TCL continues to refine its design, looking for the specs-to-value sweet spot
TCL stormed into this week’s MWC event with no fewer than five new smartphones to bolster its value-focused 30-series lineup. Among those, the TCL 30 5G has earned distinction as our pick for a Best of MWC 2022 award. And that isn’t necessarily due to a lack of competition either.
Not only was the TCL 30 5G among the few phones announced at the event that runs on 5G in its segment. The phone is also a big step forward in terms of design and highlights a refocused vision from the company in the budget space. And that vision should give competitors reason to pause.
This isn’t the heaviest-hitting phone but maybe it doesn’t need to be
Now, in terms of specifications, this phone isn’t going to be the beast that flagships and flagship killers aim to be. It comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset backed by 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. With a 5,010mAh capacity battery to back that up, enhanced via up to 18W fast charging.
Those are respectable specs, if not groundbreaking. But groundbreaking specs don’t appear to be the focal point of the TCL 30 5G at all. Instead, this phone brings further refinement to TCL’s self-branded handsets over the past couple of years.
Previous models from the company have been heavy on display technology. First by introducing NXTVISION features aimed at upscaling and automatic adjustment of other aspects of the screen. That’s based on the user’s surrounding lighting and environment. This year’s model brings the focal point to bear on cameras.
Of course, the 6.7-inch AMOLED display — with a 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution and NXTVISION undoubtedly in tow — isn’t anything to scoff at. Especially for the money. And neither is the inclusion of TCL UI 4.0-overlaid Android 12 from launch. But the cameras bring something new to the table for the company, which has always had respectable but not brilliant snappers.
This year, TCL is leading things off with a 50-megapixel snapper at the back with an F/1.85 aperture. That’s coupled with a 2-megapixel macro and 2-megapixel depth sensor at F/2.4. While an 8-megapixel snapper resides at the front for selfies. The new arrangement should equate to even better captures than before. And potentially among the best captures from any device in 2022 in its price bracket.
TCL’s design & value focus help earn its shoo-in for its Best of MWC 2022 award
TCL also put a heavy focus on redesigning the aesthetic for its new 30 5G handset, helping to bolster its value and earn its Best of MWC 2022 award. Despite a starting cost of just €249 — roughly $276 — when sales start in April for European buyers, the newest handset resembles a flagship.
To begin with, TCL opted for a more squared-off style for its smoothly-rounded corners than its previous models. And it opted for a slightly smaller front bezel too. With the front camera occupying a water drop-style notch. The primary cameras, like prior TCL handsets, still occupy the top-left corner of the rear panel, available in a not-quite-typical black or white coloration. But they now take a more rectangular approach to the design, rather than the single column of sensors previously used.
The new camera design from TCL arguably takes its cues from some of the best prior designs. Not just from its own team and the best from global companies such as Samsung and Vivo. And it doesn’t look like a budget phone as a result. That, coupled with TCL’s continued focus on improvements to the cameras, screen, and reasonable internal specs for the price, handily earn the TCL 30 5G its Best of MWC 2022 award.