The TCL 10L is an extraordinary $250 smartphone


List most tech sites out there, we tend to spend the majority of our time covering high-end smartphones since that’s what most tech enthusiasts are interested in. Those devices typically feature an impressive list of specs and new technology innovations that push the industry forward. But what we often forget is that all the bleeding-edge innovation eventually trickles down to the very bottom of the market, giving life to devices like the TCL 10L

TCL 10L specifications

  • 6.53” FHD+ display
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 665
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of internal memory, expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • Quad rear cameras with dual-LED flash:
    • 48MP (main)
    • 8MP (118° super wide-angle)
    • 2MP (macro)
    • 2MP (depth)
  • 16MP front-facing camera
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • Fingerprint sensor and face unlock

No, there’s no getting around the fact that the TCL 10L is a budget device. The phone costs $250, but TCL somehow managed not to cut the same corners that other manufacturers do when building a device at this price point.

The first thing to stand out is the phone’s 6GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 665 chipset. The processor is more than capable of delivering an exceptional user experience without any hiccups and the phone’s 6GB of RAM is amazing for a phone this cheap when you consider that $800 flagship smartphones from 2018 were only using 4GB. The multitasking experience on this phone is phenomenal and there’s even enough power to play some great casual Android games.

When you pick up a phone this cheap, you typically expect to stare at a low-resolution display, but since TCL makes their own, they were able to give the 10L a 6.53” FHD+ LCD panel. Viewing angles aren’t particularly great, but it’s nice not being able to spot individual pixels when holding the phone 12 inches away.

When it comes to the cameras on the TCL 10L, you’re not going to be getting Pixel 4a-quality shots out of the hardware, but the quad-camera setup delivers great results for the price. The main 48MP sensor takes decent pictures and having a 118° super wide-angle camera gives you a lot of flexibility in capturing a different perspective with your shots. TCL has even thrown in a pixel-binning mode for the 16MP front-facing camera that delivers much brighter shots in low-light conditions.

The TCL 10L isn’t going to wow anyone who typically purchases a $1,000 smartphone, but if you or someone you know simply needs a no-frills upgrade from a phone that’s on its last leg, the 10L is a great option. I know a lot of people may argue that there are much better devices if you spend $100 more on a phone like the Pixel 4a, but if you’re looking at the TCL 10L, there’s a good chance that you’re budget is limited to $250 or you simply don’t want to spend more than that on a new device.

  • 6.53” FHD+ Dotch LCD display, powered by NXTVISION, will upgrade your visual experience with the sharper details, vibrant...
  • Quad rear cameras with dual LED flash: 48MP (high-res) + 8MP (118° super wide-angle) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth). 16MP...
Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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