The Pro 10 was released earlier this month, along with a cheaper model, the 10L. It appears to be priced somewhat on the high side, with an RRP of $749. For that price, one can buy an OPPO Find Lite, a 5G device that is future-proof.
With these two devices, TCL is entering what is a saturated market: Australia has more mobile devices than people. That means the Pro 10 would have to prove attractive enough to a customer to induce that individual to take a gamble on a new device.
That is a tough ask. But TCL obviously would not enter a market blindly; the company has done very well for itself with its TVs both in the US and Down Under. Hence, one cannot dismiss the newcomer out of hand.
Close-ups come out very good.
But plastering its logo on the back of the plastic case that comes with the phone - in huge letters too - is not the best way to gain friends.
The Pro 10 has a Qualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675 (11 nm), an octa-core CPU (2x2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver) and the GPU is an Adreno 612.
There is plenty of storage space (128GB) and adequate memory (6GB). The company says it will offer security updates for two years; the Pro 10 comes with Android 10 and there is a promise to upgrade to Android 11 during the lifetime of the device.
The device has four rear cameras and the one that bears mention is the macro camera (5 MP, f/2.2) which takes excellent close-ups. A couple are included in this review.
The rear cameras are positioned neatly in a line and the pictures taken range from average to good. Selfies are clear, and work pretty well even in dim light.
As with many Chinese-made phones, the Pro 10 has a headphone jack. The single speaker does not produce sound that should be listened on its own, but with a decent pair of headphones, it is more than passable.
The manufacturer claims that the device will charge to 50% battery capacity in 35 minutes and this holds up in actual use.
The Pro 10 does not have facial recognition and the fingerprint recognition isn't the best on the block. But then one has to remember that this is a first effort and doubtless we will see much improved technology in the next iteration.
There are some nice touches, with a single command to close all open applications showing up when more than one is open. The shade of red chosen for the TCL logo when the phone boots up is extremely tasteful.
The TCL 10 Pro has been on sale at JB Hi-Fi and online at Officeworks (the 10L will also be available at Officeworks physical stores) from 10 August onwards, at a price of $749.
The device comes in two colours, Ember Gray and Forest Mist.