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TCL’s sub-$500 5G phone?! Butterfly Hinge & more (video)

By Anton D. Nagy January 8, 2020, 6:00 am

It’s CES 2020, and even if mobile is not necessarily what this show is known for, TCL is giving us a sneak peak of what to expect for their mobile launch at MWC.

If you remember the TCL Plex at IFA, this was mostly the showcase for the company’s new approach. Today we got to see a new 10 series, some affordable Alcatel devices, and some concepts that are really cool.

Let’s start with a little disclaimer. What we’re seeing today is pretty much a soft launch for what we can expert at MWC 2020, so a lot of things are still “To be defined”.

Let’s start with the TCL 10 series. These are actually 3 phones, the TCL 10 5G, the 10 Pro, and the 10L. They all have a similar design phylosophy to the Plex, but notice that the Plex name is now gone.


What can I tell you? Well they have quad-cameras and a dual-LED flash. The 10 Pro has an in-display fingerprint scanner, while the 5G and 10L have a rear sensor. The 10 Pro has a curved AMOLED edge display, but details on resolution, and even the technology of the other phones is still pending.

Final software info is also pending, but we do know that it follows on what we saw with the Plex where the skin is very minimalistic. Nearly stock if you may. Probably the most important story is that of the 5G variant, because the company plans to price it at under $500. Again, details pending on how the company will achieve that. The rest will be above $200, but no specifics were provided. Timing and availability is estimated for Q2 in the U.S. and Canada, though that’s not final for the 5G variant.

As for the Alcatel devices, we’re talking on the sub $150 price. Probably the most important one is the 3L because it brings triple cameras with one of these being the 48 megapixel variant. Also the 1B which is sub $100, which is their first Android 10 Go Edition phone powered by 2 gigs of RAM.

Now let’s talk concepts, starting with the Butterfly hinge. Notice I didn’t say Dragon Hinge. Why? Well that design will remain for other form factors, not necessarily for smartphones. The butterfly hinge is special because there are no gaps. More convenient for that smartphone-tablet usage scenario. Again just a prototype, most likely not the final hardware that we’re gonna see at MWC.

Last but not least, Project Archery 2.0, which we sort of saw teased at IFA. This being the new iteration. It’s a wearable display concept. It’s actually more a wearable TV than anything. If you’re sitting on a plane they claim this is better than what planes provide. You can use it for gaming and content consumption. It’s not really a 360 degree VR experience, but again, more of just a display.

But yes, this is what we have from just one of the TCL divisions at IFA. We’ve got updates on their TV business and also their sound division which were just worthy of a separate video. Expect more details coming soon on that.


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