TCL: The Next Smartphone Superpower? – The National Interest


Chinese tech giant TCL, which is best known for its excellent, wallet-friendly TVs, is slated to release its smartphones, called the 10 Series, in the coming weeks in North America, Europe and Australia.

TCL has decided to rebrand its mobile line under its own name this time around, which is a big change considering that it has used brands like Alcatel, BlackBerry and Palm to market its phones over the years.

Will it really make a dent in the smartphone market, especially in the U.S.? Very difficult to say in this market dominated by Apple and Samsung, but from the company’s stated price points, the smartphones will seem to fit in nicely with today’s budget-conscious consumers. Keep in mind that many household budgets are stretched thin due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 10 Series is comprised of three phones: the budget 10L, the premium 10 Pro and the 10 5G. The 10L and 10 Pro are expected to be available for purchase some time this quarter. As for the 10 5G, there’s a dearth of information on when exactly it will be released and what carrier it has a partnership with.

Like its TV counterparts, TCL keeps the price down by not going overboard on design or specs. The 10 Pro is set to retail at $449 and features a 6.47-inch curved AMOLED display, which will utilize a fingerprint sensor.

It will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The smartphone also comes with four rear cameras, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a 4,500-mAh battery.

The budget 10L boasts a fantastic price point of only $249 and flaunts a 6.53-inch full HD display, which is LCD and not OLED, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor. It comes with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. It also makes use of a fingerprint senor under the screen.  

With 5G on the minds of many tech-savvy consumers these days, the 10 5G will look to make waves it comes out. Most of the current 5G phones on the market run about $1,000. With that in mind, TCL will certainly stir the pot by offering its 5G device for $399.

The 10 5G has a 6.53-inch full HD LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Like the 10L and Pro, it uses a fingerprint sensor and a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV.

Image: TCL. 

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