Outside of the TV market, TCL isn’t a very well-recognized company. Many find themselves surprised to learn that it develops and produces a significant number of smartphones under names like Blackberry, Alcatel, and Thomson. TCL has decided that it wants people’s eyes on its own brand going forward. At IFA, the company announced the first phone to bear its name, the TCL Plex. Surprising capable hardware coupled with a low price (around $365 in Europe) could help it stand out among the plethora of other mid-range phones – if TCL manages to advertise its product effectively.

The back looks clean and understated.

The Plex is clad in glass front and back, surrounded by a metal frame. While there is a rather big ‘chin’ at the bottom of the display, it forgoes a notch in favor of a round camera cut-out on the top left it calls “dotch.” On the rear, three camera lenses are neatly arranged in a horizontal line, flanked by two flashes. The fingerprint sensor sits right underneath in an easily reachable spot. Just like many Motorola and LG phones, the TCL Plex has a dedicated side button that allows you to quickly invoke Google Assistant. You can also reprogram it to other functions, like TCL’s SDR to HDR display mode.

Holding the phone in my hands, it feels sturdy, heavy, and just all-around well-built. It’s pretty big, though it’s not nearly as unwieldy as the OnePlus 7 Pro or the Samsung Note10+ (just like those two, however, it’s a fingerprint magnet). The Plex comes in two colors, black and white

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