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Why the new TCL phones matter

 If you've ever heard of TCL you probably know them because they make pretty good, inexpensive 4K TVs. But TCL also makes phones. Like a lot of phones. They make Alcatel phones thatbasically every carrier sells. They make blackberry phones. And they also make thatlittle itty-bitty palm phone. But now TCL wants you toknow that TCL makes phones. So they're announcing three of them. There is the 10 Pro,the 10 L and the 10 5G. 0h yeah also, there's a folding phone. So let's just start with a folding phone 'cause it's probably the oneyou're most interested in. And I have bad news,it's just a prototype.

Like a really proto-typey prototype. The hinge creaks when you open it up. And the software is nowhere near ready. But there are some cleverdesign features to it. So for example when you closeit, it closes completely flat. And that's because they're using the same sort of hingemechanism that the Moto Razr is. The screen sort of bubblesup in a teardrop shape inside the hinge. Another interesting thing, there is no screen on theoutside of it which is a choice. TCL says that they do not know when they're gonna sell this thing. They're waiting untilthe technology is ready. Maybe they even want to wait for glass screens that can fold. And they definitely want towait until their software. So, that's a folding phone. It's cool, but we should talk about the phones they're actuallygonna release this year. One important thing toknow about these phones is they're getting released globally, including in North America,and including in the US. Which really is kind of a first for TCL under the TCL brand. Now the company doesn't want to tell us much about the specs. So we don't know the exact processor yet, we don't know themegapixels on the cameras or any of that. But we do think that allthree of these phones are gonna cost less than $500. Which could mean that TCL is gonna role in and try and take on OnePlus head-to-head. So let's talk about the 10Pro first 'cause it's probably the most interestingof these three phones. It's the most premium one. It looks a little bit like a Galaxy S 10. It has that sort of acurved screen on the sides. And TCL is making a really big deal about its screen technologythat it's pulling in from TVs. So it has a custom controller and that can mean that itcan vary the refresh rate, so we should see 90 maybeeven 120 hertz on this. And for video it can dynamically change SDR content into HDR content. It has an in screen fingerprint sensor. And there are four cameras on the back which should be enough.

One of those cameras is a macro camera and I was able to pullfocus on a little plant from just about 3 inches away,which is pretty impressive. We'll see about the rest of the cameras. TCL was pretty blunt thatthey're not good have the best cameras on the market. They know that, we know that, so they're not gonna pretendthat it's going to be an amazing best-of-breed camera. One other thing that Ican say about this thing is that it has a headphone jack. Hey! Now the two cheaper phonesare the 10 L and the 10 5G. And they just feel cheaper. They're just not as nice a build quality. They do have the samefour cameras on the back. Well, maybe not the same. I don't know for surethat they're identical to what's on the pro, butit's got four cameras. Which, fine, again, that's enough. They have a fingerprint sensor on the back and their screens are flat and probably just not as nice as on the 10 Pro. But the important thing to remember is that the 10 5G is gonna have a QualcommSnapdragon 700 series, which presumably means the 765, which means that it has 5G built in without hurting the battery life too much which means that it mightbe the very first 5G phone that costs less than $500. And that's really important.

Now look, if you're watching this video there is a pretty good chancethat you are not gonna get super hype over midrange TCL android phones. I get it. But they're still important because TCL has really good carrier relationships. Which means that whensomebody walks into an AT&T or T-Mobile or whatever, and they just want to getthe cheapest android phone, they're gonna get somethingpretty good from TCL. And having more competitionin the sub $500 space is gonna be important for everybody. I especially like that these phones are pretty normal size. They're not big honkerslike OnePlus phones are. That's nice. We will find out muchmore about these phones at Mobile World Congress next month. We'll get full specs and hopefully prices and hopefully releasedates on all of them. So we're gonna be stay tuned for that. As for the folding phone, who knows? TCL even talked about how they wanna make a folding tablet withlike three folds on it. That could be fun. The bottom line is ifTCL can pull this off you might know them forphones instead of just TVs. Hey everybody, thanksso much for watching. We're here at theConsumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which means we're gonna have a ton of videos of somepretty cool gadgets. So you should keep it locked to The Verge. 

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