TCL 30SE review – Performance without the price

The TCL30 SE is that this 12 months’s iteration within the SE collection, changing final 12 months’s 20 SE. Whereas there are an incredible many similarities between the 2, the variations all appear to be pure evolutions – an upgraded CPU, chipset, GPU and digicam, and it’s working the most recent model of android.

Within the field TCL offers the handset, charging cable and brick and a set of wired earbuds for the reason that 30SE has a headphone jack. No case is equipped however there are various aftermarket choices obtainable do you have to need one.

The cellphone suits the hand properly and is kind of snug to carry. The ability and quantity buttons are each on the appropriate hand aspect, permitting straightforward single hand use, and the fingerprint sensor is conveniently positioned on the again slightly below and to the aspect of the digicam bezel. There’s additionally a headphone jack, which is uncommon to see lately, on the prime of the cellphone and a USB C connection on the backside. The 30 SE is available in 3 totally different colors – Area Grey, Atlantic Blue, and Glacial Blue.

TCL 30SE handset and box

The setup was pretty easy, I used to be happy to notice that it did enable a number of unlock strategies to be organised in the course of the setup course of, fairly than solely permitting for the organising of 1 possibility, requiring you to dig round within the settings afterwards to do the others. It additionally arrange GPay as a part of the setup course of which I hadn’t seen earlier than.

My outdated nemesis ‘add apps to dwelling display’ was on by default once more – although I did handle to get into the settings and switch it off earlier than all my apps downloaded this time!

The app tray has a pleasant characteristic permitting you to with a single faucet change how your app tray is organized and permits a number of sorting choices – by class, title, utilization, set up, icon color, or label. There’s additionally a fast launch edge bar which lets you put in any apps you need instant entry to, a floating window possibility and ‘minus one display’ which is ready to the google uncover feed. There could be a little bit of a delay when opening apps – by delay I’m solely speaking 1 or 2 seconds, it’s nothing onerous however sufficient to be noticeable.

The battery life is superb, lasting me a full 2 days of my regular use. It’s not stunningly quick to cost, but it surely’s not sluggish both, the 15W quick cost characteristic taking only some hours to go from 12% to completely charged. The 30 SE makes use of ‘clever charging mode’ to extend the lifetime of the battery. The cellphone ‘learns’ the charging routine of the cellphone’s consumer,  pausing the charging of the battery when it will get to a specified proportion, then trickle charging the remainder of the way in which so it’s totally charged within the morning however not sitting totally charged plugged into energy all evening.

NXT imaginative and prescient provides the pictures and movies considered on the 30SE an incredible depth of color, enhancing the distinction and depth of element, it additionally boosts your gaming expertise by enhancing the graphics. Whereas the show typically is crisp and clear, NXT additionally has 4 extra modes for normal display show – studying, eye consolation, darker show and daylight show.

The 30SE is available in two fashions (6156H/6156H1 and 6156A/6165A1) the 6156H unit comes with twin mic noise cancellation, the 6156A doesn’t. The unit I reviewed had the noise cancellation and I discovered the recordings made by the microphone to be spectacular, the voice recordings had wonderful readability, and this high quality carried over into sound replica throughout cellphone conversations as effectively.

In contrast to the 20SE the 30SE solely has a single speaker on the base of the cellphone. This doesn’t have an effect on the standard of the sound produced, which is excellent for each speech and music, however I discovered that at occasions my grip on the cellphone coated one aspect of the speaker, requiring me to readjust my maintain.

TCL 30SE handset and box

The fingerprint sensor on the 30SE is on the rear of the system, and my expertise with it was somewhat hit or miss. Initially I had bother getting the sensor to learn, however I quickly discovered {that a} barely longer maintain/press than I used to be anticipating – solely a second or two – was required for it to recognise. On a number of events the cellphone vibrated to point a scan try however wasn’t in a position to recognise my print.

In relation to biometrics I’ve all the time had higher luck with the face unlock than with fingerprint unlock and the 30SE labored easily for me utilizing this methodology.

Combining the 2 strategies, in any case, gave me a close to 100% unlocking success price no matter which methodology I used to be intending to make use of.


The 30SE contains a 50MP essential digicam, a 2MP depth digicam and a 2MP macro digicam on the rear and a 8MP entrance digicam. It has all the usual options and some extras like Excessive pixel mode, HDR and AI scene detection, and some enjoyable ones like gentle portray and cease movement recording.

The excessive pixel mode and HDR (Excessive Dynamic Vary) are what mix to permit the 30SE to provide some fairly spectacular images and movies. It produces photos which have extra element within the representations of sunshine and shade, and better depth within the color replica.

The rear digicam is ready to take first rate footage at fairly low gentle ranges, however they will have a tendency in direction of being grainy in case you zoom in on them.

I had a little bit of enjoyable with the sunshine portray possibility, discovering that it’s not nearly waving a light-weight round in entrance of the digicam, you possibly can in actual fact, do the other. I arrange a reflective floor and shone a light-weight on it, then moved the digicam round, and was in a position to – kind of – draw a picture with the sunshine.

On a aspect notice, the entrance dealing with digicam, I used to be delighted to see, does have the “face magnificence” possibility, however it’s off by default!

Technical Specs

The 30SE 6165H helps twin Sim and has an enlargement slot for a microSD card which is able to assist playing cards as much as 512GB. It has an octa-core 2.0GHZ processor, a MediaTek MT6762G Helio G25 (12 nm) chipset,  a GE8320 650MHz GPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 5000mAh 15W battery. It has a 720 x 1600 HD show on a 6.52-inch display, helps Bluetooth 5.0, 4G, WiFi 4 and runs Android 12.

For the complete specs go to the TCL web site right here

The RRP on this cellphone is $329, however the worth can differ between $200 and $300 relying on the place you purchase it. I do suppose the 30SE is price its price ticket, whereas there are cheaper telephones on the market, the efficiency delivered versus the price of this unit is wonderful – it really works easily with no actual ‘deal breaking’ points, it takes nice photographs and is affordably priced. General it’s nice worth for cash and you may decide one up in any respect the same old on-line and in-store retailers.

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