TCL 10L, analysis: an economic bet with light and shadow

TCL 10L, analysis: an economic bet with light and shadow
Tcl 10l, Analysis: An Economic Bet With Light And Shadow

TCL 10L, analysis: an economic bet with light and shadow

TCL is not a well-known brand in the West, but other phones whose brand it licenses and manufactures, such as the Alcatel or BlackBerry models, may sound familiar to us. However, TCL’s interest in markets other than Asia is evident and it recently presented a battery of phones among which this TCL 10L arrived, direct to the economic middle line of the market.

We are referring to a phone that starts slightly above 200 euros and will soon break below these. A phone with a modest setup in some ways and aggressive in others, such as the number of cameras or the number assigned to your RAM. Let’s see how it has behaved in this analysis that we have carried out of the TCL 10L.

TCL 10L, technical specifications

screen 6.43 inch LCD
Ratio 19.5: 9
FullHD + resolution
2,340 x 1,080 pixels
Upper left drilling
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 @ 2GHz
Adreno 610 GPU
Versions 6GB / 64GB
6GB / 128GB
MicroSD up to 256GB
Rear cameras 48 megapixel f / 1.8
8 megapixel f / 2.2 super wide angle 118º
2 megapixel f / 2.4 macro
2 megapixel f / 2.4 bokeh
Front camera 16 megapixel f / 2.2
Drums 4,000 mAh
Operating system Android 10
WiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
USB C 2.0
Headphone jack
Dimensions and weight 162.2 X 75.6 X 8.4 mm
180 grams
Others Rear fingerprint reader
PRICE 229 euros on Amazon

TCL 10L - 6.53 "Smartphone with NXTVISION display technology (Octacore, RAM 6GB, Internal Memory 64GB, Quad Rear Camera 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP, Front camera 16MP) Color Blue

TCL 10L – 6.53 “Smartphone with NXTVISION display technology (Octacore, RAM 6GB, Internal Memory 64GB, Quad Rear Camera 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP, Front camera 16MP) Color Blue

Today on Amazon for € 229.99

Good build but too fond of footprints

With a 6.43-inch screen and just over 16 centimeters tall, this TCL 10L cannot be said to be particularly compact, but the plastic body makes the grip comfortable and warm, something not usually found in glass or in metal, and is quite pleasant in hand. The mobile it is balanced in its 180 grams of weight and it has not become heavy at any time of use, although its construction has an evident problem that stands out within a few minutes: love for traces.

The gloss effect of the back cover, at least of the blue model we have tested, makes resist a short time clean which quite tarnishes a design that, on the other hand, is very well achieved. We have the quad camera in horizontal formation in the back, the fingerprint reader a little lower and the rest of the rear clean, leaving the front in the same way except for the perforation for the front camera. The screen, by the way, is more or less as fingerprint-friendly as the back of the phone.

On the right side we find all the traditional buttons, the volume buttons and the power button, and on the left side we have an accessory button called ‘Smart key’ that we can configure. The upper frame of the phone is for the headphone jack (bad position, in our opinion) and the lower one for the USB Type-C port and the speaker. A fairly classic design. It is fair to mention that the phone includes a transparent silicone case to improve durability and avoid dirt, although its thickness impairs the use of the fingerprint reader.

We talk a lot about footprints because they impoverish a design that would be much better to take care of this aspect

We arrived at the screen and here it should be mentioned that the panel is an IPS LCD with FullHD + resolution that leaves the density very close to 400 pixels per inch, allowing us sufficient clarity for texts and multimedia content. In addition, having a small perforation for the front camera makes videos, for example, look especially wide on the phone since the perforation is usually in the black strip characteristic of movies and series.

The screen offers very good color, slightly saturated but without being annoying, and good viewing angles to be an inexpensive mid-range model. We also have good light even outdoors, although the automatic adjustment tends to sink this aspect a lot, and sometimes we will have to manually increase the brightness to make it more comfortable to read. Overall, good screen of this TCL 10L, one of its strengths, as we will see later. By the way, double tap to turn on the panel: always in favor.

Just before jumping to the performance section, it’s time to talk about a lower speaker that offers quite a good sound, powerful and clear, and that does not have a bad bass level. As a negative point, that the distortion appears a little before the count when we take the volume to the maximum even with quality sound sources, but keeping at normal levels, below 80% of the maximum volume, the TCL 10L offers a good sound experience to complement a good screen in the multimedia section.

Good performance with a system that does not play in favor

We have in our hands a middle line of economic profile that nevertheless assembles 6GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage (expandable via microSD) as food for the Snapdragon 665. In TCL they have chosen a medium profile processor for their device, one that runs at 2GHz and that seems to perform below expectations when we interact with the operating system or with the different applications. In spite of everything, the performance tests have been in line with other similar phones, so we attribute it to the system itself, which was little optimized in these first phases of its launch.

The system, in fact, still has some errors. We are talking about an Android 10 that runs under TCL UI, the manufacturer’s custom layer, and that has given us some occasional malfunctions. Apps that have been closed unexpectedly, although rarely, and the occasional restart that we have had to force to recover the use of the ‘Smart key’ that we mentioned previously. This key, by the way, can be customized. But still, points to correct in the software section to improve the grade.

Performance testing on the TCL 10L
PROCESSOR Snapdragon 665 Snapdragon 665 Exynos 9610 Snapdragon 665 Snapdragon 665 Kirin 710
ANTUTU 175,809 156,080 158,467 161,421 170,780 131,268
GEEKBENCH 5.0 (single / multi) 310 / 1,009 312 / 1,306 347 / 1,338 310 / 1,329 308 / 1,341 317 / 1,282
3D MARK (Sling Shot) 1,102 1,121 2,031 1,759 1,732 1,181
PCMARK WORK 6,862 6,489 5,399 7,756 6,553 5,872

Let’s talk about gross performance, and here we find what is expected in a phone with its characteristics, with a solvent handling of apps, even the heaviest, which surprises in the graphic section. Given the line of the processor and previous experiences with it on other models, this Snapdragon 665 behaves very well in games with heavy graphics like Asphalt or Legends of Runeterra, something that we appreciate because it partially compensates for the “green” of the system itself mounted on Android 10. In its favor, gestures and other additions to the system that always help in its management.

The phone has performance according to expectations but its solvency with heavy games surprises

We have on the back a fingerprint reader that has worked correctly in almost all situations, although he suffers a little with slightly damp fingers. And as we mentioned before, if we put the silicone case on the phone we will have worse access to it, so we recommend activating facial recognition if this happens, because it works quickly and accurately. So, good performance for a phone that handles multitasking well (6GB of RAM is noticeable for good) and that offers good feelings on a daily basis.

We got to the battery, and here we expected something more from its 4,000 mAh internal battery. Initially, because we do not have a fast charge for it, which makes the full charge go to almost 2 hours. But perhaps the most “disappointing”, always in quotes, is that we have not been able to pass the 6-hour screen in any of the tests, a figure that we expected higher given the capacity of the internal battery.

Four cameras for everything with medium performance

The TCL 10L is aggressive in its camera configuration, at least in terms of the number of them, although quad systems are one step away from being strange in all price ranges on the market. Here we come across, for example, a 48 megapixels in front of everything, with an f / 1.8 lens, and accompanied by an 8-megapixel f / 2.2 ultra-wide angle, a 2-megapixel f / 2.4 macro camera and another camera for 2-megapixel depth readings and an f / 2.4 lens. Now let’s see how they behave.

The TCL 10L camera app

Let’s start with the camera app, quite similar to many others that we find in the market and that offers us a sliding lower menu (or lateral in the event that we have the phone in a horizontal position) with which to access the portrait mode, the video recording section, the Super Macro mode or the Pro mode, with a greater control of all aspects of photography. We also have a More menu that takes us to the panoramas, slow motion and a High Resolution mode that takes advantage of the 48 megapixels of the main camera. Let’s remember that these cameras usually capture images at 12 megapixels by merging the pixels four by four.

The app is simple, intuitive and has almost everything in sight, at hand, which is always appreciated

In general terms, the application is quite competent and intuitive. Almost everything essential is close at hand, such as activating various functions on top (HDR, filters, aspect ratio, time-lapse, flash, settings), and only the Wide-Angle photography mode displayed is unclear. next to the zoom (always electronic) with an icon of a curved photograph. But as we said, a competent app. Now let’s move on to the photographs.

The main camera of the TCL 10L is quite correct despite the fact that it turns off the colors excessively, but as we can see, it has a very effective natural bokeh

In sufficient light, the TCL 10L takes correct pictures with its main camera. We have defined edges, a good treatment of the shadow areas and, in general, good results although colors fade too much, perhaps due to a treatment that reduces the saturation of the photos in the account. This behavior, in fact, is manifested in all the sensors of the phone so it is surely a maxim of the phone’s software when it comes to handling the data obtained by the different cameras.

With the wide angle, the edges are too “aberrant” due to the effect of the lens that the software does not correct well

We said that this effect of muted colors is shown with all the sensors and can be seen with the photographs with the super wide angle. The edges of the objects are correct but the aberration at the ends of the photograph is not corrected efficiently, and this means that we do not have a very fine effect, thus offering an unattractive way to use it. It is probable, it has happened to us, that we end up forgetting that it is there.

The macro works correctly but its 2 megapixels do not give us any leeway.

The TCL 10L also features macro photography and a specific lens for it, one that takes 2 megapixel photographs and whose results are as we show you. Correct photographs, no more, but perhaps replacing this sensor with an optical zoom would have allowed more use of this extreme approach. Like other similar phones, a 2 megapixel macro camera doesn’t seem to make much sense, but the fashions are the fashions, and for now it’s what we have.

Portrait mode performs well, edges are well identified as long as the layers are not overly complex

In addition, there is a fourth camera for depth readings that allows us to have the famous portrait mode. Blur by software that, as we see, in this TCL 10L behaves quite well although it has some problems when the background has more layers than the count or when the edges of these layers are poorly defined. An expected performance, and found, in a mobile of this price line, although other manufacturers achieve better results in a process that is still 100% software. A point to improve.

Focus worsens at night, noise appears quickly, and light sources become too amplified

When the light goes down, the TCL 10L shows more seams. The noise appears quite early and the light sources become too distorted. It must be acknowledged, however, that the shooting is usually fast so we have little chance that the photographs will come out shaky or jittery. But the low-light performance is as expected, or perhaps somewhat worse than expected given the speed of the noise. Another point to improve by software.

In the front camera we also have a Portrait mode by software

Finally, the selfies with this TCL 10L are correct, without more, although here we do find ourselves with a worse handling of the shadow areas. The front camera, 16 megapixels, does not have a good dynamic range and has problems with light to dark jumps. However, shooting is fast, the edges are well defined and, except for the low saturation of the colors, it offers an acceptable result. Although maybe we should ask for more from this camera.

As we have said other times, it is better to have fewer sensors but better tuned

Overall, the camera should have been brighter as it promises more than it finally delivers. The macro sensor seems unnecessary, as we have already mentioned, and the wide angle does not offer the expected effect. Even so, correct photos, without highlighting, in practically all situations. A camera that could have been better, and should be, with clear points for improvement.

TCL 10L, the opinion of Xataka Android

As we usually comment in this type of analysis, we must always keep in mind that the TCL 10L is a phone that will move in the range of 200 euros, so the level of demand must be adapted to this data. Having said that, we were expecting something more from a phone with strong points but which is generally unbalanced. Camera and design take precedence over the rest.

The screen and design stand out above a rest of sections too gray

We found a good build and a good screen, both with an inordinate love for the footprints we leave behind during use and clouding the experience, in addition to the overall look of the phone. The system still has faults, which impoverishes a handling that on the other hand is fluid most of the time and that especially surprising in the graphic section. We also have good sound although with a battery that is too gray for its capacity and that should offer more autonomy.

And finally, a versatile camera in terms of its possibilities but that fails to stand out in no way turning gray. Perhaps reducing the number of sensors and polishing the performance of them would have raised the photographic note, and the general one, of a phone that many users may like if it fits their budget, although it will not stand out too much in the face of fierce competition in this market strip.



In favor

  • The screen is excellent, and the perforation a success to maximize the viewing area.
  • The feel of plastic, despite its dirt: always in favor.
  • The graphics power surprises in a well-known processor.


  • The layer on Android 10 still has things to polish.
  • A camera crew that is too gray and fattened in an impractical way.
  • The anti-fingerprint treatment is not and is not expected?


The terminal has been loaned for analysis by TCL. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.