TCL's first Stylus 5G phone is here to give Moto and Samsung a run for their money at $0 and up

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TCL's first Stylus 5G phone is here to give Moto and Samsung a run for their money at $0 and up
Based in China and at one point responsible for selling mobile devices under both the BlackBerry and Alcatel brands, TCL has been trying to become a major player in the US handset market for quite some time now. Although that's yet to happen, with Motorola having the most to gain from LG's shocking exit last year, the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in North America is far from ready to throw in the towel.

Instead, TCL is basically attempting to beat the nation's aforementioned bronze medalist at its own game... while also making it a little harder for Samsung to challenge Apple's regional supremacy.

Enter the aptly named TCL Stylus 5G, which is a budget-friendly 6.81-inch device with... a stylus and 5G support. That obviously means this thing is designed to compete directly against the Moto G Stylus 5G (2022), which happens to carry a similarly self-explanatory moniker, while undercutting the ultra-high-end Galaxy S22 Ultra by many hundreds of dollars.

TCL Stylus 5G

128GB Storage, Lunar Black, New Line Required

The TCL Stylus 5G is also slightly cheaper than T-Mobile's version of 2022's Moto G Stylus 5G, for instance, with a "regular" price of $258 attached to its name at the same industry-leading "Un-carrier." Incredibly enough, Magenta is already offering the pen-wielding TCL giant for free to anyone willing to open a new line of service (no matter the plan) and accept the $258 savings in the form of monthly bill credits applied over a period of two years.

At $0, this is clearly an undeniable and unbeatable steal, packing the same reasonably powerful MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor as the likes of Samsung's Galaxy A13 5G and A22 5G in combination with 4 gigs of RAM and a generous 128 gigs of (expandable) storage.

The 4,000mAh battery is unfortunately no match for the 5,000mAh cell found inside the Moto G Stylus 5G (2022), but the screen resolution is identical, at 2460 x 1080 pixels, and the camera specs are pretty awesome (at least on paper), with a 50MP main shooter accompanied by two different 2MP sensors and a 5MP super wide-angle lens on the back of the TCL Stylus 5G, while the front "dotch" (aka hole punch) houses a single 13MP selfie snapper.

At the end of the day, of course, it's the built-in pen that distinguishes this bad boy from (almost) all other contenders to the title of best affordable phone out there, and TCL claims to make the most of that feature with free access to AI-driven handwriting recognition service Nebo and another potentially very useful app called MyScript Calculator 2.

If you don't like free stuff, you can also buy the TCL Stylus 5G from Metro by T-Mobile for $269.99.

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