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Review: Checking out the TCL 50 8GB smartphone

A relative new smartphone to appear on the market and one packed with features but at a budget price is the TCL 50 5G.

Examining the TCL 50 smartphone. Image by Tim Sandle
Examining the TCL 50 smartphone. Image by Tim Sandle

A relative new smartphone to appear on the market and one packed with features but at a budget price is the TCL 50 5G. A device was sent to Digital Journal for review.

Getting read to go online with the TCL 50 smartphone. Image by Tim Sandle.

TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited are an electronic company based in China, with distribution to over 100 countries. They retail on Amazon and other outlets.

Ready to unpack the TCL 50 device. Image by Tim Sandle.

The most immediate thing about the smartphone, as you unpack it from its box, is the large screen which makes the phone handy for viewing images or playing video recordings (the size is 6.6”, in high-definition). The second impression is that the device is lightweight and relatively thin, able to slip easily into a bag or pocket.

The phone is easy to grip and appears sturdy. The design is OK, the plastic has a bit of a reflective sheen around it. The front glass looks strong.

Turning on the TCL smartphone. Image by Tim Sandle

The TCL model is Android enabled (Android 14) and it is quick and straightforward to download additional apps. TCL customizes Android with its TCL UI.

The device refresh rate is excellent, at 90Hz high refresh rate. Scrolling through videos was easy and the shift over from video to video was fairly seamless.

The camera is easy to use, with an intuitive menu. The front camera is designed at 50 MP. The picture quality is not as great as some high-end device; however, it is comparable to other devices with the market, some of which retail for a higher price.

There are both front and rear facing lenses.

The display is sharp, coming in at a resolution of 2,460 by 1,080 pixels. The colours look fresh and vibrant.

In terms of security, there are biometric as well as standard keypad entry options.

The model reviewed has a hefty 8 GB (8GB RAM plus 128GB ROM). If this proves insufficient, then there is an expandable storage facility (a microSD card slot).

Activating the TCL 50 device. Image by Tim Sandle

Sound playback was good and for a more intimate audio experience there is a headphone jack as well as the ability to connect earpieces via Bluetooth. The sound playback was probably better via headphones than from playing from the device directly. That said, the device has fairly decent stereo speakers built-in (3D Boom DTS Sound).

The battery life is around the eight hour mark (constant use) or two days overall (the battery is 5010mAh), a little on the lower end but again comparable with other devices within this market segment.  The device is capable of fast-charging (18W).

For a phone retailing around £150 ($199) this a good example of an Android budget phone with a range of useful features.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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