TCL 20 Pro 5G review: Pulling the Pixel from its perch

by Joseph K. Clark

When you see the name TCL, you likely think of TVs. There’s an excellent reason for that. The company’s incredibly value-laden line of 4K TVs made a massive splash in the market several years back and has only improved since then. I’ve got one. My dad has one. My best friend has one, and his dad has one, so on and so forth. But the smartphone market is a little more complicated, a little more competitive, and a little more challenging to crack than the TV sector was.

Pixel from its perch

That’s where the TCL 20 line comes in. Three very affordable phones created an excellent follow-up to TCL’s big self-branded debut last year, which landed them on the list of best cheap phones time and time again. After all, TCL isn’t a newbie to the smartphone market; it’s been making phones under the Alcatel, Blackberry, and Palm brands for years (among others), and now TCL is leveraging its reputation for its second-generation TCL-branded phones.

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The TCL 20 Pro 5G is TCL’s flagship phone this year. It’s got all the trappings of an excellent experience: a snappy Snapdragon 750G SoC that brings 5G connectivity with it, 256GB of storage with support for an additional 1TB via microSD cards, Super Bluetooth, a gorgeous screen, even better-looking colors on the back, and a quad-camera array that’s a noticeable improvement over last year’s model. At $500, this is the perfect Pixel 4a 5G competitor. Find out why in our TCL 20 Pro 5G review below.

Bottom line: TCL’s second-generation flagship is a solid entry into the mid-range section that’s priced identically to the Pixel 4a 5G. While it can’t match the prowess of a Pixel camera experience, everything else about this phone is a better value — so long as you only plan to keep the phone for the 2 years that updates are promised.

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