Do you want to know the new TCL Plex?
TCL is widely known for its televisions, but is now moving into a new area: a smartphone –θήκες κινητών– that will become its trademark, the TCL Plex. The company is not completely unrelated to the mobile phone market, as it has been releasing cheap Alcatel mobile phones for years, while in recent years it has undertaken the manufacture of BlackBerry devices.
But the company’s first attempt at a good mid-range smartphone is a new frontier for TCL, as it seems to want to enter an area of the smartphone market that it has not focused on so far. While the TCL Plex is a decent candidate in a crowded market, it has some unique features to stand out – including the camera. 2019 is the year of triple lenses (main, ultra-wide angle, telephoto lens), but instead of the zoom lens, the TCL phone has a slow-mo video shooter.
It’s an interesting choice – and if consumers love the phone, it’s a sign that TCL is open to experimentation instead of following the tried and tested mid-range phone type. However, users looking for a decent mid-range phone should consider the TCL Plex with Snapdragon 675 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, as well as a large 3,820mAh battery.
TCL Plex Design
We can say with confidence that the TCL Plex is more than just an upgraded version of an Alcatel phone. Considering the strong position of the company in the TV market, they promote the Plex screen as its special feature. But the rest of the design gets praise for differentiating the phone from the competition.
At the back there are three horizontally aligned lenses located below the center, with a fingerprint sensor below it.
I’m not happy that TCL did not try to place a fingerprint reader on the phone screen, but it is not a key feature for mid-range phones – and given the accuracy of similar scanners on phones like the Nokia PureView 9 when released, at least Plex has used a proven unlocking technology.
The phone has a glass back, which is a nice premium feel that separates it from the mobile package of the lowest budget. The back finishes are glossy and, at least in Opal White, a bright color gradient that looks nice – Plex is also available in Obsidian Black. There is a USB-C port at the bottom for charging and a speaker which gives us a good and clear sound.
TCL Plex Display
In terms of screen, the TCL Plex 6.53-inch LCD screen is definitely higher than some other competing phones – it’s pretty good, but in FHD + resolution (2,340 x 1,080), it’s not the most impressive we’ve seen.
The company has packed plenty of technology you would see on the side of a tv box: NXTVision for 6-axis color enhancement, sharper images with 2D edge enhancement, real-time SDR to HDR conversion for “HDR-like” visuals with enhanced contrast, color and shadows.
There are also adjustable functions that change the brightness and temperature of the screen to adjust the image according to external conditions. We did not have enough time with the phone and did not try all its features but what we saw we are quite satisfied and for this price range we can not ask for much more.
TCL has opted for a hole in the upper left corner, which extends the screen-to-body ratio to 90%, which is better than most mid-range phones.
TCL Plex Performance
The TCL Plex features the Snapdragon 675 chipset, the same processor that powers the Google Pixel 3a and Moto Z4. He is more than capable of enjoying the media, social networks and the phone not having problems with all the work you give him to do. we did not notice any slowdown in our short time with Plex.
As is usually the case with companies launching their first mobile phone, the Plex comes in only one model, with decent 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage capacity, which is expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The phone UI is a basic overlay on Android (the phone comes with Android 9 Pie). In our short time, it looked as much as quite discreet without charging the phone.
The great flex software for Plex is, unsurprisingly, the ability to control selected TCL smart TVs through pre-installed applications. This includes using the phone as a remote control and transmitting content, including standard media (videos, photos, and music).
TCL Plex camera performance
Many companies have recently started adding 3 cameras on the back and the TLC Plex does the same. The device has a main lens 48MP f / 1.8, a 16MP f / 2.4 ultra-wide lens with a field of view of 123 degrees and a f / 1.8 camera with slow motion 2MP f / 1.8 capable of recording up to 960fps in HD.
You probably will not miss the telephoto lens that usually comes in such three lens settings as we found with flagships, ultra-wide lenses offer much more utility, especially indoors or in other constraints.
The triple camera setting is also where the TCL Plex comes with one of its most unique features: in the camera app, a button on the right divides the screen into three parts, each powered by a different lens. Sure, it’s artificial, but at least you can easily compare which shooter to use – even if it’s ridiculous to include the video lens with static lenses.
The photo software is not bad but it is not a good thing, with basic features and recording speed that is definitely difficult in low light. This is not too bad for a mid-range phone, as is the case with almost all competitors in this price range … with the apparent exception of the Google Pixel 3a.
Finally, the Plex front-facing 24MP f / 2.8 camera takes good selfies, albeit at higher megapixels than expected for a low-budget phone.
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