TCL fully details six new affordable phones at MWC while teasing a seventh with an even lower price

TCL fully details six new affordable phones at MWC while teasing a seventh with an even lower price
Did you know that TCL is the number five smartphone vendor in the US as of the end of 2023? Believe it or not, the Chinese brand was at one point virtually tied with Google in the fourth spot, but as Motorola became more and more successful in the low-end segment, TCL's overall market share dropped to a microscopic 1 percent in the final three months of last year.

Still, the company is not ready to throw in the towel just yet, instead aiming to expand its presence in the US budget-friendly landscape like never before over the next few months while also bringing a couple of very competitively priced new Android mid-rangers to the EMEA region and "potentially" other markets.

The lineup's NXTPAPER heroes are coming in Q3

If the TCL 50 Series happens to sound familiar, then you might have caught its initial announcement back at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January. But now it's late February, which means that the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is in full swing, and it's time to know more about devices like the TCL 50 XL NXTPAPER 5G and TCL 50 XE NXTPAPER 5G.

As their (overly complicated) names make crystal clear right off the bat, the key selling point of these two upcoming handsets is TCL's proprietary NXTPAPER display technology. This is something we didn't quite expect to see integrated on such ultra-affordable products already, enhancing visual comfort and reducing strain on the eyes with innovative anti-glare properties designed to replicate the experience of reading on paper.

Set to cost "under $229" in North America, the TCL 50 XL NXTPAPER 5G complements its jumbo-sized 6.78-inch screen with FHD+ resolution and silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate capabilities while packing an undoubtedly reasonably powerful MediaTek 23E+ processor and a decidedly massive 5,010mAh battery equipped with 18W charging support. 

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The 50 + 5 + 2MP triple rear-facing camera system is not too shabby for that price point either, and the same goes for the slightly humbler 50 + 5MP dual shooter setup on the back of the TCL 50 XE NXTPAPER 5G. This is priced at "under $199" with a smaller and overall less impressive 6.6-inch HD+ panel only capable of 90Hz refresh rate in tow, as well as the same chipset and battery under the hood and somehow faster 33W charging technology.

Given their fancy screens and 5G speeds, these two certainly look like solid candidates for the title of best budget phone available in 2024... but unfortunately, you'll have to wait until sometime during the year's third quarter to order them from TCL's official US website in unlocked variants.

The rest of the TCL 50 family is even cheaper

What do you get when you take the sophisticated NXTPAPER display technology out of the equation? A "regular" TCL 50 XL 5G with a price point of "under $169", 90Hz refresh rate capabilities, and pretty much everything else unchanged headed to Metro by T-Mobile in Q2.

Then you've got the "under $149" TCL 50 XE 5G with a MediaTek Dimensity 6100+ processor and all of the other specs of its NXTPAPER-branded sibling coming to North America "beginning" in Q3 2024.

The €149.99 TCL 50 5G and TCL 50 SE, meanwhile, are slated for EMEA availability in Q2 and "potentially more markets" down the line with fairly decent spec sheets of their own that we have no intention of detailing here so as not to flood you with too many numbers that you don't really need to know at this point.

Perhaps for that very same reason, TCL itself is not yet ready to share the features and capabilities of the 50 LE handset, which is vaguely scheduled to arrive "later this year" at what sounds like a truly unbeatable price of "around $99." What's clear is the company has big goals for 2024 when it comes to challenging Motorola and Samsung's affordable smartphone sales figures. 

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