Skip to main content

We’ve never seen a phone with a screen like this before

TCL 40 NXTPAPER LTE only and 5G budget smartphones with ePaper-like color display.

All efforts to relieve eye strain and fatigue from excessive phone usage have been directed through two distinct routes. Brands that refuse to compromise a display’s colors and brightness have added measures to tame vibrant colors through blue light filters or monochrome modes. Meanwhile, those making devices primarily for reading have opted for paper-like displays.

Both approaches have inescapable pros and cons, but TCL is now taking the middle route, being the first brand to offer a smartphone display that is as fluid as an LCD or OLED, but also as lulling as electronic paper or e-paper screens.

TCL’s budget smartphones in the 40 series feature its proprietary “NXTPAPER” display technology, previously seen on some of its tablets and laptops. Designed to alleviate eye strain from continuous phone usage, the “e-paper-like” color display comes with an antireflective layer over a standard LCD and results in a bright and useful screen that is not arduous to look at, especially in lowlight. The display is mated to a sensor that automatically adjusts the warmth of the colors based on the ambiance and the time of the day. A bunch of software options can dial down the colors further, allowing you to read on the phone for longer.

Besides the unique display, the TCL 40 NXTPAPER series phones strictly cater to the midrange buyer. Here’s what each of them has to offer.


TCL 40 NXTPAPER LTE only smartphone with ePaper like color display.

The first of the two phones is the TCL 40 NXTPAPER, a 4G-only phone with a 6.78-inch Full HD+ display. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio G88 chipset and 8GB of RAM. You get 256GB of storage that can be expanded up to 2TB with a microSD card.

A 50MP primary camera on the back is complemented by a 5MP ultrawide-angle lens and a 2MP macro camera. On the front, you get a 32MP selfie camera inside a hole-punch cutout.

A 5,000mAh battery drives the TCL 40 NXTPAPER, which can be replenished with a 33-watt fast charger included in the box. The phone also gets dual speakers, along with HD audio tuning by DTS.


TCL 40 NXTPAPER 5G budget smartphones with ePaper like color display.

Besides the LTE-only variant, the TCL 40 NXTPAPER also gets a 5G model that doesn’t have much in common with the other model. The 5G variant is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 700, along with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, which can be expanded up to 1TB using microSD. It gets a less vibrant 6.6-inch HD+ display with a teardrop notch that houses an 8MP camera.

Like the 4G model, the TCL 40 NXTPAPER 5G gets 50MP primary and 2MP macro cameras. Instead of the ultrawide-angle feature, however, it gets a 2MP depth sensor, which the phone could have done well without.

The 5G variant gets a similarly powerful battery, with a 5,010mAh rating, but without any fast charging. It supports a peak charging speed of 15W, but TCL only supplies a 10W charger in the box.

Both phones have Android 13 with a guaranteed update to Android 14 — but not beyond. Both also offer NFC support and are equipped with side-facing fingerprint scanners.

Coming to Europe first

TCL will first launch the 40 NXTPAPER smartphones in Europe, starting with the LTE model arriving in September for 199 euros ($215). The 5G variant will join it in October for 249 euros ($270).

The company hasn’t yet confirmed any plans to release the two phones in the U.S., but says they will be available in more global markets over the coming months.

Tushar Mehta
Tushar has a passion for consumer tech and likes to tinker with smartphones, laptops, wearables, smart home devices, and…
It’s official — the Pixel Fold has something we’ve never seen before
Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian open in hand showing exterior.

Google is doing what no other foldable smartphone maker has done before. The company has tapped iFixit to sell genuine repair parts for the Google Pixel Fold, with all the official repair guides in tow. It’s a great move, but the situation with foldables makes it a risky ambition, too.

From an average foldable phone enthusiast’s perspective, it is an unprecedented strategy. It suggests that Google has enough confidence in the simplicity and robustness of its Pixel Fold engineering that it would let an average customer repair it at their home.

Read more
This foldable phone has something I’ve never seen before
A person holding the Vivo X Fold 2.

Are you, like me, frustrated by the tiny fingerprint sensors in the power key that are standard on big-screen folding smartphones? They do the job, but only just.

Well, I’ve seen the future, and it’s a vast improvement. The Vivo X Fold 2 has not one, but two in-display fingerprint sensors. They’re excellent, and now I want to see them on every foldable.
The problem with a sensor in the power button

Read more
Motorola’s newest phone has something we’ve never seen before
Motorola Edge 40 being put into a pocket.

Motorola is on a roll, having now announced the Motorola Edge 40 smartphone on the back of the Motorola Edge+ (2023) and the Motorola Edge 40 Pro.

Don’t bother looking into Motorola’s naming style too deeply, though, as all you need to know is the Edge 40 series is for the U.K. and various other regions, while the Edge+ (2023) is for the U.S. It means the Edge 40 seen here may arrive at a later date in the U.S., but be called something else.

Read more