TCL 20L + vs Vivo Y52 5G: buy a phone for under AU $ 400

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If you are looking to buy a phone in Australia for under AU $ 400, you are entering a very competitive space. Phone makers try to balance specs against cost, market share against returns, and sometimes a mid-range handset can appear special at this level.

Two phones doing this are the TCL 20L + and the Vivo Y52 5G.

The TCL 20L + is a phone approaching 7 inches with a Snapdragon 662, 6 GB of memory, 256 GB of storage expandable via micro SD, four rear cameras and a 5,000 mAh battery. It’s not much of a whim, in fact it looks pretty standard and boring.

At similar levels of excitement is the Vivo Y52 5G, which is a 6.5-inch phone with a Dimensity 700 chip, 4GB of memory, 128GB of expandable storage via micro SD, three rear cameras, and a battery of 5,000 mAh.

As the name suggests, the Y52 has 5G connectivity, unlike the TCL phone. If that’s all you’re interested in, and I’m not sure why you would until the millimeter wave spectrum is available, then it’s an easy decision between these phones. However, in my testing I was unable to get a reliable 5G signal, but it could just be an issue with the towers around me during lockdown, but a Pixel 5 was able to get a signal reliably.

For all the others, it is a question of weighing the compromises made.

The 20L + has double the storage at 256GB and more memory, which sounds good, but the Y52 uses a Dimensity 700 that positively smokes the Snapdragon 662 inside the 20L +. Usually the difference is not very noticeable, but on computational heavy tasks like processing photos in night mode, the TCL will fall apart.

On the front of the camera, the TCL has a 16MP front camera and a quad-array of 64MP main cameras, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth, while the Vivo has a front camera. of 8MP and a main 48MP tri-array, 2MP macro and 2MP bokeh cameras. In this case, the TCL’s main camera easily wins and makes up for the less than impressive night mode and macro camera.

Both phones can be dual-SIM, have a headphone jack, have a fingerprint sensor in the right place, and a version of Android 11 with an applied skin – for the 20L + it’s called TCL UI, while the Y52 has FunTouch OS.

TCL has a few added software extras, which really doesn’t help its case. In one case, he applies automatic smoothing on his gallery app, and the end result is a loss of definition. It wasn’t until I opened a certain image in Google Photos that I realized the camera wasn’t behaving badly and TCL thought it was helping.

When it comes to physical materials, up front the TCL has a punch-hole front camera and glitter back, while the Vivo uses a teardrop notch and plastic fingerprint magnet on the back. the back.

It’s also worth mentioning a gadget that the 20L + has up its sleeve. TCL claims that its screen uses technology that allows for a good viewing experience while wearing sunglasses.

When it first landed on my desktop, I was impressed with the functionality. Then weeks later I tried it again, and despite several pairs of sunglasses, including polarized and prescription sunglasses, I haven’t been able to replicate the experience in my entire life. If it worked reliably it would be a winner, but I can’t tell the difference between showing either phone when the brightness is turned up. I suspect the phone I was comparing it to initially had its brightness turned down as the new 20L + was blazing full blast. This characteristic is therefore probably more wishful thinking than anything else.

In a perfect world, there would be a device that had the Vivo’s chip and connectivity, but the cameras, memory, and storage of the TCL. But this world does not exist – this world is all about making compromises and deciding what is important.

Does the best camera make up for a weak processor and boring software, or is some form of 5G connectivity enough to get the Vivo down the line?

It’s a tough link to break, but I think the Vivo crosses the line, just because TCL’s NXTVision actively renders photos unrealistic, downplays its best camera, and if you don’t realize it’s on, then you’ll accept a lower experience, while the Vivo still has a not-so-great camera.

But then again, both phones cost less than AU $ 400, so you can’t go wrong either way.

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