Motorola introduced its first phone with a built-in stylus a couple of years back, and it became one of the company's most popular models. Now TCL offers its TCL Stylus 5G, a budget Galaxy Note alternative for $258.
TCL Stylus 5G has a large 6.81-inch FHD+ display, so you can draw, take notes, or simply watch videos. In addition, like other TCL handsets, the phone has a blue light filter and allows HDR content to be upscaled from SDR in both movies and games; this will improve contrast and color saturation.
Additional specifications include a 4,000 mAh battery, an octa-core Mediatek Dimensity 700 chip, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
The Stylus 5G, in contrast with many high-end smartphones, still contains a microSD card slot for memory expansion and a 3.5mm audio jack for wired audio.
The cameras come with a 50MP main sensor in the back, a 5MP ultrawide lens, a 2MP depth sensor, and even a 2MP macro camera. The front camera is 13MP.
The TCL Stylus 5G comes with a number of preinstalled stylus apps, just like the Galaxy Note (or, more recently, the Galaxy S22 Ultra) does.
There's a feature similar to Samsung's Screen Off memo that ensures you are able to take notes without having to unlock your phone. Additional shortcuts allow you to take screenshots and create custom GIFs.
Through an arrangement with MyScript, the phone comes with free subscriptions to the Nebo and MyScript Calculator apps that allow you to convert handwritten notes or formulas into text.
However, the Stylus 5G lacks some of the advanced features you'll find on other more expensive options. The pen on this device is a passive stylus, so it can't be used as a remote shutter or presentation tool.
The device is only compatible with sub-6GHz 5G, in spite of its name. TCL claims the Stylus 5G has 30 percent less latency than rivals like the Moto Stylus 5G, which is similarly priced.
It is perhaps the biggest concern with the phone that the software support will be limited since TCL only promises to offer one major Android OS update and two years of security patches.
The TCL Stylus 5G is available today on T-Mobile and Metro if you're looking for an affordable phone with a built-in pen instead of Motorola.
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