Thoughts on TCL 20R 5G Phone?

I'm considering getting a new (somewhat cheap) phone. My other options had been the S21, Zenfone8 Flip, ROG 5, and maybe even a Xiaomi brand. But I've recently come across TCL and it's only $350. Any other suggestions would be great, preferably something under $800.


  • +2

    First glance: Camera setup is quite basic. Looking at the TCL marketing page, it doesn't advertise any special features for the cameras. There's no EIS / OIS, no zoom or ultrawide. It's just a simple 13 MP + 2 MP depth + 2 MP macro lens with up to 1080p30hz video recording.

    Compared to it's more expensive $500 sibling which has a 48 MP + 8MP + 2MP shooter with Gyro EIS.
    And compared to the basic Galaxy A32 which has a 64 MP + 8 MP + 5 MP + 5 MP lens setup, the TCL 20R looks like an ideal budget phone for people who don't care about photography.

    The display is sub FHD (720 x 1600) with 500 nits peak but runs at 90hz. Not sure how I feel about sacrificing display resolution just to get a smoother 90hz display.

    Apart from that the CPU is exactly the same as the Galaxy A32 and Xiaomi Poco M3 Pro 5G. I think the Pocophone at $260-ish price point is better value than the TCL20R (48 MP main camera, battery is 500mah bigger, display is higher resolution and still retains Band28 + NFC for nearly $100 less)

    But if you do want the best of everything, just buy an ex-flagship phone like Galaxy S20 / S21 series or a Pixel 5. Flagship phones get the most attention for software updates and will already have their kinks ironed out.