Of the 5 phones that TCL has launched in the domestic market so far, there was a need to test the TCL 10 SE, and that’s what we’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks. Today, as it should be, we leave here our analysis of this equipment, which is the “weakest” of the smartphones launched by TCL, and also the most economical.
Considering the number of devices from this brand that we have tested over the past few months (TCL Plex, TCL 10 Pro, TCL 10 Plus and TCL 10L), it is only natural that at some point we will make a comparison with some of these smartphones, but in general terms this 10 SE it seems to be a “merger” between TCL Plex and TCL 10L.
TCL 10 SE Review: Display
In this equipment, TCL decided to use an LCD screen, but this still turns out to be one of its strong points. This screen has a feature called NXTVISION, which deserved my special attention: the phone transforms a regular image into an HDR image. The question arises: why is this necessary? The answer is very simple: because it is beautiful. The picture becomes brighter and halftones appear in dark frames, and darks are really dark.
So if you don’t like OLED displays, this is a great solution because your eyes are less tired when reading documents or watching videos. The phone adapts to the lighting and changes the color balance of the picture, which is really handy. In addition, there is a special mode for reading, as well as a night mode to further reduce eye strain.
This is actually a 2.5D panel with 20: 9 aspect ratio with 6.52 inches with HD + resolution with 720×1600 pixels, which in total gives you only 269 DPI, not a lot, but we can’t ask for much more for a phone in the entry range. This same screen has a teardrop-shaped notch to house the front camera, and it takes up 89% of the front of the equipment. This means that its margins aren’t very thin, especially its chin, which is slightly larger than the rest, but still makes this display look sleek and flashy.
He responds very well to touch and is usually not discouraged. However, using it in sunlight is very difficult to do … if not impossible. However, we still find this to be an interesting display for a phone in this price range, albeit totally against using this type of resolution (HD).
It doesn’t offer a risky aspect, as the TCL 10 SE retains the usual smartphone design lines with its features, although it does offer some distinction on the rear side thanks to the in-line lenses of the triple rear camera, with an LED flash at each end and, no less curious, also thanks to the capacitive fingerprint reader that stands out for its rear shape.
Its finish is plastic, of good quality, but plastic. Its design is very reminiscent of the TCL Plex, and it’s something I love. It has a good grip, does not slip, and in our hand we feel a solid equipment, something that I consider essential in a smartphone.
On the right side of this phone we have the power button and the volume button, and on the left side there is a fourth button dedicated to Google Assistant (which can be configured to work with three gestures: one touch , two and a long press). And on the same side we have the dual nano SIM or SIM tray and the SD card.
At the lower end, this phone offers a USB Type-C port and an external speaker output. On the other side, we have the already rare 3.5mm port for headset and microphone.
The color that was made available to us for testing was Icy Silver, which is a very interesting color, makes the phone a bit more premium, however its back is a real magnet for fingerprints.
The TCL 10 SE has a triple sensor, arranged horizontally at the back, which are accompanied by two LED flashes on both sides. This conception is anything but common. Aside from TCL phones, I remember seeing other smartphones with this layout. The camera modules protrude slightly and luckily are located quite far from the fingerprint sensor, so it will be difficult to put your finger on the photo sensors, accidentally.
Its main camera has 48 megapixels with an aperture of f / 1.8, which is accompanied by an ultra wide angle sensor of 115 °, with 5 megapixels with an aperture of f / 2.2 and the third sensor is dedicated to depth and has an aperture of f / 2.4. In general the photos are interesting, with good detail as long as the lighting conditions are good. In darker situations, however, noise tends to appear but is acceptable.
Portrait mode works with a very sharp “blur” of the background in excellent lighting conditions. There’s also a 123 ° wide-angle module – it’s the ultimate for creative photos. The front camera has 8 megapixels with an f / 2.0 aperture, which exhibits good detail and accurate color reproduction in good lighting.
TCL, as expected, uses the Android operating system on this device, and to be more precise it’s Android 10. In addition to the system, TCL decided to put in a very smooth and fast skin. I admit that I liked your Skin, that despite the addition of bloatware, it can be removed very easily. Animations are smooth and application switching is quick. It’s worth noting that the company still has some work ahead of it, and it won’t be software that causes the 10 SE to cease to be great gear. It should be noted that during the last 9 to 10 months the company has done a very interesting job in the software of its equipment, since its interface is much faster and more fluid than the one we found on TCL Plex, the first company phone. reach the national market.
But the company has to keep working, because we are already in the second half of October, and the phone has security patches for the Android operating system for June 2020. It’s 4 months without security patches, and TCL needs to pay more attention … it’s a device with a few months on the market. Even though the company doesn’t make them available every month, the updates every two months were great, and every three months was still good, but 4 months is already too much.
TCL 10 SE’s Performances
Here is the biggest concern of the TCL 10 SE, since it has a Mediatek processor, the Mediatek MT6762, better known as the Helio P22, and honestly I don’t understand the brands that still bet on chips from this style. In theory, this could be quite interesting, as it has an Octa-Core processor that runs at maximum 2.0 GHz (with Cortex A-53 cores) and a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. In practice … in practice I think that’s the Achilles heel of this phone. This chip is accompanied by more than 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. And yes, it has a slot for a MicroSD card, so you can expand the storage capacity.
If you are not a very demanding user, this combination is sufficient as it works great for those who just want to access social media, email, internet search and less demanding apps. Obviously, the heaviest games are really to be forgotten. It is not possible to play games like PUBG Mobile, COD Mobile, Fortnite or any more demanding game. If you think of less demanding games like Candy Crush or other games of this style, you shouldn’t have any major issues.
Below I leave the Antutu test so that you can draw your conclusions. The test does not reflect daily usage, but you can see its limits in terms of CPU and GPU.
This smartphone has a battery of almost 4000 mAh, which is more than enough for a whole day with light use, a day and a half with moderate use. At no time did I worry about its autonomy, because every time I left the house in the morning, with it charged, I always arrived at night with more than 20% of the battery. In this sense, and although I cannot describe the autonomy of “giant”, I would say that it is more than sufficient for the vast majority of users.
TCL provides a 10W charger, so its charging takes just over 2 hours and 10 minutes, if you let the phone reach almost 0% battery. I usually put on the same load when it hits 15%, and it never took more than 1 hour and 50 minutes to hit 100%. It’s not fast, but you have to remember that this is an entry-level phone.
TCL 10 SE Review: final verdict
I didn’t have high expectations for this phone, but with its use I noticed that it was a step ahead of the vast majority of entry-level phones.
It’s a very balanced phone that unfortunately has a processor that leaves a lot to be desired. If TCL had gone for a Qualcomm processor, say the Snapdragon 210, it would have performed a bit better, without straying too far from the amount spent.
The screen despite being LCD and with a low resolution, NXTVISION technology manages to surprise, because the picture quality is really interesting for an entry-level phone. The TCL 10SE is very good looking, and its photographic sensors, while not the best, are adjusted for this type of equipment.
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Founder of Noticias e Tecnologia, and this is his second online project, after several years connected to a portal focused on the Android system, of which he was also one of its founders.
IT professional and passionate about new technologies, mechanical sports and mountain biking.