Getting started with the TCL 10 5G (T790Y) in the absence of root / stock ROMs

Scratchling

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2012
569
105
73
Dublin
Hi folks,

As this phone is pretty niche/doesn't have much of a community yet (and may never) I've decided to put a few of my thoughts together in one thread. XDA is my go to for new phones so having an empty device sub makes me sad. None of this may be useful or some of it may be, you tell me.

Purchase:
Bought December 2020. Total cost: €160
This is notable as the market price for these is €400+ SIM Free so this was a bit of a steal for the 765G
Network: Three Ireland, locked

Root?
See bootloader

Bootloader
Is locked down tighter than fort knox. There IS a developer option to allow unlocking but it seems to do nothing. This is common with Alcatel/TCL. Hopefully it's broken, I'm not holding my breath though.
Code:
C:\Users\Administrator>fastboot oem device-info
                                                   (bootloader) Verity mode: true
(bootloader) Device unlocked: false
(bootloader) Device critical unlocked: false
(bootloader) Charger screen enabled: false
OKAY [  0.005s]
Finished. Total time: 0.008s
Current software?
Code:
Build: QKQ1.200329.002 release-keys
Radio: PAN_GEN_PACK-1.303751.1.304885.8
4.19.81
Patch Level: Aug 2020
Branded splash?
Yes, cannot be removed without root

Quick note on physical build:
Normally I'd always say go on, go bigger. This time I'm finding it a little awkward reaching some stuff. I'm a tall man with reasonably large hands so could get away with anything slightly smaller and reach the whole display. Aspect plays a part here.
The Google button(thank Christ its not Bixby) on the left is super helpful and also super annoying. Find it really easy to accidentally press when holding it in my left hand which is my default.
The power button on the far side is equally easy to press fine. The problem is double press is camera but triple press is EMERGENCY. I do not want emergency. FFS TCL. Seems like no way to disable it.
The gradient on the back is nice but maaaan is it slippy.

Brightness:
Autobrightness is woeful. Like far too aggressive. Blinds you half the time then dimms down to unreadable. Not a fan. Turned it off.

Battery:
The usual chinese affair, kill everything running for more than 6 seconds. Get amazing battery life but prevent apps doing anything useful. Play the usual game of protecting half the apps on your phone and remember to do it with new apps. Problem solved, battery life more normal.
That said the 4500mAh paired with the 765G is pretty sweet.

De-Bloating:
Okay. So we can't root. Sh1t. But all is not lost. ADB gives us some control.
This isnt unique to TCL, sample guide here -> https://www.xda-developers.com/uninstall-carrier-oem-bloatware-without-root-access/

Once you've got an active adb shell:
Code:
pm list packages
That gives us all the installed apps. I'll include that list in post #2
We can "remove" them with the below
Code:
pm uninstall -k --user 0 $package
eg
Code:
pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.ebay.carrier
Here's most or all of what I removed

Code:
com.ebay.carrier
com.amazon.appmanager
ie.three.threeplus
ie.three.my3
com.amazon.mShop.android.shopping
com.tct.smart.account
com.ebay.mobile
com.tct.smart.community
com.facebook.appmanager
com.facebook.system
com.facebook.katana
com.tct.smart.community
com.netflix.mediaclient
com.netflix.partner.activation
com.spectreit.three
com.amazon.avod.thirdpartyclient
com.tcl.usercare
com.facebook.services
com.netflix.partner.activation
com.spectreit.three
com.tcl.usercare
com.tct.smart.notes
I've removed a few at a time in case it causes the system to crash etc. So far so good but do so at your own risk.

Install Youtube Vanced works via normal sideload. IMO really worth doing.

DPI/Scaling:
Defaults to 360
Somewhere around 400-420 is better IMO

Network unlocking:
So far nobody has been able to offer network codes for 272-05 but other networks in the same country are apparently available. Hopefully soon.

More notes, tidbits & complaints as I get them
- Scratchling
 

dat7476

Senior Member
Mar 9, 2014
206
114
73
newcastle
Hi folks,

As this phone is pretty niche/doesn't have much of a community yet (and may never) I've decided to put a few of my thoughts together in one thread. XDA is my go to for new phones so having an empty device sub makes me sad. None of this may be useful or some of it may be, you tell me.

Purchase:
Bought December 2020. Total cost: €160
This is notable as the market price for these is €400+ SIM Free so this was a bit of a steal for the 765G
Network: Three Ireland, locked

Root?
See bootloader

Bootloader
Is locked down tighter than fort knox. There IS a developer option to allow unlocking but it seems to do nothing. This is common with Alcatel/TCL. Hopefully it's broken, I'm not holding my breath though.
Code:
C:\Users\Administrator>fastboot oem device-info
                                                   (bootloader) Verity mode: true
(bootloader) Device unlocked: false
(bootloader) Device critical unlocked: false
(bootloader) Charger screen enabled: false
OKAY [  0.005s]
Finished. Total time: 0.008s
Current software?
Code:
Build: QKQ1.200329.002 release-keys
Radio: PAN_GEN_PACK-1.303751.1.304885.8
4.19.81
Patch Level: Aug 2020
Branded splash?
Yes, cannot be removed without root

Quick note on physical build:
Normally I'd always say go on, go bigger. This time I'm finding it a little awkward reaching some stuff. I'm a tall man with reasonably large hands so could get away with anything slightly smaller and reach the whole display. Aspect plays a part here.
The Google button(thank Christ its not Bixby) on the left is super helpful and also super annoying. Find it really easy to accidentally press when holding it in my left hand which is my default.
The power button on the far side is equally easy to press fine. The problem is double press is camera but triple press is EMERGENCY. I do not want emergency. FFS TCL. Seems like no way to disable it.
The gradient on the back is nice but maaaan is it slippy.

Brightness:
Autobrightness is woeful. Like far too aggressive. Blinds you half the time then dimms down to unreadable. Not a fan. Turned it off.

Battery:
The usual chinese affair, kill everything running for more than 6 seconds. Get amazing battery life but prevent apps doing anything useful. Play the usual game of protecting half the apps on your phone and remember to do it with new apps. Problem solved, battery life more normal.
That said the 4500mAh paired with the 765G is pretty sweet.

De-Bloating:
Okay. So we can't root. Sh1t. But all is not lost. ADB gives us some control.
This isnt unique to TCL, sample guide here -> https://www.xda-developers.com/uninstall-carrier-oem-bloatware-without-root-access/

Once you've got an active adb shell:
Code:
pm list packages
That gives us all the installed apps. I'll include that list in post #2
We can "remove" them with the below
Code:
pm uninstall -k --user 0 $package
eg
Code:
pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.ebay.carrier
Here's most or all of what I removed

Code:
com.ebay.carrier
com.amazon.appmanager
ie.three.threeplus
ie.three.my3
com.amazon.mShop.android.shopping
com.tct.smart.account
com.ebay.mobile
com.tct.smart.community
com.facebook.appmanager
com.facebook.system
com.facebook.katana
com.tct.smart.community
com.netflix.mediaclient
com.netflix.partner.activation
com.spectreit.three
com.amazon.avod.thirdpartyclient
com.tcl.usercare
com.facebook.services
com.netflix.partner.activation
com.spectreit.three
com.tcl.usercare
com.tct.smart.notes
I've removed a few at a time in case it causes the system to crash etc. So far so good but do so at your own risk.

Install Youtube Vanced works via normal sideload. IMO really worth doing.

DPI/Scaling:
Defaults to 360
Somewhere around 400-420 is better IMO

Network unlocking:
So far nobody has been able to offer network codes for 272-05 but other networks in the same country are apparently available. Hopefully soon.

More notes, tidbits & complaints as I get them
- Scratchling
have you heard anything about this model getting updates as when i google its just gives the tcl 10 pro will get updated, nothing about the 10 5g...
any info apreciated as im still stuck on may 2020 security patch and no update available, mines unlocked but from 3 uk..
 

Metconnect2000

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2015
82
13
28
have you heard anything about this model getting updates as when i google its just gives the tcl 10 pro will get updated, nothing about the 10 5g...
any info apreciated as im still stuck on may 2020 security patch and no update available, mines unlocked but from 3 uk..
I have the TMobile variant and got the security update just yesterday. Hopefully they'll bring Android 11.
 

Eric1084

Senior Member
Dec 22, 2014
83
25
38
Cupertino
ericqian.me
Nice work on this post! There was one part I'm confused about. How did you manage to issue fastboot commands? When I tried adb reboot bootloader, the device would shutdown, flash briefly, and then boot normally.
 

Scratchling

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2012
569
105
73
Dublin
Nice work on this post! There was one part I'm confused about. How did you manage to issue fastboot commands? When I tried adb reboot bootloader, the device would shutdown, flash briefly, and then boot normally.
Either the key combo (power+up or pwr+down) or using ADB worked for me. I had set the "OEM Unlocking" flag in developer options but that probably isnt controlling fastboot IMHO.

Is your build vanilla or branded?
 

Eric1084

Senior Member
Dec 22, 2014
83
25
38
Cupertino
ericqian.me
Either the key combo (power+up or pwr+down) or using ADB worked for me. I had set the "OEM Unlocking" flag in developer options but that probably isnt controlling fastboot IMHO.

Is your build vanilla or branded?
Yeah, I have the rebanded T-Mobile variant. That's probably the cause for the inaccessible fastboot.
pwr+up = recovery, up+down = download, pwr+down = reboot.
 
Dec 14, 2017
41
10
8
23
Same here BUT i did find this tool that somehow gets it into "fastbootd" its weired never heard of that.. only "fastboot" but I'm not quite sure what to go from there I tried fast boot oem unlock and a few others and still nothing I'll give the link for the tool that I used it was for a oppo phone cuz I was originally trying anything and everything just to get into fast boot and was trying to find things that had the similar chipset. SOC "SDM765G" I ALSO WAS TRYING TO FIND A FIRE HOSE FOR EDL and I ran across this tool that somehow got me into that mode I will link it soon. Verizon model T790S I will upload a picture of the "fastbootd" also and my recovery is stripped down as well only have the options to format. to restart into bootloader and to power off nothing else .
 

JayTM

Member
Feb 3, 2021
12
1
13
I have the TMobile variant and got the security update just yesterday. Hopefully they'll bring Android 11.
Can you run the command to pull the logcat? It will have the download link to the full firmware file. Need to look inside to see if there is a possibility of extracting the boot.img and patching it with magisk.