TCL kicked off 2022 by announcing two new smartphones for the US market – the TCL 30XE 5G and the TCL 30 V 5G. While the latter has been on sale for a few weeks as a Verizon exclusive, it’s only now that TCL has revealed its plans for the 30XE 5G. Today, the company announced that the TCL 30XE 5G will be available to US consumers starting February 25, 2022. The phone is available through T-Mobile and its subsidiary Metro By T-Mobile for roughly the same price.
TCL 30XE 5G
The TCL 30XE 5G clarifies its midrange intentions with specs that include a powerful MediaTek processor, high refresh rate display, and quad rear cameras. This is a fairly large phone with a 6.52-inch display that supports 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, and HDR. To reduce costs, TCL has chosen not to equip the phone with an FHD+ panel, so you have to settle for an HD+ panel (1600 x 720 pixels) with a V-shaped notch for the front camera.
The system-on-chip referred to here is the The MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip which is less than a year old and was first found in use on the Realme 8 5G, launched last April. It’s a reasonably efficient chip based on a 7nm manufacturing process and is more than capable of handling day-to-day tasks without breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, the phone comes with just 64GB of internal storage (of which only 43GB is usable) with no mention of a 128GB option. Fortunately, you have the option of inserting a microSD card and expanding the capacity from storage at 512 GB.
The three rear-facing cameras of the TCL 30XE 5G include a 13 MP main camera and two 2 MP sensors that act as depth and macro sensors. The main camera does the heavy lifting. TCL also added an LED flash for those occasional low-light shots. For selfies, the front camera gets an 8MP sensor. Video recording using the front and rear cameras reaches 1080p 30 frames per second (fps).
For such a big phone, we expected the TCL 30XE 5G to come with a bigger battery than the 4,500mAh unit that TCL decided to go with. The phone comes with an 18-watt charger that takes just over 2.5 hours for a 0-100% charge. The phone’s biometric authentication features include a rear panel-mounted fingerprint scanner and support for face unlock. The 5G-capable phone supports T-Mobile 5G and can also fall back to LTE (and 3G) networks when needed. However, the spec sheet does not mention support for 5G mmWave. The TCL 30XE 5G will launch with a near-stock version of Android 11, with an update to Android 12 likely in the future.
Price and availability
You can buy the TCL 30XE 5G starting February 25, 2022. The phone will arrive first on T-Mobile and Metro By T-Mobile, followed by a wider launch on other networks. The phone is priced just below the $200 mark. T-Mobile users can get the phone for $198, while Metro By T-Mobile users will have to shell out a bit more ($200) for the phone. As of now, the phone only seems to be available in one color variant called Shadow Black.