So TCL is back with the TCL 20R 5G handset, their most budget-friendly 5G handset to date at £169. What I want to know is does budget-friendly make this phone any good? 

Since the 5G network is starting to pick up some ground and is becoming the standard now for when a new phone is launched. This benefits the user when it comes to downloads and streaming speeds.

What TCL has done with the 20R 5G is they offer you a quality handset without the high price tag.  


The TCL 20R 5G has a nice slick look with curved edges into the rear panel which has a matt dark blue finish which lucky for us was not a massive fingerprint catcher. The phone comes in 2 colours: Lazurite Blue & Granite Grey. You are also provided with a silicone case for extra protection if required. 

TCL 20R 5G Review

The front of the phone comes with a 6.52-inch display that offers maximum sharpness due to the NXTVISION technology which also reduces eyestrain and blue light damage and can adjust the contrast and details in images or videos whenever required.

TCL 20R 5G Review

TCL 20R 5G review

TCL does use a nice screen to body ratio which comes in at 90% meaning you get max screen for your device and there is no wasted space. The display comes in at 90Hz with the option to reduce to 30Hz if required.  For those who have used the iPhone 13 this refresh rate is also seen in that device.

You also get a couple of smart features on this phone in terms of the display. For example, there is an eye comfort mode that can filter out blue light and you have a smart refresh mode that will automatically select the refresh rate based on what you’re watching on your phone. 

TCL 20R 5G Review

In terms of security on the phone, it offers both face unlocking and a fingerprint reader that is located on the rear panel which is ideal as the way you hold the phone that is naturally where your fingers rest when holding the device. The phone also allows you to go shopping without the need for your wallet due to the addition of NFC that provides contactless payments via google pay. 

TCL 20R 5G review

Inside The Phone

The TCL 20R 5G as the name suggests comes with 5G capability and runs on dual SA/NSA network modes which increase performance. You will find it will offer up to 2.69GB that will allow downloads to happen faster.


Also under the bonnet, the 20R 5G has a MediaTek Dimensity 700 ideal for 5G usage. The phone also runs on 64GB of storage with 4GB of RAM and can support an SD card with up to 1TB of extra storage.


The phone also runs on the Android 11 operating system and the TCL UI 3.0 which adds to the operating system without being too obtrusive. When using the phone on a day to day basis I find navigating the operating system is fast and very responsive. 


Battery Life

The TCL 20R 5G also provides excellent battery life that will offer all-day use thanks to a 4500mAh battery that will provide: 34 hours Talk time or Video Playback 10 hours or Audio Playback 210 hours 


The phone also comes with a power-saving mode if required if you need to prevent the battery from draining away. When it’s time to recharge the battery supports 15W fast charging.



The TCL 20R 5G comes with a triple-lens on the rear that is made up of the following: 

  • 2MP Macro Camera
  • 13MP AI Camera
  • 2MP Depth Camera

TCL 20R 5G Review

The triple-lens system includes an AI auto enhancement which is used to optimise your photos and videos. The camera comes with the following modes to offer that level of professional photography: Super Macro, Slow Motion, light trace.   

TCL 20R 5G Review

TCL 20R 5G Review

4x Zoom used on the TCL 20R 5G

You also have a pro mode that allows users to control their ISO, shutter speed, white balance and focus. Perfect for those who want to get the best images every time. 

TCL 20R 5G review

The image was taken using pro mode on the 20R 5G


Moving to the front of the phone you also have an 8-megapixel camera ideal for taking selfies, especially with portrait mode to enhance the quality of that selfie shot. Finally, the camera also provides that video ability and can offer a full HD 1080p with up to 30fps.


The TCL 20R 5G has to be one of the most feature-heavy budget light 5G enabled devices on the market. Design-wise the phone offers that curved edges and NXTVISION enhancements provide a better quality of images that reduces eye strain and blue light damage as it automatically adjusts the contrast. 


I was also impressed that the 20R 5G comes with fast charging however some might be disappointed due to the lack of wireless charging but the fast charging does a wonderful job. 


Another issue that appears is the fact it does not seem to have an IP rating so those who prefer a phone that is water or dustproof might want to consider another option.


Moving back to the positives, the TCL 20R 5G has an impressive selfie camera that offers the user a sharp and bright picture ideal for the selfie fans among us. The triple-lens on the rear of the phone also provides you with some fantastic images considering the cost of the phone. On a recent trip to a national trust Chatsworth House, we got some great images.

So if your looking for a budget-friendly 5G device be sure to check out the 20R 5G. It offers everything you could want from a phone without hitting you in the pocket.  

Product Rating:

  • Design: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
  • Features: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
  • Camera: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
  • Battery Life: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
  • Value for Money : 5.0 out of 5.0 stars           

Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars -4.6 Stars    

The TCL 20R 5G 64GB available from for £169.99

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