TCL Corporation launched a new budget smartphone dubbed as TCL 560 in India for a price of Rs 7,999, available exclusively via Amazon India. The company is a Chinese manufacturer, known for making TVs and smartphones in home country. It plans to launch four new smartphones in India, by the end of this year, with an aim to disrupt the market and ambition to become a leading brand in the country a few years from now.
The TCL 560 smartphone is a plastic bodied device with specifications and features that are standard in its price segment. Though, it does tout an interesting feature, the iris scanner, which is likely to help it fetch attention of the consumer.
However, the question is whether an iris scanner is good enough of a feature for a new smartphone to sail through the tide!
Here we take a look at the goods and the bads of the phone, in the form of our first impressions of the TCL 560:
DESIGN: Light on hand but average looking!
TCL 560 is a plastic bodied smartphone that dons a removable back panel. Front adorns a secondary camera, a 5.5-inch display, and three capacitive keys placed below the display. Moving to the sides, the left side of the phone has power key and volume rocker. The rear panel of the phone we checked was painted in dark grey colour, but you can also buy a metallic gold colour variant. Ergonomically, the phone is nice, is light in weight, and easy to operate single handedly. The good part is that its back panel is removable, and you can also remove its battery.
The phone looks old fashioned in terms of looks, but then that's the case with most smartphones placed in this price range. Overall, it looks average for its money!
Display: Big 720p screen, but lacks glass protection
The phone flaunts a 5.5-inch IPS display in HD resolution with 1280 × 720 pixels, which is big, nice and crisp. The good thing is that the display is less reflective than most smartphones in this category. It offers good viewing angles as well.
A 720p display sounds good for a budget smartphone, but what we miss on the display front is a Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The presence of a protection glass could have been an advantage!
Processor, RAM and Storage: Quad-core CPU with 2GB RAM
The TCL 560 is powered by a quad-core chipset that is paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which can be expanded using a microSD card. RAM and storage capacity on the phone is good for its price.
Even though the storage capacity on the phone is standard, considering the competition, we feel that an octa-core chipset and 3GB of RAM could have been better. Rivals like Coolpad Note 3 Plus offers better tech specs such as higher resolution display, octa-core chipset, 3GB RAM and more for a slightly higher price, and are big threats to TCL 560.
The TCL 560 is equipped with an 8MP rear-facing primary camera with autofocus, LED flash, 84.4-degree wide angle lens, and a 5MP front-facing snapper. In the camera department, the tech specs look good on paper, but it all depends on the performance of the camera.
During our brief hands on session, we found the camera to be fine in performance. Images were hazy and dark! However, we would like to reserve our final take on camera for its details review.
Android Marshmallow on board:
The good part is that TCL 560 ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is good considering that many spec-heavy smartphones still run Android Lollipop, which is now outdated. Android OS is topped with Inlife UI which brings customizations and extra features. The interface looks nice and we found it smooth to operate.
Security: Iris Scanner vs fingerprint scanner
TCL 560 gives a pass to the fingerprint scanner, to instead feature an Iris scanner called EyeVerify for authentication and enhanced security of the phone. The feature is also its highlight, as TCL 560 is the first in the budget segment to feature a retina scanner. We are yet to test the Iris scanner to have our take on it!
In terms of connectivity options, the phone has dual-SIMslots, 4G VoLTE support, Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS/AGPS, and microSD card slot. However, it features a microUSB connectivity option instead of the USB Type C port which is in fashion these days!
TCL 560 main USP is its iris scanner on the front for unlocking the device, which is break from the trend of fingerprint scanner. Besides, the phone comes with a decent set of specifications for its price, though its competitors in this range are well equipped and have better specs on paper. Rest depends on its performance!