TCL 10 Pro First Impressions
TCL is making a name for themselves in the display manufacturing space, a area once dominated by Samsung. Over the years, TCL displays have become better and better, and TCL TVs becoming more popular and a go-to choice for many consumers. With the launch of the TCL 10 Pro and TCL 10 L smartphones, the company is officially placing it’s label on the mobile marketplace, and with some stunning results. Here are my early impressions of the TCL 10 Pro after about a week of use! Our full review of the 10 L, and the differences in the 10 Pro, will be posted soon!
This isn’t TCL’s first crack at smartphone manufacturing, as the company has produced the last few BlackBerry devices, and are also the brains behind Alcatel devices. With the TCL 10 Pro and the 10 L, the company is now branding their own phones and stepping in the sometimes hostile world of smart phone devices. And early impressions of the Pro are very strong!
Unlike the L, the Pro is available in a matte black, which unfortunately for some is the only colour currently available. The 4 cameras along the back are nicely nestled into the back plate, which means no camera bump! The beautiful screen is using all the power of TCL development, and “combines powerful NXTVISION visual technology with a curved AMOLED display and a 64MP AI quad-camera system.”
One of the more difficult transitions for myself – moving form the Pixel 4 XL to the TCL 10 Pro – was dealing with the curved screen, which is a love-it-or-hate-it features of the phone. The 6.47 inch screen is beautiful to look at and use, but I’m not sure how much I’m enjoying the curved screen. I’ve encountered numerous issues when playing Mario Kart Tour on the device, where the outside of my hands end up interacting with the screen while holding it, throwing off my race. The curved screen is an acquired taste, and while I’m learning to live with it, I’m not sure it will be for everyone.
The 4 cameras across the back of the smartphone are doing a lot of work to create fantastic pictures you’ll love to look back on. Included are a 16 MP Super Wide angle lens, a 6 MP Macro lens, 2.9 Big Pixel Low Light video lens, and of course a powerful 64 MP Ultra High-res lens. While these 4 cameras combined capture fantastic day-time photos, I did find the night shooting settings a bit lackluster when compared to the competition. They aren’t bad, but other phones can produce better quality pictures. I’m sure TCL will get there, they just are not there yet.
But that’s really one minor blip on an otherwise fantastic device. The only other major letdown is the in-screen fingerprint scanner which is incredibly slow, sometimes not even recognizing my fingerprint. Thankfully, however, the phone also utilizes facial recognition and pin code entry to unlock your device, all of which function fantastically.
One of the major selling points of the 10 Pro is the smart key button, which has been featured on previous BlackBerry devices in the past. Users can click or double-click the button to pull up their favourite apps – this can all be programmed in the settings menu, and is a fantastic way to quickly access your most used applications. It doesn’t just need to be used for applications however, as you can program the button to do a wide variety of actions, including my personal favourite, cleaning up background apps and closing them all down. It’s a super handy feature that adds to the Android 10 experience (and will be compatible with Android 11 when it launches).
Like with the previous BlackBerry devices that TCL created, the battery life on the 10 Pro is absolutely phenomenal. Both the charge speed and time of use is above the competition. I was using the 10 Pro heavily, and was able to secure nearly 30 hours of use before a charge was required. This is a phenomenal amount of time for a smart phone. And this included some heavy use apps such as Netflix and Mario Kart Tour.
And so we get to the games, the real reason why we wanted to snag this device for review. Gaming on the 10 Pro is phenomenal. While the device isn’t boasting the best chipset in a phone, it’s on par, if not a big better, than current phones within it’s price range. The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 67 isn’t the best chipset, but more than adequate to play some of the most demanding Android games on the market. I spoke earlier to the curved screen being a hindrance to playing Mario Kart Tour, and I found this a fairly consistent problem across most Android games. Over the past weeks, I’ve dabbled in The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Stardew Valley, and of course the game I always use to test out a device, Asphalt. All of them provided issues with the curved screen. While it could just be my fat hands, I’m thinking this could be a problem for those who play games on their phones often. May be I just need a daintier grip!
Overall, my first week impressions of the 1o Pro has been phenomenal – I will finalize this review soon, so stay tuned!