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TCL Stylus 5G evaluate: A strong sub-$300 stylus cellphone


  • Succesful stylus expertise
  • Reasonably priced worth
  • Prime quality, vibrant show
  • Engaging, well-built design
  • Good sounding stereo audio system


  • Acceptable digital camera outcomes
  • Restricted RAM
  • Passive stylus, no palm rejection

When LG was nonetheless within the smartphone market, consumers may choose up a Stylo mannequin at cheap costs. Motorola affords a Moto G Stylus system, and now we’ve the brand new TCL Stylus 5G to fill the hole left by LG. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely is the brand new Galaxy Observe with a beginning worth of $1,075, however you might not need to pay greater than 4 instances the price of a TCL Stylus 5G for that final expertise.

TCL has just a few good reasonably priced choices within the sub-$450 sector and has demonstrated good success within the US market with its personal branded smartphones. The TCL Stylus 5G is at present out there from Metro by T-Cell for $269.99 and from T-Cell for $258. In contrast to telephones prior to now at this worth level, the TCL Stylus 5G is a strong possibility with good assist from TCL.

At this low worth level, there are clearly some trade-offs within the specs and efficiency. TCL is providing a reasonably inventory Android expertise with a well-integrated stylus that helps you seize notes, navigate across the cellphone, and convert the handwritten script into textual content.


Processor MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G
Show 6.81-inch, 2460 x 1080 pixels decision LCD (395 ppi)
Working system Android 12
Storage 128GB inside storage with microSD card
Cameras 50MP major, 5MP tremendous large with 114.9 field-of-view, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth sensor. 13MP front-facing digital camera.
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC, FM radio
Sensors Accelerometer, Facet Fingerprint Sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Mild Sensor, Gyro Barometer
Battery 4000 mAh non-removable with 18W quick cost
LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 25, 26, 41, 66, 71
5G bands N66, N25, N41, N77 Sub6
Dimensions 169.6 x 76.7 x 8.98 mm and 213g
Shade Lunar Black


The TCL Stylus 5G vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely

Matthew Miller/ZDNet


  • Massive show, strong audio system
  • Succesful stylus
  • 4 rear cameras

TCL is understood for its show know-how and continues incorporating NXTVISION know-how into its smartphones. The TCL Stylus 5G has a big 6.81-inch show with a 90.2% screen-to-body ratio. A central gap punch front-facing digital camera is current, with a viewable show showing across the opening. There isn’t a opening within the entrance panel for the digital camera, so a full floor is obtainable for interactions. The show is an LCD panel, nevertheless it appears to be like nice, and I’ve loved just a few motion pictures taking part in on the big panel.

Talking of flicks, there are two audio system with the intention to get pleasure from motion pictures in panorama orientation with a bottom-firing speaker and the headset speaker taking part in the audio. I may watch motion pictures comfortably with out headphones, however there may be additionally a typical 3.5mm audio port on the underside of the cellphone.


The stylus secures within the silo with magnets

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

A USB-C port, microphone, and backside speaker are additionally positioned alongside the underside edge. The stylus silo can be positioned within the backside proper nook of the cellphone. A microphone is discovered on the prime of the cellphone. The SIM card/microSD card tray is positioned on the higher left aspect, with the ability and quantity buttons on the best aspect. The ability button additionally serves because the fingerprint sensor, so it’s fast and simple to unlock the cellphone along with your thumb when held in your proper hand. I personally want aspect fingerprint sensors over those discovered beneath the show.

Additionally: The 5 greatest low-cost telephones: Flagship options for beneath $450

The stylus is properly designed with good size, heft, and really feel within the hand. Nonetheless, it really works greatest whenever you would not have another a part of your hand or fingers touching the show. Nothing will seem beneath the stylus when your hand is resting on the show. You should use your finger in the identical method because the stylus, so it’s actually extra of a finger that has a finer tip on the tip. Nearly all of the time, my hand was not touching the show, so I loved the stylus expertise. Nonetheless, I’ve bigger arms and longer fingers than many individuals, and once I use a stylus on a cellphone, I hardly ever contact the cellphone with another a part of my hand.


The 4 cameras assist an honest seize expertise

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The perimeters of the cellphone all have a textured floor that will help you grip the cellphone. The again has a matte black end too. The 4 cameras are present in a vertical line alongside the left higher portion of the again with a LED flash close to the underside digital camera lens. The cameras enable you seize first rate images which are good for sharing on social media or with associates, however they will not beat out flagship cellphone cameras which are priced 4 instances as a lot. 

Additionally: Finest digital camera telephones

That stated, you’ll be able to shoot images, movies, portrait pictures, panoramics, slow-motion movies, gentle hint, tremendous macro, excessive pixel, and guide mode images so your outcomes are extremely depending on lighting circumstances and your means to seize good images. There isn’t a night time mode current, so low gentle pictures are clearly a problem.


The buttons are properly designed with trendy textured edges

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The cellphone has a 4,000 mAh battery that has confirmed to final me a full day of ordinary utilization. As a productivity-focused cellphone, I used to be anticipating 4,500 mAh or extra, given what we see in different TCL smartphones. The TCL Stylus 5G additionally has 4GB of RAM, which has been enough for most traditional duties, however the cellphone could wrestle a bit when gaming or pushing the boundaries with a number of purposes open and in use.

Software program

  • Android 12 out of the field
  • Few customized TCL utilities
  • Stylus software program

The TCL Stylus 5G is without doubt one of the first TCL telephones to launch with Android 12 and TCL UI model 4.x. The March 5 2022 Android safety replace is current on the evaluate system. TCL acknowledged that this cellphone shall be upgraded to Android 13 and obtain two years of safety updates.

TCL’s UI affords a reasonably inventory Android expertise with a lot of the TCL customization discovered within the app launcher, pull-down shade, and settings centered on TCL’s show applied sciences. The app launcher helps sorting by title, utilization, set up, and icon coloration (that is a brand new one). The drop-down shade might be personalized along with your favourite controls whereas additionally having an assortment of small and enormous tiles to select from. Throughout the settings, we discover particular choices for the NXTVISION show know-how, stylus choices, and extra.

There are only a couple of apps put in on the cellphone, such because the Gallery, FM radio, Nebo for TCL, MyScript Calculator 2, Messaging, and NXTVISION utility, that facilitate utilizing options discovered on the cellphone. The 2 stylus-focused apps are highly effective, and the handwriting recognition in Nebo is fairly gorgeous. My poor handwriting was rapidly acknowledged with a excessive share of accuracy.


Once you take away the stylus, these choices seem

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Once you take away the stylus from the silo, an overlay show seems with choices for Nebo for TCL, MyScript Calculator 2, write a observe, screenshot doodle, e-signature, magnifying window, GIF maker, and split-screen. These are all fairly self-explanatory features, and there’s no method to customise or reorder the looks of those utilities. I get pleasure from sending customized GIF messages to my spouse, having a window to view textual content, so I do not want my studying glasses, and writing notes.

Should you take away the stylus with the show off, then a notes app seems with the intention to write notes with out turning on the cellphone.

The Google Feed is obtainable as a far-left house display screen panel. All the opposite anticipated Google Android features are current on the cellphone too.

Additionally: The most effective Android telephones

Each day utilization experiences

  • Stylus note-taking is nice
  • Locked to T-Cell
  • Cheap cellphone, first rate efficiency

I have been a Galaxy Observe person for the reason that Observe 3 and luxuriate in utilizing a stylus for fast notes and for navigating across the cellphone, so I would not have to make use of my finger to scroll or sort. The TCL Stylus 5G shocked me with its means to assist note-taking with the show turned off. Merely slide out the stylus and begin scratching your newest ideas simply. By the best way, the magnet contained in the silo is kind of sturdy, and as you progress the stylus into the silo, the magnet sucks it as much as safe it within the cellphone.

The Nebo for TCL software program is extra highly effective than I anticipated, with glorious handwritten-to-text conversion know-how. It is good to see cloud backup choices, however I would like to see assist for current note-taking apps like OneNote, Evernote, or others. The MyScript Calculator 2 app can be fairly slick, nevertheless it does have a reasonably restricted variety of supported operators, so it’s not going to assist me clear up differential equations or engineering calculations which are too superior.

The TCL Stylus 5G is at present locked to T-Cell, nevertheless it does assist Sub6 5G networks and has confirmed to do properly with connecting to the native 5G towers. Telephone calls sounded good and wi-fi efficiency has been strong. It is not clear if the cellphone shall be launched with different wi-fi carriers or as an unlocked mannequin sooner or later.

TCL acknowledged that the Stylus 5G will get upgraded to Android 13 and likewise obtain two years of Android safety updates. It is a good degree of assist for a cellphone that prices lower than $300. The aspect fingerprint sensor has labored reliably, and you can even use face unlock for much less safe processes.

Backside line

Total, the TCL Stylus 5G is a cellphone worthy of consideration in case you are searching for an reasonably priced cellphone with stylus assist so long as you’ll be able to function it with out resting your hand on the show. It wasn’t an actual problem for me as I have a tendency to make use of the stylus on all of my telephones with out resting my hand on the show. The TCL Stylus 5G affords a strong expertise at a reasonably low worth.

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