TCL 10L review: too many cameras but big display!
TCL, the third-largest TV manufacturer in the world, has been starting to get noticed in the smartphone sector for some time. What we are talking about today is the TCL 10L, device with a polycarbonate shell, large display, and 4 rear cameras, all in less than € 200!
The sales package of the smartphone made by TCL has a rather standard structure, with the main facade which shows a two-sided image of the device and the name of the product at the top. While the back is almost completely clean, the sides of the box offer an overview of the main technical characteristics.
Once the lid is lifted, we find another box containing the transparent TPU cover, the usual illustrative booklet, and the paperclip for removing the SIM compartment. Below we see our smartphone, wrapped in its entirety by a matte protective film and, to conclude, the bottom houses the rather small charger to 5V / 2A and the USB Type C cable for charging and data transfer.
Design and ergonomics
TCL 10L certainly does not stand out for a refined or attractive design. The smartphone made by the company has an overall acceptable look, with a front area that houses the large 6.53-inch IPS display, surrounded by a frame pronounced but not excessively and interrupted only by the hole that houses the front camera in the upper left corner.
- dimensions: 76.5 x 162.2 x 8.4 mm
- Weight: 187 g
The back is undoubtedly the most representative area of this device. Impossible not to notice the 4 cameras arranged horizontally in the upper part of the back cover, all in a slightly protruding module and equipped with 2 LED flashes arranged symmetrically at the ends. Immediately below, then, we can see some information on the sensors shown in small.
Below we find the fingerprint sensor placed in a square housing and, finally, the TCL logo in the central area.
The edges then see a coating in glossy polycarbonate and host the usual components, with the volume rocker and the on/off button and screen lock on the right, input for the 3.5 mm jack at the top, and mono speaker, microphone and cable input USB Type C down. To conclude, on the left we find the trolley for inserting 2 nano-SIM / 1 nano-SIM and a Micro SD and the button to call Google Assistant.
Although not a monster of beauty, the rounded lines, and the polycarbonate shell have given me a feeling of stability and robustness, even if a secure grip is not guaranteed especially with one-handed use. After all, all features that, on a Lite device, certainly do not clash.
The technical sector of this TCL 10L places it fully in the middle range, guaranteeing good performance and a stable and performing experience.
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
- GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 610
- Archiving: 64/128 GB expandable with Micro SD
- RAM: 6 GB
- Display: 6.53 inch IPS | 1080 x 2340 | HDR 10
- Battery: 4000 mAh
- Bluetooth: 5.0
The photographic sensors, given the quantity, deserve a separate list.
- 48 MP f / 1.8 main camera
- 2 MP secondary camera for depth calculation
- 2 MP macro camera
- Wide-angle camera with 118 ° viewing angle
- 16MP f / 2.2 front camera
Software and performance
Onboard this TCL 10L we find a proprietary firmware based on Android 10. Compared to the stock version of the green robot operating system, the interface sees few changes that do not upset the user experience but slightly modify the aesthetics.
The navigation between the various screens occurs smoothly and smoothly, with rather short loading times and good responsiveness to user inputs. In this, the Snapdragon 665 certainly does its part and, together with the 6 GB of RAM, can guarantee very acceptable multitasking.
Among the proprietary apps and features, we find the one to clone the apps, to use them with different accounts, and the game mode, useful for reserving more resources for our game sessions. In addition to this, the ability to customize the operation of the smart key allows us to assign useful shortcuts to a dedicated key.
The edge-mounted panel is a 6.53-inch IPS LCD with resolution 1080 x 2340, the pixel density of 395 PPI HDR 10 certification. Good definition and excellent color rendering, with the colors best represented for the type of display in question.
Despite the frames not exactly thin, the extension on the whole of the front surface undoubtedly makes the user experience immersive and satisfying. The small hole in the upper left corner has never bothered me both when navigating within the UI and while enjoying the most varied multimedia contents.
Excellent also the management of colors and lighting in the transition from closed environments to the beating sun. In addition to increasing the illumination, the colors are adjusted to allow optimal vision even in direct sunlight.
If we do not appreciate the color range represented, thanks to the adjustable settings of the NXT Vision integrated software it is possible to adjust and adapt the display of images to our tastes.
The company has focused heavily on the photographic sector of this TCL 10L, equipping it with well 4 photographic sensors on the back cover. When it comes to cameras, never as in this sector, quantity often does not coincide with quality, the Google Pixel series teaches us that, with just one sensor, it manages to do real miracles.
In this case, of the photo modules present, I found that only 2 made sense. I would have done without the camera dedicated to macros, which in the newspaper will probably be used a handful of times, while the camera dedicated to calculating the depth I think can be easily replaced by infrared and more effective components.
Leaving aside the issue of quantity, let’s focus on the quality of these sensors. When I hear about sensors from several tens of megapixels, I always wonder if those numbers lead to the desired results. So, I decided to test the sensor by 48 MP with specific shots.
It is important to note that, to take photos using the maximum resolution offered, it is necessary to enable the appropriate option High pixels, which will require more image processing. In both cases below, the first shot was taken without enabling this feature, while the second takes advantage of the 48MP of the sensor.
By zooming in on the same point for both photos, we can see how, in reality, the actual improvement is minimal and does not give a real added value to the shot.
For the rest, the overall quality of the shot is quite good in the most disparate situations, managing to get away even in almost total darkness.
I also appreciated the wide-angle camera, a component that I believe should now be a must for all recent smartphones, whatever the price range. The distortion near the edges is not excessive and can offer an original point of view for shots and movies.
TCL 10L can offer average autonomy. With its 4000 mAh battery, it was able to take me in the evening with medium use.
In particular, turning it on from 8:30 am, I arrived at around 11 am the following day with just over 4 hours of screen on. Although they weren’t exciting, I found abnormal consumption of the Facebook app.
TCL 10L – Price and conclusions
TCL 10L is a device with important qualities but as many gaps, symbols of experience in the smartphone sector that will surely bring the brand to mature in the future. On Amazon.it the smartphone of the Chinese company is available for purchase at approx 180 €, price decidedly in line with the features and services offered.
At the same price, the market offers interesting choices proposed by certainly more established brands, which is why the final choice among the available solutions is to be referred to as personal taste.