TCL’s push into the affordable Android phone market has been pretty impressive. Known primarily for making TVs and monitors, the Chinese electronics company has been tirelessly attempting to break into the US smartphone market, with a slew of different phones, tablets, and even audio accessories.
With that said, we have the TCL 30 5G, a budget-friendly Android handset that packs some interesting hardware, at a price lower than most smartphones from mainstream brands. We have it here with us, and we’re going to take a look at what it offers – let’s get started!
TCL 30 5G Specs
- Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
- Resolution: 1080 × 2400 pixels
- Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 700
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64/128GB Storage
- Battery: 5010 mAh with 18W Charging Support
- Cameras: 50MP main sensor, 2MP macro, 2MP depth, 13MP front
- Software: Android 12 with TCL UI
Design and Display
The TCL 30 5G features a large 6.7-inch AMOLED display, with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels, with a max brightness of 650 nits. The screen is bright and responsive, and I haven’t had any trouble navigating the user interface. Colors look good thanks to the AMOLED display, with decent saturation and deep contrast. One thing to note though is that the display comes with a notch-and-chin combo, although given the price this shouldn’t be too surprising.
As for build quality, the phone is made out of plastic, with the exception of the glass display. This makes it lightweight and easy to handle though, despite the large frame. The power button on the right-hand side features a built-in fingerprint scanner, and there’s also room for a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
Overall though, the phone has a nice design about it, and there’s an interesting gradient pattern on the rear panel which adds a bit of personality in comparison to some of the boring budget slabs out in the market right now.
Internals, Software, and Performance
The TCL 30 5G doesn’t exactly hide its “budget” origins – the phone is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, paired with a rather basic 4GB of RAM, and a choice of either 64 or 128GB of internal storage. In 2022, 4GB is very limiting, and given that other competing smartphones at this price range sometimes come with 6GB of RAM, it would have been nice to see the TCL 30 5G with a bit more memory.
As such, this isn’t a phone that you’ll be using for gaming or other intensive apps. The TCL 30 5G is designed for moderate users – people who are perfectly fine with a smartphone that they can use for calls, messaging, and the occasional social media binge. A Genshin Impact machine, this is not.
The phone also comes with Android 12, layered with TCL UI, a proprietary interface similar to what Samsung does with One UI and Xiaomi with MIUI. It’s far from what you’d get on a Pixel or Nokia device for example, although there are some options for customization, a lot of which you won’t find on a “cleaner” version of Android. It should be said however that the interface is heavily-skinned, and does come with some pre-installed apps, but if that isn’t an issue for you then it shouldn’t pose a problem in terms of ease of use.
One strength of the phone, in particular, is the large 5,010 mAh battery, which should last casual users a long time given the basic specs. Of course, more frequent usage will require charging more often, and the 18W charging speed isn’t particularly fast in this regard. In general, though, the battery capacity should be enough to power through maybe a day or two.
In terms of camera performance, the TCL 30 5G can produce photos with quality similar to what you’d get on most budget smartphones. Most photos will be alright, although the quality is nothing to write home about. The phone comes with a set-up similar to most budget phones, which consists of a 50MP main sensor, 2MP macro, 2MP depth, and 13MP front camera, with video maxing out at 1080p resolution at 30 fps. Personally, I would have preferred a rear dual-camera set-up with the main shooter and ultra-wide lens, but then again, the main talking point of this smartphone is the “budget price.”
That’s not to say that picture quality is downright terrible – you can get some good shots, provided that you have proper lighting conditions and careful photo composition.
In closing, the TCL 30 5G gets some things right – it comes with a large battery, a nice-looking display, as well as a design that can give other budget phones a run for their money. The low price does make it an attractive option, especially for folks who are after a budget Android device. Some things to take into consideration though are the moderate-performing cameras, as well as the minuscule amount of RAM. There’s also the issue of the heavily-skinned Android user interface, but this is often a very subjective affair.
Again though, price is a major factor here, and its budget phone status is something to keep in mind when deciding on whether or not to get this handset. Of course, there are a myriad of other options out there, such as entries from Samsung and Nokia, but if you’re really after a TCL handset that’s not too heavy on the wallet, then the TCL 30 5G is something to look into.
TCL 30 5G Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_emptystar_empty (3 / 5)
- AMOLED display looks good
- Large and capable battery
- Affordable compared to most phones out there
- 4GB of RAM is unfortunately low
- Camera performance isn’t outstanding