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Tecno Phantom X2 Pro review

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Introduction

Tecno is one of the brands that the Chinese tech giant Transsion is using for its overseas markets - and most prominently, in Africa. The brand is probably best known for its Camon series - a flagship line of sorts with a clear focus on the camera experience. However, there is also the Phantom line, which has more or less been spun up into its own separate entity. One that aims to deliver truly flagship devices and experiences.

Last year saw the release of the original Phantom X , and now the Phantom X2 series is here. It has two models in its ranks - the vanilla Phantom X2 and the Phantom X2 Pro. We currently have the latter at the office for the full review treatment.

The Phantom X2 Pro is a truly premium device from its eye-catching and ergonomic unibody design through its flagship internals with a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset, its large battery and all the way to the spotlight feature retractable portrait camera.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro specs at a glance:

  • Body: 164.6x72.7x8.9mm, 201g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), metal frame, plastic back.
  • Display: 6.80" AMOLED, 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 379ppi.
  • Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 9000 (4 nm): Octa-core (1x3.05 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3x2.85 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4x1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Mali-G710 MC10.
  • Memory: 256GB 12GB LPDDR5X RAM.
  • OS/Software: Android 12, HiOS.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main) : 50 MP, F/1.9, PDAF; Telephoto (Retractable 2.5x zoom) : 50 MP, 64mm, F/1.5, PDAF; Ultra wide angle : 13 MP, F/2.2, AF.
  • Front camera: 32 MP, (wide).
  • Video capture: Rear camera : 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps; Front camera : Yes.
  • Battery: 5160mAh; 45W wired.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical).

The Phantom X2 Pro has a pronounced focus on photography, which we will definitely explore. It is also positioning itself as an eco-friendly phone with one particular Eco-Friendly edition of the device using recycled ocean plastics for its back cover.

Overall, the Phantom X2 Pro is a well-rounded flagship device that doesn't skimp on any particular part of its specs sheet. Some of its other highlights include a 6.8-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display, dual SIM support, 5160mAh battery, and fast 45W charging - all housed in a relatively compact body.

Unboxing the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro

Before we explore the phone itself, let's look at the retail box first. We can't say for sure that the press kit we received will be identical to the retail box users will get. That's worth keeping in mind. What we got is a rather big two-piece cardboard box. A very sturdy one, which is great to see.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro review

Inside, besides the phone, nestled in its own cradle, we also found a 45W charger, a Type-C cable to go along with it, a hard case with a stand and a pair of nice-looking earbuds with an in-line microphone.

The case in particular stands out with its design, and it's a notch above almost any other case we've seen bundled for free with a phone.

Reader comments

  • 23 Sep 2023

better stick to my s10 5g

  • 30 Jun 2023

Is it 3G, 4G, 5G compatible? Which frequency bands are supported?

  • DENO DENO-17
  • 04 Feb 2023

I really appreciate ur work and I also need it but am in Uganda East Africa it's really good

  • Read all (52)

After drone attack, fears, anger and a sense of calm in Moscow

Russians reel from a rare drone attack which Putin says was aimed at civilian targets.

Russia drone attack

On Tuesday morning, at least eight attack drones entered Moscow’s airspace before being shot down by the city’s air defences, a few hitting residential buildings on the way down.

The Russian government accused Ukraine of a “terrorist attack”, which Kyiv officials wryly denied.

Keep reading

Us says russia cannot win in ukraine, moscow sees long war ahead, drone attacks hit moscow, sparking fury at the kremlin.

“You know, we are being drawn into the era of artificial intelligence. Perhaps not all drones are ready to attack Ukraine and want to return to their creators and ask them questions like: ‘Why are you sending us [to hit] the children of Ukraine? In Kyiv?’” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on the YouTube breakfast show of exiled Russian journalist Alexander Plushev.

President Vladimir Putin said the attack was aimed at “civilian targets” with the goal of frightening Russians.

But some Muscovites are unfazed, even though Tuesday’s assault came after a recent incursion into Belgorod , a Russian region bordering Ukraine, and a drone attack aimed at the Kremlin .

“Yep, those are Ukrainian UFOs buzzing around us,” a banker in his 30s in the Russian capital, who requested anonymity, told Al Jazeera. “It’s still pretty calm here; there’s no fuss, but don’t forget how they gracefully landed by the Kremlin as well. So the ‘great plan’ [for the invasion of Ukraine] turned out to be so-so – I wonder how the public will react further.”

On his Telegram feed, Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin said two people were injured but “nobody needed hospitalisation”.

After targeted buildings were inspected, residents who had fled began returning to their homes.

“It sounded like a motorbike,” a witness said, in comments carried by the popular Russian channel Shot on the Telegram messaging app. “Then there were two claps, and the smell of kerosene,” said the woman. “We live on the fourth floor and felt some heavy object hitting the building, which forced us to get up and have a look.”

As some in the capital reeled, questions are being asked about security.

“Stinking beasts, what are you doing?” Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of Russia’s force of Wagner mercenaries, raged on his Telegram channel, blaming Russian officials, with whom he has had frequent public disagreements, for failing to stop the attack.

“You are the Department of Defence. You didn’t do a damn thing to step up. Why the f*** are you allowing these drones to fly to Moscow? The fact that they are flying to your homes in Rublyovka [a posh neighbourhood] … to hell with it! Let your houses burn. What will ordinary people do when explosive drones crash through their windows?”

Parliamentary deputy Maxim Ivanov described it as the most serious attack on the nation’s capital since World War II.

“The morning attack on Moscow is the most serious since the time when the Nazi invader in 1941 trampled our land on the outskirts of the capital,” Ivanov wrote on Telegram, although Moscow has suffered several deadly bombings and hostage incidents since then. The bloodiest example is the 1999 apartment bombings, in which at least 300 people were killed in attacks blamed on Chechen rebels.

“You will either defeat the enemy as a single fist with our Motherland, or the indelible shame of cowardice, collaboration and betrayal will engulf your family,” said Ivanov.

Other politicians were less melodramatic.

Lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein said that “a new reality … needs to be realised.”

“Undoubtedly, the sabotage and terrorist attacks of Ukraine will only increase,” he wrote on Telegram, “and it is necessary to radically strengthen defence and security measures, especially in terms of countering drones.”

That eight drones were shot down was “remarkable”, he said. “But this should not reassure anyone. Don’t underestimate the enemy!”

The influential military analysis channel Rybar, which has more than a million subscribers on Telegram, speculated that Ukraine was behind the attack, that it was aided by the United Kingdom, and that it was an attempted attack on military installations.

“We do not believe the Ukrainians intentionally launch UAVs at residential buildings in Moscow. Not because Ukrainians are so innocent and cuddly, it’s quite the opposite – give them free rein, they will turn all of Russia into dust. But because the decision on such strikes is made not by the Ukrainians, but by the British. There are enough objects in Moscow that Ukrainian formations could aim at. Residential buildings as a target, to put it mildly, are not militarily justified,” it said.

Andrey Medvedev, a journalist and official of the local Moscow parliament, suggested the attack was aimed at boosting morale among Ukrainians – and among Kyiv’s Western partners.

“The UAV raid on Moscow was quite predictable. But it seems that this time the Armed Forces of Ukraine prepared it in a hurry … The urgency was due to the need to somehow change the information agenda in Ukraine. Does this seriously affect the course of the war? Absolutely not,” he said on Telegram.

“But yes, the enemy’s PR campaign turned out quite well. True, I repeat, for internal use and for the collective CNN. There, all the Western media, lining up like a pig, go on the attack and write about chaos and panic in the Russian capital and the Moscow region. In general, it should be understood that a UAV PR attack will now, in principle, be accompanied by disinformation on social networks and online chats. [They will say] that in fact, another 10 UAVs ended up, say, in a military hospital, but the authorities are hiding it, and so on. Information hygiene is such [an important] thing.”

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Russian Challenges Use Of Facial-Recognition Technology That Has Facilitated Protest Crackdown

  • By Matthew Luxmoore

The growing use of surveillance technology has drawn scrutiny in many countries that have expanded the use of facial recognition. (file photo)

A Russian rights activist is challenging the Moscow city government over its growing use of facial-recognition technology amid widespread concerns that it violates citizens' constitutional right to privacy and is being used as an instrument in the state's crackdown on dissent. Alyona Popova, a Moscow lawyer and prominent women's rights activist, said she was inspired to launch the lawsuit after learning that facial-recognition cameras had been used to identify her when she protested outside parliament in April 2018 against a lawmaker accused of sexual harassment by several women.

She was subsequently fined 20,000 rubles ($310) after a court ruled that she had violated Russia's strict laws on public gatherings. "Already then I was entertaining thoughts of launching a campaign against the illegal facial-recognition system," Popova wrote in an October 7 Facebook post announcing her decision to file the lawsuit. In recent years, Russia has emerged as a leading force in the development of facial-recognition technology. In 2017, the Moscow mayor's office announced that the city had activated a facial-recognition system that deploys over 3,000 cameras throughout the capital.

The following year, the soccer World Cup was used as a test case for the technology and paved the way for its expansion afterwards. By the end of 2019, the city plans to update 40 percent of its 162,000 cameras with the official aim of aiding in the identification of offenders. The growing use of surveillance technology has drawn scrutiny in many countries that have expanded the use of facial recognition. In Russia, the increase has coincided with what Kremlin opponents and rights activists say have been persistent efforts to silence civil society and suppress dissenting voices since President Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012 after a stint as prime minister.

Broad Public Campaign Popova is not alone in campaigning against the growth of Russia's capacity in the field, and she has seized on widespread suspicion about the state's intentions to drum up support. "Apart from the lawsuit, we've decided it's necessary to launch a broad public campaign," she wrote. "Even if, with our legal system, we lose the lawsuit to Moscow, we will go further. We demand a federal ban on the use of this technology." Among the means Popova is using to draw attention to this campaign is an online petition she launched on October 7, which had gathered more than 500 signatures within a few hours. She has also coordinated her lawsuit with Roskomsvoboda, an organization that monitors online censorship and surveillance in Russia.

Alyona Popova (file photo)

On the same day the petition was launched, Roskomsvoboda issued a statement backing Popova's lawsuit and her calls for a moratorium on the use of facial-recognition systems, which "should be banned until full transparency about their use and their safety for citizens is ensured." While Putin's government defends the expansion of facial recognition as a necessary addition to its crime-fighting arsenal of measures already used across the world to maintain order, it is the crime-fighting aspect of the systems that has come under increasing scrutiny against the backdrop of Moscow's concerted crackdown on activists who took part in protests for free elections in the city this past summer.

'Disquieting And Frightening' Rights activists assert that the facial-recognition technology has been used to identify people who have taken part in the rallies, many of which were held without permission from the authorities, who critics say use the permit process as a tool to tamp down dissent.

Face Time: Moscow's Massive Use Of Camera Surveillance

Face Time: Moscow's Massive Use Of Camera Surveillance

No media source currently available

Seven people have been sentenced to prison over the protests, and others fined. Facial-recognition cameras that analyze video in real time supplement the use of mobile cameras mounted on police trucks that trail the crowds to create a robust system of surveillance capable of deterring many from participating in such rallies, critics allege.

According to Vyacheslav Abanichev, the father of Sergei Abanichev, a protester who was arrested and jailed for a month on a charge of incitement to riot after tossing a paper cup at a riot police officer during an unsanctioned rally on July 27, his son's arrest and prosecution were only possible because of the use of facial recognition. "This is a very advanced technology that can be used to capture criminals or spies," he told Current Time, a Russian-language network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA. "But what's disquieting and frightening is that this is total surveillance over all citizens."

16x9 Image

Matthew Luxmoore

Matthew Luxmoore is a Moscow-based journalist covering Russia and the former Soviet Union. He has reported for The New York Times in Moscow and has written for The Guardian, Politico, The New Republic, and Foreign Policy. He’s a graduate of Harvard’s Davis Center and a recipient of New York University's Reporting Award and the Fulbright Alistair Cooke Journalism Award.

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  2. Tecno Phantom X2 in for review

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  3. Tecno unveils Phantom X

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  4. Tecno Phantom X review

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  5. Tecno Phantom X review

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  6. The Phantom X, Tecno's first premium phone, is now available

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  18. After drone attack, fears, anger and a sense of calm in Moscow

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