TCL provides value with the 40 XE 5G

Often when running this hobby here of mine of reviewing devices and accessories, I tend to get wrapped up in being surrounded by sometimes the 'best of the best', and you get caught up in that chase for 'everything'.

For the most part this blog tends to be followed by folks like me who are wanting the most amazing experience and pushing every last MHz out there as we use these devices a LOT.

But, I have to remember that people like me, and probably people like you reading this, are probably the minority.  

For the majority, most people are just using their devices in a basic sense.  I'm always amazed when I meet people who didn't know their phone could do this, or could do that.  They aren't pushing their device to the maximum, so getting something that's not 'top end', is unrecognizable from a top end one.

The upside of the less than top end model is that you're really going to save you some cash.  For someone who's not a 'me' this is going to be an option of choice.

Today's option of choice for those individuals is from TCL with their TCL 40 XE 5G.

This $320 phone (available on Bell, Virgin, Videotron) can be yours with the following stats

6.56" (1612x720 @ 90Hz)

MediaTek Dimensity 700, MT6833 (2.2GHz x2, 2.0GHz x6)

  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • 13MP +2MP(Macro) + 2MP(Depth)
  • 8MP (selfie)
  • 5000mAh
  • Headphone jack

Let's take it out of the box

When you look at the specs, folks like me go 'meh'.  4GB of RAM seems low... no Qi... and those Megapixels, seems so low.

But, really, for many people they are not pushing the limits of their device with dozens of Chrome tabs open, cycling between dozens of apps, etc...  

For most, 4GB of RAM will most likely handle all that they need.

No Qi charging, not that big a problem when you've got quite a large battery.  5000mAh is big enough for most flag ship devices to last a full day - so to run a device with a bit slower than a flagship processor, a screen that has less resolution than a flagship (display can be a big battery drainer), this thing should last a long time, espeically if you're someone like my parents who use their phone so infrequently (compareed to a user like me).

The display is just 'High Definition", not even 1080, but most wouldn't notice the difference - I do, but I'm always using a QuadHD display, so I can see the difference - but in showing it to some of my older folks, they didn't see a difference (from the same people who never saw a difference when I got the first HD TV.  The fact that it comes in at 90Hz actually makes it feel pretty fluid to help with that sense of the the display.

In terms of performance, sure, it wasn't the fastest device I've used - and if I played a game and swapped over to the camera, and then loaded up some browser tabs it was a little slower on the switch.

The thing that is a little hard to get over on with the device is the fact that it feels on the cheaper end.  

The back case is plastic and it feels like plastic - like the old Galaxy S3, if you remember that far back, but with a textile feel to it.

The screen itself, is glass, but still feels plastic.

Overall, for $320 outright, it's going to be that great device where either it's for someone who isn't looking for a powerhouse - or if you're looking for just something as a backup while travelling.  For the price it's really easy to make that decision.