Chinese electronics company TCL is probably better known for its televisions than its smartphones. But over the past few years the company has produced and sold a number of phones sold under the BlackBerry and Alcatel brand names.
Now TCL is introducing a new phone that it plans to put its own name on.
The TCL Plex is a mid-range smartphone that could easily be mistaken for a flagship in most respects. It’s set to go on sale in Europe and Australia later this year for €329 (about $360).
The smartphone features a 6.53 inch, 2340 x 1080 pixel display with slim bezels and a 90-percent screen-to-body ratio, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage.
It features a microDS card reader, a 3,820 mAh battery, support for 18 watt fast charging, a headphone jack, and a USB 2.0 Type-C port.
On the of the phone there’s a 24MP selfie camera located in a small hole in the upper left side of the display.
On the back there are three cameras:
- 48MP Sony IMX582 with f/1.8 aperture
- 16MP Samsung S5K3P9 f/2.4 camera with 123 degree wide-angle lens
- 2MP Omnivision OV02K low-light camera
See what I mean? Sounds like a flagship phone. There are a few reason it’s not really competitive with phones that sell for $500 and up though. First, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, which is an upper mid-range system-on-a-chip. Second, it tops out at LTE Cat 6 with top download speeds of 400 Mbps.
Sure, you’ll be lucky to find a network that offers speeds that high. But at a time when other phones offer LTE 20 modems with support for speeds up to 2 Gbs, you can see why TCL decided this was a mid-range device.
That said, it does have a few special features including support for capturing 960 fps slow-motion video for up to one second at a time, and the ability to connect to up to four Bluetooth audio devices simultaneously if you want to share your music between multiple headphones or speakers.