TCL Debuts Its Affordable 30-Series Phones

Andrew Heinzman

Review Geek


The five TCL 30-series phones.

TCL

It’s been a year since TCL took over the budget phone scene with its affordable 20-series devices, and you know what that means. TCL is back at MWC 2022 with its new 30-series lineup, which includes five new, ultra-affordable handsets.

To keep you from going insane, I’m splitting these five phones into two groups. First, there’s the TCL 30, the TCL 30+, and the TCL 30 5G. These phones are all basically identical, with 6.7-inch AMOLED displays, large 5010mAh batteries, and tri-camera arrays with a 50MP main sensor, 2MP macro lens, and 2MP depth sensor.

The only real difference between these phones lies in their processors. The TCL 30 and 30+ use MediaTek Helio G37 chips, while the TCL 30 5G packs a MediaTek Dimensity 700. And of course, the TCL 30 5G is the only model in this lineup with 5G support.

The TCL 30 5G in blue and black.

TCL

The remaining two devices, the TCL 30E and 30SE, are also clones of one another. They pack 6.52-inch LCD displays, MediaTek Helio G25 chips, and 5000mAh batteries.

So, what’s the difference between these two phones? The cameras. The TCL 30SE has the same 50MP/2MP/2MP rear camera setup as the standard 30-series phones, but the TCL 30E lacks a macro lens. And while the TCL 30E has a 5MP selfie camera, the TCL 30SE uses an 8MP front-facing lens.

I’m not sure I understand TCL’s strategy here. Launching five near-identical phones is a bit odd, and man, just check out the pricing:

  • TCL 30 5G: €249
  • TCL 30+: €199
  • TCL 30: €179
  • TCL 30 SE: €149
  • TCL 30 E: €139

They all cost the same price! And if that’s not weird enough, TCL already sells the TCL 30 V and TCL 30 XE, which are nearly identical to the new 30-series phones.

There’s an Attack of the Clones joke here—Attack of the Phones? I don’t know. Either way, TCL will launch its 30-series devices in Europe this April. Global releases and pricing are still unconfirmed.

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