TCL shows off second US 5G smartphone, teases future rolling design

TCL's new 20 Pro 5G smartphone is coming to the U.S.
Image: TCL

TCL isn’t the biggest name in the smartphone industry. Although its devices don’t have the name recognition of Apple or Samsung, they are respectable in their own right. Recently, TCL unveiled details about its upcoming 20 Series phones, including a new 20 Pro 5G model for the U.S. market.

Those who kept up with coverage of CES 2021 this January will remember that TCL first showed off its 20 Series devices at the virtual event. Now, the firm is giving consumers a closer look at what to expect from them.

5G Arrival

As the 5G rollout continues around the globe, companies can take pride in releasing new devices for the U.S. market. Doing so presents a great opportunity to boost a brand’s reputation amid the introduction of a long-awaited technology. This isn’t TCL’s first 5G device in the U.S., though.

That honor belongs to the TCL 10 5G UW, which was a Verizon exclusive when it arrived last year. However, the new TCL 20 Pro 5G is certainly an improvement over the company’s previous smartphone.

It features a stunning 6.67-inch curved AMOLED Full HD Plus display. That’s enough to make it look like a flagship device from a manufacturer like Samsung (it doesn’t even begin to look like an iPhone). Internally, the phone features a Qualcomm 750G processor alongside 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. While those specs aren’t going to blow a competitor away, they are about what you’d expect from a modern flagship device.

The display is where the 20 Pro 5G shines. TCL claims that it has better SDR-to-HDR conversion than its predecessors to create crisp, colorful images. It also supports HDR10.

On the back, there are four cameras that sit flush with the phone. A 48-megapixel lens does the majority of the work and is supported by a 16-megapixel ultra-wide, a 5-megapixel macro, and a 2-megapixel depth lens.

The 20 Pro 5G has a sizeable 4,500 mAh battery that supports both wired and wireless charging. When TCL’s latest device ships, it will come with Android 11. The company also promises that it will receive OS upgrades for at least two years.

Rolling into the Future

While the 20 Pro 5G is promising as the device of the present, TCL also unveiled an intriguing design that it calls the Fold ‘n’ Roll. As the name suggests, the device features mechanisms that both fold and roll the screen, allowing it to take several forms.

The device starts out as a regular 6.87-inch smartphone, then expands into a “phablet,” and eventually maxes out as a 10-inch tablet.

Its design is certainly one of the most unique in the smartphone world.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how TCL plans to bring the device into production. Consumers aren’t exactly vying for a device that turns into a tablet—especially dues to the limitations of today’s tech.

TCL’s Fold ‘n’ Roll prototype is about 1.5 times thicker than a regular smartphone. That bulk just isn’t worth the extra features in the eyes of most smartphone users.

Although the tech has a way to go, it could be interesting in the future. Keep an eye on this as TCL continues its aggressive device rollout. No pun intended.


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