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 […]

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 and it truly is an suitable cell phone for people who just want a cell phone for interaction needs or a backup to get perform accomplished.

The TCL 20SE is not a gaming cell phone or just one that will aid you conveniently take award-winning images. As a TCL-branded cell phone, it is focused on the exhibit knowledge and the fundamentals. There is no 5G connectivity and it will get eighteen-24 months of Android safety patches, probably released on a quarterly basis. It is also a quite huge cell phone with a 6.82-inch exhibit and thickness of nine.fourteen mm.

Also: Finest Android cell phone in 2021

All of that claimed, it is priced at just $189.ninety nine. There are not numerous telephones priced a lot less than $two hundred and the TCL 20SE appears to be nicely created with a relatively beautiful modern design. I appreciated making use of the huge exhibit for messaging and taking pleasure in Google Tv flicks so there are unquestionably strategies to take pleasure in to optimized visual knowledge of the cell phone.

TCL 20SE specifications

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
  • Display screen: 6.82-inch, 1640 x 720 pixels resolution Lcd (263 ppi)
  • Running system: Android 11
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB interior storage with microSD card
  • Cameras: 48MP primary, 5MP extremely-huge with 115 discipline-of-perspective, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth sensor. 13MP entrance-facing camera.
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth five., GPS, FM radio
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Rear Fingerprint Sensor, Electronic Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Mild Sensor
  • Battery: 5000 mAh non-detachable
  • LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, four, five, 7, eight, 12, thirteen, 17, 28, sixty six
  • Dimensions: 172 x 77 x nine.fourteen mm and 206 grams
  • Colours: Nuit Black and Aurora Inexperienced


TCL sent the Nuit Black colour to examination out. The back again panel is plastic but has a design that bends the light and provides a contact of course to the design. There is a glossy solid strip on the considerably still left that transitions up into the quad-camera assembly. A rear fingerprint sensor is positioned in the middle of the upper third portion of the back again.


My very first perception was that this is a relatively huge cell phone that is also rather thick at nine.14mm. It can be just one of the most significant telephones I’ve analyzed in the final couple of decades, probably intended to guidance the huge 5000 mAh battery.

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The exhibit usually takes up a generous portion of the entrance, with a reported ninety% screen-to-human body ratio. A central teardrop notch is slash in the exhibit for the entrance-facing camera. The exhibit is Lcd, but incorporates TCL’s NXTVISION engineering and I carefully appreciated streaming a number of flicks on it throughout my evaluation time period.

Together with the huge, lively exhibit, there are two speakers so you can take pleasure in flicks in landscape orientation. The speakers are not heading to set the bar for superior top quality speakers, but the audio was pleasing. There is also nonetheless a standard 3.5mm audio port on the major of the cell phone.

A Google Assistant activation button is on the still left aspect, with the SIM/microSD card tray, although quantity and electrical power buttons are on the proper. A USB-C port is on the bottom to cost up the 5000 mAh battery. The battery will conveniently get you via at least a day of use.


The TCL 20SE launches with Android 11 and TCL UI variation 3.x. The April five, 2021 Android safety update is existing on the evaluate system.

TCL’s UI provides a pretty inventory Android knowledge with most of the TCL customization found in the launcher and options focused on TCL’s exhibit systems. I am not a large lover of the software launcher default placing that arranges your applications by classification, but you can basically swap to the extra typical by title possibility with two taps.

There are a couple of applications offered, these as the Gallery, FM radio, and NXTVISION utility, that aid making use of characteristics found on the cell phone. Some exclusive options/utilities consist of an Edge Bar for speedily launching applications, accessing a handy ruler, and connecting with your contacts. There is also a fingerprint brief launch possibility so that a prolonged push on the under-exhibit scanner usually takes you proper into your chosen application.

The Google Feed is accessible as a considerably-still left property screen panel. All the other expected Google Android features are existing on the cell phone also.

Also: Finest affordable cell phone in 2021

Each day use ordeals and conclusion

The TCL 20SE is accessible now for $189.ninety nine from the TCL Retailer on Amazon. There are quite few telephones accessible for under $two hundred so as prolonged as you know what the limitations are and discover the require for a standard smartphone then this is a solid obtain.

Some crucial items missing from this cell phone, understandable for a lot less than $two hundred, is no NFC for Google Pay guidance, no IP rating for dust or water resistance, no superior resolution or superior refresh level exhibit, no 5G and restricted provider guidance for T-Cell and AT&T, and cameras that are just ample for social media and sharing.

Battery life has been solid, the huge exhibit is straightforward to go through, cell phone phone calls sounded just wonderful, flicks ended up pleasing to observe on the big screen, and the cell phone feels quite nicely created.

I took images with all of the TCL Collection twenty products along with a Samsung and Apple iphone to test top quality and the TCL twenty SE clearly arrived in final location. However, the images were not awful and with a continuous hand and great lights you can seize good images in a pinch.

The TCL 20SE is not a gaming cell phone and striving out racing video games and other video games with demanding graphics offers some blocky overall performance. Puzzle video games and other static video games ended up wonderful although. I am so used to superior refresh level shows now that heading back again to a 60Hz exhibit is a little bit painful for speedy scrolling up and down web web pages and prolonged lists.

The TCL 20SE is just one of the much better sub-$two hundred telephones you can find today. If you require a standard backup cell phone or are wanting for a big cell phone for an more mature spouse and children member for interaction needs then the TCL twenty SE is a solid option.

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