TCL is taking CES 2022 by storm, as the budget brand has just unveiled a whole bunch of new gadgets, including two smartphones.
These are the TCL 30 V 5G and the TCL 30 XE 5G – two budget phones which are coming exclusively to the US, and which as the names suggest support 5G.
The TCL 30 V 5G has a 6.67-inch 1080p screen with a 60Hz refresh rate, a 50MP main camera, a 5MP ultra-wide, a 2MP macro snapper, and a 16MP front-facing one. The chipset is a low-end Snapdragon 480, and that’s paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It also has a 4,500mAh battery.
The TCL 30 XE 5G is even more basic, with a 720p screen, a 13MP main camera paired with macro and depth sensors, an 8MP front-facing camera, a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, a 4,500mAh battery, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
There’s no word yet on price, but expect them both to be cheap when they land “in the coming weeks.” Oh, and the TCL 30 V 5G will be exclusive to Verizon.
Next up, TCL has also announced three tablets, the highlight of which is the NXTPAPER 10S. It has a 10.1-inch 1200 x 1920 screen that’s designed to be paper-like, but unlike a typical ereader this is a color display.
It runs Android 11 and has a 2.0GHz MT8768E chipset and 4GB of RAM, so powerful this is not. There’s 64GB of storage, a microSD card slot, an 8,000mAh battery, an 8MP rear camera, a 5MP selfie one, and optionally mobile connectivity (as well as Wi-Fi).
The slate is set to go on sale in Europe sometime in January, with no word on US availability, yet oddly all we have is US pricing of $ 249 (around £ 185 / AU $ 345). Previously, TCL has revealed NXTPAPER devices that haven’t gone on sale but we’re hopeful this will be available in the near future.
Then there’s the TCL Tab 8 4G, which is a more conventional tablet. It has an 8-inch 800 x 1280 screen, a 2.0GHz quad-core MT8766B chipset, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a 4,080mAh battery, 5MP cameras on the front and back, and 4G support – though there’s also a Wi-Fi-only version, which is lumbered with a 2MP selfie camera.
This one will cost $ 129 (roughly £ 95 / AU $ 180) when it lands in Europe sometime before the end of March.
Finally, there’s the TCL Tab 10L, which has a 10.1-inch 800 x 1280 screen, a 1.3GHz chipset, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, making it about as basic as a modern tablet can get. It also has a 4,080mAh battery and a pair of 2MP cameras, with a price of just $ 99 (approximately £ 75 / AU $ 135). This one should also land in Europe before the end of March.
On top of all that TCL has also unveiled the NXTWEAR Air – a pair of glasses which include two 1080p screens which provide the effect of viewing a 140-inch screen from around 13 feet away.
You have to connect these to a phone or other device using USB-C to display content on them, and they also include stereo speakers.
Expect to see them in stores in the first quarter of the year – though TCL has given no indication of which parts of the world they’ll be sold in, or how much they will cost.
Analysis: new, but not that new
While TCL has announced a lot of new stuff here, the more interesting devices aren’t entirely new. That NXTPAPER 10S tablet for example is a successor to the TCL NXTPAPER unveiled at CES 2021. TCL actually revealed the NXTPAPER technology back at IFA 2020, but it has yet to feature on a device that you can buy.
The NXTWEAR Air meanwhile follow on from the NXTWEAR G, which were also unveiled at last year’s show. There are some improvements, for example the NXTWEAR Air are 30% lighter than the NXTWEAR G, but they’re fundamentally very similar products.
We also wouldn’t count on necessarily being able to buy either of these new gadgets, as going by their predecessors they may not be widely available, if they ultimately go on sale at all.