Motorola and Samsung are selling 5G phones on Verizon for less than $ 600, but TCL’s new 10 5G UW stands out from the crowd at just $ 399.99. You would think there would be a lot of compromises at this low price under $ 400, but you would be wrong.
I’ve been using the new TCL 10 5G UW on Verizon for the past week. It gets the job done while offering a beautiful design and some very handy features not found in other phones. ZDNet’s Charles McLellan posted a review of the international model, but Verizon’s US model has some design differences.
Also: TCL 10 5G review: Great specs, build quality, and performance for the price
The TCL 10 5G UW supports both the mmWave Ultra Wideband network (UW designation) and the low-band Sub-6 network (known as Verizon 5G Nationwide), so the TCL 10 5G UW allows you to use both the width and the can also use the speed of 5G handset.
- processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
- display: LCD with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels (6.53 inches)
- operating system: Android 10 with TCL user interface
- R.A.M.: 6 GB
- warehouse: 128 GB internal with support for microSD cards
- Cameras: 48MP main camera, 8MP ultra wide angle lens and 5MP macro lens. 16MP front camera with 4-in-1 pixel binning.
- Wireless technology: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac WLAN, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS
- battery: 4,500 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support and charger
- Dimensions: 163.6 x 76.5 x 9.4 mm and 209.8 grams
- Colours: Diamond gray
Compared to the TCL 10 Pro, we see cameras with a lower resolution, one fewer reversing camera, a fingerprint sensor at the rear, a flat screen versus a display with curved edges and a switch from AMOLED to LCD. The TCL 10 5G UW also has a 3.5 mm headset jack.
The front of the TCL 10 5G UW is dominated by a 6.53-inch display with minimal bezels on all four edges. The front facing camera is in the top left corner as a pinhole camera. It’s pretty far to the left and just replaces a notification icon on the status bar. The handset loudspeaker is located directly above the display in the area of the narrow front panel.
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The power button and the volume button are on the right, only the SIM / microSD card tray on the left. A microphone and a 3.5 mm audio port are located on the top of the handset. A USB-C port and the single speaker are at the bottom.
If you turn the phone over, it will reveal the reason the color is called diamond gray. There is a cool geometric diamond pattern embedded in the back cover of the phone that shows different colors in different angles and lighting conditions. It looks both professional and elegant as you can see in my picture gallery.
A traditional and reliable back-centered fingerprint sensor is located on the back below the camera array.
There are three rear cameras and two LED flashing lights on the back of the phone. From left to right we have the 5MP macro, 8MP ultrawide, and the 48MP main camera.
Also: TCL 10 Pro Review: Stunning $ 450 Android Phone Rivals Apple iPhone SE
There is enough RAM and internal storage, as well as a 4500 mAh large capacity battery, so you can enjoy a full day of 5G network.
Bacon Presidio Exotech case
TCL included a Speck Presidio Exotech case in the reviewer kit. Verizon will likely sell the case with the phone. Prices and availability have not yet been specified.
The Presidio Exotech is a completely clear case so you can see the colorful diamond design of the TCL 10 5G UW through the case. It meets the MIL-SPEC 810G drop / impact resistance and has an antimicrobial Microban treatment.
The TPU material offers improved grip on the phone and solid side and corner protection. Raised buttons on the right make it easier to activate the volume and power button.
The opening on the back for the fingerprint sensor helps you to quickly aim the sensor and quickly unlock the phone. There is also a long opening for all reversing cameras.
The TCL UI is quite a rich Android experience, and the version in the TCL 10 5G UW is based on Android 10. TCL stated that the device would receive at least Android 11 and then receive quarterly Android security updates for two years. The August 1, 2020 Android security update is available on this evaluation unit.
If you organize your home screen windows with folders with app shortcuts, there is a handy feature in the TCL UI that lets you quickly switch between those folders after opening one of these folders. Other than that, there are very few differences between the standard Android and TCL user interfaces.
This is a Verizon exclusive phone, so it includes some Verizon utilities that you can use to manage your account. The Verizon Message + app is also there, but you can easily switch to Google Messages for text messaging as well.
In TCL there are some apps installed on the device, including the phone dialer, camera app, contacts, downloads, gallery and some areas of settings.
TCL shows the device and there are some settings for the NXTVISION technology. These include visual enhancement, SDR to HDR, reading mode, sunlight viewing, and more.
One cool feature I use every day is the ability to improve the use of the rear fingerprint sensor. The buttons allow you to clear notifications, take photos or videos, answer a call, view the notification panel and even set specific fingers to start certain apps. I have an index finger setup to launch Gmail and it worked just fine.
Daily usage experiences
In the last week since testing this new TCL 10 5G UW, I haven’t had a chance to run speed tests in a mmWave area. While I’ve seen sub-6 5G coverage and download speeds were acceptable, it was slower than T-Mobile 5G devices. I will be traveling soon so I plan to find and test mmWave as I have not yet experienced this ultra fast network.
The TCL 10 5G UW is a bit heavier and thicker than some of the other phones I recently reviewed, but it’s well built and the unique 3D rear glass design is attractive. It definitely seems like a phone that would cost more than $ 400, especially with full 5G support. So TCL did a great job building this for Verizon.
The TCL 10 5G UW is a solid option for those who want to experience 5G on Verizon but don’t want to spend double or triple that price on a new phone. The big screen, battery, and full 5G support means you can do some serious job on this phone, and for $ 400, it’s hard to beat.