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TCL 50 series with NXTPAPER coming to US


TCL 50 XE NXTPAPER zone color paper mode quick settings

Harley Maranan / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • The TCL 50 series — featuring NXTPAPER 3.0 technology — will come to the US later this year.
  • The TCL 50 XL NXTPAPER is the headliner, starting at under $229.
  • There will also be a TCL 50 XE NXTPAPER for slightly less with a weaker spec sheet.

Let’s face it: generally, budget Android phones aren’t cool. However, TCL’s newer wallet-friendly devices do feature one of the coolest pieces of mobile tech available: NXTPAPER. This gives the display glass a matte finish that looks great under even direct sunlight while also being more comfortable to use when reading text — think of it like a Kindle display, but full-color.

Now, TCL is launching the 50 series in the United States, with some phones including the latest, best version of the technology known as NXTPAPER 3.0. I used these phones back at CES 2024 and have now used them again at MWC 2024, and I gotta tell you, I love NXTPAPER more and more every time I use it.

Of course, the significant trade-off with getting a phone with NXTPAPER is that you won’t get any flagship specs. I hope that changes eventually, but for now, if you’re looking for a cheap Android phone that still brings some innovation, the TCL 50 series is worth a look.

Here’s the info you need on the NXTPAPER phones coming to the United States in 2024.

TCL 50 XL NXTPAPER

TCL 50 XL NXTPAPER 5G selfie camera app

Harley Maranan / Android Authority

The TCL 50 XL NXTPAPER looks a bit like a OnePlus phone if you squint. It has a 6.78-inch FHD+ display with a locked 120Hz refresh rate (you can drop it to 60Hz if you want, but no variable refresh rates here).

It also has the best spec sheet of the NXTPAPER phones coming to the US. Inside is a MediaTek 23E Plus (MT6835), an octa-core budget chipset. That’s paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. You can expand that storage up to 2TB with a microSD card, if necessary.

There’s also a large battery at 5,010mAh, charging at a decent clip of 18W. Unfortunately, you won’t find wireless charging here or with any phone at this price point.

As far as cameras, on the rear, you’ve got a 50MP primary, a 5MP ultrawide, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, you’ll find an 8MP selfie cam.

US residents can buy the TCL 50 XL NXTPAPER directly from the company in Q3 2024 for under $229.

TCL 50 XE NXTPAPER

TCL 50 XE NXTPAPER front display

Harley Maranan / Android Authority

The TCL 50 XE NXTPAPER is like the smaller, weaker sibling of the XL. It has a 6.6-inch HD display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It has the same MediaTek 23E Plus chipset and the same battery capacity of 5,010mAh.

Interestingly, this phone charges significantly faster than the XL at 33W. We’re not sure why TCL made this decision.

You’ll need to sacrifice some other specs, though. The XE comes with 4GB of RAM (that TCL says is “expanded” by 8GB of virtual RAM, but don’t buy into that malarkey — it’s 4GB of RAM). You’ll also lose out on the depth sensor on the rear camera and the microSD card slot.

With these various trade-offs, US residents will be able to get the XE for under $199 starting in Q3 2024. As with the XL, you’ll need to grab it directly from TCL.

Other non-NXTPAPER phones

TCL 50 XE and 50 XL side by side in hand back

Harley Maranan / Android Authority

TCL also has phones coming to the US without NXTPAPER displays. Obviously, they aren’t nearly as cool, but we’ll let you know about them anyway:

  • TCL 50 XL: Just like the XL described above, but with a normal display. This will be available from Metro by T-Mobile for under $169 beginning in Q2 2024.
  • TCL 50 XE: Once again, just like the NXTPAPER version but with a less cool display. This is coming to North America in Q3 2024 for under $149. TCL didn’t say if it would come to a US carrier or be an exclusive on TCL’s website, so stay tuned for more info.
  • TCL 50 LE: We don’t have any details on this yet, other than it will cost under $99 and land in the US later this year.
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