TCL 20S review: Best $250 Android smartphone available today Review

Victoria D. Doty

Immediately after reading through about TCL’s system to release a few new 20 Sequence smartphones I was still left thinking how the TCL 20S fit in between the sub-$200 TCL 20SE and the mid-variety TCL 20 Professional 5G. Immediately after using the TCL 20S for a pair of weeks, I would individually invest the further $sixty for the 20S rather of the 20SE.

As opposed to the TCL 20SE, the TCL 20S is appropriate with T-Cell, AT&T, and Verizon LTE networks so the addition of Verizon listed here is a important improvement. The 20S has a greater-stage processor, NFC chip, better cameras, better speakers, and Qualcomm Quick Cost three. quickly charging aid.

TCL 20S specifications

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
  • Show: six.sixty seven-inch, 2400 x 1080 pixels resolution Liquid crystal display (395 ppi)
  • Running method: Android 11
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB inside storage with microSD card
  • Cameras: 64MP major, 8MP ultra-wide with 118 industry-of-look at, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth sensor. 16MP front-struggling with digital camera.
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth five., GPS, FM radio, NFC
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Facet Fingerprint Sensor, Electronic Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Mild Sensor
  • Battery: 5000 mAh non-removable with Qualcomm Quick Cost three. aid
  • LTE bands: 1, 2, three, 4, five, 7, eight, twelve, thirteen, seventeen, 20, twenty five, 26, 28, 29, 38, 40, forty one, 66, seventy one
  • Dimensions: 166 x 77 x 9.14 mm and 199 grams
  • Shades: Milky Way Gray and North Star Blue

Also: Very best Android cellphone in 2021


TCL sent the Milky Way Gray colour to test out, but that North Star Blue looks slick far too. The back panel is plastic with a textured matte complete that looks terrific in dazzling gentle circumstances. The quad-digital camera array is in the significantly still left in a vertical arrangement, usual for the TCL 20 Sequence smartphones.

The show will take up a generous portion of the front, with a reported 91{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} monitor-to-overall body ratio. A central gap punch front-struggling with digital camera is current with viewable show showing all over the opening. You can toggle the computer software to personalize how the “Dotch” seems on the cellphone. The show is Liquid crystal display, but incorporates TCL’s NXTVISION technologies and I comprehensively enjoyed streaming various videos on it in the course of my evaluation time period.

There is no superior refresh rate show current listed here, which is anticipated for a cellphone priced at $250. It’s a usual 60Hz show, but has terrific resolution and looks great for videos and textual content.

Top rated ZDNET Assessments

Together with the substantial, lively show, there are two speakers so you can take pleasure in videos in landscape orientation. The speakers are substantially better than those people identified on the TCL 20SE and I could watch videos all working day with out headphones. There is also still a regular three.5mm audio port on the top rated of the cellphone.


A Google Assistant activation button is on the still left side, with the SIM/microSD card tray, when quantity and electric power buttons are on the appropriate. The fingerprint sensor is embedded into the electric power button so you can very easily pick up and unlock your cellphone with your finger or thumb as you electric power on the machine.

A USB-C port is on the bottom to demand up the 5000 mAh battery. The battery will very easily get you through at minimum a working day of use.

Software program

The TCL 20S launches with Android 11 and TCL UI version three.x. The May perhaps five, 2021 Android protection update is current on the assessment machine.

TCL’s UI presents a relatively inventory Android working experience with most of the TCL customization identified in the launcher and settings centered on TCL’s show technologies. I am not a large enthusiast of the software launcher default environment that arranges your applications by class, but you can merely switch to the much more widespread by title possibility with two taps.

There are a pair of applications delivered, these kinds of as the Gallery, FM radio, and NXTVISION utility, that facilitate using capabilities identified on the cellphone. Some exceptional settings/utilities include things like an Edge Bar for swiftly launching applications, accessing a useful ruler, and connecting with your contacts. There is also a fingerprint speedy start possibility so that a long press on the below-show scanner will take you appropriate into your picked app.

The Google Feed is available as a significantly-still left house monitor panel. All the other anticipated Google Android features are current on the cellphone far too.

Also: Very best low cost cellphone in 2021

Every day usage experiences and summary

The TCL 20S is available now for $249.99 from the TCL Retail outlet on Amazon. This is a terrific cost for a cellphone with these specifications and performance results.

The two most important rear cameras and the front-struggling with digital camera have greater resolution and are better than these very same a few cameras on the TCL 20SE. I was equipped to obtain great results when capturing with the TCL 20S and enjoyed the versatility of the digital camera computer software.

The TCL 20S is not a gaming cellphone and making an attempt out racing game titles and other game titles with demanding graphics presents some blocky performance. Puzzle game titles and other static game titles were being high-quality while. I am so employed to superior refresh rate displays now that likely back to a 60Hz show is a little bit painful for quickly scrolling up and down net web pages and long lists.

TCL is recognised for its show technologies and it brings its experience to the cellphone. The TCL 20S has automobile-brightness, reading through manner, and eye convenience manner that lessens blue gentle to assist your eyes cut down strain. The visual and audio experiences on this cellphone punch greater than the small $250 cost stage.

The TCL 20S is just one of the better $250 phones you can find today and if I was wanting for a cellphone in this cost variety I would fork out the further $sixty to purchase this just one above the TCL 20SE. The 20SE has various compromises that are fixed in the 20S and I assume above the lifetime of the cellphone people today will be happier with the 20S. The show looks amazing, the speakers are loud, the UI is virtually inventory Android, the battery lifetime is sound, and there is a great deal to like in the TCL 20S.

Next Post

TCL 20SE review: Solid sub-$200 phone for the right customer Review

While I commit the majority of my time with flagship smartphones, there are solid selections accessible for a lot less than 50 percent the price of the superior-conclusion telephones that may well be correctly ample for your requires. I spent a couple of months with the sub-$two hundred TCL 20SE […]

Subscribe US Now