Oct 3, 2016

TCL 950/BlackBerry DTEK60: 21-MP Camera. 4GB RAM and Snapdragon 820

TCL will be sharing the body of its smartphone flagship with BlackBerry, and the results are stunning.

TCL is not a brand you hear in the global smartphone market that much, and you are probably more familiar with their televisions than their smartphones. But the Chinese technology company is looking to make a big splash with its new flagship, the TCL 950. The device is actually going to show up under the BlackBerry banner as the BlackBerry DTEK60 (codenamed Argon), which is BlackBerry's new upcoming flagship.

TCL however will be using the same hardware, sans BlackBerry's secure software version for Android, and give it a coat of paint with the TCL branding. The result is a fabulous, blingy smartphone in stunning gold and black color, with all the same niceties you find on the DTEK60.

Chief among these is the gorgeous 5.5-inch AMOLED Full HD 1080p display, with a good 500 nits of brightness and 2.5D arc glass curves. Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 clocked at 2.15Ghz, supported by an Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of RAM. There will also be 64GB of internal storage, with a microSD slot for expansion. The main camera is a 21-megapixel Sony IMX sensor camera with f/2.2 aperture and phase detection autofocus. At the front is an 8-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture. The phone has dual-SIM capability with dual standby, and has a 3000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.

On the back is a fingerprint scanner, resting underneath the main camera. There are two speakers for stereo sound at the top and bottom of the phone, useful when watching videos in landscape mode. The phone has the usual connectivity options of LTE, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, and a USB Type-C port at the bottom.

One of the great things about the TCL 950 is the round "convenience key" on the right, which sits beneath the volume button rocker. This key can be customized to do different things in the software, and responds to single and double presses. The phone also has the ability to clone apps, meaning you can run two different iterations of Viber, for instance, if you have multiple accounts for an app.

Overall, the phone looks great, and while we have the Gold version here, it'll also be available in Silver. The phone will go for CNY 3,299, or about PHP 23,900. The actual launch date isn't known yet, or whether it'll be hitting the local market officially.

TCL 950 Key Specs

Display5.5-inch AMOLED, Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
ProcessorSnapdragon 820 (2.15GHz) with Adreno 530 GPU
Memory4GM RAM / 64 GB ROM (expandable via microSD slot up to 128GB)
CameraMain: 21MP Sony IMX230 sensor with PDAF and f/2.2 aperture
Front: 8MP with f/2.2 aperture
Batterynon-removable 3,000mAh with Quick Charge 3.0 support
OthersHybrid SIM slot
Dual Speaker, Fingerprint scanner, Dual-Apps
Pricing3,299 Yuan (USD 495)