The 10 Pro has outstanding performance with the Snapdragon 675 chip, and its 6.5-inch OLED screen is sharp and bright, even in broad daylight. The 4,500-mAh battery keeps it on all day, and the four-camera system does well under various lighting conditions, though it’s still not as good as the Pixel 3A. It feels more premium because it is a glass sandwich, but it also makes it delicate.
The plastic-backed 10L is more durable and has equally good performance, even though it uses a slower Snapdragon 665 processor – for $ 200 less. Its battery can last all day, and while it can take some nice pictures during daylight, the lack of night mode on this model means that your low-light shots look quite poor. Its screen is also dim for viewing in the sun outside.
The biggest drawback of TCL is that like Motorola, it is promising an Android version update only for these phones. This is disappointing, and it does not bode well for the longevity of these phones.
Works on all three major US carriers
Should you buy now?
Yes. Now is the best time to stop a new phone. We will probably start launching new budget phones in March or April 2021 – possibly due to an epidemic due to production even later. You have lots of good options right now.
Check network compatibility
If you buy an unlocked phone in this list and try to take it to one of your wireless carrier’s retail stores, they can tell you that it is not compatible with the network. It is likely. Simply use a paper clip or SIM ejection tool to pop the SIM card from your existing phone, then slide that SIM into your new phone. If it does not work earlier, reboot the phone or wait for a few hours.
If you need a new SIM, try ordering one online from your carrier, or try to give you a SIM when you activate a line in the store (if you’re starting coverage). Let them know that you have a phone. Many times, the representative wants to sell you a phone; This is one of the possible reasons that they may bother you to buy a different device in the store.
After saying this, please make sure that every phone you buy will work on your wireless network. Listings at retailers such as Amazon will clearly state which network it will be compatible with. Also, make sure the listing says that the phone is being sold “open”.
Warning for Verizon users: There is a high probability that an open phone will not work on your network. Make sure it is labeled to work on Verizon, or that the phone is CDMA-enabled. If something strange is going on, such as you don’t find any texts, you may also have to contact customer service and ask them to enable CDMA-less roaming. AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM carriers, a standard for most of the world; Most unlocked phones are compatible with them.
If you are nervous, look at the specifications of the exact model you are considering. Make sure it is Lte band It needs to run on your carrier. Talking about the network, no phone in this guide supports 5G, which is completely fine. 5G phones are quite expensive, and networks are still available in a few locations across the country, so you are not missing out on much.
Avoid These Phones!
If a phone is not listed here, or if it is renewed, be careful. It is easy to waste money or time when you are shopping for affordable phones. It is difficult to understand how a cheap phone will work in the long term when you use it for five minutes in a store, and retail employees may not get much help from it. Make sure you read online reviews.