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TCL’s five new phones flesh out its budget lineup

CES 2022 saw TCL announce two budget handsets for the U.S. market — the TCL 30 XE 5G and the 30 V 5G. These devices are already on sale and are priced well under the $300 mark. Not content having announced just two budget smartphones this year, TCL seems to be taking Mobile World Congress 2022 as an opportunity to expand its range of affordable smartphones further, this time for Europe and select other markets.

This is why the company, on the sidelines of the 2022 MWC, launched a bunch of affordable smartphones — all priced below $300. The handsets announced today are part of TCL’s affordable 30 series and include five models: The TCL 30, TCL 30 5G, TCL 30+, TCL 30 SE, and the TCL 30 E.

A quick glance at the spec sheet of all five devices reveals that the TCL 30 5G, TCL 30+, and TCL 30 are basically the same phones that not only share the same design but have near-identical hardware. It’s a similar story with the TCL 30 SE and the TCL 30, with these two phones sharing stuff from the same parts bin. We’ll highlight the key differences between these smartphones in the sections below.

TCL 30 5G, 30+ and TCL 30

The front and rear design of the TCL 30 5G smartphone

The TCL 30 5G, TCL 30+, and TCL 30 share the same design and most of the same hardware specs. However, being the only 5G-capable device of the lot, the TCL 30 5G gets the MediaTek Dimensity 700 system on a chip, as opposed to the MediaTek Helio G37 chipset found on the other two phones. Specs common to all three handsets include:

  • 6.7-inch, 60Hz AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution
  • A 5,010 mAh battery that supports 18-watt fast charging
  • 50MP primary, 2MP depth, and macro cameras
  • Android 12 with TCL UI
  • Dual-SIM support (one variant of the TCL 50 5G comes in a single SIM variant)

The TCL 30 5G and the 30+ get 128GB of onboard storage as opposed to 64GB for the TCL 30. Curiously, the spec sheet also talks about one specific variant of the TCL 30 5G that only gets 64GB storage. It remains unclear where TCL intends to launch this variant. While the TCL 30 5G and TCL 30+ get a 13MP camera for selfies, the front-facing camera on the TCL 30 uses an 8MP sensor.

TCL 30 SE and TCL 30 E

The various color options of the TCL 30 SE smartphone.

Positioned below the other three handsets discussed above, the TCL 30 SE and the TCL 30 E share many common features between them. They include:

  • 6.52-inch HD+ display
  • A 5,000 mAh battery with a 10W charger
  • 50MP main camera, 2MP depth camera
  • MediaTek Helio G25 processor
  • MicroSD card support
  • Dual SIM card support

As for the differences, the pricier of the two phones — the TCL 30 SE — gets a variant that offers 128GB of internal storage. This phone also gets an additional 2MP sensor for macro shots, which is missing on the TCL 30 E. As opposed to the 8MP front camera on the TCL 30 SE, the TCL 30 E gets by with a 5MP sensor. The TCL 30 SE is also available in an additional color variant compared to the 30 E, which gets only two color options.

Pricing and availability

All five smartphones announced today are Europe-bound, with a global launch likely in the months to come. The TCL 30 5G is the priciest of the lot at 249 euros ($280). The TCL 30+ will set you back by 199 euros ($225), while the TCL 30 will retail for 179 euros ($200). As for the TCL 30 SE and the TCL 30E, these devices will cost you 149 euros ($167) and 139 euros ($156), respectively. Except for the TCL 30 5G and the TCL 30E, all other handsets go on sale in Europe today. It is unclear at this time if these five handsets will make it to the U.S.

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Rahul Srinivas
Rahul is a smartphone buff turned tech journalist who has been tinkering with all things mobile since the early 2000s. He has…
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