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TCL 40 XE 5G review: All bang, few bucks

TCL 40 XE 5G review: At a glance

  • What is it? The TCL 40 XE 5G is a budget-friendly smartphone with a 6.6-inch HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G processor and packs a 5,000mAh battery with 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage. It replaces last year’s TCL 30 XE 5G and aims to meet everyday needs without the steep price tag.
  • What is the price? The TCL 40 XE is priced at $169.99 in the US and CAD$320 in Canada.
  • Where can you buy it? The TCL 40 XE 5G will launch exclusively in North America in June 2023.
  • How did we test it? I tested the TCL 40 XE for a week and a half. TCL supplied the phone for review.
  • Is it worth it? If you’re just looking for a barebones smartphone experience for an affordable price, the TCL 40 XE 5G is one of the best value options in 2023. The update policy is poor and the speakers aren’t the best, but the phone has a sturdy construction, a premium look, a solid main camera, and long-lasting battery life to make it through the day.

TCL 40 XE 5G

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$169 at Verizon

Should you buy the TCL 40 XE 5G?

TCL 40 XE 5G in box

Credit: Adam Birney / Android Authority

TCL aims to deliver a feature-packed smartphone for an affordable price tag with the 40 XE 5G, and for the most part, they’ve knocked it out of the park. The phone features a few improvements over the TCL 30 XE 5G, such as a bigger battery (5,000mAh vs 4,500mAh) and twice the internal storage (128GB vs 64GB). It’s also $30 less at $169.99 MSRP, making it the most affordable 5G smartphone from TCL to date.