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TCL Stylus 5G overview: A stable sub-$300 stylus telephone


  • Succesful stylus expertise
  • Inexpensive value
  • 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, patrons may decide up a Stylo mannequin at affordable costs. Motorola gives a Moto G Stylus gadget, and now we now have the brand new TCL Stylus 5G to fill the hole left by LG. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely is the brand new Galaxy Notice with a beginning value of $1,075, however it’s possible you’ll not wish to pay greater than 4 occasions 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 presently obtainable from Metro by T-Cellular for $269.99 and from T-Cellular for $258. In contrast to telephones previously at this value level, the TCL Stylus 5G is a stable possibility with good help from TCL.

At this low value 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 telephone, 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 inner storage with microSD card
Cameras 50MP principal, 5MP tremendous vast 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, Aspect 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
Colour Lunar Black


The TCL Stylus 5G vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely

Matthew Miller/ZDNet


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

TCL is thought for its show expertise and continues incorporating NXTVISION expertise 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 offered for interactions. The show is an LCD panel, however it seems nice, and I’ve loved just a few films taking part in on the big panel.

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


The stylus secures within the silo with magnets

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

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

Additionally: The 5 finest low-cost telephones: Flagship options for below $450

The stylus is properly designed with good size, heft, and really feel within the hand. Nonetheless, it really works finest if you shouldn’t have some other a part of your hand or fingers touching the show. Nothing will seem below 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. The vast majority of the time, my hand was not touching the show, so I loved the stylus expertise. Nonetheless, I’ve bigger palms and longer fingers than many individuals, and after I use a stylus on a telephone, I hardly ever contact the telephone with some other a part of my hand.


The 4 cameras help an honest seize expertise

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The perimeters of the telephone all have a textured floor that will help you grip the telephone. 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 to seize first rate pictures which can be good for sharing on social media or with pals, however they will not beat out flagship telephone cameras which can be priced 4 occasions as a lot. 

Additionally: Finest digital camera telephones

That mentioned, you possibly can shoot pictures, movies, portrait photographs, panoramics, slow-motion movies, mild hint, tremendous macro, excessive pixel, and guide mode pictures so your outcomes are extremely depending on lighting situations and your means to seize good pictures. There isn’t a night time mode current, so low mild photographs are clearly a problem.


The buttons are properly designed with fashionable textured edges

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The telephone has a 4,000 mAh battery that has confirmed to final me a full day of normal utilization. As a productivity-focused telephone, 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 satisfactory for most traditional duties, however the telephone could battle a bit when gaming or pushing the bounds with a number of functions 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 overview gadget. TCL acknowledged that this telephone might be upgraded to Android 13 and obtain two years of safety updates.

TCL’s UI gives a reasonably inventory Android expertise with many of the TCL customization discovered within the app launcher, pull-down shade, and settings targeted on TCL’s show applied sciences. The app launcher helps sorting by title, utilization, set up, and icon colour (that is a brand new one). The drop-down shade might be custom-made together 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 expertise, stylus choices, and extra.

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


Whenever you take away the stylus, these choices seem

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Whenever you take away the stylus from the silo, an overlay show seems with choices for Nebo for TCL, MyScript Calculator 2, write a notice, screenshot doodle, e-signature, magnifying window, GIF maker, and split-screen. These are all fairly self-explanatory capabilities, and there’s no technique 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 so to write notes with out turning on the telephone.

The Google Feed is offered as a far-left house display screen panel. All the opposite anticipated Google Android capabilities are current on the telephone too.

Additionally: The very best Android telephones

Day by day utilization experiences

  • Stylus note-taking is sweet
  • Locked to T-Cellular
  • Cheap telephone, first rate efficiency

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

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

The TCL Stylus 5G is presently locked to T-Cellular, however it does help Sub6 5G networks and has confirmed to do properly with connecting to the native 5G towers. Cellphone calls sounded good and wi-fi efficiency has been stable. It is not clear if the telephone might 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 help for a telephone that prices lower than $300. The facet fingerprint sensor has labored reliably, and you may as well use face unlock for much less safe processes.

Backside line

General, the TCL Stylus 5G is a telephone worthy of consideration in case you are on the lookout for an reasonably priced telephone with stylus help so long as you possibly can function it with out resting your hand on the show. It wasn’t an actual concern 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 gives a stable expertise at a reasonably low value.

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