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Meet TCL 10 5G - Surprise 5G contender

OPPO
Huawei
We take a look at the TCL 10 5G and share our experience with the device after a month of use.
Meet TCL 10 5G - Surprise 5G contender
TCL 10 5G

Announced back in March 2021, the new TCL 10 5G has finally arrived in the Philippines. It features a massive 6.53-inch LCD NXTVISION screen with 2340 x 1080 resolution. Inside is the 7nm Snapdragon 765G octa-core processor, Adreno 620 GPU, 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and 4500mAh battery.

Locally, it can be had for only PHP 17,990.

How does it perform? Let's dive in.

Meet TCL 10 5G!

Packaging
Packaging

The smartphone arrives in a white box with the render of the phone along with the TCL, Hi-Res Audio, and Qualcomm branding. It is one of the few mid-rangers not named Xiaomi with Hi-Res Audio certification which delivers better audio quality via headphones.
Inside the box

Inside the box are the phone itself, silicone bumper case, SIM ejector tool, TCL wall charger, USB Type-A to Type-C cable, and documentation.
Rear panel
Rear panel

The TCL 10 5G measures in at 163.65 x 76.56 x 9.05 mm and weighs 210 grams. It is lightweight yet solid to hold in the hand. The phone is made of a combination of metal, glass, and polycarbonate.

Nice build, outdated fingerprint scanner placement

At the back are a glasstic panel, rear camera module, fingerprint scanner, TCL branding, and regulatory information. The design would have been cleaner if they placed the fingerprint scanner on the side similar to a lot of modern smartphones.
Top and Bottom
Top and Bottom
 
On top are the 3.5mm audio jack and microphone port while at the bottom are the speaker grills and the USB-C port. Hidden in one of the speaker grills is the microphone. Only one set of speaker grills have audio output.
Left, right
Left, right

On the left are the volume rocker and the power button while on the other side is the SIM tray and the textured smart key button for quick launching select apps. The SIM tray is able to hold a single nano-SIM and one microSD card.
Bright display panel
Bright display panel

In front is the 6.53-inch 2.5D curved LCD NXTVISION display with 2340 x 1080 resolution. It is the highlight of the phone and it has a punch hole on the top left corner. The images produced are bright and vibrant. Contrast is good and the panel supports up to ten points of multi-touch.

6.82-inch IPS display with 1640 x 720 resolution that produces images with vibrant color. The maximum brightness could be brighter for our preferences but for the price, this is expected. 

On the punch hole is a16MP selfie camera.
Rear camera module
Rear camera module

At the back is the rear camera made up of a 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 8MP f/2.2 118-degree ultra-wide-angle camera, 5MP f/2.2 macro, and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor with a quad-LED flash.

The camera app has the following modes: AI Cam, Video, Beauty, Portrait, AR Shot, and Wide Selfie.

Rear Camera Samples

Main camera daylight
Main camera daylight
Ultra-wide camera daylight
Ultra-wide camera daylight

In daylight, the main camera was able to produce surprisingly sharp and detailed images with vibrant color. However, the color tends to favor cooler or blue/green tones. Images could use some warmth.
Close-up
Close-up

Surprisingly, the main 64MP is able to take images at a good distance from the subject with a pleasing bokeh or out-of-focus blur. 
Main camera indoors
Main camera indoors
Main camera ultra-wide
Main camera ultra-wide

In indoors, the story is the same. The images are sharp and detailed with color that tends to favor the cooler temperature. 
Main camera low light
Main camera low light
Ultra-wide camera low light
Ultra-wide camera low light

In low light, the cameras tend to shoot a slower shutter speed to compensate for the loss of light. The images are also softer with added noise however color doesn't seem to suffer too much.
Main camera Night mode
Main camera Night mode

When using the camera app's night mode, the low light images have significantly better sharpness, detail, and color. In fact, in this one scene, the color temperature is spot on. We recommend using the night mode in low light as long as the subject is not moving.
Front facing camera
Front-facing camera

As mentioned above, the 8MP selfie camera is on the notch above the display. Just like the rear camera, camera modes include AI CAM, Video, Beauty, Portrait, AR Shot, and Wide selfie.

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie daylight
Selfie daylight
Selfie daylight portrait mode
Selfie daylight portrait mode
Selfie Indoor
Selfie Indoor
Selfie Low light
Selfie Low light
Selfie Night Mode
Selfie Night Mode

The selfie camera can produce decent images, but we must emphasize that the phone struggles with color accuracy. In daylight, my red shirt is washed out while in the low light image, the skin tone is off. Otherwise, images have decent sharpness and contrast.

Performance

AnTuTu and GeekBench scores
AnTuTu and GeekBench scores

The 7nm EUV Snapdragon 765G octa-core processor with Adreno 620 GPU, 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage was able to score 383,129 in AnTuTu version 9.0.3-OB and to score 621 in single-core and 1915 in multi-core tests in GeekBench 5.4.1.

SD765G is reasonably fast for the price!

3DMark Wild Life and internal memory tests
3DMark Wild Life and internal memory tests

While in 3DMark Wild Life, the TCL 10 5G was able to score 1,689 and an average of 10.1 fps. The internal memory was able to achieve 179.82 MB/s in sequential write and 825.16 MB/s in sequential read tests.
PCMark Battery Benchmarks
PCMark Battery Benchmarks

The internal 4,500mAh battery was able to last for 18 hours and 43 minutes in our usual PCMark Battery benchmark. This is an impressively enduring battery in synthetic tests.

In our real-world use where we used the phone as our daily diver with constant LTE and WiFi connection, it was able to last through the day. We would unplug the phone from the charger at 8AM and when we get home at 8PM, we would have around 25 to 30 percent battery left.

The included Quick Charger 3.0 was able to charge the phone's battery in around 75 to 90 minutes.
TCL UI on top
TCL UI on top

Running the show is Android 10 with the TCL UI on top. It is relatively light skin with a lot of stock Android-inspired look and features.

We never experienced any problem with our connections with WiFi, LTE, 5G, and Bluetooth 5.1. Other features include OTG, fingerprint scanner and face unlock. 

Quick thoughts

TCL 10 5G rear
TCL 10 5G rear 

In the Philippines, the TCL 10 5G is now available for purchase for only PHP 17,990. 

After using the phone for several weeks, we like the build, design, battery, and performance of the phone.

Our only concern is that the camera struggles with color accuracy.

Otherwise, the eye-catching design, solid but lightweight build, long battery life, and strong performance are all great reasons why the TCL 10 5G is a viable option.

What do you guys think?

Do you guys agree?
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