TCL Plex Review: Hands on

First impressions

The TCL Plex may seem a bit silly, but it seems to be of great value if you are looking for a capable mid-ranger for only $ 329.

key specifications

  • Test price: £ TBC
  • 6.53-inch display with FHD + resolution
  • 48MP main camera
  • 6 GB RAM
  • Snapdragon 675
  • 3820mAh battery

TCL, the Chinese company behind Blackberry and Alcatel, has finally launched a private label smartphone outside its home country at IFA 2019. Here is our first look at the TCL Plex.

From the triple-lens camera with a special night-time lens to this surprisingly high-quality design, the TCL Plex has a lot to offer. Let’s take a look at how TCL is trying to compete with a seriously crowded market segment.

TCL Plex price and release date

The TCL Plex will be available on first release in a few regions, including parts of Europe. However, no exact date was given. We are still waiting for more accurate prices, as we only have the price of $ 329.

TCL Plex Design and Display – A display with great potential and some HDR tricks

While your color choices are limited to white and black and there is not much of a splash of color in sight, the TCL Plex still has an attractive finish. This glossy finish features a funky S-Curve pattern that pops out of you anytime you catch light. This is an effect that we have already seen in models similar to Realme 3 Pro and which gives a pleasant character.

In the middle of this shiny tail is a small square fingerprint sensor. At first, I was a little worried about the size, which makes finding it difficult. Luckily I did not have such problems in my practical time.

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TCL Plex

On the other hand, the 6.53-inch Nxtvision display is another highlight of Plex. The Full HD + resolution offers surprisingly sharp images in view of the size of this handset, while the screen practically fills the front edge.

The only disruption is a tiny pinhole camera that TCL unfortunately referred to as “Dotch”. We hope that this special joy does not arrive.

Standard HDR formats are not supported, although the phone seems to be able to scale up SDR content to bring the contrast and colors close to HDR. Just do not expect to stream dedicated HDR content from Netflix providers. As for the audio, the speaker seems to have a punch and there is an audio jack and Bluetooth 5 support.

TCL Plex Review: Hands on 1

TCL Plex Software and Specifications – Mid-range internals with lots of RAM

Android Pie has been equipped with the TCL user interface, which changes the appearance significantly. This irritating peculiarity of leaving the app drawer is fully effective, although the widgets page (similar to the OxygenOS shelf) is a nice addition. There is the one-handed mode, which proves to be indispensable in view of these animal dimensions. You even get a dedicated Google Assistant key for quick access without barking the usual “OK Google” command.

Performance is provided by a Snapdragon 675 chipset with a generous 6GB of RAM. Apps appear to load quickly and run smoothly, though we’ll have to wait and see if the TCL Plex can handle games.

At least the 3820 mAh battery should, if you’re lucky, keep you running for a full day, while Quick Charge 3.0 support is fast charging.

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TCL Plex

In addition, you have special resource management tools to clear the phone memory and to toggle apps that drain the juice.

TCL Plex Camera – Another 48 megapixel camera in a medium-range phone

One of the most intriguing features is the three-lens reversing camera, which is presented in an unusual horizontal arrangement. The 48MP 1: 1.8 primary lens uses a Sony IMX582 sensor with the option to capture full-resolution photos. You can also switch to the secondary 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens at any time to get a retracted 123-degree view simply by tapping a screen icon.

TCL Plex

However, it is the 2 megapixel night vision lens that is the most intriguing feature of this camera setup. The sensor has extremely large pixels to capture more light and lighten the image, ideal for moody twilight shots. I had no chance to test this in my hands-on session because the booth was too well lit.

If you are not sure which lens is best for the situation, do not worry. In three-lens mode, you can see the view of all three shooters at once, so you do not have to switch between them. In the meantime, the Plex has all the usual camera features such as portrait and manual control. You also get a super-slow motion mode with 960 frames per second to complement the standard Full HD video recording.

The Dotch is equipped with a 24 megapixel 1: 2.0 lens, which allows the most important selfie shots.

TCL Plex – Early Judgment

The TCL Plex may seem a bit silly, but it seems to be of great value if you are looking for a capable mid-ranger for only $ 329.

A “hands-on review” is just our first taste of a product – it’s not a complete test and judgment. Our author must have spent some time with the product to get a first impression of how it is used. We call these “hands on reviews” to make them visible in the search. However, these are always unweighted and give no recommendations.
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