Chinese TV maker TCL Electronics launched a low-cost smartphone on Thursday in a bet that it can harness its expertise in screens to win over consumers who are increasingly watching video on mobile devices. Called the TCL Plex, it offers a 6.5-inch full-HD+ display that uses the company's proprietary Nxtvision technology with 6-axis colour enhancement. It also sports a triple rear camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary sensor. TCL expects video to account for 80% of mobile data traffic by 2022, creating an opening to put smartphones at the centre of its existing range of connected devices that includes smart TVs, and bluetooth speakers and headphones.
"The moment is right for TCL," said the company's global head of marketing Stefan Streit. He also showed off a test version of a smartphone with a folding screen, signalling TCL's intent to challenge global leader Samsung Electronics, whose $2,000 Galaxy Fold goes on sale in Korea on Friday. The TCL smartphone launch comes in a saturated market that faces headwinds from the US-China trade conflict. Still, analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight rated the move as "a strong sign of its intention to grab share in the smartphone markets".
TCL Plex price, availability
it is priced at EUR 329 (roughly Rs. 26,000), putting it firmly in the affordable bracket. It will be available in Obsidian Black and Opal White colour variants, and will go on sale from Q4 2019 in select markets in Europe. Pre-orders will open soon.
TCL Plex specifications
The TCL Plex will be available in both single-SIM and dual-SIM models. It runs Android Pie with the TCL UI on top, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC with 6G of RAM. It features a 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1080x2340 pixels) display, and comes with 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB).
The triple rear camera setup of the TCL Plex features a 48-megapixel primary Sony IMX582 sensor (f/1.8 aperture, 0.8-microns pixel size, 79-degree field of view), 16-megapixel secondary Samsung S5K3P9 sensor (f/2.4 aperture, 1-micron pixels, 123-degree field of view), and a 2-megapixel OmniVision OV02K sensor (f/1.8 aperture, 2.9-micron pixels, 77-degree field of view). It comes with a 24-megapixel front camera with an f/2.0 aperture, 0.9-micron pixels, and a 78.2 degree field of view. It's powered by a 3,820mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0. It sports a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel.