TCL’s foray into the affordable Android phone market has been pretty impressive. Best known for making TVs and monitors, the Chinese electronics company is tirelessly trying to break into the US smartphone market with a range of different phones, tablets and even audio accessories.
With that in mind, we have the TCL 30 5G, a budget-friendly Android phone with interesting hardware at a lower price point than most mainstream smartphone brands. We’ve got it here with us and we’ll take a look at what it offers – let’s get started!
TCL 30 5G specifications
- Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
- Resolution: 1080 × 2400 pixels
- Processor: MediaTek Dimension 700
- Memory: 4GB
- Memory: 64/128GB memory
- Battery: 5010mAh with 18W charging support
- Cameras: 50 MP main sensor, 2 MP macro, 2 MP depth, 13 MP front
- Software: Android 12 with TCL UI
design and display
The TCL 30 5G features a large 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a maximum brightness of 650 nits. The screen is bright and responsive, and I had no trouble navigating the interface. Colors look good thanks to the AMOLED display, with decent saturation and strong contrast. One thing to note, though, is that the display comes with a notch-and-chin combo, although that shouldn’t be too surprising given the price.
As for the build quality, the phone is made of plastic except for the glass display. This makes it light and handy despite the large frame. The power button on the right has an integrated fingerprint scanner, and there’s also room for a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
Overall though, the phone has a nice design and there’s an interesting gradient pattern on the back that adds a bit of personality compared to some of the boring budget plates currently on the market.
Internals, software and performance
The TCL 30 5G doesn’t exactly hide its “budget” origins – the phone is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, paired with a rather basic 4GB of RAM and a choice of either 64 or 128GB of internal storage. In 2022, 4GB is very limiting, and since other competing smartphones in this price range sometimes come with 6GB of RAM, it would have been nice to see the TCL 30 5G with a bit more storage.
As such, this isn’t a phone you use for gaming or other intensive apps. The TCL 30 5G is designed for moderate users – people who are perfectly happy with a smartphone they can use for calls, messaging and the occasional social media binge. A Genshin Impact machine, this is not.
The phone also comes with Android 12 overlaid with TCL UI, a proprietary interface similar to Samsung with One UI and Xiaomi with MIUI. It’s far from what you would get on a pixel or Nokia device for example, although there are some customization options, many of which you won’t find on a “cleaner” version of Android. However, it should be said that the interface is heavily skinned and comes with a few pre-installed apps, but if that’s not a problem for you then the usability shouldn’t be a problem.
A particular strength of the phone is the large 5,010 mAh battery, which should last a long time for casual users considering the basic specifications. Of course, more frequent use requires more frequent charging, and the 18W charging speed isn’t particularly fast in that regard. In general, however, the battery capacity should be enough to last maybe a day or two.
In terms of camera performance, the TCL 30 5G can produce photos of a similar quality to most budget smartphones. Most photos will be fine, although the quality is nothing special. The phone has a similar setup to most budget phones, consisting of a 50MP main sensor, 2MP macro, 2MP depth and 13MP front camera, with video recorded at 1080p resolution at 30 fps maximum. Personally, I would have preferred a dual rear camera setup with the main shooter and ultra-wide lens, but then again, the main talking point of this smartphone is its “budget price.”
That’s not to say the image quality is downright bad – you can get some good shots provided you have the right lighting conditions and careful photo composition.
In conclusion, the TCL 30 5G does a few things right – it has a large battery, a nice-looking display, and a design that can rival other budget phones. The low price makes it an attractive option, especially for people looking for a budget Android device. Some things to consider are the moderately performing cameras as well as the tiny amount of RAM. There’s also the issue of heavily skinned Android UI, but that’s often a very subjective matter.
Again, price is an important factor, and budget phone status is something to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to get this handset. Of course, there are countless other options, e.g. There are entries from Samsung and Nokia, for example, but if you’re really looking for a TCL handset that won’t hit the wallet too hard then you might want to check out the TCL 30 5G.
TCL30 5G Valuation: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_emptystar_empty (3 / 5)
- AMOLED display looks good
- Large and powerful battery
- Affordable compared to most cell phones out there
- Unfortunately, 4 GB of RAM is not enough
- The camera performance is not outstanding