TCL Stylus 5G: An Executive Review for TCL’s productivity device
Do you need to pay over a thousand dollars to get a quality device in this category? Tcl doesnt think you do and has a new write in entry to add to the field of those running to earn your vote. I i mean dollar. Should you take that checkbox for tcls new stylus 5g im going to give you an executive summary to help you make a decision lets get into it? Tcl is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated smartphone manufacturers in north america. Due to the ban on certain manufacturers, we dont have a lot of low cost high value options, but of those we do have id rate tcl among the top options for those looking for a lot of phone for little money, 258 dollars to be exact available. Only on t, mobile or metro by t mobile, but should come to other carriers later in the year. All right lets take a quick look at the hardware. You get a large 6.81 inch full hd plus lcd display that clocks in at 500, nits of brightness 60 hertz. Only the phone is running android 12, with tcl ui 4.0 powered by mediatek demensity, 700 chipset. The phone is available only in lunar black, but i like the speckled plastic back, which has a nice shimmer to it for 258 dollars. Youre gon na get a lot on paper. The stylus has stereo speakers. A headphone jack side mounted fingerprint scanner, a quad camera system, 13 megapixel front shooter and a 4 000 milliamp hour battery equipped with 18 watt charging thatll get you through a day.
The stylus, of course, is the star of the show on this device, but well get to this in a minute, despite being a full hd plus lcd, the screen is bright and easy to watch. I ran it through my video playlist checking out thor ragnarok the witcher. Our planet coastal seas and though you will see some loss of blacks in the shadows. Overall, the video quality will make for an enjoyable viewing experience for all, but the most picky consumers and the stereo speakers are a solid complement to the overall media experience. Getting plenty loud, averaging 75 db when watching the witcher playing music through the stereo speakers was also nice and clear and loud enough. I worked my way through my test: playlist listening through them and connected to campfire audios, mammoth iems connected to the three and a half millimeter audio jack. These are high end iem, so it came as no surprise that i had to create the volume almost all the way up, but they still sounded great. The phone was able to drive those iems and provide robust audio quality with solid sound separation. Navigating around the interface is snappy with that mediatek processor, providing the horsepower for fast app switches and all but the most demanding gaming im, not a hardcore gamer myself, so killer instinct played through xbox game pass ultimate asphalt, 9 and streets of fury. 4 worked fine. All of them there are some software incompatibilities to be aware of, as both my colleague nick sutrich, and i were unable to get call of duty mobile to load side.
Note my casual game that i always test. These phones, with streets of rage 4, is no longer on the xbox ultimate game, pass door. Microsoft whats up with that, i downloaded it, though, from the google play store, and it was actually a great one to one port. Thank you. No one else is snappy with no lag. The side mounted. Fingerprint scanner got me into the phone with no lag, but i also have face unlock turned on which was frictionless as well, but how well do the cameras actually capture faces? Look at that face. Look at that face well, my pretty pooch in shadow here is captured. Quite nicely, though, i will say, the cameras here are pretty aggressive with the sharpening and contrast: youll get a 50 megapixel, f, 1.8 main camera 5 megapixel ultra wide and 2 megapixel macro and depth. Cameras around front is a 13 megapixel, f, 2.3 28 millimeter ultra wide. The main sensor does handle low light admirably and gave me some good shots of the doggo on the beach and of the coastline at sunset. I pitted the front facer against some harsh backlighting and it fared well im pretty happy with these shots captured under these harsh conditions, skin tone rendering was on point and you can control the amount of smoothing the camera captures. So you dont wind up with images that look overly processed, exposing the camera to another harsh test. It passed my red flower test with flying colors.
You need to know that your low light shots will be soft but thats to be expected for hardware. At this price point and the two megapixel macros, they leave a bit to be desired. Part of my french but lets talk about the reson de altra, the stylist, sorry native french speakers. If i totally butchered that this isnt an active stylist but tcl has gone a long way to giving you the requisite software to get the most out of it, you can do everything from make gifs out of whatevers on your screen to using this quick launch mode To open apps into dual screen mode and then theres this really smart applet, which lets you draw your signature, so you can easily sign documents from the phone and the nebo software thats. Bundled is a great value. Add on for pen users, with great handwriting recognition being that the pin isnt an active pin, there is a bit of latency when using it, and you will have to be mindful of touching the screen as there is no palm rejection. Your mileage may vary with the pin use here, nick didnt care for it, but im a lefty, and i really didnt have any issues writing with this pin. I dont know if right or left handedness or just your writing style kind of how you hold the pen. Will have an effect on accidentally marking and touching the screen, but, like i said, i was good with it.
This phone is a great phone for the money coming in at around 250 dollars, youre going to get a lot, including an all day, battery and good, pin input and a solid multimedia experience for an even deeper dive check out our deep dive review on androidcentral.