The landing in Europe of competitive Chinese smartphones continues. The last brand that has decided to dive into this market is TCL, a Chinese company well established in the television sector both in China and beyond the borders of this Asian country. The PLEX smartphone to which we dedicate this article is the first mobile that launches with its own brand in Europe , but, in reality, this company is no rookie in this sector. And it is not because for several years it manufactures the terminals that reach the market under the BlackBerry and Alcatel brands , has produced for Palm and is present with its own brand in other continents.
The new PLEX is a mobile phone with a mid-range price and microprocessor, but it has several features that, on paper, seem to be designed to allow you to measure yourself from you with much more expensive premium smartphones . The most striking is its screen because, as we will see a little later, it is backed by a dedicated chip that acts in a similar way to the image processors of televisions . And the other “powerful” feature of this mobile is its cameras, especially the three housed in the back of the terminal. Let’s see if these “ingredients” are enough to unravel in a market as competitive as that of the most ambitious mid-range mobiles.
Before investigating the characteristics of this new smartphone, it is worthwhile to pause to learn a little better about the current size of TCL. This company was born in China in the early 80’s and at the beginning of this decade it was already the twenty-fifth largest manufacturer of consumer electronics devices in the world. It markets mobile phones, DVD and Blu-Ray Disc players, laptops, tablets, sound bars, air conditioners and other appliances, but it is mostly known for its televisions . And also for its link with BlackBerry and Alcatel .
TCL is the brand that sells the most televisions in China, and worldwide it is placed in a very worthy second position just behind Samsung
The TCL itself has confirmed that it is currently the brand that sells the most televisions in China, and worldwide it is placed in a very deserving second position only behind Samsung. It is clear that the television market has its own idiosyncrasy, and, therefore, is very different from that of smartphones, but the scale that this company has can help us intuit the punch that in the future could also have in the sector of Mobile phones In fact, TCL has confirmed that the PLEX will be the “spearhead” of a new range of devices that will arrive in Europe during 2020 and will incorporate mobile phones with 5G connectivity and folding screens .
As we will see later, one of the distinctive features of this smartphone is its screen. It incorporates a 6.53-inch LCD panel and FHD + resolution (1,080 x 2,340 dots) that occupies, according to the TCL itself, 90% of the front of the terminal. So far there is nothing that is especially striking, but the interesting thing is that the image signal that this screen receives is previously processed by a dedicated chip that, in theory, acts in a similar way to the image processors that we can find in the TVs
Flanking this screen occupy a Snapdragon 675 microprocessor , Adreno 612 graphics logic and 6 GB of main memory. As you can see, it is a configuration very similar to that of other ambitious mid-range mobiles that we can currently find in the market. An interesting detail: the 128 GB of secondary storage can be expanded using the micro-SD card slot housed in the terminal chassis through units with a maximum capacity of 256 GB.
When it comes to cameras, this smartphone has a single front unit, but it has three rear cameras. We will investigate them later, but now it is good for us to anticipate that the main camera lately incorporates Sony’s so popular IMX582 sensor with 48 megapixels . One of the other two cameras incorporates a wide-angle lens and a 16 megapixel sensor, and the remaining camera is used only for night photography and video.
As far as sound is concerned, two interesting notes: the PLEX has a single speaker, but incorporates a 3.5 mm jack- type headphone jack. It will arrive with Android 9 Pie, but it can be updated in the future to Android 10 . And its interface is TCL UI, which is nothing other than the software layer developed by the Chinese brand to add value (we will see to what extent it is intrusive or not when we have the opportunity to try it) and differentiate itself from its competitors. Finally, it incorporates a 3,820 mAh battery compatible with Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charge technology developed by Qualcomm.