TCL shows off five new cheap phones with huge batteries and impressive cameras

TCL 30 series
(Image credit: TCL)

One of the first brands to show off new smartphones at annual smartphone conference MWC 2022 is TCL, which has debuted not one, not two, but five new cheap phones from its numbered series.

This is the TCL 30 series, and it's not even the entirety of it, because we saw the first two members in January and it's likely that even more are on the way soon. These phones are all pretty similar, but most have distinctive features that make them stand out from one another. 

This isn't the only tech that TCL showed off at MWC, either - in fact, it's been showering us with gadgets, like a selection of tablets, audio devices and smart glasses. However, most of these, like the Nxtwear Air smart glasses or Nxtpaper E-Ink tablet, we've actually seen shown off at tech shows before.

But you're here for the smartphones, so let's jump into them now.

What are these TCL phones like?

These are five very, very similar smartphones, and each was clearly built off the same template with just a few tweaks here and there. You can see the full specs below.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
TCL 30 series specs
PhoneScreenRear camerasFront-facing cameraRAM / ROMBattery and chargingChipsetFingerprint scannerConnectivity
TCL 306.7-inch FHD+ 60Hz50MP main, 2MP macro, 2MP depth8MP4GB / 64GB (expandable up to 1TB)5,010mAh, 18WMediaTek Helio G37Side-mounted4G
TCL 30 Plus6.7-inch FHD+ 60Hz50MP main, 2MP macro, 2MP depth13MP4GB / 128GB (expandable up to 1TB)5,010mAh, 18WMediaTek Helio G37Side-mounted4G
TCL 30 5G6.7-inch FHD+ 60Hz50MP main, 2MP macro, 2MP depth13MP4GB / 64GB (expandable up to 1TB)5,010mAh, 18WMediaTek Dimensity 700Side-mounted5G
TCL 30 E6.52-inch HD+ 60Hz50MP main, 2MP depth5MP3GB / 64GB (expandable up to 512GBB)5,000mAh, ?WMediaTek Helio G25Rear-mounted4G
TCL 30 SE6.52-inch HD+ 60Hz50MP main, 2MP macro, 2MP depth8MP4GB / 128GB (expandable up to 512GB)5,010mAh, 15WMediaTek Helio G25Rear-mounted4G

The phones don't look hugely different either, as the picture at the top of this article will no doubt suggest.

Things to highlight about these phones include the fact that they all have pretty giant batteries, and all use 50MP main cameras with a pretty wide sensor size - this will likely make them great for low-light photography.

One thing to note is that we don't have regional prices for now, so we don't know how much each will cost or, more importantly, how they stack up against each other. 

Saying that, it seems that the TCL 30 E is the lowest-end model, and either the 30 Plus or 30 5G will end up as the priciest one.

You probably won't have to make the hard decision of choosing just one of these to buy, though; we'd expect that only a choice few of this line will come out in each region, depending on the market. TCL sells its phones in most regions around the world, including the US, Australia and Europe, so there's a good chance you'll be able to get your hands on at least one.

  • MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting on the show all week. Follow our MWC 2022 live blog for the very latest news as it happens and visit our dedicated MWC 2022 hub for a round-up of the biggest announcements.
Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.