TCL Stylus 5G overview: A strong sub-$300 stylus telephone


professionals and cons


  • Succesful stylus expertise
  • Reasonably priced worth
  • Top quality, vibrant show
  • Engaging, well-built design
  • Good sounding stereo audio system

  • Acceptable digicam outcomes
  • Restricted RAM
  • Passive stylus, no palm rejection

When LG was nonetheless within the smartphone market, consumers might decide up a Stylo mannequin at cheap costs. Motorola provides a Moto G Stylus machine, and now we now have the brand new TCL Stylus 5G to fill the hole left by LG. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely is the brand new Galaxy Be aware with a beginning worth of $1,075, however you could not need to pay greater than 4 instances the price of a TCL Stylus 5G for that final expertise.

TCL has a number of good inexpensive choices within the sub-$450 sector and has demonstrated good success within the US market with its personal branded smartphones. The TCL Stylus 5G is presently out there from Metro by T-Cell for $269.99 and from T-Cell for $258. Not like telephones up to now at this worth level, the TCL Stylus 5G is a strong possibility with good assist from TCL.

At this low worth level, there are clearly some trade-offs within the specs and efficiency. TCL is providing a reasonably inventory Android expertise with a well-integrated stylus that helps you seize notes, navigate across the telephone, and convert the handwritten script into textual content.


Processor MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G
Show 6.81-inch, 2460 x 1080 pixels decision LCD (395 ppi)
Working system Android 12
Storage 128GB inside storage with microSD card
Cameras 50MP primary, 5MP tremendous large with 114.9 field-of-view, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth sensor. 13MP front-facing digicam.
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC, FM radio
Sensors Accelerometer, Aspect Fingerprint Sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Gentle Sensor, Gyro Barometer
Battery 4000 mAh non-removable with 18W quick cost
LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 25, 26, 41, 66, 71
5G bands N66, N25, N41, N77 Sub6
Dimensions 169.6 x 76.7 x 8.98 mm and 213g
Shade Lunar Black


The TCL Stylus 5G vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely

Matthew Miller/ZDNet


  • Huge show, strong audio system
  • Succesful stylus
  • 4 rear cameras

TCL is thought for its show expertise and continues incorporating NXTVISION expertise into its smartphones. The TCL Stylus 5G has a big 6.81-inch show with a 90.2% screen-to-body ratio. A central gap punch front-facing digicam is current, with a viewable show showing across the opening. There is no such thing as a opening within the entrance panel for the digicam, so a full floor is on the market for interactions. The show is an LCD panel, but it surely appears to be like nice, and I’ve loved a number of films taking part in on the massive panel.

Talking of films, there are two audio system so to get pleasure from films in panorama orientation with a bottom-firing speaker and the headset speaker taking part in the audio. I might watch films comfortably with out headphones, however there’s additionally an ordinary 3.5mm audio port on the underside of the telephone.


The stylus secures within the silo with magnets

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

A USB-C port, microphone, and backside speaker are additionally positioned alongside the underside edge. The stylus silo can also be positioned within the backside proper nook of the telephone. A microphone is discovered on the high of the telephone. The SIM card/microSD card tray is positioned on the higher left aspect, with the ability and quantity buttons on the proper aspect. The facility button additionally serves because the fingerprint sensor, so it’s fast and simple to unlock the telephone along with your thumb when held in your proper hand. I personally choose aspect fingerprint sensors over those discovered beneath the show.

Additionally: The 5 greatest low cost telephones: Flagship options for beneath $450

The stylus is effectively designed with good size, heft, and really feel within the hand. Nevertheless, it really works greatest if you wouldn’t have another a part of your hand or fingers touching the show. Nothing will seem beneath the stylus when your hand is resting on the show. You should utilize your finger in the identical method because the stylus, so it’s actually extra of a finger that has a finer tip on the top. The vast majority of the time, my hand was not touching the show, so I loved the stylus expertise. Nevertheless, I’ve bigger arms and longer fingers than many individuals, and once I use a stylus on a telephone, I not often contact the telephone with another a part of my hand.


The 4 cameras assist a good seize expertise

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The sides of the telephone all have a textured floor that can assist you grip the telephone. The again has a matte black end too. The 4 cameras are present in a vertical line alongside the left higher portion of the again with a LED flash close to the underside digicam lens. The cameras aid you seize respectable pictures which are good for sharing on social media or with mates, however they will not beat out flagship telephone cameras which are priced 4 instances as a lot. 

Additionally: Greatest digicam telephones

That mentioned, you may shoot pictures, movies, portrait pictures, panoramics, slow-motion movies, gentle hint, tremendous macro, excessive pixel, and guide mode pictures so your outcomes are extremely depending on lighting situations and your capacity to seize good pictures. There is no such thing as a evening mode current, so low gentle pictures are clearly a problem.


The buttons are effectively designed with trendy textured edges

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The telephone has a 4,000 mAh battery that has confirmed to final me a full day of ordinary utilization. As a productivity-focused telephone, I used to be anticipating 4,500 mAh or extra, given what we see in different TCL smartphones. The TCL Stylus 5G additionally has 4GB of RAM, which has been enough for most traditional duties, however the telephone might battle a bit when gaming or pushing the boundaries with a number of functions open and in use.

Software program

  • Android 12 out of the field
  • Few customized TCL utilities
  • Stylus software program

The TCL Stylus 5G is without doubt one of the first TCL telephones to launch with Android 12 and TCL UI model 4.x. The March 5 2022 Android safety replace is current on the overview machine. TCL acknowledged that this telephone will likely be upgraded to Android 13 and obtain two years of safety updates.

TCL’s UI provides a reasonably inventory Android expertise with many of the TCL customization discovered within the app launcher, pull-down shade, and settings targeted on TCL’s show applied sciences. The app launcher helps sorting by title, utilization, set up, and icon colour (that is a brand new one). The drop-down shade will be personalized along with your favourite controls whereas additionally having an assortment of small and huge tiles to select from. Inside the settings, we discover particular choices for the NXTVISION show expertise, stylus choices, and extra.

There are only a couple of apps put in on the telephone, such because the Gallery, FM radio, Nebo for TCL, MyScript Calculator 2, Messaging, and NXTVISION utility, that facilitate utilizing options discovered on the telephone. The 2 stylus-focused apps are highly effective, and the handwriting recognition in Nebo is quite gorgeous. My poor handwriting was rapidly acknowledged with a excessive proportion of accuracy.


While you take away the stylus, these choices seem

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

While you take away the stylus from the silo, an overlay show seems with choices for Nebo for TCL, MyScript Calculator 2, write a be aware, screenshot doodle, e-signature, magnifying window, GIF maker, and split-screen. These are all fairly self-explanatory capabilities, and there’s no strategy to customise or reorder the looks of those utilities. I get pleasure from sending customized GIF messages to my spouse, having a window to view textual content, so I do not want my studying glasses, and writing notes.

For those who take away the stylus with the show off, then a notes app seems so to write notes with out turning on the telephone.

The Google Feed is on the market as a far-left dwelling display panel. All the opposite anticipated Google Android capabilities are current on the telephone too.

Additionally: The most effective Android telephones

Every day utilization experiences

  • Stylus note-taking is nice
  • Locked to T-Cell
  • Cheap telephone, respectable efficiency

I have been a Galaxy Be aware person because the Be aware 3 and revel in utilizing a stylus for fast notes and for navigating across the telephone, so I wouldn’t have to make use of my finger to scroll or sort. The TCL Stylus 5G stunned me with its capacity to assist note-taking with the show turned off. Merely slide out the stylus and begin scratching your newest ideas simply. By the best way, the magnet contained in the silo is kind of robust, and as you progress the stylus into the silo, the magnet sucks it as much as safe it within the telephone.

The Nebo for TCL software program is extra highly effective than I anticipated, with glorious handwritten-to-text conversion expertise. It is good to see cloud backup choices, however I would favor to see assist for present note-taking apps like OneNote, Evernote, or others. The MyScript Calculator 2 app can also be fairly slick, but it surely does have a reasonably restricted variety of supported operators, so it isn’t going to assist me resolve differential equations or engineering calculations which are too superior.

The TCL Stylus 5G is presently locked to T-Cell, but it surely does assist Sub6 5G networks and has confirmed to do effectively with connecting to the native 5G towers. Telephone calls sounded good and wi-fi efficiency has been strong. It isn’t clear if the telephone will likely be launched with different wi-fi carriers or as an unlocked mannequin sooner or later.

TCL acknowledged that the Stylus 5G will get upgraded to Android 13 and likewise obtain two years of Android safety updates. This can be a good degree of assist for a telephone that prices lower than $300. The aspect fingerprint sensor has labored reliably, and you too can use face unlock for much less safe processes.

Backside line

General, the TCL Stylus 5G is a telephone worthy of consideration if you’re in search of an inexpensive telephone with stylus assist so long as you may function it with out resting your hand on the show. It wasn’t an actual challenge for me as I have a tendency to make use of the stylus on all of my telephones with out resting my hand on the show. The TCL Stylus 5G provides a strong expertise at a reasonably low worth.

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