When you think of TCL, gorgeous displays probably come to mind. Truly, TCL is one of the top panel manufacturers in the world, with their TVs being amongst the most popular ones out there. The company also happens to have under its belt the Blackberry and Alcatel brands but no smartphones branded TCL. Until this year – we talked with Jason Gerdon about the change of heart, their foldable phone and 2020 plans.
TCL Plex was the talk of the town at IFA in early September. That’s because TCL managed to manufacture a gorgeous flagship phone, with 3 cameras, a beautiful display with their own proprietary display engine “adding software layers to make the LCD display one of the absolutely best you can get”.
We were at the scene and tested the camera capabilities of the phone. Frankly, at less than 300 euros, the phone’s low light performance was impressive to witness. Read our impressions below:
TCL Plex was not, however, the only star of the night. TCL brought forward a new foldable concept with a brand new hinge style called “butterfly hinge”. The mechanical solution TCL went for was a bit surprising, at least coming from the display specialists they are.
However, Jason Gerdon, Head of Global Communications & Strategy, explained that this option is compromise-free: “It really allows us to think about the UX, to think about all foldable devices possible, not just phones”.
Indeed, TCL is giving serious thought to the software, aware that a foldable handset is a completely different beast than all the smartphones on the market right now. “The software has to be adapted to this crazy aspect ratio, [allow for] multiple folds; [we’re thinking of ] where to put the virtual keyboard.”
So they are not rushing to launch a device this year. However, Jason guaranteed we’ll have a surprise at CES 2020. Besides of a 5G device that’s definitely in the cards, TCL will finally show off a ready-for-sale foldable device.
Considering the price of the Plex and their strategy – to offer customers the best quality at the most affordable price -, it’s clear TCL’s foldable phone will be cheaper than all other similar devices next year.