TCL's new 20 Series phones may have the best displays in the budget category

TCL 20 5G
TCL 20 5G (Image credit: TCL)

What you need to know

  • During CES 2021, TCL launched two new affordable smartphones, the TCL 20 5G and TCL 20 SE.
  • Both phones feature TCL's NXTVISION 2.0 display tech, which improves blue light filtering, contrast and color accuracy, and ambient light adjustment.
  • TCL will launch three other phones as part of the 20 Series later in Q1 2021.

After seeing success with its debut smartphone launch last year, TCL is updating its lineup of affordable handsets with the 20 Series announced at CES 2021, starting with the TCL 20 5G and the TCL 20 SE. Like the 10 Series before it, the 20 Series brings impressive performance and hardware down to a price point that's competitive with options like the newly refreshed Moto G line.

Launching later this January, both of these phones feature the company's updated NXTVISION 2.0 display technology, which aims to further reduce eye strain through options like improved blue light filtering and ambient light adjustment, and powers TCL's SDR-to-HDR video conversion. TCL says it will offer differing levels of NXTVISION support in each of its 20 Series devices; the 20 5G and 20 SE are just two of five new devices launching within the series throughout 2021.

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CategoryTCL 20 5GTCL 20 SE
Operating SystemAndroid 10Android 11
Display6.67 inches, 20:9 aspect ratio, 2400x1080 resolution6.82 inches, 20.5:9, 1640x720 resolution
ProcessorSnapdragon 690 5GSnapdragon 460
Memory128/256GB, 6GB RAM64/128GB, 4GB RAM
Expandable StorageYesYes
Rear Camera48MP, ƒ/1.8 + 8MP, ƒ/2.2 (wide-angle) + 2MP, ƒ/2.4 (macro)48MP, ƒ/2.0 + 5MP, ƒ/2.2 (wide-angle) + 2MP, ƒ/2.4 (macro) + 2MP, ƒ/2.4 (depth)
Front Camera8MP, ƒ/2.013MP, ƒ/2.2
Dimensions166.2 x 76.8 x 9.1mm, 206g177 x 77.1 x 9.1mm, 206g
ColorsMist Gray, Placid BlueNuit Black, Aurora Green

The TCL 20 5G is the company's most affordable 5G phone yet, launching later in January for €299 (though no U.S. pricing or availability has been offered at this time). In an effort to reduce power consumption, it features TCL's Smart5G technology, which automatically switches between 4G and 5G based on network speeds and usage.

If you're ambivalent towards 5G, the LTE-capable TCL 20 SE is even more affordable at €149, with a significant focus on entertainment and media consumption. It sports a larger 6.82-inch display with a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, as well as a dual speaker design for a surround-sound effect that's harder to accidentally block with your hands.

To take better advantage of the large display, the 20 SE features a Smart Floating Window feature in the software, allowing users to open an app like the web browser in a floating window above other tasks. Like the 20 5G, the TCL 20 SE will be available in select markets later this January.

Both of TCL's newly announced phones will also be part of the company's Multi-Screen Collaboration program, which makes use of wireless technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC to enable drag-and-drop file transfer functionality across devices like phones, tablets, and Windows computers, as well as windowed phone mirroring on larger screens including TVs. TCL says it will offer more information on this program later this year.

Hayato Huseman

Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.