TCL 20 Pro – Flagship Phone at a Great Price?
When you hear TCL you probably are doing one of two things – you are either mixing it up, and thinking about the popular TV channel, or you are thinking about budget friendly televisions with tons of great features. But TCL has been hard at work in the mobile phone spaces as well, including launching a BlackBerry phone a few years back, as well as their own branded phone, the TCL 10 Pro. TCL is at it again, launching another smart phone into the marketplace, and while we felt the 10 Pro was a good effort that just came up short, the 20 Pro is a massive improvement, and one that easily competes with the competition.
TCL has create a very stunning smart phone, one that many Android owners are going to love. While most companies are abandoning the curved screen on the edges, TCL is keeping that design alive with the 20 Pro – while this might be a deal breaker for many, I’ve actually been impressive with the stunning display despite not being a fan of rounded edges. The 6.67″ AMOLED screen is absolutely stunning, and features a small cutout for the front facing camera at the top. Flipping the phone over, you’ll see a beautiful and elegant back, with cameras placed in a vertical row on the left hand side, without the camera bump that you’ve seen on other devices. For as good as we found the camera, that’s a pretty great accomplishment.
Along the top of the phone you’ll find that always nice-to-have headphone jack, and along the bottom a sim tray, speaker, and USB-C charge port. The expandable micro-SD slot is also hidden in the sim tray. Under the hood, the phone is packing a 48 MP camera and a 4500 mAh battery. The phone has 6 GB of RAM, and is using the Snapdragon 750G-5G chip. The best in the business? No. More than adequate? Definitely.
Here is the thing about GamesReviews, and how we review mobile phones – you won’t find the hardcore tech-discussions that you might on other sites. We are purely here to describe our time with the phone. How does it feel to us. To that end, these become hands-on-impressions, rather than a look at the technical capabilities of the phone on paper.
Feel in your Hands
As a longtime user of the Pixel series of phones, the TCL 20 Pro felt a bit odd in my hands the first time. It’s much taller and skinnier than most other smart phones, which makes it great for scrolling and reading text. I much prefer using this over my other Android phones for looking at Twitter, reading articles, and more. It’s also more than adequate for watching videos and TV, although it should be noted that the video ultimately will not fill the entirety of the screen. Still, things do look stunning regardless of how they are displayed, which is a huge plus for me.
Gaming – XCloud, Stadia, and Mobile Games
Playing games has been pretty outstanding. We used this phone to play a host of mobile games – Simpson’s Tapped Out, Emoji Blitz, and Asphalt 9 – as well as some XCloud from Xbox and Google Stadia. No matter what we were doing on the device, connecting a controller or playing games with touch controls was outstanding. The processor within the phone is more than enough to play any game you want on your phone, which keeps this phone relevant while not overselling you on things you might not necessarily need. While there are better processors out there, are they necessarily worth it? We think not.
Shooting Photos and Video
As a family we love to take trips to Disney World and on Disney Cruise Line, and usually we are always able to provide some feedback on how new phones have handled when on vacations. Because of the current pandemic, we were stuck at home and didn’t get to take the phone along on any family vacations. That being said, we did take the phone along on numerous walks and trips to the park, and where able to test out all the phones various cameras.
There are 4 cameras on the TCL 20 Pro:
- 48 MP Wide
- 16 MP Utlra-Wide
- 2 MP Macro Lens
- 2 MP Depth Lens
Ultimately, all these cameras will give you the chance to do a variety of things. I love having the ultra-wide option on the phone, not everything all Android phone developers have added into their flagship phones. The main camera here isn’t breaking any photo boundaries or doing cool unique things with software, but its still one of the best mid-tiered cameras on the market right now, which is saying a lot. The Ultra-Wide and Macro photos are only OK in our opinion. Since many phones in this tier don’t give the option for an ultra-wide, we aren’t as concerned about the quality as we might be on a more expensive device.
The depth lens will allow for some great video capturing, and is able to capture 4K 30 frames pretty consistently. The video quality when compared to other budget and mid-tiered phones is on part with the best of them, keeping them level with the pack.
Actually Making Calls
I often get asked, “But what about the phone call quality.” In 2021, I feel like this is pretty low on the list of things people want out of their mobile phones – ironically – but that’s not because it isn’t important – it’s because all of these phone manufacturers have essentially found the perfect phone call quality. Unless you are going with a low-budget phone, your call quality is likely going to be perfectly fine – that is definitely the case here!
Like I mentioned earlier, GamesReviews won’t be your destination for all the latest and greatest specs and deep dives into mobile phones. We look at it from the perspective of the average person, because when it comes to phones, we are average people. We make phone calls, read news articles, look at twitter, and play a few games. Whether my phone has the latest chipset isn’t as important as whether the phone can play the most intense games offered in the Google Play store. And this phone can, and do all those other things as well. It’s truly a next step phone from TCL, improving greatly on the TCL 10 Pro. We give it our highest recommendation for mid-tiered phones – it’s a stunner for sure.