In the U.S., TCL is best known for its affordable TVs, but this year, the company is trying to broaden its horizons with the release of three new phones and an exciting new teaser for its hybrid Fold ‘n’ Roll concept.
Following the TCL 20 SE and the TCL 20 5G, which were announced earlier this year at CES, TCL is adding the TCL 20L, TCL 20L+, and TCL 20 Pro 5G to the portfolio, with North America slated to get the TCL 20S instead of the 20L+.
Starting at 229 euros, the 20L will be the most affordable of TCL’s three new phones, and will come with a 6.67-inch FHD+ display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, a base 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and quadruple rear cameras (48-MP main, 8-MP ultra-wide, 2-MP macro, and a 2-MP depth sensor).
The 20L also comes with side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a large 5,000 mAh battery, and unlike a lot of more premium handsets, the 20L (along with the 20L+ and 20 Pro 5G) also features a good ‘ole 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card reader, which are definitely handy inclusions.
Moving up to 269 euros brings you to the TCL 20L+, which is a slightly upgraded version of the standard 20L with a higher-res 64-MP main cam in back but with the same Snapdragon 662 inside, in addition to 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as standard.
A couple of other special features on the 20L+ include TCL’s Backlight Selfie and Super Night mode and the company’s new Circular Polarization Display tech, which was specially created to let you see the phone’s display clearly while wearing sunglasses. Now if we’re being honest, I haven’t run into a lot of phones that struggle with polarized lenses, but it does happen from time to time, usually on budget devices, so while this tech isn’t exactly a game-changer, it’s a handy bonus for general usability.
TCL has yet to reveal full details for the 20S for folks in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, but TCL said the phone will feature a similar design and pricing as the others in the lineup.
Finally, there’s the TCL 20 Pro 5G, which starts at 549 euros and boasts a number of premium features, including an upscale design, 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 48-MP rear camera with OIS, and a Snapdragon 750G chip that supports sub-6GHz 5G.
Extra features that set the TCL 20 5G Pro apart from its more affordable siblings include a 32-MP selfie cam that supports HDR, built-in Qi wireless charging, and TCL’s NXTVISION 2.0, which improves the display’s color richness and accuracy and features an AI-powered visual enhancer to spruce up your mobile videos.
While TCL’s three new phones look solid and have solid specs for the price, TCL also teased one more device that could be a peek at a future phone, or possibly TCL’s upcoming foldable, which the company said will arrive sometime before the end of the year.
Designed to showcase a flexible display that can be manipulated in multiple ways on a single device, TCL’s Fold ‘n’ Roll concept looks like the ultimate smartphone/tablet hybrid, able to unfold from a typical candy bar-shaped handset into a large tablet-sized device, before the screen unfurls completely to reveal a 10-inch screen with a proper widescreen aspect ratio for watching movies.
Sadly, TCL doesn’t have any plans to sell the Fold ‘n’ Roll concept, but the device does serve to further the company’s ongoing research into devices with flexible screens, with TCL’s ultimate goal to release an “affordable” foldable phone by the end of 2021. Now whether that means a price tag of $1,000 or less is still unknown, but with devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 still going for $1,800 (even after a recent $200 price reduction), any effort to make foldable phones less expensive sounds good to me.
The TCL 20L, 20L+/20S, and 20 Pro 5G will go on sale tomorrow in certain parts of Europe, with U.S. pricing and availability expected to be announced sometime later this spring.