Things looked grim for fans of budget stylus phones when LG dropped out of the mobile market last year, taking its Stylo devices with it. Just when it looked like Motorola was going to run the table with its Moto G Stylus phones, TCL has announced a new device with a built-in stylus: the aptly named TCL Stylus 5G. It’s available starting today, June 2nd, from T-Mobile for $258.
The Stylus 5G includes a 6.81-inch 1080p LCD, MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. There’s a 4,000mAh battery — quite a bit smaller than the 5,000mAh capacity of Motorola’s stylus phones — plus a microSD slot for storage expansion and a headphone jack.
The phone includes a few stylus-centric pre-downloads, including an AI handwriting-to-text app developed in partnership with Nebo. There’s also MyScript Calculator 2, a calculator app that can decipher written equations and store results for future reference. Plus, you can do normal stuff with a stylus and make everyone around you think you’re very important.
On the rear panel, the TCL Stylus 5G offers a 50-megapixel main camera complemented by a 5-megapixel ultrawide — two potentially useful rear cameras! There are also two other less-useful cameras: a 2-megapixel macro and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front, there’s a 13-megapixel selfie cam. The phone ships with Android 12, and TCL is promising one OS version upgrade as well as two years of security updates.
The year started off with Samsung adding a stylus to its high-end S22 Ultra for fans of stylus phones that can do just about anything. At the lower end of the price spectrum, the TCL Stylus 5G joins two options from Motorola: the midrange Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G and the less expensive 4G-only Moto G Stylus. Even without LG in the mix, 2022 is shaping up to be a good year for the stylus phone.