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Can't afford a Galaxy S10? Get a TCL 10 Pro, the prettiest new phone at CES

The triple-camera TCL 10 Pro is so arresting, it's easy to forget how affordable it is.

The TCL Pro 10 will arrive later this year.
Angela Lang/CNET

Like with so many products here at CES, I had been briefed on the TCL 10 Pro before ever setting eyes on it. But it didn't click until I saw it for myself in person: This is the prettiest new phone I've seen in a long time. And it would also make a perfect Galaxy S10 clone, at least from the front, but it'll set you back much less -- under $500 compared to the $800 and up for the Galaxy. TCL made the screen panel in-house, and it's the screen that immediately grabbed me: Saturated, ultracrisp AMOLED, and framed by two curved sides. One look, and it was the only phone in the room.

TCL may not be a familiar phone brand to you. Better known for making really good, affordable TVs, this is same brand behind Alcatel phones, and it licenses the BlackBerry brand name. At a time when phone prices are at an all-time high, TCL vows to bring quality specs to the $500 neighborhood.

There's no exact pricing or release date yet for the TCL 10 Pro and its ilk, which also includes the TCL 10 5G for under $500. TCL says it'll unveil more specifics, like the phone's camera details, battery capacity and other internal specs, at Mobile World Congress in late February. TCL even has an event date in mind: Feb. 22. 

Here's what we do know about the phone. It has four rear cameras, including a 64-megapixel main shooter and dual flash. There's a headphone jack and a USB-C port, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor runs the show. 

These are typical specs for a midrange device in 2020, but it remains the design that's uncommonly arresting. Flip it over, and you'll find a satin glass backing that feels ultrasmooth and repels fingerprint gunk, and a rich emerald or gray color that catches the light.

From the design side alone, the TCL 10 Pro blows Samsung's budget Galaxy Note 10 Lite and Galaxy S10 Lite out of the water. It's proof positive that TCL is serious about making a name for itself in the midrange space. The TCL 10 Pro will come to the US and Canada, in addition to other countries around the world.

Now playing: Watch this: TCL 10 Pro is a gorgeous Galaxy S10 clone for $500

Originally published earlier this week.