Notebookcheck

TCL Plex Review - Good Smartphone with Quad-Bluetooth and Smart Key

Group streamers. The TCL Plex offers strong features on the datasheet at a comparatively low price. Besides the triple camera and a good display surface ratio, the phone scores especially with Super Bluetooth and a configurable key. However, there are also a few stumbling blocks on the way to success.
Daniel Schmidt, 👁 Daniel Schmidt (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy),
TCL Plex
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 8 x 2 GHz, Kryo 460 Gold (Cortex-A76) / Silver (Cortex-A55)
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
Display
6.53 inch 19.5:9, 2340 x 1080 pixel 395 PPI, Capacitive, IPS, NXTVISION, glossy: yes, 60 Hz
Storage
128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash, 128 GB 
, 109 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Card Reader: microSD up to 256 GB (FAT, FAT32, exFAT), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Acceleration, attitude, proximity and G sensor, digital compass
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM/GPRS/Edge (850, 900, 1,800 and 1,900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (Band 1, 2, 5 and 8), LTE Cat. 6 (Band 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38 and 40), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.99 x 162.2 x 76.56 ( = 0.31 x 6.39 x 3.01 in)
Battery
3820 mAh Lithium-Ion, QuichCharge 3.0
Charging
wireless charging
Operating System
Android 9.0 Pie
Camera
Primary Camera: 48 MPix (Sony IMX582, 1/2.0", 0.8 µm, f/1.8, 79°) + 16 MPix (Samsung S5K3P9, 1/3.0", 1.0 µm, f/2.4, 123°) + 2 MP (OmniVision OV02K, 1/2.8", 2.9 µm, f/1.8, 77°), Camera2 API Level: Level 3
Secondary Camera: 24 MPix (OmniVision OV24B, 1/2.8", 0.9 µm, f/2.0, 78.2°) 1.080p-Video
Additional features
Speakers: Mono, Keyboard: Virtual, Power supply (5V-3A/9V-2A/12V-1.5A), USB cable, protective cover, documentation, TCL UI, 24 Months Warranty, DRM Widevine L3, head SAR: 1.31 W/kg, body SAR: 1.64 W/kg, fanless
Weight
192 g ( = 6.77 oz / 0.42 pounds), Power Supply: 71 g ( = 2.5 oz / 0.16 pounds)
Price
300 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Comparison Devices

Bewertung
Rating Version
Datum
Modell
Gewicht
Laufwerk
Groesse
Aufloesung
Preis ab
80 %7
01/2020
TCL Plex
SD 675, Adreno 612
192 g128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash6.53"2340x1080
80 %7
04/2019
Samsung Galaxy A50
Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3
166 g128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash6.4"2340x1080
80 %7
12/2019
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
SD 710, Adreno 616
179 g128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash6.39"2340x1080
79 %7
10/2019
Motorola One Zoom
SD 675, Adreno 612
190 g128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash6.4"2340x1080

Case, Equipment and Operation

The TCL Plex consists of a lot of glass as well as a solid metal frame and leaves a valuable impression due to its very good workmanship. It is available in the colours opal white and obsidian black, the latter being more reminiscent of a dark blue. There is no IP certification and the battery is firmly installed. The hybrid card slot can either accommodate two nano-SIMs or a microSD card and a SIM. 

The USB 2.0 port has a Type C design and supports both audio output and OTG. An optional microSD card cannot be formatted as internal memory, but the exFAT file system is supported. There is also Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and an analogue radio receiver. 

The connection to the home network is easy with the integrated ac-WLAN module, which achieves good results in the test. On the road, LTE Cat. 6 is available at best, which is below the capabilities of the SoC. The frequency equipment is okay, but the band density is too thin for world travel. The voice quality is also good, but the TCL Plex user is always accompanied by a slight background noise. 

Android 9.0 Pie is used as the operating system, over which the manufacturer superimposes the in-house TCL UI. At the time of testing, the security patches are at the status of December 5th 2019 and thus still quite up-to-date. An update to Android 10 will follow. Unfortunately there is no DRM certification (DRM Widvine L3). 

The touchscreen and the physical keys work perfectly. The fingerprint scanner on the back also has a high recognition rate, but should work a bit faster. It also supports gestures and can also be used to start apps. The 2D face recognition works very reliably. Additionally, there is a so-called Smart Key on the left side, which can not only be used to start the Google Assistant, but also to start other apps or system functions. 

Size Comparison

162.2 mm / 6.39 inch 76.56 mm / 3.01 inch 7.99 mm / 0.3146 inch 192 g0.4233 lbs158 mm / 6.22 inch 75 mm / 2.95 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 190 g0.4189 lbs158.5 mm / 6.24 inch 74.7 mm / 2.94 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 166 g0.366 lbs156.8 mm / 6.17 inch 74.5 mm / 2.93 inch 8.67 mm / 0.3413 inch 179 g0.3946 lbs
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
TCL Plex
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
359 (330min - 369max) MBit/s ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
347 (338min - 351max) MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Motorola One Zoom
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
337 (323min - 346max) MBit/s ∼94% -6%
Samsung Galaxy A50
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
294 (278min - 302max) MBit/s ∼82% -18%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
296 (228min - 370max) MBit/s ∼100% +3%
Motorola One Zoom
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
294 (266min - 318max) MBit/s ∼99% +2%
TCL Plex
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
287 (250min - 308max) MBit/s ∼97%
Samsung Galaxy A50
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
272 (250min - 285max) MBit/s ∼92% -5%
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø359 (330-369)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø287 (250-308)

Cameras - TCL Plex with Low Light Mode

The triple camera on the back offers, in addition to the 48 MP main camera, an additional super wide angle and a small lens, which is supposed to provide better video recordings in low light. This also works surprisingly well and ensures noticeably brighter shots, although the quality isn't dazzling and this option is limited to Full HD. UHD videos are possible at 30 FPS, but have the disadvantage of not being stabilized. 

The photo quality is quite good, but TCL needs to make some improvements, especially for subjects with a high dynamic range. The selfie quality is also okay and the TCL Plex shines with a comparatively comprehensive photo app. 

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
ColorChecker
31.5 ∆E
38 ∆E
21.3 ∆E
30.7 ∆E
28.4 ∆E
50.9 ∆E
38.7 ∆E
15 ∆E
21.4 ∆E
18 ∆E
42.9 ∆E
44.5 ∆E
11.5 ∆E
39.5 ∆E
17.7 ∆E
32.3 ∆E
25.4 ∆E
33.2 ∆E
42.9 ∆E
38.1 ∆E
34.4 ∆E
30.3 ∆E
26.1 ∆E
14.8 ∆E
ColorChecker TCL Plex: 30.31 ∆E min: 11.49 - max: 50.85 ∆E
ColorChecker
10.5 ∆E
2.7 ∆E
4.1 ∆E
13.4 ∆E
3 ∆E
2.7 ∆E
2.3 ∆E
3.8 ∆E
3.9 ∆E
4.5 ∆E
4.5 ∆E
5.4 ∆E
5.6 ∆E
8.4 ∆E
4.4 ∆E
6 ∆E
1.6 ∆E
4.9 ∆E
9.7 ∆E
5.2 ∆E
3.2 ∆E
4.9 ∆E
4.4 ∆E
2 ∆E
ColorChecker TCL Plex: 5.06 ∆E min: 1.59 - max: 13.36 ∆E

Display - IPS Panel of the Plex with Small Weaknesses

Sub-pixel Array

The TCL Plex's quite large IPS display delivers a decent performance, but doesn't show up in the test as color accurate as the manufacturer promises. The brightness is alright, but the competitors partly use much brighter panels. The luminosity is similar in the APL50 measurement (425 cd/m²) and limited to 401 cd/m² in manual mode. It is also a pity that TCL doesn't do without PWM. 

406
cd/m²
423
cd/m²
434
cd/m²
407
cd/m²
432
cd/m²
430
cd/m²
402
cd/m²
408
cd/m²
417
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 434 cd/m² Average: 417.7 cd/m² Minimum: 1.64 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 432 cd/m²
Contrast: 1005:1 (Black: 0.43 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.4 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.8
ΔE Greyscale 3.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6
98.2% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.14
TCL Plex
IPS, 2340x1080, 6.53
Samsung Galaxy A50
AMOLED, 2340x1080, 6.4
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
AMOLED, 2340x1080, 6.39
Motorola One Zoom
OLED, 2340x1080, 6.4
Response Times
23%
31%
29%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
56 (29.2, 26.8)
8 (5, 3)
86%
4 (2, 2)
93%
8.4 (4, 4.4)
85%
Response Time Black / White *
29.2 (12.8, 16.4)
6 (3, 3)
79%
2.8 (1.6, 1.2)
90%
2.8 (1.6, 1.2)
90%
PWM Frequency
2358 (49)
119
-95%
240.4 (99)
-90%
250 (99)
-89%
Screen
17%
48%
-35%
Brightness middle
432
644
49%
618
43%
461
7%
Brightness
418
628
50%
626
50%
472
13%
Brightness Distribution
93
91
-2%
97
4%
95
2%
Black Level *
0.43
Contrast
1005
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.4
2.64
22%
1
71%
5.9
-74%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6
9.23
-54%
2.4
60%
10.4
-73%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.8
2.5
34%
1.6
58%
6.9
-82%
Gamma
2.14 103%
2.024 109%
2.24 98%
2.12 104%
CCT
6151 106%
6649 98%
6389 102%
8167 80%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
20% / 19%
40% / 42%
-3% / -13%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
29.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12.8 ms rise
↘ 16.4 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
56 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 29.2 ms rise
↘ 26.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 91 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (38.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 2358 Hz ≤ 49 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 2358 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 49 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 2358 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9584 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.


Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (target color space: sRGB)
Color space (target color space: sRGB)
Color space (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation (target color space: sRGB)
Outdoor use
Viewing angles

Performance, Emissions and Battery life

The TCL Plex is powered by an upper mid-range Qualcomm SoC, which provides very fast system performance. The benchmarks show, however, that the multi-core CPU performance falls considerably short of expectations, which also has a negative impact on gaming with the smartphone, but this should only be noticeable on demanding titles. Nevertheless, the smartphone gets hotter than 40°C under load in places, but this is harmless. 

The loudspeaker on the bottom edge is very high-pitched and delivers a useful sound. The TCL Plex's real sound highlight, however, is Super Bluetooth, which can supply up to four wireless headphones or speakers with sound. This works quite well in the test, but doesn't seem to work optimally with all output devices, so the Xiaomi TWS Earbuds in combination only stuttered the sound. The synchronization of the sound often requires several attempts, but this works much better when outputting via speakers. If several Bluetooth devices are connected to the Plex, high-res streaming is also no longer possible. Moreover, the Chinese mobile phone doesn't seem to support LDAC, at least our Sony WH-1000XM3 has only connected to aptX HD. 

The battery life is good, but could well be a bit longer in view of the battery capacity. However, one day of use is possible without problems. 

Geekbench 5
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
939 Points ∼52%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
1515 Points ∼83% +61%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
1610 Points ∼88% +71%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (939 - 1618, n=3)
1389 Points ∼76% +48%
Average of class Smartphone
  (807 - 3575, n=65)
1821 Points ∼100% +94%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
492 Points ∼95%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
394 Points ∼76% -20%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
504 Points ∼97% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (492 - 506, n=3)
501 Points ∼97% +2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (150 - 1344, n=65)
519 Points ∼100% +5%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
7950 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
5827 Points ∼73% -27%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
6719 Points ∼85% -15%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
7524 Points ∼95% -5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (7315 - 7950, n=4)
7660 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (2630 - 15299, n=529)
5991 Points ∼75% -25%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
7029 Points ∼74%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
8093 Points ∼85%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
9522 Points ∼100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (9288 - 9522, n=3)
9371 Points ∼98%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1077 - 19989, n=687)
6576 Points ∼69%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1684 Points ∼68%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
2266 Points ∼92% +35%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
2462 Points ∼100% +46%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
2378 Points ∼97% +41%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1684 - 3011, n=4)
2448 Points ∼99% +45%
Average of class Smartphone
  (573 - 5780, n=533)
2240 Points ∼91% +33%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
955 Points ∼44%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
1188 Points ∼54% +24%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
1842 Points ∼84% +93%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
851 Points ∼39% -11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (851 - 1094, n=4)
962 Points ∼44% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (75 - 10348, n=533)
2192 Points ∼100% +130%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1057 Points ∼52%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
1328 Points ∼65% +26%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
1951 Points ∼96% +85%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
1097 Points ∼54% +4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1057 - 1274, n=4)
1135 Points ∼56% +7%
Average of class Smartphone
  (93 - 8386, n=534)
2039 Points ∼100% +93%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1657 Points ∼68%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
2241 Points ∼92% +35%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
2447 Points ∼100% +48%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
2365 Points ∼97% +43%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1657 - 2984, n=4)
2433 Points ∼99% +47%
Average of class Smartphone
  (375 - 5765, n=566)
2162 Points ∼88% +30%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1611 Points ∼54%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
1553 Points ∼52% -4%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
2853 Points ∼95% +77%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
1614 Points ∼54% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1571 - 1878, n=4)
1669 Points ∼56% +4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (70 - 20511, n=566)
2989 Points ∼100% +86%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1621 Points ∼59%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
1667 Points ∼61% +3%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
2752 Points ∼100% +70%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
1737 Points ∼63% +7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1621 - 2047, n=4)
1785 Points ∼65% +10%
Average of class Smartphone
  (88 - 11895, n=566)
2489 Points ∼90% +54%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1724 Points ∼67%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
2351 Points ∼92% +36%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
2435 Points ∼95% +41%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
2567 Points ∼100% +49%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1724 - 3026, n=4)
2551 Points ∼99% +48%
Average of class Smartphone
  (435 - 5209, n=615)
2119 Points ∼83% +23%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
829 Points ∼45%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
1149 Points ∼62% +39%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
1698 Points ∼92% +105%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
823 Points ∼44% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (823 - 1000, n=4)
869 Points ∼47% +5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (53 - 9167, n=615)
1853 Points ∼100% +124%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
937 Points ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
1296 Points ∼71% +38%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
1820 Points ∼100% +94%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
969 Points ∼53% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (937 - 1175, n=4)
1015 Points ∼56% +8%
Average of class Smartphone
  (68 - 7678, n=616)
1757 Points ∼97% +88%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1708 Points ∼62%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
2432 Points ∼89% +42%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
2441 Points ∼89% +43%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
2743 Points ∼100% +61%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1708 - 3000, n=4)
2580 Points ∼94% +51%
Average of class Smartphone
  (293 - 5274, n=657)
1991 Points ∼73% +17%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1594 Points ∼58%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
1279 Points ∼47% -20%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
2730 Points ∼100% +71%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
1567 Points ∼57% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1427 - 1814, n=4)
1601 Points ∼59% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (43 - 16670, n=656)
2456 Points ∼90% +54%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
1618 Points ∼61%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
1430 Points ∼54% -12%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
2660 Points ∼100% +64%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
1745 Points ∼66% +8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (1606 - 1989, n=4)
1740 Points ∼65% +8%
Average of class Smartphone
  (55 - 11256, n=659)
2100 Points ∼79% +30%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
15461 Points ∼86%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
14353 Points ∼80% -7%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
13595 Points ∼76% -12%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
17876 Points ∼100% +16%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (15461 - 19511, n=4)
17199 Points ∼96% +11%
Average of class Smartphone
  (735 - 59268, n=802)
15698 Points ∼88% +2%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
26320 Points ∼66%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
16593 Points ∼42% -37%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
39745 Points ∼100% +51%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
26734 Points ∼67% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (26320 - 30180, n=4)
27396 Points ∼69% +4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (536 - 221179, n=800)
27832 Points ∼70% +6%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
22767 Points ∼82%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
16037 Points ∼58% -30%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
27843 Points ∼100% +22%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
24078 Points ∼86% +6%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (22767 - 26910, n=4)
24192 Points ∼87% +6%
Average of class Smartphone
  (662 - 117606, n=800)
21512 Points ∼77% -6%
GFXBench
Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
4.9 fps ∼42%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
4.9 fps ∼42% 0%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
7.8 fps ∼67% +59%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
3.1 fps ∼26% -37%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (3.1 - 5.2, n=4)
4.48 fps ∼38% -9%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.61 - 60, n=327)
11.7 fps ∼100% +139%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
3 fps ∼36%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
3.1 fps ∼37% +3%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
5.1 fps ∼62% +70%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
4.8 fps ∼58% +60%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (3 - 4.8, n=4)
3.53 fps ∼43% +18%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.21 - 101, n=325)
8.27 fps ∼100% +176%
Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
8.3 fps ∼48%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
8.2 fps ∼47% -1%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
12 fps ∼69% +45%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
8.3 fps ∼48% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (8 - 8.9, n=4)
8.38 fps ∼48% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.4 - 60, n=331)
17.4 fps ∼100% +110%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
TCL Plex
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 6144
9.1 fps ∼45%
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Exynos 9610, Mali-G72 MP3, 4096
9 fps ∼45% -1%
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616, 6144
14 fps ∼70% +54%
Motorola One Zoom
Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, Adreno 612, 4096
9.1 fps ∼45% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
  (9 - 9.9, n=4)
9.28 fps ∼46% +2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.6 - 257, n=330)
20.1 fps ∼100% +121%
TCL PlexSamsung Galaxy A50Xiaomi Mi 9 LiteMotorola One ZoomAverage 128 GB UFS 2.0 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-18%
2%
-2%
-9%
-35%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
56.21 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
60.7 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
8%
63.89 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
14%
51.15 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-9%
54.4 (28.6 - 70.2, n=17)
-3%
51.2 (1.7 - 87.1, n=538)
-9%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
74.91 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
73.9 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-1%
86.02 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
15%
69.44 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-7%
70.3 (30.2 - 86, n=17)
-6%
69.2 (8.1 - 96.5, n=538)
-8%
Random Write 4KB
130.11
18.2
-86%
116.6
-10%
110.76
-15%
84.8 (13.5 - 187, n=23)
-35%
37.1 (0.14 - 319, n=895)
-71%
Random Read 4KB
130.75
98.9
-24%
113.5
-13%
134.53
3%
125 (88.4 - 173, n=23)
-4%
60.3 (1.59 - 324, n=895)
-54%
Sequential Write 256KB
199.74
192.1
-4%
252.1
26%
256.6
28%
196 (143 - 257, n=23)
-2%
131 (2.99 - 911, n=895)
-34%
Sequential Read 256KB
522.31
507.3
-3%
421.5
-19%
470.52
-10%
495 (409 - 733, n=23)
-5%
348 (12.1 - 1802, n=895)
-33%

Temperature

Max. Load
 40.6 °C
105 F
40.9 °C
106 F
39.9 °C
104 F
 
 39 °C
102 F
40.5 °C
105 F
38.7 °C
102 F
 
 38.8 °C
102 F
39.7 °C
103 F
38.1 °C
101 F
 
Maximum: 40.9 °C = 106 F
Average: 39.6 °C = 103 F
34.1 °C
93 F
34.5 °C
94 F
38.4 °C
101 F
33.9 °C
93 F
34 °C
93 F
39.5 °C
103 F
33.9 °C
93 F
34.8 °C
95 F
38 °C
100 F
Maximum: 39.5 °C = 103 F
Average: 35.7 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  27.8 °C = 82 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39.6 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 33 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.9 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 35.3 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.5 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.7 °C / 89 F, compared to the device average of 33 °C / 91 F.


Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.432.9253029.63126.725.54027.7245037.632.36328.824.7802424.710021.227.712521.526.616021.13920016.242.425018.751.13151656.44001660.550014.563.463014.665.480014.463.9100015.666.4125015.369.1160014.670.4200014.675.4250014.580.2315014.779.2400014.679500014.581.6630014.577.1800014.776.41000015.174.71250015.173.11600015.155.6SPL27.188.7N0.969.3median 15.1median 66.4Delta1.411.935.73227.622.330.635.124.834.232.739.824.629.423.225.519.223.317.933.316.553.215.251.317.355.117.254.616.85714.660.41465.614.768.914.770.914.869.91567.814.966.1156814.670.71471.115.16614.666.214.862.215.155.515.15315.556.227800.946.7median 15median 62.20.47.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseTCL PlexMotorola One Zoom
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
TCL Plex audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 12% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 50% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 37% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 69% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 24% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Motorola One Zoom audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.4% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.3% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 8% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 88% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 33% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 60% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Battery Life

TCL Plex
3820 mAh
Samsung Galaxy A50
4000 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
4030 mAh
Motorola One Zoom
4000 mAh
Average of class Smartphone
 
Battery Runtime
WiFi Websurfing 1.3
616
701
14%
734
19%
644
5%
698 (223 - 2636, n=761)
13%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 78)
10h 16min

Pros

+ Super Bluetooth
+ Smart key
+ Fast system performance

Cons

- No DRM Widevine L1
- PWM
- SoC surprisingly slow

Verdict - TCL with successful debut

In Review: TCL Plex. Test device provided by TCL Germany.
In Review: TCL Plex. Test device provided by TCL Germany.

TCL has so far been well known on the European market mainly through TV sets and the smartphone brands Alcatel and BlackBerry. With the Plex, however, the Chinese electronics group has achieved a successful premiere under its own flag. For not even 300 euros, a well-equipped mid-range mobile phone is offered, which is convincing with its good features. 

The Plex is a successful start for TCL's own smartphone portfolio. 

We still see room for improvement in the in-house display. The use of PWM is certainly a knockout criterion for some prospective buyers and it would have been nice to have a bit brighter. DRM certification should not be missing in this price range. The CPU is quite fast on the data sheet, but falls short of expectations in everyday use, which doesn't have a negative effect on the system performance, but will certainly come into play in demanding apps. 

The TCL Plex certainly collects plus points with the integrated Super Bluetooth, which is currently a unique selling point on the market. The versatile Smart Key also represents practical added value in everyday use. 

TCL Plex - 01/17/2020 v7
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 89%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
53 / 70 → 75%
Weight
89%
Battery
88%
Display
86%
Games Performance
14 / 64 → 21%
Application Performance
76 / 86 → 88%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
75 / 90 → 83%
Camera
66%
Average
75%
80%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > TCL Plex Review - Good Smartphone with Quad-Bluetooth and Smart Key
Daniel Schmidt, 2020-01-17 (Update: 2020-01-17)
Daniel Schmidt
Editor of the original article: Daniel Schmidt - Managing Editor Mobile - @Tellheim
Already as a little dwarf I was fascinated by my Commodore 16 and ignited my enthusiasm for computers. With my first modem I surfed the Btx and later also the World Wide Web. The latest technology trends have always fascinated me and this is especially true for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. For Notebookcheck, I have been on the ball since 2013 and I am looking forward to the innovations that are still to come and that we will put to the acid test for you.