You probably know TCL as the Chinese-based electronics company that’s made significant entires into the HDTV market in the U.S., especially with its Roku TV models.
As of mid-2019, TCL held the top spot in market share for TV shipments in North America, overtaking Samsung, per data from research firm IHS Markit. This was thanks to a 112 percent year-over-year gain from the year before. TCL attributed the sales to increasing demand, as well as a big launch into Canada.
TCL has long produced smartphones as a manufacturer for other brands, such as BlackBerry, but now it’s making a big push into smartphones under the TCL brand name.
At International CES in January, TCL introduced a line of smartphones, called the 10-Series. Now, the company has announced availability and pricing for the Android-based phones, which it describes as “premium, yet affordable,” all retailing for less than $500.
The phones utilize TCL’s quad rear-camera setup, as well as Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. The phones feature a “Dotch,” a play on the iPhone’s “notch,” except that it sports a “keyhole” in the corner of the screen, rather than on the top.
The flagship is the TCL 10 5G, which features a 6.53-inch FHD+, along with a quad-camera setup and a large battery that promises a “full day of phone usage.”
TCL did not announce a U.S. price, for the TCL 10 5G, stating that it will be available in “select regions around the world later this year.” CNET reported that the 5G phone will arrive in the U.S., with a carrier partner, probably at the end of the third quarter.
Also part of the line is the TCL 10 Pro, which features a 6.47-inch FHD+ curved AMOLED display and an iPhone-like fingerprint on display. The 10 Pro also offers Netflix in HDR10. It will arrive sometime in the second quarter, for $449.
Rounding out the line is the TCL 10L, offering a 6.53-inch FHD+ screen, also with four rear cameras. It will also arrive in the second quarter, with a listed price of $249.
“As one of the world’s leading consumer electronics brands, expanding the TCL brand into the mobile space ensures that we are one of the only global manufacturers that offers a fully integrated ecosystem of smart products in virtually every aspect of your life,” Kevin Wang, CEO of TCL, said in a statement. “This makes it possible for us to provide our customers with a wide range of products capable of working seamlessly together, and do so more affordably than everyone else.”
The first 5G iPhone is expected to arrive later this fall, although reports differ on whether or not coronavirus will cause a delay in its release.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons.