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TECNO Phantom X Review: For 50k, Should You Buy it?


TECNO Phantom X Review: One of the flagship devices I have interacted with this year is the TECNO Phantom X. TECNO officially unveiled this device back in July for Ksh. 50,000. 

Here is the thing which I had also mentioned in my launch article. The last time we saw a PHANTOM device from TECNO was in 2019 with the PHANTOM 9. At some point, TECNO had even hinted about discontinuing the series so it was interesting to see the company actually bring it back. 

This relaunch, the company said not only marks a jump forward of the brand to rival at the higher-end market section, but also a significant change to the competitive landscape in global emerging markets. 

We have already heard so much today about this device both through our social media platforms as well as on our 24Bit podcast which you can listen to on Spotify here or below. And just as we asked in our podcast, with a  Ksh.50,000 price point and the feature TECNO is offering is on this device, is the TECNO Phantom X Flagship enough?

We also already did the unboxing video of this device which you can check below. Make sure you also subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on any future videos.  

There are so many things to like about the TECNO Phantom X and as I said in the podcast, TECNO really tried to make this phone a flagship. 

Design and Display – TECNO Got it right

TECNO Phantom X
TECNO Phantom X Display

The PHANTOM X is a well-designed phone featuring a curved display with a slim forehead and chin. The display is 6.7 inch full HD Oled with a 90Hz refresh rate and a pill-shaped cut-out for the dual selfie cameras, one regular one and a wide-angle.

The earpiece is quite tiny and located between the edge of the display and the metal frame. 

TECNO Phantom X

The volume and power buttons are on the right and slightly pushed towards the back to accommodate the curved display.

The top edge houses the triple slot tray for your two sim cards and SD card. It’s also here that we have a secondary microphone and a rubber ring for improved water resistance although the device does not have an official water resistance certification. TECNO did not even mention this when it unveiled the device. 

TECNO Phantom X

At the bottom edge we have the headphone jack which most flagship devices are now getting rid of, the primary headphone jack, a USB-C port that supports 33W fast charge. At the back we have one of the biggest camera bumps we have ever seen on a smartphone.  This camera setup comprises a massive 1/1.3 inch 50MP ultra sensing sensor, an 8MP wide-angle camera and a 13MP 2x telephoto. There is also some TECNO Phantom branding underneath. 

The glass finishing looks pretty good and feels really nice in the hand. TECNO also added a nice Oraimo back cover in the box that gives the phone a premium touch.  TECNO really got it right with the build and design quality of this phone. 

Software, performance could have been better

TECNO Phantom X runs Android 11 with HiOS 7.6 on top so we are basically getting the same customizations we have seen in previous TECNO smartphones.  There are some pretty interesting features like a picture in picture mode that for example will let you listen to your YouTube video while doing some other task.

The phone ships with Helio G95 chip, Mali-G76 MC4 GPU paired with some 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage which you can expand with an external microSD. There’s nothing to really complain about here. The phone handles everything perfectly.From streaming, social media use, and even some heavy gaming, the TECNO Phantom X handled everything we threw at it with ease.

Back to HiOS, TECNO tried making it clean but the company still has a long way to go because we’re still getting those intrusive annoying unnecessary apps. This is a flagship device from the company that users will be spending some 50k on, the best they would want is a clean UI. 

The Phantom X also debuted TECNO’s voice assistant, called Ella, a feature that I think still needs a lot of development.  It’s not as responsive compared to Intelligent Assistants by companies like Google and the likes. You however have the option to switch to Google’s native assistant from the device’s settings.

Battery life

For battery life, the phone comes with a 4700mAh battery. With heavy usage the phone should average you some close to 9 hours of screen-on-time.  Light usage should take you for a day and a half. TECNO has also added a number of features to help you prolong the battery including power boost, sleep mode optimization, ultra-power saving, battery optimization and battery saver mode.

In the box, TECNO also added a 33W fast Type-C charging that should juice up the phone from 0% to 60% in 30 minutes

Cameras – Our best feature 

TECNO Phantom X

This is one of our best features on the Phantom X and already highlighted it on the podcast. The phone features a 50MP triple camera setup that includes a 13MP telephoto lens with 2X zoom and an 8MP ultrawide lens with a 120-degree field of view. There is a dual punch-hole cutout in the top left part of the screen that houses two selfie cameras that comprise a 48MP main and an 8MP ultrawide.

The cameras are impressive, both night and day. The night shots are my favorite. Check some sample shots below.

Selfies

 

The phone allows you to record videos in 4K at 30fps, 1080p at either 60fps or 30fps. Other video modes include video bokeh mode(for selfie videos too), video beauty mode (for regular videos too), ultra-steady mode(capped at 1080p at 30fps), slow motion(capped at 960fps) and Time-lapse at 1080p at 30fps.

Should you Phantom X?

TECNO Phantom X

TENCO Mobile is selling the Phantom X at Ksh.50,000 and this has been one of the key talking points since the company unveiled this device. 

One thing is clear though, the company did a good job with the phone – good build, design, an amazing display, great cameras. The curved display looks really good and it’s interesting to see the direction TECNO is taking with this device. The fingerprint placement is also quite good. 

The software might not be the best but TECNO has made some massive improvements. The cameras, especially night mode, are impressive. 

It’s a phone that we would recommend if 50k is not too expensive for you. As mentioned in the podcast, this could be the statement phone from TECNO and we’re looking forward to see what the company will do with future Phantom devices. 

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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