This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
FOX, the company behind the TCL brand of smartphones in Japan, has announced its first TCL 5G smartphone, the TCL 10 5G. We got a chance to touch the handset right away.
The TCL 10 5G uses the Snapdragon 765G chipset with a 6.53-inch 2340x1080-pixel display, and will be sold as SIM-free, but will be available on two 5G carriers, KDDI and SoftBank. It will also support Rakuten Mobile's 5G. It's a nice specification to be able to use the 5G of a major carrier for SIM-free as well. In addition, you can also use the 4G service from DOCOMO.
The color of the model we touched this time is Chrome Blue, with a gradient finish on the back. The camera is a unique design with four cameras lined up horizontally, and this design has been consistent since TCL-branded smartphones: a combination of 64-megapixel wide-angle, 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle, 5-megapixel macro, and 2-megapixel depth measurement, with a focus on the near side rather than the telephoto side. The front camera is 16 megapixels.
The left side has a SIM card slot and a shortcut button. Pressing the shortcut button allows you to launch your favorite apps in one shot.
Volume and power buttons on the right side. It's a standard design. From the side, we can see that the protrusion of the camera part on the back is not so bad.
There is a headphone jack at the top. More and more smartphones these days are eliminating these jacks, but it's nice to know that you can use commercially available headphones. The bottom of the device has a USB Type-C port.
When you hold it in your hand, the sides of the display are not curled up, so there are no false touches from a gripped palm. The flat display feels easy to hold with one hand and operate with your fingertips. With the Snapdragon 765G, you won't have any complaints in general usage. The display is said to be easy on the eyes and has clear contrast, as only TV maker TCL can do, and it can also play HDR10 compatible videos.
As for the camera, I didn't have much time to try it out, so I took a few shots indoors. The UI is standard. You can switch between Advanced, Auto (photography), Video, Portrait, and Super Night.
From the Advanced, you can switch between the super macro camera and the 64-megapixel camera. There's no telephoto, but if you're outdoors, you can take a picture with the 64-megapixel camera and cut out a portion of it and enlarge it for social media.
For standard photography, the camera supports 2x digital zoom. This level of image quality will not be compromised. By the way, the 4G model TCL 10 Pro has the same number of cameras as the TCL 10 5G, but with 16 megapixels for the ultra-wide angle and 24 megapixels for the front camera. You can choose between them, depending on whether you opt for the 5G or a higher quality camera.
Macro photography allows you to get a few centimeters closer to your subject. While a telephoto lens is good for capturing long distances outdoors, I often use macro photography for taking pictures of objects and food, and I find it useful. Since we spend a lot of time indoors, I think that macro is useful in a wide range of situations.
One thing I found surprisingly useful is the super night mode. It captures night scenes beautifully, but it also suppresses a lot of the blown-out white on bright signs. First of all, I shot in standard mode. The words on the signboard are unreadable.
In Super Night mode, you can read the words on the sign and the streetlight illumination is well captured.
Priced at less than 40,000 yen including tax, the TCL 10 5G is a SIM-free, low-cost 5G smartphone with Google services, making it an excellent entry-level device with a good balance of performance for those who want to experience 5G easily.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.