A little more than a month ago, TCL debuted smartphones under its own name for the very first time in the US. The brand is far more commonly associated with making affordable smart televisions, but it’s also made phones for many years under different brands it owns or licensed with, like Alcatel, Blackberry, and Palm. These two phones, the TCL 10 Pro and 10L, are already affordable, but you can get them at a discount for a limited time.
The two new phones are not TCL’s first rodeo, and it shows. WIRED senior associate reviews editor Julian Chokkattu really enjoyed using both of them. Don’t be fooled by the names, though. They might sound similar, but these are two different phones with very different specs. The $450 10 Pro is the more premium device, with a fast Snapdragon 675 chip, 128 gigabytes of onboard storage, and a bright 6.47-inch OLED screen. On the other hand, the $250 10L is a lot of value for the money. The Snapdragon 665 processor is fast enough, and the daytime photos with the four-camera system are decent.
Both phones run without the sluggishness that you’d typically see in other phones at this price point, like the Samsung Galaxy A51 ($400) and the Motorola Moto G Stylus ($300). They’re both available unlocked, but right now, Amazon and Best Buy are offering 15 percent off for each phone. Best Buy is also offering an additional $50 off if you activate service with Verizon or AT&T at the time of purchase.
Are the TCL 10 Pro or 10L Right for You?
WIRED: The price! At this price point, TCL’s phones run fast and smoothly. In benchmark tests, they’ve even beaten some of our favorites, like the Google Pixel 3A. The 10 Pro’s 4,500-mAh battery lasts a full day with heavy use, and it has a decent four-camera system that shoots pretty great pictures in daylight. At this price, the 10L is also a great budget pick for smooth performance and extras like a headphone jack and a Micro SD card slot.
TIRED: Right now, there are a lot of competitors at these price points and one may be a better fit for you. If you want better photos on a cheap phone, you might be happier with the Moto G stylus. If you were looking at the 10 Pro, we have to admit that the Google Pixel 4A might be launching soon and the OnePlus 7T ($499) offers much better power, better photos, and a better display for a little more.
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