TCL unveils new 20 Pro flagship phone — and teases its bizarre rollable

TCL 20 Pro in its black and blue color options
(Image credit: TCL)

TCL first announced its 20 Series back at CES this year, and today it has revealed three new additions with the TCL 20 Pro, TCL 20L+ and TCL 20L. The company also took this opportunity to give a more thorough look at the foldable and rollable phone we first saw last month, aptly named the Fold 'n Roll.

TCL will look to follow on its success with last year's 10 Series, which received praise for its blend of solid features and more affordable price. However, its higher-end TCL 20 Pro will face considerably more competition as that "affordable flagship" tier is becoming crowded with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Google Pixel 5

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TCL 20 Series Specs
Row 0 - Cell 0 TCL 20 ProTCL 20L+TCL 20L
Display6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED6.67-inch FHD+ LCD6.67-inch FHD+ LCD
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 750GQualcomm Snapdragon 662Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
Storage256GB (microSD up to 1TB)256GB (microSD up to 1TB)128GB (microSD up to 1TB)
Rear cameras48MP wide-angle f/.8, 16MP ultra-wide f/2.4, 5MP macro f/2.2, 2MP depth camera f/2.464MP wide-angle f/1.8, 8MP ultra-wide f/2.2, 2MP macro f/2.4, 2MP depth camera f/2.448MP wide-angle f/2.0, 8MP ultra-wide f/2.2, 2MP macro f/2.4, 2MP depth camera f/2.4
Front camera32MP wide-angle f/2.4516MP wide-angle f/2.216MP wide-angle f/2.2
Video capture4K 30fps and 1080p up to 60fps1080p up to 60fps1080p up to 60fps
Battery capacity4500mAh5000mAh5000mAh
Water resistanceNoNoNo
ColorsMoondust Gray or Marine BlueMilky Way Grey or North Star BlueLuna Blue and Eclipse Black
Size6.5 x 2.9 x 0.35-inches6.5 x 3 x 0.36-inches6.5 x 3 x 0.36-inches
Weight6.7 ounces7 ounces7 ounces

TCL 20 Pro

The TCL 20 Pro is the flagship offering for the 20 Series, but that doesn't mean it will go toe-to-toe with the Galaxy S21 Ultra or OnePlus 9 Pro. US pricing isn't available yet but it will be €549 in the UK, Italy and Portugal when it launches on April 15. 

Conversion rates aside, the specs suggest it will cost about as much in the US, given its 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel and Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor. TCL notably makes the leap to AMOLED; we were impressed with the company's LCD in the TCL 10 5G UW so let's hope it can carry over that same quality to its new AMOLED panel. 

The Snapdragon 750G is a new mid-tier option that, despite the numbering, is slightly more powerful than the Snapdragon 765G that was used in devices like the Pixel 5 last year. The one area where it falls a bit behind the 765G is with gaming, but typical CPU-intensive tasks should run smoothly.

TCL 20 Pro camera app

(Image credit: TCL)

The TCL 20 Pro includes a quad-camera array with a 48MP wide-angle Sony IMX582 lens at f/1.8 as the primary and a 16MP ultra-wide at f/2.4. The other two are the typical add-on options of a macro and a depth camera, with the latter purely serving to help with portrait and other depth effects. This was a weakness for the TCL 10 5G UW last year, so we'll need to see if TCL has made any improvements this time around.

TCL moved its camera array to the upper-right corner of the phone but retained its single-file arrangement rather than the more common square or rectangular array. The phone is fairly thick at 0.36-inches, but its curved edges should prevent it from feeling too bulky. TCL also switched to an in-display fingerprint sensor and centered its hole-punch front-facing camera.

Pricing will certainly be key for the TCL 20 Pro. Devices like the Pixel 4a 5G and Galaxy S20 FE are highly competitive in the $499 to $599 range.

TCL 20 L+/S in hand and on a table

(Image credit: TCL)

TCL 20L+ and TCL 20L

The TCL 20L+ and TCL 20L are more budget-focused phones coming in at €269 and €229 respectively; the TCL 20L+ will be coming to the U.S. as the TCL 20S.

Both phones feature a 6.67-inch FHD+ display but swap the AMOLED for LCD. Again, the TCL 10 5G UW blew us away with the quality of its LCD last year, so we'll be interested to see if it can do the same at this price range. 

Both phones use the new Snapdragon 662 chipset. We haven't had the opportunity to test this lower mid-tier chipset released late last fall yet. It's safe to say this isn't going to be your go-to gaming phone, but that doesn't preclude it from being a solid performer for day-to-day tasks. 

TCL 20L resting on a notebook

(Image credit: TCL)

The primary wide-angle cameras are another differentiator for these phones with a 64MP wide-angle at f/1.8 on the TCL 20L+ and a 48MP wide-angle at f/2.0 on the TCL 20L. They are otherwise identical with an 8MP ultra-wide f/2.2, a 2MP macro at f/2.4, and a 2MP depth camera at f/2.4. Considering the price range this is reasonable hardware, but again the question will be whether TCL has improved its camera software.

Design is where the TCL 20L+ gets its chance to shine, quite literally, with "more than a million prismatic crystal pits" making up the sparkling back of the phone that should also help to eliminate fingerprints and scratches according to TCL. The TCL 20L on the other hand features more of a starburst pattern emerging from the rear camera array.

TCL Fold 'n Roll

(Image credit: TCL)

TCL Fold 'n Roll

We are still waiting to hear more about the actual specs on the TCL Fold 'n Roll, presently we just have the screen sizes. It will be 6.87-inches in phone mode, 8.85-inches in phablet mode and 10-inches in tablet mode. It's anyone's guess when or if this will come to market, but the images are pretty compelling if still slightly hard to wrap your head around. The concept mirrors the folding display that we've seen from phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 2, but then adds a rolling display like the now-canceled LG Rollable that extends it even further. The company boasts that it is a phone, a phablet and a tablet all in one.

It's an amazing concept, but the blending of these two new technologies into the same device makes us concerned about durability for the first generation. Pricing will be a major factor for this one as TCL is known for its affordability and that is not a word associated with foldables (let alone rollables) thus far. TCL has said that it will be releasing its first foldable sometime this year, but don't expect the Fold 'n Roll, it will stick with a more traditional foldable for this first foray.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.