TCL REVVL 5G Smartphone Review

TCL REVVL 5G smartphone review with details on camera performance, memory, battery life, and 5G capability.
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Hey, I’m Tshaka Armstrong. Thank you for joining me today on Reviews.org. This is not ad sponsored, but my name is Tshaka which begins with a “T”.

The first time I walked into a T-Mobile store, I had to have one of T-Mobile’s shirts because it has a big “T” on it. I asked about those shirts and they didn’t have them for sale at that time, but then T-Mobile made their own merchandise store. Now, they actually have some really cool jackets and t-shirts and things like that. I have a couple of these T-Mobile T-shirts, which are apropos for today’s video, because we’re talking about T-Mobile’s latest exclusive branded phone.

TCL made a big splash this year when they launched their own branded phones here in the US. The TCL 10L smartphone and TCL 10 Pro smartphone, but those were both G handsets. They did have a 5G handset in the pipeline but it wasn’t slated for the US…or was it?

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Introduction

T-Mobile recently released the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone, a follow up to their previous TCL REVVL handset but this time with more Gs. So, what do TCL 10 series phones and T-Mobile’s new TCL REVVL 5G have to do with each other? Yes, you guessed it, you’re about to find out.

According to XDA Developers, who looked at some filings of phones with certain organizations back in June:

“A new device was just added to the list of Google Play certified devices. The device has the name REVVL 5G with code-name Seattle 5G and model name T970W. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, 6GB of RAM, has an FHD+ display at 2340*1080 resolution, and runs Android 10. According to the Bluetooth SIG, T790Y is the model name for the TCL 10 5G. The Bluetooth SIG filing also says the design name of the T970W is Seattle GL. Thus, it’s likely that the TCL REVVL 5G is just a rebranded version of the TCL10 5G for T-Mobile.”

Hardware specs and walkaround

And here we are. So, let’s take a look at what you get with the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone on the hardware side. The phone has a delightful heft to it. It almost feels flawless in hand to me, if it weren’t for the fact that the back is super slick—you’re definitely gonna wanna put a grippy case on it. But that heft lends to it a feeling of durability and solid engineering for the body of the phone.

I’m a person that is big on magenta, and this phone has this beautiful iridescent black to magenta smokey sheen to it on the back. And with a bright magenta power button on the side which has the option to light up for notifications.

Also on the back of the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone is a fingerprint scanner which works quite well with almost no error. And we’re gonna get a triple camera system on the back as well, more on that in a bit.

On the right side of the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone, above that magenta power button, is a volume rocker. On the top of the phone, you get a microphone and three and a half millimeter audio jack.

On the left side of the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone, you get a SIM tray which supports expandable storage via micro SD. T bottom of the phone is where you’ll find another microphone, USB-C port, and one of the speakers.

Display

Then we get to the front of the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone. The display is FHD. Plus, at six and a half inches it looks great. It’s actually an improvement on the TCL 10L, which I found to be a bit dark with NextVision activated.

And though the dynamic color range suffered, the increase of brightness was an acceptable trade off. In this case, the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone with NextVision on had a brightness level that was definitely watchable, and didn’t seem to suffer as much from the issues I had with the previous model.

One characteristic worth noting was color. Some of you may like heavily color saturated images, while others of you may like more natural images. With NextVision and watching The Witcher, the phone produced highly saturated colors. While with NextVision off, the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone gave a more natural tone to skin and the show overall.

Which also meant that with NextVision on, my pal, the turtle and his or her undersea friends also came vibrantly to life on this display. And by extension, you can be sure that all of your animated cartoons will too.

My only complaint with this beautiful HDR 10 display, is that it is glossy. So reflections could be an issue in some environments if you’re trying to watch something. Be forewarned.

At the top of that six and a half inch display, is a 16 megapixel hole-punch camera which will get you some solid selfies. It’s color reproduction is lifelike, not highly saturated like some. Next to that hole-punch is a speaker grill for your calls and for entertainment.

Sound quality

The next selling point of the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone handset, is the sound. Listening to YouTube, it was among the loudest I’ve tested, peaking at over 80 db.

Listening to The Witcher the perceived loudness, how loud it sounded to me, was lower than a couple handsets I’ve tested previously. But, on par with others which have a front firing speaker.

This makes for a much more pleasant listening experience for your music, your movies, and your video content. I’m always going to be a fan of front firing speakers, especially the kind that go in the earpiece grill and have some quality volume to them.

Battery life

You know what else has quality volume, the cells in the battery on this phone. Though it isn’t wireless charging capable, it does have a 4500 milliamp hour battery.

I wasn’t able to find a full spec list for the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone, but we know all the specs for the TCL 10. The TCL REVVL 5G smartphone is equipped with the same 18 watt fast charging and quick charge 3.0.

In the box, you don’t get headphones or any of that type of stuff. But you actually do get a really solid braided charge cable. This is actually an impressive cable. It’s pretty thick. So this cable feels like this is really gonna last a good amount of time. Much like the phone, the charging cable feels like it’s built or cut of the same cloth, if you will. You even get an 18 watt charger in the box.

Last, let’s look at the cameras and user experience.

Camera

As I’ve said before, these days you’re going to get a pretty solid image out of cameras in good daylight. But, it’s indoors and under tough conditions where things can get a bit fuzzy. This indoor shot of my Infinity Gauntlet and Yoda, which was shot under less than ideal lighting, still looks fairly sharp, with good color reproduction.

I also exposed TCL REVVL 5G smartphone’s night mode to my metro stop test. It produced an image which was serviceable on bigger screens and would be just fine on our smartphone displays.

As I always point out, the two points to look at in these photos are the amount of graininess in the sky, and the sharpness of the palm fronds.

Hardware specs and experience

Getting to some of the more technical specs the TCL REVVL 5G smartphone houses 6GB of RAM, runs on Android 10, and feels nice and peppy.

Moving through menus, flipping through camera modes, it all feels fast enough—especially at $400 for a 5G phone. The UI does not feel like it gets in the way, as it’s fairly close to stock Android without a lot of bloatware. Other than NextVision, there aren’t a ton of upgrades and add-ons.

The TCL REVVL 5G smartphone is a 5G phone, so we actually need to talk about that. This phone takes advantage of some of that new mid band spectrum T-Mobile picked up when it acquired Sprint.

You’ll only find that part of the spectrum T Mobile offers in select areas currently. You’re going to have more luck with the sub six spectrum T-Mobile has already been operating prior to the merger. The TCL REVVL 5G smartphone can also take advantage of the sub six spectrum. Where you can access that mid band spectrum, it is fast.

I didn’t get the chance to test the building penetration as thoroughly as I’d like. But, I did find a tower about nine minutes from my home. Let’s check that out.

Full disclosure I’m about probably a 100 yards from a cell tower, about 100 yards from a 2.5 Gigahertz cell tower. What I did is, my contact at T-Mobile gave me their map of 2.5 GHz band or 2.5 GHz spectrum locations.

They have been deployed here in Los Angeles. I’m currently in Chatsworth, California. There we go. 300, 350, 400, 400 MBps down. 495, 514 MBps down. 541 MBps per second down, the test is still running, this is speedtest.net by Ookla.

That’s 81 MBps down or up rather. 541 MBps down 81 up. So the final analysis, this is a lot of 5G phone for a really good price.

If you get the special right now, it is a steal for a 5G phone. You can get it for $200, when you add a new line.

If you’re in the market to upgrade and really want a 5G phone on T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, or on the Sprint side of things, you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal.

You should definitely put this on top of your shortlist of 5G phones that you may be considering.

Normally this is the part where I’d tell you to check out Reviews.org. I’ll get used to this someday. But, since we’re talking about a T-Mobile exclusive, you can still go to Reviews.org. to check out all the rate plans, phones, and everything that T-Mobile’s offering. We have that on the site as well.

As usual, we don’t take it lightly that you spent your time watching with us. I thank you kindly, I’m Tshaka Armstrong for Reviews.org. See you in the next video.