by 8MP ultra-wide-angle (f/two.two, 118°), 5MP macro (f/two.two) and 2MP depth (f/two.4) cameras. Electronic zoom is accessible up to 10x, but you will find no committed telephoto camera, even though video clip seize operates to 1080p at up to 120fps or 4K at 30fps, with EIS (Digital Graphic Stabilisation). It is a comparable arrangement to that found in the PCL ten Pro, with the notable exception that the ultra-wide-angle camera is 50 % the resolution (8MP as opposed to 16MP).

There’s a fantastic selection of options accessible in the camera computer software, which includes ‘AI camera’, which allows AI image composition and calorie detection (the previous currently being significantly extra valuable than the latter, in my impression). ‘Dark shot’ is accessible for increased lower-gentle overall performance, along with a watermark attribute. Five camera modes are presented by default — Vehicle, Video, Portrait, Tremendous Night and Pro. Other modes accessible by means of the ‘More’ button are Slo-mo, Prevent Motion, Light-weight Trace, Pano, Tremendous Macro and High Pixel (64M). You can drag any of these to exchange the primary camera screen possibilities if needed.

Here’s a assortment of pictures taken with the TCL ten 5G:


Vehicle (remaining) and Tremendous Macro (suitable).

Photographs: Charles McLellan / ZDNet    


Vehicle (remaining) and Extremely-wide-angle (suitable)

Photographs: Charles McLellan / ZDNet    

Digicam overall performance is typically rather fantastic, while you really should stay clear of the digital zoom as substantially as achievable. A telephoto camera would be wonderful, but you can generally use High Pixel (64M) manner and do your zooming in article-production.

Audio top quality from the speaker on the base of the handset is good — it isn’t going to go loud adequate to distort, and if you want to enjoy by Bluetooth speakers or headsets, you will find a bonus: Tremendous Bluetooth allows you link up to four gadgets at the exact time for a shared listening knowledge. I managed to properly link two Bluetooth speakers, which is the restrict when you are connected to a two.4GHz wi-fi network.


The Digicam and Gallery apps.

Photographs: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

The TCL ten 5G comes with a rather uncluttered implementation of Android ten, with a few extras courtesy of TCL UI. As perfectly as NXTVISION, Intelligent Supervisor and the Digicam application, you will find Gallery, File Supervisor, File Share, Audio and Video. IR Distant and Radio, which are existing on the TCL ten Pro, are lacking from the 5G model.

General performance & battery lifestyle

The Snapdragon 765G chipset with 6GB of RAM delivers a first rate set of benchmarks, confirming the in-use perception of a responsive handset. It is not flagship-class overall performance, of program, but mainstream customers and casual gamers really should have few grievances. 

The TCL ten Pro scored 621 (one core) and 1925 (multi core) underneath the Geekbench 5 CPU test. To put that in viewpoint, the Snapdragon 865-centered OnePlus eight (£599/$699 for 8GB/128GB), which currently sits atop the Android benchmark charts, scored 902 and 3302 respectively.

The PCMark for Android Function two. suite presents a fantastic comparison for both the OnePlus eight and the TCL ten 5G’s Pro stablemate. The two mid-selection TCL handsets provide comparable overall results, with the 5G model a little bit ahead — but the superior-specified OnePlus eight is perfectly ahead:


When it comes to gaming, as assessed by the 3DMark Slingshot Excessive benchmark, the profit of the TCL ten 5G’s gaming-optimised Snapdragon 765G chipset is apparent around the Pro model’s significantly less capable Snapdragon 675. However, when all over again, the flagship-class OnePlus eight is in a various league:


The TCL ten 5G and Pro both have 4500mAh batteries and assist rapidly 18W charging by means of Fast Cost 3.. TCL’s 5G handset comes out on leading, working for fifteen several hours underneath the PCMark Function two. battery lifestyle test (which terminates when twenty% of a full charge stays). That compares to 12h 13m for the ten Pro and 12h 25m for the OnePlus eight, which has a 4300mAh battery:


The TCL ten 5G also outperforms the recently reviewed OnePlus Nord, an additional Snapdragon 765G-centered mid-selection 5G handset. This £379 (8GB/128GB) cellular phone has a 4,115mAh battery, and lasted for 11.4 several hours underneath the PCMark test.

Sad to say, thanks to a mix of patchy 5G protection in the United kingdom (especially in rural spots) and lockdown, I was not able to test this handset’s 5G ability. However, it executed flawlessly satisfactorily on a 4G LTE signal.


The TCL ten 5G has a large amount heading for it: the specification, make top quality, overall performance and battery lifestyle are all extraordinary specified the £399 (inc. VAT) price tag. It is proven up in some spots by its (4G) 10 Pro stablemate, most notably by getting an IPS Lcd screen fairly than AMOLED, and by getting an awkardly protruding rear camera panel. Even now, it can be a fantastic-value 5G cellular phone — while possibly not fairly as fantastic value as the OnePlus Nord, which operates on the exact Snapdragon 765G platform and comes with 8GB fairly than 6GB of RAM for a a little bit lower starting off price tag (£379 inc. VAT).

New AND Relevant Material

TCL ten Pro evaluate: Stunning $450 Android cellular phone rivals Apple’s Iphone SE

TCL ten Sequence launch aspects: Cost-effective Android smartphones targeted on visual engineering

OnePlus Nord evaluate: A wonderful-value mid-selection 5G smartphone

OnePlus eight evaluate: Minimum high priced 5G cellular phone with flagship specs, nominal compromises

The ten most effective smartphones of 2020: 5G powers the leading contenders

Study extra critiques