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Unthinkable tech on new phone – NEWS.com.au


A new phone has hit the market in Australia that is putting the big players to the test – bringing the latest tech at a shocking price.

Stop wasting your money on expensive brands. I’m serious – just don’t do it.

An assault by TCL in the Australian smartphone market is proving Aussies are paying big bucks for phones they could be buying a hell of a lot cheaper.

Its latest offering is the TCL 20 R 5G which can be picked up for under $300. I repeat, a 5G-capable phone for less than $300.

This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

TCL sent me over a phone to review and this is the real deal.

So what’s under the hood?

At the top of the ticket is the 5G capability.

It has dual mode 5G with SA/NSA network (for the uninitiated, these are the two 5G modes – SA is the true 5G network).

Powering the phone is a 700 octa-core CPU with 7nm process technology.

It’s running 4GB RAM and 64GM ROM and supports up to 1TB extra storage with an SD card.

OK, that got my attention.

I have found with cheaper phones that the touch screen and scrolling can be a bit laggy.

TCL seems to have solved this problem by ramping it up to a 90Hz high refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate. I tried out PUBG MOBILE and it was pleasingly responsive.

It has no problem keeping up with higher-end Xiaomi, Huawei and Oppo devices.

Display screen

TCL Technology literally made its name through selling TVs, so it’s not surprising to see some good tech here.

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TCL says its vertical manufacturing process – it mass produces TVs – was one of the reasons it was able to keep the overall costs of the phone low.

The phone has NXTVision, TCL’s display optimisation technology that reduces eye strain and blue light damage.

The display is 6.52 inch with a V notch for the selfie camera.

The phone has HD+ and uses 720X1600 resolution. The screen to body ratio is 90 per cent – a smart use of space.

Cameras

This was one of the areas where the phone fell short of the high-end smartphones.

But don’t forget – you’re paying $300, not $3000.

There are three cameras on the back – 13MP main, 2PM macro and 2MP depth. It also an 8MP selfie camera on the front.

TCL has AI technology and really, thank you for letting a computer do all the hard work in making the photos look good.

The software doesn’t have nearly as many settings as the top phones. To be fair though, I think this is enough for most people’s needs.

More features

The phone has quick charge and TCL says it will last more than a day with moderate use.

The battery is 4500mAh – not enormous, but certainly good enough.

It has face unlock and a fingerprint sensor at the back.

It also has NFC and Google Pay which is becoming increasingly the norm.

Would I buy it?

TCL is a cheap phone with at least mid-range capabilities.

It’s putting other manufacturers on notice.

It’s a definite buy from me.

It will have an RRP of $349 in retail, however Vodafone announced today a pricing of $299 on prepaid (locked) and postpaid, which cracks the sub-$300 pricing on a 5G smartphone for the first time.

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