The year's first phones are a pair of 5G-capable mid-range devices.
TCL beat its phone rivals to CES 2022 on Tuesday by announcing the first of its 30-series phones. Both promise 5G connectivity at affordable prices and will be more widely available to consumers than previous phones from the brand.
The TCL 30 V 5G and TCL XE 5G will be available to US consumers starting as early as February. The company hasn't announced prices, but given the brand's phones haven't sold for more than $500, don't expect the new models to be any more expensive.
While Samsung's S21 FE, also announced during the Las Vegas event, sets the bar for the year's priciest top-tier devices, TCL's phones set a different standard by showing what consumers with more modest budgets will be able to pick up in 2022.
The TCL 30 V 5G is the slightly more upscale of the two phones announced at CES 2022, with a Snapdragon 480 chip supporting 5G networks, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, a 6.67-inch Full HD Plus display, 50MP main camera and a 4,500mAh battery. Verizon will sell the phone exclusively, and it will connect to that carrier's mmWave and sub-6 5G network.
The TCL XE 5G will be a bit less powerful, with a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset that supports sub-6 5G networks only, 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage, a 6.52-inch HD Plus display, 13MP main camera and the same 4,500mAh battery. It will likely be priced closer to the budget market and be available from T-Mobile and US Cellular.
The TCL 30 V 5G and the TCL XE 5G are just two of the few phones we expect to see at CES 2022. The tech show isn't known for phone debuts -- many more will be unveiled on the stages of Mobile World Congress in February -- but a few brands, like TCL, choose to get ahead of the crowd by teasing a few phones at the beginning of the year.
That's where TCL will reveal the other six phones in its 30-series lineup at MWC, which will vary in capability and availability, though the company hasn't released any details about the other devices. But the TCL 30 V 5G and the TCL XE 5G give us an idea of what's in store for all the phones coming in 2022.