tecno phantom 5 pro

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TECNO PHANTOM X2 Series: Premium smartphones with revolutionary camera tech

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PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G Eco-Friendly Edition

TECNO’s PHANTOM X2 series landed just the other week. Sporting a selection of high-end features — from a powerhouse MediaTek Dimensity 9000 processor to blazing-fast memory and storage, through to super-quick charging, and a striking unibody double-curved design — the handsets aim to the brand’s spirit of “Stop At Nothing.”

But perhaps the standout highlight is found in the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G’s camera package. Building on essential camera features like Super Night and Beautification Mode, the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G is the first smartphone with a retractable lens designed specifically for portrait photography.

This innovation can help take your smartphone photography game up another level; here’s how.

What does a retractable portrait lens let you do?

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Just like a professional-grade DSLR or mirrorless camera, the PHANTOM X2 Pro features an adjustable focal length lens. Based on a 2.5x optical zoom, the retractable lens has 65mm focal lengths, the latter being ideal for portrait photography.

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You see, a camera’s focal length is determining factor of two key portrait photography attributes. First, natural bokeh. Longer focal lengths create additional background compression, naturally softening and blurring the background to add depth to your pictures. This means you can achieve professional-looking portraits without the need for hit-and-miss software-applied blur. The PHANTOM X2 Pro boasts a shallow 18.9cm depth of field for more pronounced natural bokeh.

The second benefit is producing a natural face shape and a tighter crop for perfect framing. While wide-angle lenses are great for fitting more into your shot, they don’t reproduce the world exactly as your eye sees it. For a more realistic field for view and face shape, a focal length between 50 and 80mm is considered ideal. The PHANTOM X2 Pro lands right in the sweet spot at 65mm, ensuring that your subjects look flatteringly realistic.

There’s an added benefit here too: both 1x and 2.5x shooting modes make use of the PHANTOM X2 Pro’s large 1/1.3-inch 50MP image sensor with 1.2µm-sized pixels and ƒ/1.49 aperture lens with 1.28µm-sized pixels. That powerful sensor will ensure that your snaps look great in low light, whether you’re shooting landscapes or portraits. This makes the experience unlike other flagship smartphones, which typically resort to a separate, smaller image sensor for optical zoom.

PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G: Premium Photography, Premium Everything

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Although the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G’s retractable portrait lens is innovative and eye-catching, this is a true premium device in every sense of the word. All this camera technology is powered by MediaTek’s robust Dimensity 9000 processor and supported by 12GB of RAM under the hood. Combine this with a 5,160mAh battery with 45W rapid charging, and you’ve got a device that’s ready for a photoshoot (or really anything) all day and at a moment’s notice. And with 256GB of storage space, feel free to take as many full-res shots as you please.

But premium doesn’t just mean high-end specs these days. We’ve come to expect more from our devices, and TECNO delivers in these capacities as well.

For example, TECNO has partnered with photographer Rankin to co-develop the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G’s “Master Filters.” With multiple filters to choose from, creative photographers can tailor their images just to their liking. “The tech involved with this phone is extraordinary,” said Rankin. “It’s not just about taking good images quickly anymore, it’s about creating something visually stunning that we can be really creative with.” With this kind of technology and expert insight coming together, even the most inexperienced photographers will be able to capture beautiful, masterful images.

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The PHANTOM X2 series piles on the photography features with a dedicated Super Night mode to reduce noise and capture enhanced shadow details with greater clarity. Excellent low-light capabilities extend to video too, thanks to the PHANTOM X2’s Super Night algorithm, which reduces noise in high ISO scenarios. In addition, TECNO’s self-developed Beautification Mode provides refined adjustments to facial features for up to three individuals in a picture. There’s also a choice of make-up filters to further fine-tune the look of your portraits.

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But there’s more to TECNO’s latest smartphones than excellent photography powered by top-of-the-line hardware. The PHANTOM X2 Series also comes packaged with a number of Smart Business features to take these devices from selfie snappers to workhorses.

The Smart Business suite includes a bevy of systems designed to make your life in the business world easier. The Translator feature allows you to turn on live subtitles for international online calls, and you can enable it to automatically translate messages in WhatsApp, Messenger, LINE, Twitter and more. With photo translation and face-to-face translation, you’ll never be out of the loop again.

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If you take a photo of a document, the Smart Business File Secretary will recognize it as such and convert any text into an editable file. Perspective correction and edge detection work together to make sure the documents you photograph are correctly formatted for later reference. You can even use this feature to scan multiple continuous documents, save and share PDF files, and, yes, there is document signature support.

In a nutshell, the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G isn’t just a hardware revelation, it’s backed up by essential software features to put image quality even further.

PHANTOM X2 series: Redefining Premium

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TECNO’s PHANTOM X2 series has its sights firmly set on disrupting the premium flagship market. Innovative features in the photography space, including the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G’s retractable portrait camera and premium-tier hardware all around.

TECNO is also taking a stand in terms of responsibility for the communities in which it operates, raising the bar not just for what it means to have a premium-tier smartphone, but what it means to be a premium-tier company. For example, the brand’s eco-conscious credentials have produced an Eco-Friendly Edition of the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G with a back cover built from 14.4% recycled materials, resulting in a 38% reduction in carbon emissions for each device produced.

Combined with a top-tier display, performance, a unique unibody double-curved design, and AI-infused software features, the PHANTOM X2 series certainly brings a fresh perspective to the high-end smartphone market.

The TECNO PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G is a groundbreaking device that sets itself apart. Its stunning camera system features a retractable lens for professional-level portrait photography with natural bokeh and a flattering field of view, and its high-end specs and large image sensor make it a powerhouse for all types of photography, delivering exceptional performance and image quality. The PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G is a top choice not just for photographers and selfie-snappers, but also businesses and high-end users. With its versatility and top-of-the-line features, this premium device is not to be missed!

The PHANTOM X2 Series is slated to hit global markets from the end of December.

TECNO Phantom X2 Pro 5G review: the smartphone with extending camera lens

The first phone with an extending wide-aperture telephoto lens; the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro has some impressive bokeh, along with a flagship feature set.

The first extending phone lens has an awesome wide aperture

I'm sure you probably haven't heard much about the TECNO brand in North America, but they've been pretty active in other markets like Africa, the Middle East, South/Southeast Asia, and Latin America. The new TECNO Phantom X2 Pro 5G is their latest flagship Android smartphone and there's something really special about the camera array. You'll learn more about that in the rest of the review. Besides that big stand-out camera feature, the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro 5G has most of the other features you may want in a flagship premium smartphone as well.

What's in the Box

The packaging is quite premium as well. The Phantom X2 Pro 5G comes in a nice black box with a nice soft finish and a varnished stripe along with gold foil embossed logos.

Besides a 45W charging brick, USB-C charging/data cable, and wired earphones, the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro 5G also includes a nice white hard rubber case. What's more, the case has a big rim around the camera array that also has a hinge so that ic an act like a kickstand to hold the phone at an angle for watching movies and such. Kickstands like this on phones used to be much more common and it's great to see the feature return as part of an included protective cover.

The big kickstand rim around the camera array with the case on is great for protecting the camera lenses, not only when you lay the phone on a desk or table, but also while holding the phone. The ledge is easy to feel with your fingers so that you can be sure to avoid getting finger prints on the big lenses.

For internal specs, the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro 5G has a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 4nm ARMv9 octa-core CPU with bursts up to 3.05Ghz, with 12Gb of LPDDR5X DRAM and 256Gb of UFS3.1 flash storage space. It's also got a 5160mAh battery with a long duration mode and 45W fast charging. The screen is 6.8" AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rate and a 20:9 aspect ratio at 1080 x 2400 pixels with 9H hardness Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The phone's dimensions are 164.6mm x 72.7mm x 8.9mm. We've also got support for a good number of 5G bands such as sub6 TDD: n38, n40, n41, n77, n78, n79, sub6 FDD: n1, n3, n8, n28, n71.

The top is flat with a single microphone hole. It looks like this is where the internal hardware is inserted into the phone's unibody double-curved metal frame design.

The bottom looks really smooth with rounded corners. The SIM card tray can take 2 Nano SIM cards. Of course there's USB-C here, too and a speaker grill. The speaker's sound isn't as premium or loud as other more expensive phones.

The left side is thin smooth and round with a couple segments for the antennae. The thinness of the edges can make holding the phone more slippery than something with a larger surface area and friction.

The right side is where the very thin power button and volume rocker buttons are. They're kind of hard to see even, but they protrude sharply so that it's easy to feel for them without having to look. The power button is colored red to make it a little more distinct which also matches the red ring around the camera on the back.

The shiny "Phantom" logo on the back looks great, and this matte black finish has a fine speckled texture to it that nicely avoids fingerprint grease blemishes and feel pretty nice to hold.

This is the extra cool part of the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro; the camera array, and more specifically, the extending wide aperture telephoto lens.

One thing I don't like so much about the TECNO camera is the camera software. While it's going to work fine for most people, it's missing some features that I personally really like such as RAW DNG output, manual controls, white balance controls, and burst shot timers. One reason I love RAW DNG output is that I can control things after the fact. TECNO's software applies noise reduction to the JPGs when there's low light and that reduces the quality of the image. I'd rather have the RAW image with noise that I can correct to my tastes after shooting. Lack of white balance control is frustrating too as sometimes the camera doesn't automatically set the color temperature to what I want.

Extending telephoto 2.5x camera

The extending lens has an f1.45 aperture and a 9.3mm telephoto focal length which equates to about a 65mm focal length in terms of 35mm full frame film cameras. Of course the f1.45 aperture is more like an f8 aperture in terms of depth of field when compared to a 35mm full frame camera lens, but that's still about 2 full stops wide than any of the other medium telephoto prime lenses that you'll find on other cameras.

The extending lens housing naturally lets you keep the phone pretty thin when the camera isn't in use. This also enables the longer focal length without periscope style mirrors and we can have a very wide aperture for a narrower depth of field and better low light sensitivity. The disadvantage to the extending lens is that there are moving parts here and I'm afraid something might break if too much dust or particle matter gets in there.

Above is a comparison between the 65mm equivalent TECNO Phantom X2 Pro extending lens camera on the left and my full frame 35mm Nikon with an 80mm f1.4 lens on the right. Obviously the Nikon is capable of a much narrower depth of field with smoother real bokeh, but the TECNO's wide aperture is still getting some decent bokeh that actually looks realistic... because it is real bokeh! This isn't a depth sensor trying to guess the edges of the subject and applying a blur filter to the background. This is real physics.

The TECNO's f1.5 aperture at 9mm focal length certainly doesn't translate to an f1.5 aperture at a 65mm equivalent lens focal length. It's more like an f8 aperture on a 35mm full frame sensor. Still that's better than any other phone out there with a comparable 2-3x telephoto lens! This is one or two full f-stops wider than most other phones with comparable focal lengths.

I was able to get a lot of great photos with the narrow depth of field in the 2.5x extending lens camera. If you click some of the above samples to zoom in, you'll see that the details around the edges of the subject remain in focus. It's not at all like the iPhone's fake portrait mode that smudges out the edges and erases details. You can actually see the little strands of hair overlaying the blurry background. It's beautiful!

Video with the extending telephoto lens

Another fun thing to do with the narrower depth of field in the 2.5x telephoto lens is shoot video. Real bokeh in video is much better looking than the simulated background blur other phones try to do. The wide aperture lens nicely and realistically blurs the background in videos and I love it. There's not much lens flare from the sun either.

The wide aperture telephoto lens works well for video in low light as well as long as you have just the right amount of light. In the above you can see the background nicely blurs out and so do the leaves moving around in the foreground. That's how real bokeh works and it looks great.

We even used the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro for some clips in a little Gossip Girl season 2 promotion.

Normal wide angle lens camera

The 1x camera has the usual wider focal length that you'll find on most other flagship phone cameras. This one is 50Mp with a 1/1.3" sensor size, but really it only outputs to 12Mp like most quad-bayer sensors. The "50 Mp" option in the camera software does give you a 50Mp file, but it doesn't look like it. It looks like an upsampled 12Mp file as there really isn't any more detail at all. You don't really get any better quality out of that option, it's just a larger file.

Take a look at some samples of the 1x camera/lens combo below:

Ultrawide angle lens camera

The 0.6x camera lens is only 13Mp and doesn't do nearly as well in low light as the 1x or 2.5x cameras, but that's ok, you can't have everything. It's a smaller camera too, so that's probably part of the reason. Still, I love having the ultrawide lens available and it's great for outdoors shots.

Take a look at some samples of the ultrawide camera/lens combo below:

Front facing camera

Of course we have a decent camera for selfies as well. It's technically a 32Mp sensor, but outputs only 8Mp. It's not spectacular especially in low light, but it usually gets the job done.

Take a look at some samples of the front facing camera below:

The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro 5G uses HiOS 12 on top of Android 12. HiOS is not my favorite flavor of Android for some specific reasons; you have to swipe the top left corner to see the notifications and the top right corner to access quick action controls. There shouldn't be any controls at the top edge of a phone with this large of a screen. It was fine when Android phones had 3.8" screens, but at this size it's extremely awkward to have to scoot your hand to the top in order to touch that edge; or have to use a second hand to poke at it. Putting controls within reach of a thumb while a hand is actually holding the phone would have been much smarter interaction design.

HiOS 12 also comes with a lot of bundled apps that might be considered questionable in North America at least. Things like Palm Store, AHA Games, Welife, Boomplay, Ella, Carlcare, XShare, Visha Player, and Hi Translate are not normally found on North American Android phones, but they are often bundled with phones meant for Latin American and African countries, and that is the market that this phone is meant for.

The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro has a large 5160 mAh battery that's plenty to last through the day depending on how heavily you're using the device. I like to increase efficiency by turning things off like haptic feedback, high refresh rates, screen brightness, and extraneous notifications. The Dimensity 9000 processor also has some good optimization capabilities to help with the battery life and the phone supports 45W fast charging.

The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro 5G will not be available in North America or Europe. It will only be sold in Asian, African, and Latin American countries. In Saudi Arabia where it is being announced on 12/7/2022, the PHANTOM X2 PRO / AD9 will cost 3499Sar (about 930.72 USD).

Pros & Cons

  • Extending 2.5x telephoto lens has a wide aperture for real bokeh
  • Beautifully designed body
  • Nice kickstand case included
  • Great 1x normal wide angle lens camera
  • Thin and comfortable form factor
  • Matte body doesn't attract fingerprints too much
  • Camera software doesn't provide RAW output or manual controls
  • Extending lens has moving parts that may get damaged accidentally
  • Not available globally
  • No wireless charging

This is the first time we've got a smartphone camera with a telephoto lens and wide aperture that actually gets a good amount of real narrow depth of field and nice bokeh without obviously fake software simulation. The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro's 2.5x extending lens is 1 to 2 full f-stops wider than other phones with similar focal lengths. While it's still a long ways away from what's possible on large dedicated full frame (or larger) cameras, getting real bokeh into a smartphone camera is an impressive feat, and I love shooting portraits with the Phantom X2 Pro! If only it could save RAW files like other flagship smartphones. The rest of the phone's features are pretty nice too. The Phantom X2 Pro is a nice entry into the competition as TECNO's flagship.

Special thanks for photo appearances by Angelina, Raquel, Rosy, Liga, and Val.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro review: Intriguing design, irksome software

Tecno's latest phone has a back made out of recycled ocean plastic, but the software is in need of an overhaul..

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro review

Android Central Verdict

The Phantom X2 Pro gets a lot right on the hardware side of things. I like the vibrant orange hue and the fact that the back is made out of recycled ocean plastic, and the Dimensity 9000 is great in daily use. The 50MP camera takes good photos, there's a retractable portrait lens, and the battery lasts all days. However, the software lacks refinement and misses out on basic features, and the phone will not get platform updates on time. Ultimately, the lackluster software detracts from what is a good hardware package.

Unique design that reuses plastic waste

Vibrant 120Hz AMOLED screen

Reliable MediaTek hardware

Good cameras

All-day battery

Launching with Android 12

Heavily-skinned software lacks refinement

Lot of bloatware out of the box

No water resistance

Will not get timely updates

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

  • Availability
  • Design and screen
  • Hardware and battery
  • The competition
  • Should you buy it?

Tecno isn’t a brand that will be familiar to may in the west, but the Chinese manufacturer is a major player in Africa, where it edged out Samsung last year to become the largest phone brand. Tecno is a part of Transsion Holdings and follows a similar structure as BBK , counting other phone brands Itel and Infinix as siblings. 

While BBK focused on key Asian markets and is now making inroads in the west, Tecno turned to Africa to drive momentum outside its home market. Tecno has a large retail network in key countries in the African region, and the brand is now targeting other emerging markets. It already has a foothold in India and the Middle East, and is looking to gain market share in these countries with its latest devices.

I haven't covered Tecno much, but that's changing with the Phantom X2 Pro. The Phantom series covers the high-end category in Tecno's portfolio, and the latest model has a lot to offer: the Phantom X2 Pro is the first phone to feature a retractable portrait lens, and it has a unique back made out of recycled ocean plastic. With Tecno gearing up for a global launch for the Phantom X2 Pro, let's take a look at what you're getting with the device, and whether it can go up against more established brands.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: Pricing and availability

Tecno unveiled the Phantom X2 Pro at a launch event in Dubai on December 7, 2022, and the device is going on sale in a few weeks. There are two variants in the Phantom X2 series: a standard model and a Pro version. The Pro model gets the retractable lens and uses the Dimensity 9000, and you get a back made out of ocean plastic, 50MP Samsung camera, and 5160mAh battery. The standard Phantom X2 has the same internal hardware but comes with a 64MP camera instead of the 50MP lens.

The Phantom X2 comes in Stardust Grey and Moonlight Silver color variants, and includes 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as standard, with Tecno following in the heels of Xiaomi and other Chinese brands in rolling out 256GB as the base storage tier. The Pro model is available in Stardust Grey and Mars Orange variants, and features 12GB of RAM along with the same 256GB of storage. 

The Phantom X2 series is launching in over 60 countries, but it will not be coming to Europe or North America. As stated earlier, Tecno's key focus is emerging markets, and the Phantom X2 Pro will be available starting in India, Nigeria, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Turkey, and the Philippines.

In Saudi Arabia, the standard Phantom X2 will start off at 2,699 Saudi Riyal ($717), with the Phantom X2 Pro going on sale for 3,499 Saudi Riyal ($930). Tecno says those figures are in line with what the devices will cost in other markets. 

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: Design and screen

The obvious talking point with the design is the camera housing at the back. I've seen a lot of interesting designs over the course of 2022, and Tecno's ridiculously large rings for the camera modules is one of the most striking yet. It is similar to what ASUS did with the Zenfone 9 , but the modules are even larger here. That said, the oversized design works really well here, and it gives the device a bit more of a distinctive design.

The bold styling combined with the vibrant orange hue gives the Phantom X2 Pro a lot of character — the best part is the use of recycled materials.

Tecno is going up against the likes of Xiaomi, Vivo, and Samsung, so it needs to do something a little different to stand out. The camera housing is a great starting point, and the brand followed that up with a unique Mars Orange color variant that's made out of recycled ocean plastic sourced in the Indian Ocean. This isn't a regular plastic finish like the Galaxy S21 FE , but has a gritty texture that's more in line with the vegan leather back of the Find X2 Pro .

This texture gives the phone a lot of character, and having used a lot of devices with glass and polycarbonate backs this year, the Phantom X2 Pro stands out thanks to the vibrant hue and the materials used. Tecno says it was able to cut down on carbon emissions by 38% by using recycled materials, with individual back covers producing 2.4g fewer emissions on average. That's a pittance when you factor in the global manufacturing industry, but every little bit makes a difference, and I like the fact that Tecno went this route for the Phantom X2 Pro.

The rest of the design is just as interesting: the aluminum mid-frame has the same orange hue as the back, and the subtle curves at the front and back make holding and using the phone a delight. The build quality and fit and finish are on par with the best Android phones , and there are absolutely no issues in this area. Coming in at 195g, it isn't too heavy either.

Like most brands, Tecno has forgotten about the 3.5mm jack and MicroSD slot, but you do get a dual-SIM tray here, and the package includes a charger and USB-C earbuds. What's a more egregious omission is ingress protection; with other devices offering this feature as standard nowadays, the Phantom X2 Pro is on the backfoot.

Overall, Tecno did a great job reusing plastic waste for the back cover, and the bright orange hue makes the Phantom X2 Pro that much more interesting. I would have liked to see ingress protection of some sort, but other than that, the Phantom X2 Pro  nails the basics. 

The Phantom X2 Pro has a large 6.8-inch AMOLED panel with FHD+ (2400 x 1080) resolution and 120Hz refresh, and there is a lot to like here. The panel has good colors and is vibrant in outdoors use, and there is a decent amount of customizability in tweaking the color balance.

You also get an always-on mode, and similar to ColorOS and MIUI, you have a good selection of clock styles available. Tecno uses smart refresh rate switching out of the box, but it's easy enough to select the 120Hz mode as default in the settings. The interface feels smooth to navigate, and the high refresh works well in Chrome and social media.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: Hardware and battery

The Phantom X2 Pro is powered by MediaTek's 4nm Dimensity 9000. With the Dimensity 9200 now official, it would have been nice to see the phone feature MediaTek's latest platform, but the Dimensity 9000 has a lot to offer as we head into 2023. I used a few phones with the Dimensity 9000 in recent months, and it does a great job at intensive workloads while still managing to deliver good efficiency figures.

Thanks to the Dimensity 9000, you won't find any slowdowns here.

I'm not going to talk about the hardware too much as the Dimensity 9000 is a known quantity at this point. I didn't see any slowdowns whatsoever in the week that I used the X2 Pro, and the 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is more than adequate for most users. The phone has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3, and I didn't see any issues in this area. There's a decent selection of 5G bands as well — 1/3/8/28/38/40/41/77/78/79 — along with global 4G connectivity.

The phone is fluid in daily use, and does a good job with visually-intensive titles. The one issue I have is with the vibration motor; it doesn't deliver good feedback and comes across a bit flat when using gesture navigation and the keyboard. I haven't run into this particular problem with most devices in 2022, and this is an area that Tecno needs to address with subsequent launches.

Switching over to the battery side of things, the Phantom X2 Pro has a large 5160mAh battery that lasts all day without any issues. Even with heavy use, you should have no issues getting the phone to the end of the day. Tecno doesn't use the USB PD standard, instead relying on its own 45W charging tech. The bundled charger does a good job charging the device fully in over an hour, but you miss out on wireless charging.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: Cameras

Tecno isn't particularly well-known for its camera tuning, but the brand is aiming to change that with the Phantom X2 Pro. A good starting point in doing that is the hardware, and the device has plenty to offer in this area. There's a 50MP Samsung GNV 1/1.3-inch module with large 1.2 micron pixels — the same as the Vivo X80 Pro — and that's joined by a 13MP wide-angle lens that also doubles up for macro shots, and a new 50MP portrait module with a retractable lens.

The 50MP module is highlighted with an orange accent, and it is pretty cool to see the lens jut out of the chassis when portrait mode is activated. You can manually retract the lens, and the camera will close as a result. The lens switches to 2.5x mode when extended, and in the standard 1x mode it stays inside the chassis.

Using a phone with a retractable lens is just as interesting as devices from three years ago that had motorized front camera modules, and the novelty doesn't wear off. That said, I'm not sure the retractable motor is as durable here. The camera interface itself is standard fare, with the shooting modes laid out in a ribbon and the filters for AI scene recognition, timer, full-res 50MP mode, and settings easily accessible.

Having never used a Tecno phone before, I wasn't sure about the quality of the images. I was pleasantly astonished in this regard; the Phantom X2 Pro delivers vibrant photos with great dynamic range and color accuracy in daylight conditions, and while the hardware on offer is among the best available, there is a lot of tuning work needed to get consistent photos.

The phone did a great job in low-light situations as well, producing shots with good colors and little to no visible noise. Highlights are managed well, and while the phone tends to shoot at lower ISO levels to minimize noise, you don't miss out on too much detail. The portrait lens is fantastic as well, offering creamy bokeh and doing a great job with background segmentation. The default shooting mode uses AI for scene recognition, and it did a decent job locking in on subjects and identifying various scenes.

The wide-angle lens isn't quite up to the mark, but it manages to deliver usable shots most of the time. The dedicated night mode makes a huge difference for low-light shots, and it automatically kicks in if the camera detects the ambient lighting to be too low.

Overall, the Phantom X2 Pro does a great job in this area. You get good photos in any lighting situation, and the retractable lens at the back is a fun inclusion that makes a difference.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: Software

This is the first time I’ve used a Tecno phone, and I was interested in seeing what the software has to offer. The Phantom X2 Pro runs HiOS 12 based on Android 12 , and it is a heavily customized skin that looks very different to other brands. Setting up the phone is straightforward; Google mandates all manufacturers to use a similar flow, so transferring data to the device was familiar.

Tecno's HiOS 12 is unrefined and heavily skinned — it's clear that the brand needs to do a lot of work in this area.

That said, there are a few translation errors when configuring the in-screen reader, and it feels like the interface is designed for a Chinese audience with the global version getting direct translations to English. The home screen looks familiar, but the notification shade is split into a Control Center-esque toggles section and a pane that only surfaces notifications.

I'm not a fan of this layout, and while other interfaces follow a similar structure — MIUI comes to mind — there is a way to switch back to the standard Android notification pane with both toggles and notifications in the same view. That isn't possible here.

What's more annoying is that there's no way to customize the pull-down gesture to surface the notification pane. I use this gesture a few dozen times a day to see incoming notifications, but in HiOS 12 the gesture pulls up the search bar. There's no way to change this behavior, and the interface makes it harder than necessary to access notifications. Other frustrations include not being able to arrange the home screen easily; you can't delete icons en masse. There's no Google dialer either, with Tecno bundling its own alternative. 

There's a lot of stuff baked into HiOS, including floating windows similar to MIUI, edge panels, and the ability to run two instances of a service (limited to messaging services). The app drawer looks cluttered because of the alphabetized listing, and it isn't possible to switch this layout. You'll find a lot of bloatware installed out of the box here, and while most of it can be disabled, that isn't the case for Tecno's own utilities.

The Phantom X2 Pro will only get the Android 13 update in the second or third quarter of 2023.

The most egregious of these is a digital assistant called Ella. It's limited in its usability and is frustrating to use, and the fact that you cannot disable it is irksome — even Samsung lets you disable Bixby on its devices.

Using the interface reminded me a lot of the initial days of MIUI, ColorOS, and EMUI, when these interfaces lacked polish and were tailored for the Chinese market. HiOS has some way to go in this area, and while it gets a few things right, it's clear that Tecno has a long way to go. And on that subject, there's no mention of how many platform updates the Phantom X2 Pro will get. 

The phone is launching with Android 12 in December 2022 — three months after Google officially released the latest version of Android — and looking at Tecno's history, it looks like a long wait before Android 13 makes its way to the device. While Tecno didn't reveal a timeline for when the Phantom X2 Pro will get Android 13, the brand stated that the rollout will be sometime in the second or third quarter of 2023, and that just doesn't cut it for a device in this category.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: The competition

There's no shortage of choice if you're looking for a device with high-end hardware. I'm a big fan of the Xiaomi 12 series; Xiaomi nailed the design and in-hand feel with this generation, and the device has exciting hardware combined with a stellar camera, useful software features, and fast wired and wireless charging tech. 

Realme's GT 2 Pro is also an underrated device that gets a lot right. It has an interesting design at the back, reliable hardware, same great screen as the rest of BBK's high-end portfolio, and a good set of software features. The GT 2 Pro is now selling in India for ₹49,999 ($605), and that's a great value for what you're getting. 

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: Should you buy it?

You should buy this if:

  • You're looking for a phone with a unique back
  • You want reliable hardware
  • You need cameras that take good photos
  • You want a phone that lasts all day with heavy use

You shouldn't buy this if:

  • You want a phone with uncluttered software
  • You need ingress protection or wireless charging
  • You're looking for timely software updates

Tecno got a lot of things right on the hardware front with the Phantom X2 Pro, but that is the case with most phones these days. It's the software that is the bigger differentiator, and Tecno is significantly lagging behind its Chinese rivals in this area. HiOS 12 is heavily customized, has a lot of unnecessary features that don't have a lot of utility, and the interface lacks refinement. Combine that with a lackadaisical attitude toward updates and you have a phone that doesn't measure up to the likes of the Xiaomi 12, Find X5, and Vivo X90.

Ultimately, it doesn't make much sense to pick up the Phantom X2 Pro considering other brands deliver refined software with a better feature-set and timely updates. Countries like India and Saudi Arabia have a varied selection of devices from leading manufacturers, but in other markets — African and South American countries — there's significantly less choice, and the Phantom X2 Pro is likely to do better in those regions.

As it stands, the Phantom X2 Pro has a lot of hardware potential thanks to the vibrant screen, MediaTek Dimensity 9000 platform, 50MP camera, and large 5160mAh battery. But the software needs an overhaul if Tecno wants to play in the big leagues.

Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd .

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Tecno phantom v fold review: the most affordable foldable yet.

If you want to call any phone more expensive than $1,000 affordable, that is

Foldables are on their way to becoming mainstream and are among the best phones you can get today. Not too long ago, Samsung had to recall its first-generation Fold due to debris getting under the display, and today, we're at a stage where multiple companies are competing to create both the best and the most affordable folding phones out there. Tecno has also entered this race with the Phantom V Fold, and it tries to differentiate itself from Samsung and others in two key ways: pricing and processor choice.

You see, the Phantom V Fold is the cheapest book-style folding phone to date, though compared to regular phones, it still is anything but affordable. Tecno is selling the Phantom V Fold for about $1,100 overseas — significantly less than what Samsung wants for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 . Tecno also went a different route when it comes to its processor of choice. Rather than going for a top-of-the-line Snapdragon processor like the rest of the industry, the Phantom V Fold offers a Dimensity 9000+, MediaTek's flagship offering.

With the Phantom V Fold, it is interesting to see which compromises Tecno had to make to achieve this price point that's much lower than the competition. Does it really feel like a $1,000+ phone, or does it feel decidedly budget?

Tecno Phantom V Fold

The Tecno Phantom V Fold is a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 competitor with the high-end MediaTek 9000+ chipset. It comes with a much less pronounced crease and offers 120Hz displays outside and inside.

  • The most affordable foldable yet
  • Virtually no crease in the tablet-sized inner screen
  • Outer screen is easily usable thanks to 21:9 aspect ratio
  • The back doesn't attract fingerprints at all
  • Included case with kickstand
  • Not as sturdy as I would like it to be
  • Poor vibration motor
  • The software isn't the easiest to navigate
  • The cameras are average at best
  • Even thicker and heavier than competing foldables

Availability and network

Let’s get the bad news out of the way: Like many other interesting phones, the Phantom V Fold isn’t officially coming to the US. If you’re interested in it, you will have to import it, and even then you’ll have a hard time. The V Fold isn’t compatible with many US bands, as a quick look at Kimovil’s stats reveals. The phone is officially only coming to a few select markets like India. That said, the phone works quite well on my German network here in Berlin.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Phantom V Fold is a book-style foldable, meaning that there is a regular smartphone-sized screen on the outside and a bigger, tablet-like screen on the inside, opening up like a book. Right at first glance, the V Fold’s design offers some advantages over Samsung’s approach.

With an aspect ratio of 21:9, the front screen doesn’t feel cramped at all, and when you fold the Tecno phone, you’ll notice that it doesn’t have any gap to speak of. Thanks to some engineering prowess, the inner screen also barely has any crease. It’s right up there with the Oppo Find N2 Flip . The good first impression is further cemented by the sturdy aluminum frame that wraps around the whole design, complete with a plastic hinge that fits right into the design.

There are some problems with the Phantom V Fold, though. The vegan leather on the back feels significantly cheaper than I imagined. I still prefer it over glass, which is slippery and attracts fingerprints more easily, but it’s nowhere near the level of something like the Vivo X90 Pro . I’m inclined to compare it with papyrus or wax paper more than anything. The thing is that Tecno set itself up for failure here by claiming the back is faux leather. If the company hadn’t called it that, I would probably be perfectly happy with how unique the back feels.

If you’ve seen the Honor Magic Vs before (which you likely haven’t, since it also isn’t available in the US), the Phantom V Fold should look instantly familiar. The general shape and design are strikingly similar, including the curved front display that I dislike on both devices. The Phantom V Fold is just a tad thicker and heavier, though. The similarity is so striking that I suspect that the two manufacturers share some production resources.

Compared to the Magic Vs, I like that the Phantom V Fold added the volume rocker and the power button to the same side of the frame rather than on opposite sides. This means that the power and volume buttons are always on the right side, no matter if you use the V Fold unfolded or not. What concerns me is that the hinge feels less sturdy, though. When the Tecno phone is folded, you can move the top and bottom part of it ever so slightly, making for a concerning crunching sound coming from the hinge. I’m sure this is not good for longevity, though I haven’t noticed any degradation over the time I’ve used it.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold is also one of the heaviest foldables on the market. It weighs almost 300g (10.5 oz), which is an additional weight you particularly notice in one-handed use. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes in at only 263g, and we already called that a heavy boy in our review. A regular flagship phone like the Pixel 7 Pro comes in at just 212g.

Last but not least, the greatly reduced crease comes at a cost. The Phantom V Fold doesn’t support mid-fold positions, meaning it can’t properly snap into a Flex Mode position . This Samsung-branded mode allows apps like YouTube or Google Meet to place content on either side of the crease, using it as a natural border and making usage more ergonomic in many situations. You can force the V Fold into a Flex Mode position using its included case by hindering the device from fully folding with the case’s kickstand, but that’s a workaround at best that only works on flat surfaces. Then again, the kickstand itself offers a good alternative to Flex Mode in any case, even if snapping the case on the foldable means making it even heavier and bulkier than it already is.

It’s clear that foldables are still an exercise in compromise, and the Phantom V Fold makes that particularly obvious. However, it’s impressive just how Tecno manages to bring a much lower price to the form factor. Even if I’m not happy with the folding action, the weight, and the back, the Phantom V Fold nails the basics of what makes a book-style foldable a book-style foldable.

The Phantom V Fold’s exterior display is a 6.4-inch 1080 x 2550 OLED display with an aspect ratio of 21:9. It’s protected by a plastic protector that you can easily pry off. The glass itself under the protector is Gorilla Glass Victus. The most annoying part about this screen is its slight curve on the right side. I already noted that I hate this same design choice on the Honor Magic Vs, but it does make the foldable easier to hold and more symmetrical when unfolded as the back plate also curves to one side only. The miniscule curve thankfully doesn’t get in the way too much, but I still hate the way this makes the phone look. If it wasn’t for the extra thickness and weight, the 21:9 aspect ratio makes the foldable a reliable phone — it’s much less cramped than the extremely narrow screen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

On the inside, a 7.85-inch 2296 x 2000 is offering a tablet-like experience, sheltered by a screen protector and made of Schott UTG (ultra-thin glass). Here, Tecno explicitly recommends leaving on the screen protector, and like with any folding screens, there are the usual warnings about not touching the film with sharp objects or even fingernails. Both the interior and the exterior screens have barely any bezel to speak of.

Like Honor with the Magic Vs, Tecno doesn’t do itself any favors with the placement of the front camera on the interior screen. It lives centered at the top of the right half of the screen, so while it doesn’t get in the way when you use the phone in portrait mode, it cuts right into your content when you use it in landscape mode. Depending on which app you use, you might find yourself flipping the foldable upside down to see the content otherwise hidden by the camera.

This problem could have been easily avoided if Tecno placed the camera in a corner, even if that would come at the expense of a less centered view when you're in a video call. But let’s be real, most people will probably spend less time on video calls than watching movies or reading websites. That said, I’m still glad that Tecno went with this inelegant solution that has the camera cut into the content. Otherwise, you would lose valuable screen real estate when using the phone in landscape mode, as the software would have to emulate a cutout across the whole left or right edge of the screen. I would much rather deal with the occasional cut-off letter than with losing this much space.

Both screens support 10-120Hz and a peak brightness of 1100 nits, which is just enough to properly see your content on a sunny day, though it’s noticeably darker than the flagship phones out there.

Other hardware and what’s in the box

Other than the price, the processor is one of the biggest differentiators in the Phantom V Fold. In contrast to most other foldable makers, Tecno didn’t go with a Snapdragon SoC but instead with the Dimensity 9000+, Mediatek’s flagship processor built on a 4nm process and offering up to 3.2GHz. In everyday life, there is barely a difference between Mediatek and Snapdragon anymore. The only real big difference I noticed to the Honor Magic Vs is that the V Fold needs an extra second or two when switching between displays, but this might just be a matter of optimization rather than a limitation of the processor itself, especially since the phone uses its cameras to determine if it should turn on the outer screen when you fold it or not — a truly very welcome feature.

The processor is accompanied by 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256 or 512GB of UFS3.1 storage, depending on how much you’re willing to pay. It’s not expandable, though there is dual SIM support. The amount of RAM is very much appreciated, and apps stay in memory longer than on many competing phones with similar RAM configurations, which is great to see. A 5,000mAh battery is built in, which can be charged at up to 45W. Further boxes checked by the V Fold are Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 6.3, NFC, and USB OTG.

The Phantom V Fold offers a rather finicky fingerprint scanner that’s part of the power button. I find it quite prone to errors, a problem that is thankfully remedied by the optional face unlock feature. Just keep in mind that like on the Pixel, face recognition only works for unlocking the phone, and not as biometric authentication in apps. The fingerprint scanner is also incredibly receptive to every single touch. It makes me fear I will accidentally unlock the device in my pocket and butt-dial someone’s phone number, though this thankfully hasn’t happened so far.

The vibration motor is another point of contention for me. It feels shallow and unrefined, and when you fold the phone, you can feel the motor resonate, making for an unpleasant and cheap-feeling experience. The vibration motor is serviceable for notifications, but really, I tried to turn it off for as many features as possible, like typing — it’s that bad.

Last but not least, the speakers. They’re fine, but they could definitely use a volume boost. I routinely found myself cranking the volume all the way up during any YouTube streaming sessions, which doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room in case you’re in a loud environment.

In the box, you will find the aforementioned snap-on case (that you can optionally also attach with an adhesive), a 45W charger, a USB-C cable, and the usual SIM card removal tool and warranty information.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold comes with Hi OS Fold 13, based on Android 13. Interestingly enough, there are many similarities to the Honor Magic Vs in this department, too. Instead of a taskbar, Tecno opts for a side panel that you can open by swiping and holding from the side, which often clashes with the back gesture until you get used to it. Apps opened via this panel appear in a floating window. When you use the main screen, you can quickly enter split-screen views by swiping from the top and then selecting your preferred secondary app from a list of all installed apps. I would still love to see the regular taskbar first introduced in Android 12L rather than this, just for consistency's sake across the Android ecosystem.

When you first set up the phone, you notice that it isn’t meant for European or American markets. The United States and many EU members are missing from the Country/Region selector, and the English translations are rough in many places. Since the foldable is sold outside of China, it thankfully still offers Google services, giving you easy access to all the apps in the Play Store you could ask for.

There are a few more quirks. During the face unlock setup, there was just a black screen rather than a look at my face, which looked like a bug. Sometimes, the pause button in the media player refused to work for me, particularly with Spotify. Lift to wake, which is activated by default, is rather buggy and way too easily activated when just walking with the phone in your hands. The phone also thinks it’s very important to tell you that it intelligently switches between 4G and 5G to preserve battery life in a non-dismissible notification.

On the other hand, there are some thoughtful additions. I particularly love the option to automatically end silent mode after one, two, four, or eight hours right within the volume slider menu, making it easy to get a full night’s sleep or an uninterrupted workday without bothering with any fancy schedules or automations. Tecno also added a volume slider to the quick settings options, which makes it easy to adjust the volume when the physical buttons are obstructed. That’s something you can’t avoid when you use the kickstand from the included case. The launcher also offers tons of customization with different gestures and an option to swipe to switch between folders. It’s just a bummer that the launcher only supports 5x5 and 5x6 layouts, and no 4 column options. I personally prefer this, and I was able to activate it on virtually any device I recently reviewed.

Overall, I’m split about whether to like or dislike Tecno’s skin. The quality-of-life improvements and its quirks are mostly balanced, though.

When it comes to cameras, foldables are usually not as great as regular phones, and with the Phantom V Fold, this couldn’t be truer. Let’s first take a look at the specs, though. The circular camera array on the back is dominated by the 50MP f/1.85 primary camera, flanked by a 50MP f/1.98 telephoto portrait camera that offers a 2x optical zoom. Both support autofocus, but none of them come with OIS. Last, but not least, there is a 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide with a 120-degree field of view. Interestingly, the Phantom V Fold also offers two different front cameras on the outer screen and the inner screen. While the foldable screen has to make do with 16MP, the exterior offers a 32MP camera.

In daylight, the Phantom V Fold is perfectly adequate and produces some great shots. The shutter reacts decently fast (though it isn’t as instantaneous as on the Xiaomi 13 Pro or Vivo X90 Pro), and the camera can deal with challenging lighting conditions like when shooting against the sun. HDR is decent, with the software easily avoiding blown-out sections. The one area the setup struggles with in good lighting is zoom, which makes sense given that it can only zoom 2x optically.

2x or 3x zoom is passable, but try to go closer than that and you're in for trouble

Things look different in worse lighting conditions, though. Once you go inside, the color science is slightly worse, with the camera tipping towards oversaturating. When you shoot portraits inside, you also need to make sure that your subjects don’t move too much. Otherwise, you’re in for blurry faces. The lack of optical image stabilization surely doesn’t help the case.

Night and indoor photograpyhy is hit or miss depending on how active your subject is

Night photography, or Super Night, as Tecno calls it, is surprisingly solid, but this is again only the case when you’re in a place where you can hold the phone still for a few seconds. That makes for some stunning night architecture photos, but not such a good performance when you want to capture moving subjects.

A gallery of sample shots for you to scroll through

Being a foldable, the Tecno Phantom V Fold also supports the usual multi-screen tricks. When unfolded, you can use the cover screen to see a preview of selfies you take with the main cameras. And despite the V Fold’s inability to snap into mid-fold positions, its camera surprisingly supports a half-folded mode where it will display photos you’ve just taken on one side and the viewfinder on the other.

Battery life

The battery life on the Phantom V Fold is phenomenal during everyday usage. I took the phone on a trip to Sweden and Denmark (as some of you may have noticed in the camera section above), and it hasn’t prematurely died on me on any given day. That’s despite using heavy usage for navigating, photos, reading, and video watching during the various trips throughout the days, with about five to six hours of screen-on time.

The only time when battery life takes a serious hit is when gaming on the big screen, which is understandable. You’ll be lucky to get more than two hours of intensive gaming out of the thin folding phone. It’s still great to be able to have a much bigger screen on you for a gaming session while you’re on the go.

Should you buy it?

If you don’t want to spend $1,500 and more for a phone but you’d still like to have a book-style foldable, the Tecno Phantom V Fold is the phone for you. It may not offer the same premium experience that a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, an Honor Magic Vs, or an Oppo Find N2 would give you, but it nails the basics. If you consider that the phone is over $500 less than its competitors and only struggles with the occasional software quirks, the average camera setup, and below-average build quality, you wonder how Tecno managed to build this thing at the price. I was genuinely expecting worse going into this review, and I’m surprised how good it is compared to the much pricier competitors.

However, as I mentioned before in my Magic Vs review, this is the year of the foldables. Google is all but confirmed to launch the Pixel Fold during Google I/O, Samsung will have a serious upgrade in store in August with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 , and we might just see OnePlus release a folding phone of its own in the US. The market, previously single-handedly owned by Samsung, is getting crowded, and if you can wait just a few more months, you might soon have a lot more choices at all kinds of price points. That said, the Phantom V Fold is the most affordable option you can get right now, and if that’s what you want, you know what to get.

  • Benchmarks / Tech
  • Buyers Guide

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G touted as the world's first retractable portrait-lens smartphone

The Phantom X2 Pro. (Source: Tecno)

One might be inclined to think that the phrase " first-gen retractable-lens smartphone " might be associated with an OEM more like OPPO or Huawei ; however, Tecno claims to have beaten them to the punch with the Phantom X2 Pro .

The company asserts that its rear-mounted shooter is equipped with a working telescopic module for portrait shots. It is also touted as having the widest aperture (f/1.49) among mobile portrait lenses.

Tecno does not specify which sensor lies behind all this, although its specs (50MP in resolution of 1/1.3 inches in size with 1.2-micron pixels) correspond with those of the Samsung ISOCELL GN1 .

Tecno has tapped the well-known fashion photographer Rankin to promote the X2 Pro and its new feature, which, according to the OEM's new partner, is as good at quick low-light shots as it is at portrait photography.

The X2 Pro has another " world-first " in the form of a " 3.5D Lunar Crater " glass rear panel in gray or orange to house its new extendable lens, found in a camera hump alongside 3 additional shooters, the largest of which is apparently a second 50MP camera. 

The resulting curved back meets a Gorilla Glass Victus -covered 6.8-inch 120Hz curved AMOLED display driven by the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 SoC in the new Phantom-series flagship.

Those premium (especially for Tecno ) specs are slated as paired with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM; 256GB of UFS 3.1 flash storage and a 5,160mAh battery with 45W charging in the X2 Pro.

Nevertheless, there is no indication as to when or if this " groundbreaking imaging innovation " of a smartphone will be released soon.

Buy a Tecno Camon 19 Pro Mondrian Edition on Amazon.in

Related Articles

Universal Tone is rated for more accurate portrait shots. (Source: Tecno)

Tecno Phantom V Fold Review: Fantastic Low-Light Camera and Stunning Performance

An impressive folding phone, with a stunning camera system, innovative hinge system, and excellent performance.

Tecno Phantom V Fold

Despite some initial skepticism about the folding screen concept, the device's innovative hinge system and gorgeous 7.85-inch AMOLED almost square screen has won over even this most cynical of reviewers. The camera system is impressive too, with the main Super Night sensor offering incredible clarity in low light. The Dimensity 9000+ chip outperforms folding competitors that use the Snapdragon counterpart, providing a smooth UI and productive experience.

  • Brand: Tecno
  • SoC: Dimensity 9000+
  • Display: 7.85" foldable AMOLED 120Hz LTPO main screen, 6.42" front sub-screen (also AMOLED 120Hz LTPO)
  • Storage: 256GB as tested, 512GB also available
  • Battery: 5000mAh
  • Ports: USB-C
  • Operating System: HiOS 13
  • Front camera: 32MP sub, 16MP main
  • Rear camera: 50MP main, 50MP telephoto, 13MP wide
  • Connectivity: Dual NanoSIM (5G)
  • Dimensions: D14.5 x H160 x W72mm when folded (D0.57 x H6.30 x W2.83 inches)
  • Charge speed: 45W Super Charge (USB-C)
  • Price: ~$1000

I admit, I’ve been somewhat bemused by the very concept of a folding phone. Are phone screens suddenly not big enough? Do we really want to introduce yet another failure point on already fragile devices? Does no one remember bend-gate?!

Which is why, after a week with the Tecno Phantom V Fold, I’m quite shocked to find I actually want to keep using it as my main phone. That isn’t something this Apple-fanboy has experienced before. Now I'm a believer. It’s not perfect by any means, and I do have my doubts about the long-term durability, but for now, this changes everything. And the low-light camera system is superb, too.

Tecno is not a well-known brand to most Western audiences, but is big in developing markets such as Africa, India, and South Asia. But perhaps that's about to change. The Phantom V Fold is launching in India first, with an early price of just under $1000, but will come to other markets with similar pricing soon after.

There are some durability concerns with a folding screen, and if you tried, it would be easy to break the device deliberately. Tecno specifically warns against pushing on the fold while folding the screen up, but it seems like that should be an easy thing to avoid doing.

When folded, it just feels like a somewhat chunky regular smartphone. Unlike the Samsung Fold, there’s no cheese wedge shape in between the panels, with an innovative hinge system to protect the screen and allow it to sit flush. It’s quite a stiff mechanism, and requires a fair bit of force to unfold, but you get used to it. So far, I haven’t experienced any physical issues or delamination of the screen.

Once unfolded, you're presented with a glorious 7.85-inch AMOLED, almost square 4:3.55 ratio screen, running at 2296 x 2000 pixels (2K+, around 388PPI) at an adaptive 10-120Hz. It’s gorgeous and vibrant, though I did find it a little harder to read from this screen in bright light.

The flexible display, to my surprise, doesn't exhibit any screen artifacts when viewed straight on. Move closer to a 45-degree viewing angle, and an apparent dark and light line runs the full length of the fold. While I haven’t got another foldable phone to compare, I don't think that's unusual. I noticed this more if it was just sitting on the table, but if you have it propped up, or looking straight on, there's no distortion.

The laminate layer that protects the screens is very reflective, though, so usage in bright sunlight is quite tricky. If you catch any kind of reflection on the screen, you will notice a distortion of the reflection, but not of the display image, which can be unnerving for my smooth brain to comprehend. You can also feel the hinged part of the display if you run your finger over it, but it won't present actual problems other than feeling a bit weird.

The screen remains visible right up until the moment it closes, which I still find myself wincing at every time.

It's natural to have concerns about the long-term durability of folding screens, which unfortunately can't be tested over the few weeks I've had the device. However, Tecno claims that it can withstand 200,000 folds, which, if we conservatively estimate around 20 folds a day (40 if we count a fold as one way only)—should last roughly 13 years. So my fears may be entirely unwarranted.

The most surprising thing about a foldable screen for me was how much better it made typing feel. Sure, it's just the same as turning a regular phone into landscape mode to get a wider keyboard. But you're lucky to get more than a single line of editable text visible if you do that. With the square format of a folding phone, it's actually viable to type on a wide keyboard and have a good amount of screen real-estate left. That's a real boon for mobile productivity.

For watching videos, most of the time, you'll get a larger image on the unfolded screen. The exception is if you're watching a cinema-format movie with a 21:9 aspect ratio, for which you'll get massive letterboxing on the unfolded square screen. On the other hand, most YouTube videos and modern TV shows are 16:9 ratio; older shows are even squarer at 4:3. Either will be significantly larger on the almost-square unfolded screen.

For browsing the web and reading documents, the square format is ideal. Not every app will take advantage of the full screen though. Google Discover feed, for instance, displays only a single column, rather than scaling to show two columns at once as it can on tablets.

As for gaming, I tried playing Call of Duty, which utilized the full screen, and seemingly offered an enormous advantage by expanding my vertical field of view. I don't play Call of Duty on mobile regularly, and it was only early levels, but in the first few games, I was getting two to three times more kills than the next-highest player. It felt like cheating, and I think a lot of players couldn't see me if I was higher up or crouching.

Design and Specifications

When folded up, the Tecno Phantom V Fold features a power button with built-in fingerprint sensor and volume rocker on the side, both on the lower panel.

The USB-C charging port is also on the lower bottom panel, with the bottom speaker grill and the sim tray on the upper panel, which can hold up to two Nano SIMs, and is capable of 5G.

On the top edge, the microphone sits on the lower panel, while above that is the other speaker grill. This provides stereo sound when the phone is held horizontally, either folded or unfolded.

On the back of the device, you'll find the circular camera island, small silver Phantom branding, and a back panel covered in fibrous textured material. Although it's unclear exactly what material it is (some sort of recycled plastic?), it feels surprisingly nice and warm compared to the usual bare metal. There's a basic slimline case included in the package.

The front or sub-screen is a curved 6.42" Full HD+ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2550px (431PPI). The screen is also adaptive LTPO, with a 10-120Hz refresh rate, and is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus (twice as scratch-resistant as Gorilla Glass 6, apparently). Although the glass is curved, the screen itself doesn't follow the curve over the edge, with only a millimeter or two of bezels on both the sub and main unfolded screen.

With the included slimline case, the Tecno Phantom V Fold is roughly 14.5mm thick, 160mm tall, and 72mm wide. When unfolded, the phone expands to 140mm wide. Although it's not quite twice the thickness of a regular smartphone, it's not far off.

The Phantom V Fold is powered by a Dimensity 9000+ chip, which is very performant, backed up by 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. A 512GB model is also planned for around $100 more.

Performance and Benchmarking

The graphical performance of the Tecno Phantom V Fold is excellent, as evidenced by its 3D Mark Wildlife score of 8226, which is better than 93% of all devices tested. The stress test suffered a little from thermal throttling, resulting in a slightly lower loop score of 7885, but still maintained a superb 97% stability overall.

In comparison, the Samsung Z Fold 4, which features a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, scored a little higher at approximately 9600 on Wildlife, but had a stability of only around 60% in stress testing. Therefore, while the Dimensity 9000+ chip may have a slightly less powerful GPU, it is far more reliable over long periods of extended gaming.

PCMark gave the Tecno Phantom V Fold a respectable Work 3.0 score of 16,175, while Storage 2.0 was 44,645. By contrast, these scores significantly outperform both the Samsung Z Fold 4 and the recent Honor Fold V (which uses the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1) by about 20% to 30%. Thus, while the Dimensity 9000+ GPU may be slightly less powerful, the overall performance is significantly better.

Users should not experience any issues with a sluggish UI or gaming. Browsing is fast, and video playback is smooth.

For those who want more comparisons, Geekbench gave 1262 single core, 4008 multicore, and 9052 GPU compute scores.

Imaging System

Another surprising standout feature of the Tecno Phantom V Fold is the camera system, featuring a total of five lenses. Of those, two are selfie cameras (for both the sub and main screen), a 50MP main camera with a custom Super Night sensor, a 50MP telephoto 2x optical zoom, and a 13MP ultra-wide lens.

While the secondary telephoto and ultra-wide lenses are not particularly remarkable (nor are they bad, by any means), the main sensor is stunningly good and performs far better in low light than my main driver, the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

In low light, the Phantom V Fold's main camera outperformed the iPhone 13 Pro Max in both video and photography, producing stunningly sharp and detailed images and footage with great contrast. The Phantom V Fold features a couple of different night-mode video shooting options, included standard (a little shakey), Super Stabilized (much better, though you lose a little field-of-view), and Ultimate Video Enhancer (which just seemed to make things brighter). Be sure to watch the full review video to see this in action.

In outdoor daytime shooting, the Phantom V Fold performed admirably as well, producing sharp, realistic images and video at full 4K 60FPS. The difference in quality here from the iPhone was less pronounced if any. Both produced satisfying video at the required frame rate and resolution, as I'd expect from any modern smartphone sensor in good light.

One neat feature unique to having a folding screen allows for ultra-high-quality selfies using the main camera, with the front sub-screen serving as a preview. That said, I did find pressing the shutter button one-handed to be a bit awkward like this.

The camera app also includes some easy-to-use templates for short, beat-matched TikTok-style videos with music, which some might appreciate when their creativity is waning.

Overall, the camera system on the Tecno Phantom V Fold is superb, and it's great to see a folding phone with such a good camera to back up its innovative design.

Battery Life

There are few disappointing aspects of the Phantom V Fold, but one of them is the battery. On paper, it sounds large at 5000mAh, but in any smartphone, the screen will be the biggest drain on the battery. If you unfold this, you've got a screen that's twice as large as usual, but not a battery that's necessarily twice as large. So, inevitably, battery life suffers.

With heavy use of the camera, playing Call of Duty, and running some tests, the battery went from full to almost nothing before the end of the day. In real-world normal usage, it lasts just over a day, but certainly not two days. Now, this isn’t bad for a folding phone by any means, but coming from a Plus Model iPhone, it’s a bit less than I’d like. It means a return to the overnight charge routine for me.

The audio is unimpressive, though it gets reasonably loud. If you're watching landscape mode on the main screen, you get stereo output, but I often found myself often covering up the speaker grills with my fingers. I wouldn't say the audio is disappointing; they're just not as good as they might have been, and media playback is not the main selling point of this device. It's not as good as the Honor V's with its IMAX certification, for instance.

User Interface

The UI is a custom version of Android 13 called HiOS 13 Fold. I understand the need for a custom UI given the non-standard interface size and additional features like two apps running side by side. But I'm not a fan of some of the things HiOS has replaced. I’m quite used to swiping left for Google Discover feed, for instance, and you can’t get that here. Granted, it's only one click away on the Google icon, but instead, you have a screen "info cards", such as the number of steps or a countdown to important holidays. The rest of the card options aren’t exactly thrilling, so for me, this part of the UI is now useless and can’t be replaced easily.

There’s also a fair bit of bloatware installed with the phone, from system support apps to management utilities, RAM cleaners, a video player, WPS office, and some fitness thing. All I really want is a standard suite of Google apps and the Play Store. You need to go in and enable Hey Google voice assistant; it's not on by default, presumably because they want you to use their voice assistant instead. Other aspects can't be changed, like the Google Discover feed.

I can uninstall most of the bloatware and eventually get it set it up as I like. I’d probably hate the Samsung Fold UI just as much, if not more. But still, it would be nice to have a more stock experience and not have to customize so much.

So, Is the Tecno Phantom V Fold a Game-Changer?

For me, it certainly has been. I've switched to this as my main phone, which is the highest praise I can give any device. Despite initial skepticism about the folding screen concept, the device's innovative hinge system and gorgeous 7.85-inch AMOLED, almost square screen has won over even this most cynical of reviewers.

The camera system, featuring five lenses, is especially impressive, with the main Super Night sensor offering incredible clarity in low light. The Dimensity 9000+ chip allows it to outperform its counterparts with general UI and work performance.

The battery life is less than I'd like, but only having been spoiled on a Plus-model iPhone for so long. The UI may be frustrating for those looking for a more stock experience, but it's not so bad as to seriously detract from the overall experience.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold is an excellent device for anyone looking for a unique and innovative smartphone experience. Just be prepared to gamble on the device's long-term durability.

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A smartphone company you haven’t heard of has big plans for 2024

This article contains affiliate links; if you click such a link and make a purchase, Digital Trends and Yahoo Inc. may earn a commission.

Tecno, a brand that mostly makes waves in the East while living under the budget shadows, is once again ready to make an innovation splash. At Mobile World Congress 2024 , the company has lined up some rather promising announcements, and among them is a fresh take on the idea of rollable screen phones.

So far, Samsung has only shown working rollable screen concepts, while Motorola and Oppo’s respective phones with a rollable screen never made it past the demo stage. Tecno wants to give it a try as well, and will be unveiling the Phantom Ultimate smartphone featuring rollable screen technology later this month.

It’s still going to be a “concept phone” that will employ an “innovative double-sided screen.” The screen goes from 6.5 inches to 7.1 inches when the rollable screen mechanism kicks into action. We don’t know what exactly it is going to look like, but the dimensions suggest that it will go from a portrait-first phone orientation to a tablet mode, somewhat like the Oppo X 2021 concept .

On a similar note, Tecno is also going to showcase its take on a foldable phone screen that is borderless. So far, we have seen brands ditching the traditional bezels and replacing them with solid raised lips. It would be interesting to see what the brand has been cooking up in its labs and whether such a shift is merely aesthetical or if it holds any practical value as well.

Talking about aesthetics, Tecno is going to showcase some environment-friendly materials that go into designing phone shells. Among the ideas that will be on the MWC 2024 show floor are “organosilicon fabric leather, layered fiberglass, 3D stereo optical grating, colored textured glass.” A few months ago, the company launched its Camon 19 Pro smartphone, which features color-changing blocks that alter their appearance when exposed to light.

Tecno says it will also share more details about the work it has done with skin color mapping for smartphone cameras courtesy of its Universal Tone efforts. It aims to pull off the same algorithmic trick that Google did by baking the Real Tone tech at the heart of Pixel smartphones. The company also has some mobile video imaging advancements in its bag of announcements for the upcoming event.

On the more ambitious side of things, Tecno has also created a robotic dog called Dynamic 1 that is inspired by the German Shepherd breed and wants to be your intelligent pet pal. This robotic canine companion relies on AI to assist with “intuitively understanding commands and performing lifelike actions.”

And finally, we have the Tecno Pocket Go, touted to be “the industry’s first Windows AR gaming” kit. It essentially combines the visual versatility of AR glasses with the dexterity of a handheld console and is aimed at pushing AR gaming into the mainstream. Apple’s Vision Pro headset is finally out, and it seems Tecno aims to showcase what it has built on its own while latching on to the newfound AR wave in the consumer electronics segment.

Dspite its relative underdog status, Tecno isn’t really a copycat — quite the contrary. The company recently launched a phone with physically retracting camera lens hardware . It was a pop-out camera tech unlike any that I’ve ever seen before.

Last year, it launched one of the world’s most affordable foldable phones called the Phantom V Fold . And to stand out in a sea of clamshell-style foldable phones, the company introduced the Phantom V Flip  and armed it with a one-of-a-kind circular secondary display. The company recently announced a unique take on camera system tech by integrating liquid lens tech in a periscope module , and it also revealed a unique lens aperture module to enhance image quality.

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Samsung Galaxy S10

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S10 amz_global pricetag

246 facts in comparison

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Tecno Phantom X2 Pro

Why is samsung galaxy s10 better than tecno phantom x2 pro.

  • Is dustproof and water-resistant ?
  • 42.12% higher pixel density ? 550 ppi vs 387 ppi
  • 1.69x higher resolution ? 1440 x 3040 px vs 1080 x 2400 px
  • Has wireless charging ?
  • Weather-sealed (splashproof) ?
  • Has an external memory slot ?
  • Has stereo speakers ?
  • 256GB more internal storage ? 512GB vs 256GB

Why is Tecno Phantom X2 Pro better than Samsung Galaxy S10?

  • 1.52x more battery power ? 5160 mAh vs 3400 mAh
  • 4GB more RAM memory ? 12GB vs 8GB
  • 2.83x more megapixels (main camera) ? 50 MP & 50 MP & 13 MP vs 16 MP & 12 MP & 12 MP
  • 6.82% faster CPU speed ? 1 x 3.05 GHz & 3 x 2.85 GHz & 4 x 1.8 GHz vs 2 x 2.7 GHz & 2 x 2.3 GHz & 4 x 1.9 GHz
  • 11.48% bigger screen size ? 6.8" vs 6.1"
  • 3.2x more megapixels (front camera) ? 32MP vs 10MP
  • 3.5x faster downloads ? 7000 MBits/s vs 2000 MBits/s
  • 0.3 newer Bluetooth version ? 5.3 vs 5

Which are the most popular comparisons?

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Tecno Phantom V Flip

Tecno Phantom V Flip

Samsung Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S22

LG G8 ThinQ

LG G8 ThinQ

Samsung Galaxy S23

Samsung Galaxy S23

Vivo V29 Lite

Vivo V29 Lite

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Tecno Camon 20 Premier

Tecno Camon 20 Premier

Samsung Galaxy A54

Samsung Galaxy A54

LG V35 ThinQ

LG V35 ThinQ

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Oppo Reno10 Pro

Oppo Reno10 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Vivo iQOO Neo7

Vivo iQOO Neo7

Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Cheap alternatives

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Google Pixel 8

Google Pixel 8

Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7

Xiaomi 12 Pro

Xiaomi 12 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Xiaomi 13 Ultra

Xiaomi 13 Ultra

Xiaomi 13 Pro

Xiaomi 13 Pro

Oppo Find X6 Pro

Oppo Find X6 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Sony Xperia 1 V

Sony Xperia 1 V

User reviews

Overall rating.

Build quality

Display quality

Battery life




After am entire 3 years...

Samsung Galaxy S10 has been my main phone for 3 years. It has not disappoint me at all. It still has one of the best display ever, a really good speaker, excellent build quality, still good camera and a good performance even when compared to the mid range in 2022. However, the battery life on this phone is so bad I need to carry an battery bank to sustain it.

Cristian Marius

Cristian Marius

2 years ago

Casi mejor que los S20/S21

El telefono en si es muy bueno, va rapidisimo, es muy comodo, y tiene MUY buenas prestaciones. Lo unico que le falla, es la bateria; Deberia tener mas capacidad.

  • Sonido inmejorable
  • Diseño bonito
  • Comodo de llevar (tamaño)
  • Sensor huella en pantalla (no se rompe))
  • Almacenamiento suficiente
  • Poca bateria
  • Falta sensor IR para desbloqueo facial
  • Falta reconocimiento Iris (el S9 lo tenia ...))


Smartphone très haut de gamme même encore en 2021

Les performances sont extrêmement bonnes, grâce à son processeur et à ses 8Gb de ram, certes avec un écran 60Hz, il reste extrêmement réactif. La qualité photo est extrêmement correcte, c'est certain que comparé à un S21 il est moins bon mais ça reste un excellent photophone. POINT A NÉGLIGER : L'autonomie de la batterie DU S10 (pas le S10+) est vraiment très moyenne, il faut prévoir une batterie externe si vous n'avez pas un point de recharge durant toute la journée. A titre d'exemple, si vous regardez des vidéos sur YouTube en 1080p pendant 4h15/30 environ, vous tomberez de 100 à 15%. S'il vous servira à appeler, envoyer des SMS, aller sur les réseaux, toutes les tâches basiques que peut faire un téléphone, vous tiendrez sans aucun problème pendant une journée. Si vous vous posez la question de changer votre S10 en un plus récent, sachez qu'il vous tiendra encore 2 ans sans problème vu sa puissance, et son appareil photo qui reste quand même très correct.

  • Appareil photo qui reste très correct
  • Autonomie (apprendre à s'organiser en fonction de votre besoin)

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: Not applicable

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Samsung Galaxy S10)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Tecno Phantom X2 Pro)


1440 x 3040 px

1080 x 2400 px

Gorilla Glass 6

Gorilla Glass Victus

Android 9 Pie

16 MP & 12 MP & 12 MP

50 MP & 50 MP & 13 MP

2160 x 60 fps

f/1.5 & f/2.2 & f/2.4

f/1.9 & f/1.5 & f/2.2

Operating system

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)

2000 MBits/s ( Samsung Exynos 9820 )

7000 MBits/s ( MediaTek Dimensity 9000 )

316 MBits/s ( Samsung Exynos 9820 )

2500 MBits/s ( MediaTek Dimensity 9000 )


12 ( Samsung Exynos 9820 )

12 ( MediaTek Dimensity 9000 )

Which are the best smartphones?

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Vivo iQOO 12 Pro

Vivo iQOO 12 Pro

Xiaomi 14

Xiaomi 14 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

  • Phone Finder

Tecno Pova 6 Pro 5G is launching at MWC with Dolby Atmos support

tecno phantom 5 pro

  • Post your comment
  • Comments (19)

Vlad 29 January 2024

Tecno Android

The Tecno Pova 5 Pro came out last August, and its successor is already on the way. According to Tecno itself, the Pova 6 Pro will be made official at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of next month.

It will be the first Tecno phone to come with support for Dolby Atmos, following Tecno and Dolby Laboratories signing a partnership deal for this exact purpose. It's not just the Pova 6 Pro - other, yet-unnamed members of the upcoming Pova 6 series will get Dolby Atmos too, along with all future Camon and Phantom series devices.

Tecno Pova 6 Pro 5G is launching at MWC with Dolby Atmos support

Tecno says this will provide its users with "a breathtaking Dolby Atmos spatial sound experience that you can feel all around you - revealing depth, clarity, and details like never before". You should expect "moving audio that flows above and all around you". An "immersive sound experience" is delivered over stereo earbuds or headphones, or the phone's built-in speakers.

And all of this, as you may already know, isn't limited to Dolby Atmos content - Dolby Atmos on a phone impacts the sound of all music, games, movies, and shows, providing "a more natural listening experience with crisper dialogue, a more enveloping soundfield, greater subtlety and nuance, maximized loudness without distortion, and consistent playback volume for a variety of content".

Tecno Pova 5 Pro review

Reader comments

  • 30 Jan 2024

Problem is, they're collaborating for business reason to mark up the product's selling price.

Every phone and also this phone can never beat poco x4 pro 5g in its sound and display quality,mostly its sound qyality is like we ard listening music in car or in special headphone.it us unbelieveable . So my vote is for poco x4 pro 5g .good luck p...

  • Audiofrequency

Extremely Balance. 💞

  • Read all comments

tecno phantom 5 pro

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    Comparison winner $520 vs 246 facts in comparison Tecno Phantom X2 vs Xiaomi Poco F5 Pro Tecno Phantom X2 Xiaomi Poco F5 Pro Why is Tecno Phantom X2 better than Xiaomi Poco F5 Pro? 6.76% more megapixels (main camera)? 64 MP & 13 MP & 2 MP vs 64 MP & 8 MP & 2 MP 2x more megapixels (front camera)? 32MP vs 16MP Has a radio?

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