Gaming

TCL’s First US 5G Phone: TCL 10 5G UW Review

TCL’s First US 5G Phone: TCL 10 5G UW Review

Today and hot off the presses, TCL announced the new TCL 10 5G UW, a $399 phone for use in the US on the Verizon 5G network. The TCL 10 5G UW is designed to stretch the boundaries of what you can get in a mid-tier mobile device while staying at a $399 price point. It leans on its Qualcomm® Snapdragon765G processor to make use of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. Outside of the processor, this phone has a triple rear camera layout, 6GB of RAM, and a hardy 4500mAh battery.

Let’s dive right into the new TCL 10 5G UW, for the Verizon 5G network.

TCL 10 5G UW Specs
Dimensions6.44” x 3.01” x 0.37”
Weight7.4 oz
ColorDiamond Gray
DisplaySize: 6.53”, Resolution: FHD+(1080 x 2340), Aspect Ratio: 19.5:9
ProcessorQualcomm® Snapdragon765G (SDM7250-3-AB)
Memory6GB RAM
Usable Internal StorageUp to 101GB
Expandable StoragemicroSD™ up to 256GB
Camera (Rear)48MP (high-res) + 8MP (super wide) + 5MP (macro)
Camera (Front)16MP
Battery4500 mAh
Operating SystemAndroid™ 10
Audio1 speaker, 3.5mm audio jack
SensorsFingerprint, Accelerometer, GPS, Proximity, Light, E-Compass, Gyro
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, USB-C, Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n/ac

The TCL 10 5G UW comes with a SIM ejector tool, a USB Type-C cable, and a fast charge wall USB power adapter.

By its appearance alone, you would not expect that the TCL 10 5G UW falls under the mid-tier mobile phone category. The phone features an attractive scratch-resistant glass body, which is both nice to look at and easy to hold. The TCL 10 5G UW’s curved back allows the phone to sit comfortably and securely in your hand, even without a case.

On the back, you have the phone’s triple camera layout, dual flash LED’s, and a fingerprint sensor for security. The right side of the phone houses the volume and power buttons while the left side houses the microSD and SIM card tray. The top of the phone features a 3.5mm jack while the bottom houses the main speaker as well as a USB-C port. That USB-C port goes even further by featuring On-the-Go (OTG) reverse charging. This allows the phone to power other devices via an OTG cable (sold separately).

Display and Multimedia

The NXTVISION display of the TCL 10 5G UW is very sharp and crisp. Hi-res videos and images display crystal clear on the device. Of the bat, while the colors were bright and vibrant, I thought that the overall display could a pinch more warmth. Luckily, all I had to do was give this display slider just a tiny nudge to bring the screen to where I prefer in terms of color vibrance and warmth.

TCL is no stranger to nice displays, and it shows here with the TCL 10 5G UW.

Whether it was gaming or movie watching, the TCL 10 5G UW handled and displayed content at a very enjoyable level.

The TCL 10 5G UW sports a single speaker along the bottom which can reach a respectable level of volume. The mono speaker plays sound clearly, making it handy to use in a pinch. However, this phone offers even more in the media consumption department. Not only does it sport a 3.5mm port for supporting wired headsets, but it also uses Super Bluetooth functionality, allowing the connection of up to four simultaneous wireless headsets.

The TCL 10 5G UW was simply joy for consuming all kinds of media.

Performance and Battery Life

I was sure to take the TCL 10 5G UW through a couple of rounds of King of Fighters ALLSTAR, with the game on its highest video settings. That Qualcomm® Snapdragon765G processor and NXTVISION display powered through the game without so much of a hiccup. I got to enjoy the kind of smooth frame rates that I have come to expect whenever I play this game. And I play it a lot.

This processing power, combined with the phone’s USB-C port, practically begged me to take it through some Xbox Cloud Gaming. I connected a Razer Kishi, booted up the Xbox Game Pass app, and I was off to the races, playing Destiny 2 on that 6.53” display.

The phone’s 4500mAh battery was also up to the task of handling a busy day. On Saturday, I started my day playing KOF ALLSTAR on the highest settings for about three hours. Then came about two hours of music listening coupled with walking the streets to mess around with the phone’s camera. I then came back home for about an hour of Destiny 2 gameplay via Xbox Cloud Gaming. After taking a break to eat and shower, I headed back out at night to take more shots with the camera. I then settled down at a properly socially-distanced bar, where I watched some streamed movies on the device for about two more hours. That Verizon 5G connection did a great job to help facilitate this.  By the time I got home, around 9:30PM, the phone was at 20% battery life.

If you have a busy day ahead of you, the TCL 10 5G UW is not only strong enough to power through your various tasks but it is also built to last. However, if you are ever in need of a charge, the TCL 10 5G UW uses Qualcomm Quick Charge technology which allows you to charge your phone up to 50% in only 37 minutes.

Camera

The TCL 10 5G UW’s main rear camera is actual pretty good, as long as you nurse some your shots. In bright settings, it is capable of taking some pretty sharp photos. I was able to avoid grainy photos by using the brightness slider after I auto-focused a shot, specifically in the darker scenarios. During the day, shooting is a breeze, where you occasionally have to trigger the auto focus depending on the scene.

The darker the scene, the more I noticed some graininess when the TCL 10 5G UW seemed to overcompensate with its light intake. However, with some proper brightness toggling you can still take manageable night shots as well.

Zooming worked better in brighter lighting than in dark, where 2X Zoom can still give you good shots.

10X Zoom shots were a bit rough, however. You would have to either maintain some extremely steady hands or use a phone stand to even come close to making them work.

However, at 1X Zoom the camera performs quite well, especially considering the cost of the TCL 10 5G UW. Even panoramic shots look pretty good, with the phone doing a good job at guiding you though your scanning of a scene.

Panoramic Shot

Video recordings also come out pretty solid, with even the sound being picked up quite well. Take this local band performance outside of a bar in New York City. Video remained steady even if my hands were not.

Final Thoughts

At $399, the TCL 10 5G UW makes for a nice entry phone to buy for any user who needs a device that delivers for its cost. It sports a respectable camera, a brilliant display, and more than respectable processing power. You do not get stereo speaker sound or wireless charging, as you would see in high tier devices. However, it at least closes the gap with its Super Bluetooth and OTG charging capabilities. If you have the right peripherals, you can have an enjoyable time consuming media with the TCL 10 5G UW. Best of all, it has the necessary processing power to drive mobile gaming, whether it be mobile Android games or Xbox Cloud Gaming.

The TCL 10 5G UW is a solid starting point for any novice to intermediate mobile device user, especially for its price. The TCL 10 5G UW goes on sale on Thursday, 10/29/2020. Look out for its release on Verizon’s or TCL’s mobile product page.

† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a TCL 10 5G UW for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.