TCL shows off new 20 Series phones plus tablets, wearable headset and a pet tracker at CES 2021

TVs aren't the only thing coming out of TCL at CES.

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 and console gaming,
Eli Blumenthal
5 min read
TCL 20 5G

The TCL S20 5G is one of many new devices coming out of the Chinese electronics giant. 


TCL makes a lot more than just TVs  and at CES it is once again showcasing just how many other products it develops. Beyond introducing an upgraded 6-Series line of televisions that will feature 8K resolution and a jumbo-sized 85-inch "XL Collection", the Chinese company on Monday introduced new phones , tablets and earbuds. It also is showing off a new wearable headset and even a pet tracker. 

On the phone side, the company is following up last year's 10 Series with a new line of phones it calls the 20 Series. There will be at least five phones in the 20 Series, two of which will support 5G . At CES the company showed off a couple of the devices, the TCL 20 5G and an affordable 4G LTE-only model called the TCL 20 SE.

The 20 5G features a 6.67-inch Ful HD Plus display and features the second generation of TCL's NXTVision display tech that is supposed to boost color accuracy, better convert content into HDR and a new "AI visual enhancement technology," or an algorithm that TCL says "intelligently detects your environment's lighting" and "automatically enhance brightness, color accuracy, clarity and contrast." A Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 chipset and 6GB of RAM powers the device, which also has three rear cameras anchored by a 48-megapixel main shooter with an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens and 2-megapixel macro camera. An 8-megapixel camera is located on the front. 


The TCL 20 SE. 


The 20 SE, meanwhile, has a 6.82-inch display with NXTVision, albeit at a lower resolution than the 20 5G. A cheaper device, it lacks 5G support and runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 460 chipset with 4GB of RAM. There are four rear cameras: a 48-megapixel main shooter to go with 5-megapixel wide-angle, 2-megapixel macro and 2-megapixel depth lenses.

The 20 5G is already available in Italy for 299 euros and will be "rolled out across multiple countries next month." The 20 SE will run 149 euros and be available "this month" in "multiple countries." TCL wouldn't disclose if the phones will be coming to the US, but a company spokesman did tell CNET that "multiple 20 Series devices" will be coming to the US with more information coming "in the next few weeks."

New tablets, including one to rival e-ink


TCL's Tab 10S. 


Beyond the new phones, TCL is also adding two new tablets to its line: the TCL Tab 10S and TCL NXTPaper. The former is a more traditional Android 10 tablet with a 10.1-inch Full HD Plus screen, eight-core MediaTek processor, 8000 mAh battery and comes with a stylus -- called the T-Pen -- in the box. A POGO pin connector allows for easily connecting additional accessories, including a keyboard type cover which will be available separately. 

It will be available starting in March starting at 199 euros for the Wi-Fi model or 249 euros for the 4G LTE/Wi-Fi version. A US launch has not been confirmed. 

TCL NXTPaper tablet

TCL's NXTPaper looks like a regular Android tablet but it actually features a new, unique display. 


The more interesting tablet of the two, however, is the NXTPaper. Taking advantage of a "highly reflective IPS screen" the full HD resolution 8.88-inch tablet doesn't have a backlight and instead relies on natural or ambient light to illuminate its color display. TCL says the new screen "provides 25 percent higher contrast than most e-ink tablets," and because it is not e-ink, it should be able to handle regular tablet tasks including playing videos with "no blue light or flicker." 

Other specs on the Android 10 tablet include an eight-core MediaTek processor with 4GB and 64GB of storage (the latter expandable up to 256GB with a microSD card), IP52-rated water and dust resistance and a 5400 mAh that TCL says provides "over a full day of use." Also present are an 8-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera, a POGO connector around the back as well as 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity. 

The NXTPaper will be available in April for 349 euros in Europe, the Middle East/Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific regions. Like the Tab 10S, a US launch has not been confirmed. 

A new wearable display


TCL's new Wearable Display.


TCL has been teasing its Project Archery headset for a few years and in 2021 it seems set to finally release it. Called the TCL Wearable Display, the new sunglasses-like headset is a follow up to the original concept and isn't a VR or AR pair of specs. Instead, it is designed to provide a personal movie theater-like experience thanks to dual 1080p Full HD micro OLED displays. 

Playback is delivered over a USB-C connection to a phone, tablet or PC with TCL saying that once connected the device will allow you to "watch movies, play games and more from at home, on the road, or anywhere else." 

No pricing was released though Stefan Streit, TCL's general manager of global marketing, tells CNET the company is working on a bundle of one of its phones, the headset and a subscription to a streaming service. The company says the headset will arrive in the US. 

New earbuds... and a pet tracker


TCL's MoveAudio S600.


Rounding out TCL's busy day is a new pair of connected devices: wireless earbuds it calls the MoveAudio S600 and a new pet tracker called MoveTrack. 

Featuring Bluetooth 5.0 and Google Fast Pair for connecting to devices, the MoveAudio buds also have what TCL calls "hybrid" active noise canceling for an "enhanced listening experience" and a transparency mode for hearing the world around you. Touch controls are in each bud for activating the noise cancelation feature, with TCL claiming eight hours of music playback on a single charge with the charging case adding an additional 32 hours. 

The buds are also IP54 rated for protection against water, sweat and dust. They will be available starting in February for 149 euros overseas, with the US price running $129.99.


TCL's MoveTrack Pet Tracker can display a QR-code to help recover lost pets. 


Those looking to keep an eye on pets may be interested in TCL's other connected device. Called the MoveTrack Pet Tracker, the new device can attach to a collar and -- through GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and "other technologies" -- help monitor and locate lost animals. When enabled the MoveTrack users can create a "designated Bluetooth coverage area up to 10 meters," with the device sending notifications if your furry friend wanders too far. 

The device can track your pet's steps and features an "e-badge QR code" to help others contact you if they find your pet. An LED on the device can be remotely activated to help find a lost buddy in the dark. 

TCL says that the device, which is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, has up to 14 days of standby time. 

The MoveTrack will launch globally "this spring" for 99 euros. TCL says it will come to the US, though no US pricing has been announced.