The "1-Minute" Review
- Pre-installed apps
- Average camera
- Dim display
While TCL isn’t a huge name in phones, they’ve made a splash on the electronics market with their Roku TVs. Their attempt at a mid-range smartphone promises a lot, but does it stand up to the competition and make the right compromises?
The TCL 10 5G UW has an excellent design. Some may prefer thinner bezels from a smartphone in 2020, but they’re not that bad.
It has a somewhat prismatic backplate with a rainbow sheen in the right lighting. There were complaints from reviewers about the phone’s slippery nature, claiming it liked to slide off things on its own and showed every fingerprint ever.
The display, in particular, has some negative reviews. Being an LCD screen, it doesn’t have an always-on feature. It also has a shadow around the bezels, and if you tilt the right—or wrong— way, you won’t be able to see what’s on your screen.
Most reviewers rated the phone middling at best for performance. Some of them blaming the endless sea of bloatware pre-installed. All these unnecessary cause speed and responsiveness to falter. Thankfully there is the option to uninstall or disable most of the extra apps.
Once cleaned up, performance appears to improve again, but you still shouldn’t expect this phone to top benchmarks; it was never intended to.
Software & Storage
The TCL 10 5G UW runs Android 11 with very little extra done to it, which reviewers said was excellent. Storage is decent at 128GB and offers plenty of room once you remove most of the bloatware and apps that came pre-installed on the phone. If you still need more, microSD support makes further expansion affordable and straightforward.
The pictures taken with the phone's cameras were less than impressive. Fluctuating between overly saturated and washed out, the results frustrated reviewers. Getting a decent shot seemed like a dice roll, but still, the camera wasn’t the worst experience for the price point -- it was merely inconsistent.
Learn the camera’s quirks and where it does -- and doesn’t -- take reliable pictures, and you can probably capture photos perfectly adequate for social media or small prints.
Battery life is one point that the TCL 10 5G UW nails. According to reviewers, the battery was seemingly never-ending. There was no issue with reaching the end of the day with a fair amount of battery left, especially for a light user.
The speaker located at the bottom of the phone was terrible, according to reviews. It’s tinny, offers no bass, and -- unless you hold the phone just right -- you’ll probably block it entirely. Reviewers also complained audio was very low. Thankfully, this phone has a headphone jack to help you improve the audio experience.
Specs at a Glance
- Aluminum chassis
- 6.5-inch LCD panel
- Qualcomm SDM765 Snapdragon 765G processor
- 6GB of RAM
- Android 11
- 128GB of storage with MicroSD expansion option
- 48MP + camera
- 4500mAh battery
It may not be the fanciest phone. There are some issues present. However, the TCL 10 5G UW isn’t a horrible phone for the price asked. There are other options at this price point, and while they might be slightly better, there wasn’t a glaring issue that made using this phone unusable. As with most mid-range phones, it’s 5G on a budget. That is always going to result in compromises.
Android Police says, “The new Verizon-exclusive TCL 10 5G UW pushes the affordable 5G envelope even further. It's the cheapest 5G phone the carrier offers by a wide margin. It's also got respectable performance, an all-day-and-then-some battery, and just about the fastest data speeds money can buy.”
Tom’s Guide states, “The TCL 5G UW is a good alternative to the Google Pixel 4a 5G if you’re looking for a cheap 5G phone. The cameras aren’t as good, but you get long battery life and solid performance for the price.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the TCL 10 5G UW user manual here.
TCL backs up the 10 5G UW with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your 10 5G UW has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact TCL support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find TCL's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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