TCL’s Stylus 5G aims to fill the void left by LG

When it comes to smartphones with a built-in stylus, your thoughts will almost certainly refer to Samsung’s Galaxy Note series which was the main exponent of the feature in the modern era before being ditched for foldable smartphones. LG’s popular Stylo series also sported a stylus in the affordable smartphone segment but since the brand ceased making phones there has been something of a void that other phone makers have been trying to fill – the latest of which is TCL with its brand new Stylus 5G. Going on sale initially on T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile, TCL’s Stylus 5G sports 5G support, a 3.5mm audio jack, and is powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 700 chipset.

Running Android 12 out of the box, the Stylus 5G also features the Nebo handwriting recognition software that can be used for taking notes. As you might expect, despite the stylus being passive, you can use it to magnify the screen, add your signature to documents, draw images, and more. There is also access to MyScript Calculator 2 which allows users to write calculations on the screen and have the results instantly calculated and saved for later use.

Besides being powered by the Dimensity 700 chipset, the Stylus 5G has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. Its 4,000mAh battery supports 18W fast-charging, and the big 6.81-inch display has an FHD+ resolution and supports SDR-to-HDR upscaling. There’s a side-mounted fingerprint sensor which is complemented by the presence of face unlocking.

There’s a quartet of AI-powered cameras on the rear panel consisting of a 50MP primary sensor, a 5MP super-wide lens, and a pair of 2MP sensors for macro and FoV. The central punch-hole on the display houses the 13MP selfie camera.

The Stylus 5G manages to pack in two increasingly rare features; the 3.5mm audio jack and MicroSD card support, on top of having built-in storage for the stylus. Make no mistake, TCL’s Stylus 5G is aimed at the affordable phone segment and can be ordered in Lunar Black from T-Mobile for $258 or from Metro by T-Mobile for $269. TCL has said that an unlocked variant will be available at some point in the future.

Specifications TCL Stylus 5G
Size 169.6 x 76.5 x 8.98 mm
Weight 213g
Color Lunar Black
Side Keys Volume Rocker, Power Key/Fingerprint Sensor
Memory 4GB RAM
Storage 128GB
MicroSD Support up to 2TB
Processor  MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G,
Octa-Core 2.2 GHz
Software  Android 12
Sensors Accelerometer (G sensor)
Gyro Barometer
Fingerprint  Yes (side-mounted)
Facial Recognition Yes
Size 6.81” Dotch™ Display, LCD, FHD+ Resolution
(1080 x 2460), 20.5:9 Aspect Ratio, 395ppi
Networking GSM: 850/900/1800/1900;
UMTS: B1/2/4/5/8;
LTE: B2/4/5/12/25/26/41/66/71;
5G: Sub6: n66, n25, n41, n77;
HPUE for n41 & n77 over NSA and SA
VoWiFi Yes
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Direct,
Wi-Fi Display
Bluetooth 5.2
USB Type  Type-C, USB 2.0, USB OTG
SIM Type Nano SIM + microSD Card
Battery 4000mAh, 18W Fast Charging
Rear Camera 50MP (main camera);
5MP (super wide angle);
2MP (macro);
2MP (depth)
Camera Features LED Flash, PDAF, 4x Digital Zoom,
Front Camera 13MP, LCD Flash
Audio Dual Speakers, HD Voice, Dual Microphones,
Music Player TCL Music, YT Music
Headset Jack Yes, 3.5mm
In the Box 9V2A 18W charger, USB-C Cable, Quick Start Guide, Safety and Warranty information, SIM tool, Built-in Stylus

He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Realme GT Neo 2 in his pockets, a Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).

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