Released internationally earlier this year as the TCL 10 5G, the TCL 10 5G UW picks up an extra set of initials for its U.S. launch representing the ultra-wide band 5G of its exclusive U.S. carrier, Verizon. Like the rest of TCL's 10-series lineup, it looks to bring an impressive array of typically higher-end features to a broader audience with an impressibly low price point.
At $399 the TCL 10 5G UW comes in well below the 5G competition on Verizon, while offering a 6.5-inch display, a Snapdragon 765G processor, 6GB of RAM and a massive 4,500 mAh battery. We are seeing an increasing play for a more budget-oriented, but still feature conscious market and the TCL 10 5G UW looks to be a strong contender for these users.
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Currently, the lowest price 5G UW smartphone from Verizon is the Motorola one 5G UW at $549, so TCL has pretty drastically undercut the competition here while still ticking a lot of the boxes when it comes to specs.
We have our own hands-on impressions and review of the TCL 10 5G UW coming, but for now, here is a full breakdown of the TCL 10 5G UW.
TCL 10 5G UW price and release date
The TCL 10 5G UW will be available to purchase on Verizon (in-store and online) starting on October 29 for $399.99. There is just a single Diamond Gray color option with 128GB of storage.
TCL 10 5G UW: Specs
|TCL 10 5G UW|
|Display||6.53 inches, FHD+|
|Cameras||3 (48MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro)|
TCL 10 5G UW: Design
The TCL 10 5G UW sticks to a fairly traditional modern smartphone design with a hole-punch selfie-camera in the upper-left corner of the display and minimal bezels.
The back of the TCL 10 5G UW gets more interesting with a triple-camera array and dual LED flashes at the top, no camera bump which is nice for those that like to go caseless. Just below the cameras is a square fingerprint reader that in my brief time with the TCL 10 5G UW has been very reliable.
The glass back of the smartphone features a Diamond Gray finish that viewed straight on just looks gray but reveals a colorful prismatic diamond when viewed from the right angles. It's a cool effect that I wish was slightly more pronounced, but as it is the only color option I understand not wanting to overdo it.
Finally, the TCL 10 5G UW has a couple more ports than recent smartphone buyers will be accustomed to with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD slot (accessible via the SIM tray) to go along with the standard USB Type-C port.
TCL 10 5G UW: Display
The TCL 10 5G UW has a 6.53-inch, 2340x1080-pixel (FHD+) LCD display with support for HDR10. If you are unfamiliar with TCL, it is known for its displays and uses its NXTVISION tech to deliver superior visuals on the TCL 10 5G UW.
This includes a number of software enhancements like an SDR to HDR that tries to upconvert standard dynamic range content from streaming services. A similar "Visual enhancement" option adds additional contrast and saturation to other content on screen. Going in the other direction the "Reading mode" cuts to a nearly grayscale look that is much easier on the eyes.
While the lack of a high refresh rate or OLED panel certainly cements the TCL 10 5G UW as a more budget offering, the displays looks bright and colorful so it shouldn't be a concern for most users and I suspect will hold up quite well against other options in its price range.
TCL 10 5G UW: Performance
TCL has definitely avoided the common affordable smartphone sin of coming up short on the processor or RAM, which can sink the entire experience.
The TCL 10 5G UW offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor and 6GB of RAM. This is an identical setup to that found in the $499 Pixel 4a 5G that is shipping next month.
While it won't hold up against the flagship Snapdragon 865, the 765G offers absolutely solid performance for daily usage and even gaming as long as you don't crank the settings all the way up. Critically of course it also offers full support for Verizon's 5G network including both mmWave and sub-6GHz.
On the storage front, the TCL 10 5G UW offers a reasonable 128GB of storage and for those that want more, the microSD slot accessible via the SIM tray will allow you to add up to an extra 256GB.
At launch the TCL 10 5G UW will be running Android 10 with the promise of an update to Android 11 in the future, but no firm release date yet. TCL is also committed to at least two years of quarterly Android security updates.
TCL 10 5G UW: Cameras
The TCL 10 5G UW offers a triple-camera array on the back of the smartphone and both the alignment of those cameras and the specs are slightly different from what you'll see on most smartphones.
First simply the layout, it's a straight line horizontally across the back of the smartphone and the three lenses are flanked on each side by an LED flash. You do need to be slightly more aware of where you place your left hand when taking a photo or video horizontally with this layout, but it's not hard to avoid.
Turning to the specs the primary sensor is a 48MP wide-angle (26mm), the secondary is an 8MP ultra-wide (13mm) and finally a 5MP macro. Again the macro here is where you are seeing the budget nature of this smartphone as obviously most would prefer a telephoto, but a macro lens has its uses so I'd prefer it to no third camera at all.
The TCL 10 5G UW supports video capture at up to 4K at 30fps. We're still working on testing the camera and will have more on that in our hands-on impressions.
TCL 10 5G UW: Battery life
Battery life should not be an issue with the TCL 10 5G UW, it features a 4,500 mAh battery, which is the same size you will find in the much more battery hungry Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
We expect to see the TCL 10 5G UW easily last into a second day once we get our full review underway and we'll see how it holds up in our benchmark battery testing as well.
With support for Qualcomm Quick Charge, the TCL 10 5G UW can also top back up pretty quickly with up to a 50 percent charge in a little over half an hour. And while it doesn't support wireless charging, it does offer reverse charging so you can use that massive battery to top up other gadgets or a friend's smartphone via a USB Type-C cable.
TCL 10 5G UW: Outlook
TCL has spent several years producing smartphones for other brands, but it has hit the ground running with its own branded offerings this year and is carving out a name for itself.
The TCL 10 5G UW appears to be another excellent example of what the company has to offer with an incredible $399 price point for a device with specs that rival competitors for hundreds more. The Snapdragon 765G paired with 6GB of RAM and full 5G support are all features you just don't see at this price point.
We'll be taking a closer look at how all of these specs actually translate to real-world performance and usage in our full review, so if the TCL 10 5G UW has piqued your interest stay tuned and we'll have more on it in the coming weeks.