TCL at CES 2022: 30 V 5G, 30 XE 5G, Project Chicago, NxtPaper 10s
Phones, foldable concept, tablet
TCL 30 V 5G hands-on review
Let's kick things off with what is probably the more interesting out of the two TCL 30 phones we saw at the show - the TCL 30 V 5G. One of the clear standout features of the phone is mmWave 5G support (bands n261 and n260) on top of regular Sub-6 5G (bands n2, n5, n48, n66 and n77), courtesy of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480.
TCL 30 V 5G specs at a glance:
- Body: 165.9x76.0x9.1mm, 201g; Glass front, plastic frame, plastic back.
- Display: 6.67" IPS LCD, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM4350 Snapdragon 480 5G (8 nm): Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz Kryo 460 & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 460); Adreno 619.
- Memory: 128GB 4GB RAM; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
- OS/Software: Android 11, TCL UI.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 5 MP; Macro: 2 MP.
- Front camera: 16 MP, (wide).
- Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 18W.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (rear-mounted); 3.5mm jack.
The TCL 30 V 5G is thus, rather expectedly coming to Verizon as an exclusive and affordable option for making use of its mmWave network.
Beyond this, the 30 V 5G is the higher-end of the two phones overall. The other place where the V model stands out is the rear camera setup. The star of the show is the 50 MP main camera on the rear (sensor unknown), which is joined by the 5 MP ultra-wide module and a 2 MP macro camera. Unfortunately, the main cam can only record 1080p video at 30 fps (no 4K, not even 60 fps).
Beyond this, in no particular order, the TCL 30 V 5G also packs a 6.67" display with 1080p+ resolution (20:9) and Gorilla Glass 3. TCL also advertises a "theater-level visual experience" powered by NXTVISION technology. We can't attest to the quality or accuracy of the display without testing it, and press materials didn't mention any particulars regarding brightness, contrast or HDR support, but the panel does look pretty sharp in person. For what that's worth.
Plus, we do also appreciate the addition of stereo speakers, which go a long way in terms of multimedia experience. And thanks to the trusty old 3.5mm audio jack, you have all of the headphone options too. The 16MP selfie cam can do face unlock, but there is also a conventional fingerprint reader on the phone's back.
Speaking of the back panel, we found its Midnight Gray finish quite appealing in person, thanks to the iridescent reflection that TCL has going on.
In fact, we kind of dig the overall design on the TCL 30 V 5G quite a bit. It sits comfortably in hand, and at 200 grams, it's not too heavy but still feels confidently dense, well filled-out by its respectable 4,500 mAh battery. To be fair, having a plastic body and frame definitely helps keep the weight down. It's nothing to hold against the 30 V 5G, though, since it feels solid, with little to no flex.
TCL did a great job on the middle frame as well. Despite being plastic, it pulls off a metal look quite convincingly. We also like its curves - modern, subdued and low-key at the same time. The bezels are not overly large or obtrusive for a phone of this class, and we also like how little the camera island sticks out.
Overall, the TCL 30 V 5G is rocking solid specs and a classy and dignified exterior that will easily blend in any setting.
The TCL 30 V 5G will become available in the US in the coming weeks. Pricing will be announced then.