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TCL 20S
TCL 20S
TCL 20S
TCL 20S
...


7.3/10
Informr score
The TCL 20S currently has an Informr score of 7.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 10 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

Unless 5G access is essential, the TCL 20S, with its crisp screen and the long battery life, might be just the budget-friendly phone you need.

What's good

  • Extremely long battery life
  • Beautiful display
  • Good performance

What's bad

  • Mediocre speakers
  • Disappointing low-light photography
  • Not a good choice for high-end gaming or 4K

Finding a phone that does a little bit of everything well is rare when it comes to budget phones. They almost always have one or two significant weaknesses. But the TCL 20S claims to have struck the perfect balance. What’s there and what’s missing? Let’s find out.

Design

The TCL 20S is on the larger side of mid-range phones. It’s hefty, but not overly so. The power button is extra wide and further down on the side of the phone as it doubles as the fingerprint scanner.

Reviewers said the fingerprint sensor was wicked fast during testing. The phone’s rear cameras are arranged in a vertical line down the upper left side. A dedicated Google Assistant button on the opposite side of the phone that reviewers wished was re-programmable worked well nonetheless.

Display

Screens are a strong point on most TCL phones. The TCL 20S’ 6.67-inch Full HD LCD panel is no exception. Reviewers stated it was as clear and detailed as some of the top phones out there. While there’s a notch for the selfie camera, it’s not distracting or intrusive, a problem that reviewers argued TCL faced on previous phones.

The refresh rate was the only shortcoming. As more phones shift to 90Hz (or higher) displays, the phone’s 60Hz panel is unfortunate.

Performance

This phone has the same specs one might expect from a mid-range budget phone with a slightly lesser chipset than those in the higher tier options. However, reviewers said that performance was still perfect for anything the average user might need. Netflix, social media and even some gaming worked just fine.

Software & Storage

The TCL 20S ships with Android 11. TCL has added a few screen adjustment features but leaves Android mostly stock. There’s a 128GB model with 4GB of RAM and a 256GB version with 6GB of RAM. Both have expandable storage with MicroSD card slots.

Cameras

Reviewers stated that the cameras were adequate but not exceptional. In particular, the night mode for photography was really disappointing. Blotchy, pixelated and unclear images took what could’ve been considered a really decent set of cameras down to just being mediocre.

Battery Life

Battery life is where the TCL 20S comes out on top. Having a larger battery isn’t that big of a deal for higher-priced phones but is relatively rare still for budget-minded models.

Reviewers stated the phone would easily get a good solid full day out of a single charge before needing to hunt down a power source. The included charger isn’t the fastest, though.

Audio

While phone speakers only get so good, reviewers found audio quality on the TCL 20 particularly disappointing. Along with non-existent bass and odd default equalization, many reviewers complained about a constant faint buzz. Thankfully, the phone comes with a headphone jack.

Specs at a Glance

  • Plastic chassis
  • 6.67-inch FHD LCD panel
  • Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665 processor
  • 4 or 6GB of RAM
  • Android 11
  • 128 or 256GB of storage with expandable MicroSD slot
  • 64MP camera
  • 5,000mAh battery

Bottom Line

The TCL 20S does a pretty good job of ticking all of the boxes for the average phone. There are some instances where it falls short, like the buzzing speakers and the less-than-stellar performance with heavy games.

However, when it comes to watching Netflix, using social media, and all the little tasks you probably bounce between on your phone throughout the day, it does well enough to be a compelling reason to consider budget-friendly phones over their pricier competition.

Tech Radar says, “The TCL 20S is an impressive budget phone for its price, with a crisp Full HD Plus display, decent camera suite, big 5,000mAh battery, and other features that are more in line with a mid-range handset. While nothing particularly stands out about the phone (besides the display), it isn’t lacking in any category either, making it a strong all-rounder.”

PC Magazine states, “As long as you don’t need 5G, the TCL 20S is a powerful budget phone with an immersive display, excellent speakers, and a long-lasting battery.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2 GHz
Screen Size
6.67"
Camera
64+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


The Verge

I can’t really think of a higher quality budget phone in the $250 range that can beat the TCL 20S. It’s got all the hallmarks of a more expensive device but with a more affordable price tag. Its vibrant 6.67-inch 1080p display doesn’t look out of place next to other flagship phones, and it feels lux...

- Gloria Sin, The Verge
TechRadar

The TCL 20S is an impressive budget phone for its price, with a crisp Full HD Plus display, decent camera suite, big 5,000mAh battery, and other features that are more in line with a mid-range handset. While nothing particularly stands out about the phone (besides the display), it isn’t lacking in a...

- David Lumb, TechRadar
Phandroid

Aside from the display, design, and battery life, there’s really not too much else to write home about. The TCL 20S is a solid performer and is a pretty solid competitor for under $250.

- Andrew, Phandroid
ZDNet

The TCL 20S is one of the better $250 phones you can find today and if I was looking for a phone in this price range I would pay the extra $60 to purchase this one over the TCL 20SE. The 20SE has several compromises that are resolved in the 20S and I think over the life of the phone people will be h...

- Matthew Miller, ZDNet
XDA Developers

The TCL 20S has too many flaws to overcome a competitive field at the $250-300 price point for Android phones. On top of the issues I’ve outlined thus far, the phone also lacks an IP rating for dust and water resistance. You can find 5G in both the Samsung A32 5G and OnePlus Nord N200 5G, both of wh...

- Jeff Springer, XDA Developers


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


TCL 20S prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. TCL's suggested retail price is $249.99. You can compare 20S prices from around the web here on The Informr.


TCL backs up the 20S with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your 20S has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact TCL support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find TCL's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
6.67"

The TCL 20S's screen size is 6.67 inches with 1080 x 2400 pixels resolution.

Processor
2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm) Octa-core 2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 11 operating system (OS).

Camera
64+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 64+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 16+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
128 GB

Internal memory is 128 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 1024 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
5000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 5000 mAh battery. TCL's performance ratings are 2100 minutes.

TCL 20S Specs

Overview
Release Date May 6, 2021
Regions Available USA, Canada
Operating System Android 11

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm) Octa-core 2 GHz
Internal Storage 128 GB
RAM 4 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Unknown
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headset, Carrying case, Data Cable
Cellular
Networks
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM Yes
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
GPS Type A-GPS
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency (LL), LDAC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 1024 GB)
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
64+ Megapixels, f/1.8
Zoom
2x optical, 10x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-portrait, Self-timer, 2nd camera feature (8 MP, F/2.2, Ultrawide), 3rd camera feature (2 MP, F/2.4, Macro), 4th camera feature (2 MP, F/2.4, Depth), HDR, Slow-Mo Video Mode, Stop-Motion Video Mode, Super Macro Mode, Wide-Angle Mode, Google Lens, in-recording snapshots, Light Trace Mode, low-light video
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
16+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Panorama, Aperture F2.2, Face detection, Face Beautification, HDR, LCD flash, Portrait Mode
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels
Pixel Density 395 pixels
Size 6.67 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen, Scratch resistant
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 5000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Cellular) Unknown
Talk Time Up to 2100 minutes
Standby Time Up to 21.96 days
Mixed Usage No
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Material Plastic
Colors Milky Way Gray, North Star Blue
Dimensions [H x W x D] 16.62 x 7.69 x 0.91 cm (6.5 x 3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 199 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Input / Keyboard Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
More
Additional Information -
Additional Comments Other Names (AKA): TCL T773O

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