[Update: Likely Not 5G] TCL’s next entry in the TCL 10 series may be a 5G phone for Europe
TCL recently launched the TCL 10 series of devices in the United States for under $500. The 10 series is TCL’s second attempt at selling self-branded smartphones after the TCL Plex. Available now are the TCL 10L and TCL 10 Pro, both of which we reviewed a few weeks ago, but the company also announced the TCL 10 5G, which is poised to be one of the cheapest 5G smartphones in the U.S. when it launches later this year. Thanks to a new listing on Google’s Android Enterprise Solutions Directory, we’ve learned that there may be another new device in the TCL 10 series, the TCL 10 SE.
Earlier today, the TCL 10 SE made was added to Google’s Android Enterprise Solutions Directory. This is a list of devices that Google maintains that people can use to find out what enterprise features a particular device supports. Not every device added to this list is officially certified as an Android Enterprise Recommended device, though.
In any case, according to the filing, the TCL 10 SE has a 6.5-inch display, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and runs Android 10. It also has a fingerprint scanner and supports NFC connectivity. The filing also includes a (rather low-resolution) image which gives us a glimpse at the design of the smartphone. Based on the render, we can see that the TCL 10 SE will have a pretty thick chin at the bottom and a teardrop-shaped display notch cutout. The device shown in this render doesn’t match the TCL 10L, 10 Pro, or 10 5G, so we’re pretty certain that it’s a new device entirely. The “February 26” and “20:20” time shown on the lock screen widget suggests that TCL may have intended for this device to be shown off at MWC 2020 followed by a launch shortly after, but obviously, things haven’t gone as planned this year.
The reason we think the TCL 10 SE is headed to Europe is because of the phone’s model number, T766H_EEA. The ‘EEA’ at the end of the model stands for European Economic Area and is a common code for phone OEMs to designate devices or software builds made for Europe. As for evidence suggesting this device will support 5G connectivity, in the screenshot uploaded to Google’s Android Enterprise Solutions Directory, we can see a 5G icon in the statusbar. As this is an official render of the device from TCL, we don’t think the placement of a 5G icon is an accident, though anything is a possibility.
The design of the TCL 10 SE does seem to be very budget-oriented, so while we aren’t sure about its pricing or chipset, it could be running something like the rumored 5G Snapdragon 6-series chip (via GSMArena) or the MediaTek Dimensity 800, although no smartphones have launched with the latter chipset outside of China yet.
We reached out to TCL about this listing and a TCL spokesperson gave us the following statement: “We cannot comment on rumored or unannounced products.”
TCL may have quite an interesting device in the works if they manage to keep the price really low. 5G as a technology is here to stay, and any phone helping to democratize the technology is welcome. TCL has done a great job of that with the TCL 10 5G which will be launching for around €400 very soon.
Update 1: MediaTek Helio P22 Likely Processor
TCL may have made an error when making the render of the TCL 10 SE, as the processor listed on Google Play Console’s Device Catalog is the MediaTek Helio P22. The Helio P22’s modem does not support 5G connectivity whatsoever. Sadly, our hopes of an affordable 5G smartphone have likely been dashed.