TCL could be a new player in foldable and 5G phones, according to leaked roadmap

Expect more foldable and 5G devices next year.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming
Eli Blumenthal
2 min read

TCL shows off several foldable prototypes that use its new DragonHinge at MWC 2019.

Shara Tibken/CNET

Ready for more 5G and  foldable phones ? Whether you are or not, more companies seem set to join Samsung and Huawei next year. 

In a set of tweets Monday, noted leaker Evan Blass shared images of TCL's upcoming T1 phone as well as a leaked roadmap depicting the Chinese company's phone plans through much of 2020. 


The TCL T1. 

Evan Blass

According to the leaks, TCL is set to announce the new T1 next month at the IFA show in Berlin. The device appears to be a pretty standard midrange phone for 2019. Specs include a 6.53-inch full HD+ display with a cutout for a front-facing 24-megapixel camera, a  Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. 

Three rear cameras are present: a 48-megapixel shooter, a 16-megapixel lens and a 2-megapixel lens that may be a depth sensor. One rear sensor is said to be designed for low light, while another is listed as having a 123-degree field of view for ultra-wide shots. 

USB-C, a rear fingerprint sensor and 3,820-mAh battery with fast charging are also present. Android 9 Pie runs the show, with an apparent upgrade to Q coming as well. 


TCL's roadmap for 2020 phones includes 5G devices and a foldable. 

Evan Blass

The T1 looks to be the new main product range for TCL, with the company's roadmap showing off plans for a T1 Pro early next year that will have an "Edge AMOLED" display and four cameras. A T1 5G with dual cameras and a T1 Pro 5G with an AMOLED display and quad-cameras are due for some time in the second quarter of the year. 

A foldable TCL phone, listed on the roadmap as the Flextab, is listed to arrive in the third quarter of the year. Earlier this year a TCL executive told CNET that the company planned to launch its first foldable in 2020, with the leaked roadmap seemingly confirming that issues delaying the first batch of foldables, like Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Huawei's Mate X, haven't moved TCL off of its plans.

Watch this: Our Galaxy Fold didn't break. Here's what's good and bad

The Flextab listed appears to be a phone that unfolds into a tablet, which is just one of the many foldable ideas the company was working on.  

Best known for its Roku TVs, TCL already sells phones in the US through its Alcatel and BlackBerry brands. The new devices, however, appear to use the company's own name. It's not clear in which countries they'll be sold.

TCL declined to comment. 

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