I was able to grab 10 minutes with the TCL Plex at IFA in Berlin and I was most excited to try the new “ultra” low-light camera mode as it’s so reminicent of the HTC Ultra Pixel. The TCL Plex comes with a feature full triple threat camera setup. There’s a 48MP IMX582 main shooter, a 16MP 123-degree wide-angle sensor, and a 2MP low-light sensor with 2.9 µm pixel size that’s a full 0.9 extra µm over mz beloved HTC. TCL said the low-light sensor was more for low-light video shooting rather than still photography, I’d have to agree with them there as the low light photography seemed to really struggle with noise. (See the Plex vs Pixel low light comparison below)
The camera app is fast to load, i noticed virtually no lag. And the software seemed to cope well with me flicking back and fourth between the camera, preview and google photos app.
Shutter speed even i low light mode was really fast, to the point I wasn’t sure if the image had been captured.
Switching between modes was intuative and easy to get to grips with, with the 1x, 2x, 10x and ultra wide all available at a simple tap.
The TCL rep on the show floor was keen to tell me that things will improve with software updates, that’s of course to be expected – however i always find it hard to get my head round that being an opening statement.
The video I managed to take with the Plex was just “Okay” motion blur and shake was clearly visible even at 1x which is a shame as the low-light video mode was really impressive – I was taken behind a curtain in to a small booth filled with lego and dim LED lights. the Plex put every single one of those 2.9 µm pixels to good use with clear albeit noisy low light video. Something I wish Google could do on the Pixel series
I got the impression that the TCL Plex has an all round good grasp of Sony’s IMX582 sensor with what seems like room for improvement over time. It’s an all too familiar story, image processing just isn’t an easy task to master.
Now time for the juicy stuff the sample shots I managed to grab from my short time with the Plex.
1x, 2x Zoom & Ultra Wide:
Ultra Low Light:
All in all I was pretty impressed with the TCL Plex and all that the camera has to offer for the price. A well built handset, with a simply functional and feature packed camera isn’t something that you shoudl be quick to dismiss .
If you’re looking for a 6.53-inch display device with a Snapdragon 675 onboard and a triple rear camera, retailing in select European markets for 329 euros look no further however It’s obvious TCL didn’t want to jump into the high-end flagship race. By their own admission they have work to do to prove themselves as a smartphone brand. It was refreshing to hear that from the horses mouth.
Look out for the video samples on our Youtube channel in the coming days.