Why the new TCL phones matter

– If you’ve ever heard of TCL you probably know them because they make pretty good, inexpensive 4K TVs. But TCL also makes phones. Like a lot of phones. They make Alcatel phones that
basically every carrier sells. They make blackberry phones. And they also make that
little itty-bitty palm phone. But now TCL wants you to
know that TCL makes phones. So they’re announcing three of them. There is the 10 Pro,
the 10 L and the 10 5G. 0h yeah also, there’s a folding phone. So let’s just start with a folding phone ’cause it’s probably the one
you’re most interested in. And I have bad news,
it’s just a prototype. Like a really proto-typey prototype. The hinge creaks when you open it up. And the software is nowhere near ready. But there are some clever
design features to it. So for example when you close
it, it closes completely flat. And that’s because they’re using the same sort of hinge
mechanism that the Moto Razr is. The screen sort of bubbles
up in a teardrop shape inside the hinge. Another interesting thing, there is no screen on the
outside of it which is a choice. TCL says that they do not know when they’re gonna sell this thing. They’re waiting until
the technology is ready. Maybe they even want to wait for glass screens that can fold. And they definitely want to
wait until their software. So, that’s a folding phone. It’s cool, but we should talk about the phones they’re actually
gonna release this year. One important thing to
know about these phones is they’re getting released globally, including in North America,
and including in the US. Which really is kind of a first for TCL under the TCL brand. Now the company doesn’t want to tell us much about the specs. So we don’t know the exact processor yet, we don’t know the
megapixels on the cameras or any of that. But we do think that all
three of these phones are gonna cost less than $500. Which could mean that TCL is gonna role in and try and take on OnePlus head-to-head. So let’s talk about the 10
Pro first ’cause it’s probably the most interesting
of these three phones. It’s the most premium one. It looks a little bit like a Galaxy S 10. It has that sort of a
curved screen on the sides. And TCL is making a really big deal about its screen technology
that it’s pulling in from TVs. So it has a custom controller and that can mean that it
can vary the refresh rate, so we should see 90 maybe
even 120 hertz on this. And for video it can dynamically change SDR content into HDR content. It has an in screen fingerprint sensor. And there are four cameras on the back which should be enough. One of those cameras is a macro camera and I was able to pull
focus on a little plant from just about 3 inches away,
which is pretty impressive. We’ll see about the rest of the cameras. TCL was pretty blunt that
they’re not good have the best cameras on the market. They know that, we know that, so they’re not gonna pretend
that it’s going to be an amazing best-of-breed camera. One other thing that I
can say about this thing is that it has a headphone jack. Hey! Now the two cheaper phones
are the 10 L and the 10 5G. And they just feel cheaper. They’re just not as nice a build quality. They do have the same
four cameras on the back. Well, maybe not the same. I don’t know for sure
that they’re identical to what’s on the pro, but
it’s got four cameras. Which, fine, again, that’s enough. They have a fingerprint sensor on the back and their screens are flat and probably just not as nice as on the 10 Pro. But the important thing to remember is that the 10 5G is gonna have a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 700 series, which presumably means the 765, which means that it has 5G built in without hurting the battery life too much which means that it might
be the very first 5G phone that costs less than $500. And that’s really important. Now look, if you’re watching this video there is a pretty good chance
that you are not gonna get super hype over mid
range TCL android phones. I get it. But they’re still important because TCL has really good carrier relationships. Which means that when
somebody walks into an AT&T or T-Mobile or whatever, and they just want to get
the cheapest android phone, they’re gonna get something
pretty good from TCL. And having more competition
in the sub $500 space is gonna be important for everybody. I especially like that these phones are pretty normal size. They’re not big honkers
like OnePlus phones are. That’s nice. We will find out much
more about these phones at Mobile World Congress next month. We’ll get full specs and hopefully prices and hopefully release
dates on all of them. So we’re gonna be stay tuned for that. As for the folding phone, who knows? TCL even talked about how they wanna make a folding tablet with
like three folds on it. That could be fun. The bottom line is if
TCL can pull this off you might know them for
phones instead of just TVs. Hey everybody, thanks
so much for watching. We’re here at the
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which means we’re gonna have a ton of videos of some
pretty cool gadgets. So you should keep it locked to The Verge.

96 thoughts on “Why the new TCL phones matter

  1. xiaomi ,realme will be selling 5g phones around $300-400 in few days in china
    but tcl providing $500 in US isnt bad either

  2. Well, Congress is going to investigate TCL this year. And the conclusion is going to be the same as Huawei. As long as China has two National security laws that force these corporations to turn over ALL user data upon request, they will not be sold in the United States. They might sell some this year but after Congress gets done with them they'll be banned.

  3. It's nice that TLC wants to push the sub 500$ market again. Getting less and less attention from OnePlus etc which is really frustrating..

  4. They better get their update policy sorted out then, because even Samsung is (finally) stepping up and you can't just release a phone that will never update past the Android version they shipped with.

  5. The b-roll in this video was confusing it's hard to tell if you're talking about the phone that's being shown !!!

  6. TCL has pre-reinstalled bloatware that crashes constantly and show ads it cannot be disabled ever, don't buy ever

  7. this folding technology is being used wrong, it would be nice in laptops but it would be better in wearables… a vibrant screen that acts like a live bracelet/smartwatch/phone

  8. A few xiaomi mobiles like redmi k30 5g and MI Mix 3 5g are currently available for around $350.. But probably not available in the US. Won't be a first but glad to see them doing this..

  9. Heads up 5G is a form of a military weapon 5G is especially dangerous to infants and toddlers has not been proven safe and in many cases studies has caused cancer neurological issues ear ringing and many other symptoms 5G is a much higher increased radiation wave and the cell antennas will have to be located every hundred feet you will literally be being bombarded 24/7 kind of like being in a microwave set on super super low

  10. CES – Concept Eletronics Show.
    No real pricing, no specs, nothing except for "here, look."

    PS: Taking a picture with a Smartphone from like 3 inches away is nothing special. EVERY phone can get close to about ~8cm which is about 3.1". And for 3" they need a dedicated macro lense? That's stupid.

  11. So I guess TCL is making phones now, with their branding on it. Interesting to see where these phones go. Honestly the design doesn't look too bad! Just a solid, presumably more affordable Android phone. Could be great options for a lot of people.

  12. "…glass that folds"

    That isn't how glass works. If it can fold, it won't be glass, no matter if they end up calling it "glass".

  13. Alcatel has been the impressive phone brand that I've been waiting for an Android refresh from. Good to know TCL is finally offering their own brand of phones.

  14. More phones like this, and the other boys in the yard will start noticing. Making the competition even more beneficial for us consumers.

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