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TCL 20 series is better than the 10 series but still cheap

TCL is back with another set of affordable phones.

Published onJanuary 11, 2021

TCL 20 5G CES 2021 Top Pick Award


  • TCL’s new 20 series of phones consists of two devices: the TCL 20 5G and TCL 20 SE.
  • The two phones cost €299 and €149, respectively.
  • The lineup will expand to include at least three more devices.

TCL’s 10 series of phones were all about a decent mix of features for an affordable price. With the $449 TCL 10 5G, you got a phone with a 6.53-inch display and a Snapdragon 765G processor. With its new 20 series of phones, announced at CES 2021, the company is taking a similar approach. Let’s take a look.

The TCL 20 5G has won Android Authority‘s CES 2021 Top Picks Award for Best Affordable Smartphone. Check out all the awards here.

TCL 20 5G

TCL 20 5G

There’s no “Pro” model in TCL’s new lineup — not yet at least, but more on that later. For the moment, the TCL 20 5G occupies the company’s top-end.

It’s, as the name suggests, a 5G-capable phone. Powering everything is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 chipset with 6GB of RAM. The base model comes with 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage, but you’ll also be able to buy a 256GB model. Either way, you can add up to 256GB of additional storage through an SD card.

TCL has gone with a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display with HDR10 support. A 4,500mAh capacity battery provides the TCL 20 5G with the juice it needs to power its components. To get the most out of its power cell, the TCL 20 5G comes with a feature that automatically switches the phone between 5G and LTE modes.

There aren’t many surprises when it comes to the phone’s camera. It has a triple-camera array with a 48MP primary, 118-degree 8MP wide-angle and 2MP macro. You can capture 4K video at 30fps or 1080p at fps. For selfies, there’s an 8MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens.


Igor Bonifacic / Android Authority

TCL is positioning the more affordable 20 SE as the kind of phone you’ll want to use for media consumption. It has a massive 6.82-inch display with a 20.5:9 aspect ratio and 90% screen-to-body ratio — but it’s limited to a 720p resolution. The company has designed the SE’s speakers so that you won’t block them when you’re normally holding the phone.

To make the large display easier to manage, TCL has included a floating window feature. Swipe to the left or right corner of the device, and you’ll have access to an adjustable window that allows you to reply to messages while watching a video and that you can move anywhere on the screen.

Internally, the phone features last year’s Snapdragon 460, not the faster and 5G-capable Snapdragon 480 announced at the start of the month. Complimenting the chipset is 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, depending on the configuration you buy. It’s worth noting the latter model comes with a faster UFS 2.1 SSD. Powering everything is a 5,000mAh battery.

For photos, the 20 SE comes with four cameras. It has a 48MP primary camera with an f/2.0 lens, a 5MP wide-angle, a 2MP macro lens and a 5MP depth sensor.

Both the TCL 20 5G and 20 SE feature the company’s NXTVISION 2.0 camera and display optimization technology. New to the feature this year is an improved algorithm for converting SDR to HDR content. TCL has also added additional features to reduce eye strain.

Related: The best budget phones you can buy

In the coming weeks, TCL says it will announce at least three additional 20-series models. In the meantime, the TCL 20 5G is available to buy starting today in Italy for €299 in two colors: Mist Gray and Placid Blue. It will make its way to other markets later this year. Meanwhile, the TCL 20 SE, available in Nuit Black and Aurora Green, costs €149. TCL said it’s available in multiple countries but didn’t list the specific ones. Depending on their availability, the 20 Series look like they’ll be a good option for budget conscious consumers.

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