Mobile

The first phones launched at CES 2022 will be TCL devices coming to US carriers

The year's first phones are a pair of 5G-capable mid-range devices.

Two TCL phones, the TCL 30 V 5G and TCL XE 5G (left to right), revealed at CES 2022.
TCL

This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

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.