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Tecno Phantom X2

  • Released 2023, January 09 203g, 8.9mm thickness Android 12, HIOS 12 256GB storage, no card slot
  • 1.6% 521,679 hits
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  • 6.8" 1080x2400 pixels
  • 64 MP 2160p
  • 8 GB RAM Dimensity 9000
  • 5160 mAh Li-Po

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Tecno Phantom X2 - user opinions and reviews

  • Bharat Kumar R
  • 06 Oct 2023

Are you sleeping !!!

  • 25 Sep 2023

The best part of buying it that the phone cost me only $360 after exchange of my old phone (That I almost used for very long). Display, gaming and day to day tasks do run without any issues. Using it for last 6 months, it runs without any lag. UI ...

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Tecno's phantom ultimate concept phone is the fake rollable of your dreams.

With a double-sided screen capable of turning into a small tablet in under two seconds, you'll wish it was headed to market

  • Tecno's latest concept phone, the Phantom Ultimate, is a rollable smartphone with a 7.11" OLED panel that extends outward, transforming into a small tablet in the palm of your hands.
  • When closed, the device uses the portion of the screen on its back as a second display, showing the time, notifications, and more.
  • With a faster extension time and a slim 9.93mm chassis, Tecno aims to set the stage for future rollable devices in the industry.

Like any trade show, IFA is filled with all sorts of gadgets coming to storefronts near you very soon. Of course, while brand new smart lights or innovative earbuds can be exciting, it's just as fun to look at concept devices. These sorts of products — think the OnePlus 11 Concept's mobile cooling tech or Xiaomi's ultra-weird removable lenses — are unlikely to ever be available for purchase, but they help push development of future devices. Hell, foldables were nothing more than a dream just a few years ago, and look where we are today .

Rollables seem to be taking the place of folding phones in the world of concept devices these days. After seeing Motorola's Rizr back at Mobile World Congress , Tecno — the company behind the most affordable foldable you can buy today — has returned to IFA with yet another rolling smartphone. And while the Phantom Ultimate might be stuck in the concept phase right now, it's easy to imagine a world where this sort of product could become a reality.

But okay, what even is the Tecno Phantom Ultimate? This is far from the brand's first rollable concept device, but it's by far the most impressive. Unsurprisingly, there's no specs sheet here — we can't tell you what processor is powering this dream phone — but we do know quite a bit about the display and what's under it. The 7.11" OLED panel can extend outward from the gadget (instead of upwards, like on the Rizr), turning a standard-looking 6.55" smartphone into something more akin to a small tablet.

When it's closed, the portion of screen on the phone's back acts as a second display, reminiscent of some of the Edge products Samsung has made in the past. Tecno envisions users seeing notifications, widgets, and using it as a viewfinder for selfies with the rear-facing cameras, though it's hard to imagine the latter with a sliver of display this small.

Tecno says the Phantom Ultimate can fully extend in just 1.2 to 1.3 seconds, thanks to a single-drive motor system that speeds up the process. In fact, the brand is going one step further, calling this an "industry-leading" spec — a pretty funny idea, considering no rollable actually exists as a finished product you can buy today. But hey, why not Tecno, we'll give this one to you. If a rollable does ever arrive on the market, the faster that display can open and close, the better. And considering this device measures in under 10mm thick, that's mighty impressive.

The company claims the Phantom Ultimate sets the stage for future rollable innovation down the road, so don't be surprised if the company arrives at MWC 2024 with another concept phone in tow. With so much noise in this space, it feels like it's only a matter of time before someone pulls a Samsung and brings one of these devices to market. And at the pace it's moving with prototypes, who knows — it could just be Tecno.

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Phantom V Flip 5G

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Phantom V Fold: Going Hands-On With Tecno's First Folding Phone

Tecno's Phantom V Fold is going global.

Sareena Dayaram

  • More than a decade of journalism experience


The Phantom V Fold has a 7.85-inch inner screen.

Chinese manufacturer Tecno is seeking to make a name for itself globally. After dominating in the African market, Tecno showed off its first foldable phone, the Phantom V Fold, on Tuesday. The new foldable is set for an international release. 

The Phantom V Fold is a book-style foldable phone with two 120Hz screens, a grand total of five cameras, a large battery, fast charging and a powerful chipset in the form of Mediatek's Dimensity 9000 Plus. 

Tecno is playing up the camera module as one of the phone's top features, partially thanks to the presence of a telephoto lens capable of 2x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom. It's also showing off the ability to take selfies with those fancy rear cameras, as opposed to just the front-facing cameras. The hinge, which Tecno says is made of an aerospace-grade material, is supposed to last more than 200,000 folds.


The back of the Phantom V Fold when it's folded closed.

In the short time I spent with the Phantom V Fold, I appreciated the phone's slender hardware and the way it seamlessly folds. I looked for a crease but couldn't see one when the screen was unfolded, though I did sometimes feel its subtle presence when scrolling.  

I didn't get to test the camera or the battery life, but I did spend about 30 minutes or so trying the phone out. Navigating and scrolling across apps was fluid thanks partially to that 120Hz display. Multitasking was also a pleasant experience, helped by that 7.85-inch inner screen, which allows you to enjoy split screens, picture-in-pictures and parallel windows. It also lets you drag and drop across screens. 


Tecno credits the hinge on the Phantom V Fold for a virtually creaseless phone.

However, the Phantom V Fold doesn't seem to take advantage of its folding capacity in as many ways as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 , its top rival. First of all, I couldn't position the phone in a variety of ways or even at half-fold. I could only unfurl it into the larger tablet-sized display, or I could fold it closed to use the outer screen. 

I couldn't prop it up to use in a laptop-style position and I didn't find any functionality similar to Samsung's Flex mode, which moves the app you're using to the top of the screen while displaying the controls at the bottom when the phone is half-open. On the Galaxy Z Fold 4, for example, the YouTube app shows videos on the top half of the screen while the bottom half is for scrolling through comments or the description.


There are three rear cameras and two selfie cameras on the Phantom V Fold.

The announcement of the Phantom V Fold means Tecno is the latest of an increasing number of companies to enter the premium foldable phone segment, in which Samsung currently holds the leadership position. Former Huawei unit Honor also recently showed off the Magic Vs, its first book-style foldable bound for a global release. The the Phantom V Fold unveiling comes months after the release of the company's inaugural global flagship the Phantom X2 Pro , the first commercially sold phone with a pop-out portrait camera. 

To learn more about the Phantom V Fold, take a look at the specs below.

Inner Screen: 7.85-inch AMOLED, 120 Hz, 2,296x2,000 pixels Cover Display: 6.42-inch AMOLED, 120 Hz, 1,080x2,550 pixels Processor : MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ (4nm) Rear Camera : 50-megapixel (main), 50-megapixel (telephoto), 13-megapixel (ultra-wide) Selfie Camera:  32-megapixel, 16-megapixel Memory : 12+256GB; 12+512GB Battery: 5,000 mAh (45W charging) Price: TBC

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Tecno Phantom V Fold hands-on: Surprisingly solid hardware from a little-known brand

We continue to be impressed by Tecno's flagship efforts.

Quick Links

Hardware: the usual chinese foldable flourishes ... and weaknesses, internal hardware: unique silicon, cameras: check out that camera module, software: how do you feel about hios, early thoughts: should you check out the tecno phantom v fold.

A new foldable phone just launched at Mobile World Congress 2023 , and chances are you haven't heard of the brand before. Tecno, a Chinese brand, has actually been making mobile phones since 2006, but up until two to three years ago, it focused almost exclusively on selling ultra-budget phones in Africa. It doesn't even sell in its home country. Over the past few years, Tecno began expanding to other markets such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East.

Last December, the company ventured into flagship territory for the first time with a slab phone called the Phantom X2 Pro, which had a retractable portrait lens and a flagship MediaTek chip. I tested it and came away impressed by the hardware, especially considering Tecno's lack of a proven track record in the flagship space — the retractable lens really did work.

Now we have this new foldable, the Phantom V Fold, which will first launch in India followed by Tecno's usual markets in Middle East and parts of Europe and Asia. I've been testing a unit for about 24 hours, and just like the Phantom X2 Pro, I am surprised by how solid the hardware looks and feels and impressed with Tecno's efforts.

Tecno Phantom V Fold

Tecno's first foldable phone is a surprisingly polished piece of hardware with a virtually crease-less large screen and a sleek form factor when folded. 

If you follow the Chinese foldable scene even remotely, what I'm about to say shouldn't come as a surprise (or perhaps it's still a surprise, given Tecno's brand status). The Phantom V Fold's folding screen doesn't show a deep crease like Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 . The phone also folds completely flat, without the gap left by Samsung's foldable. We can debate about backplate design all we want, but it's an objective fact that a smaller crease and the ability to fold flat just feel better. So right away, the Phantom V Fold looks and feels better than the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Unfortunately, the Phantom V Fold's crease cannot stay in place mid-fold, so it loses a crucial feature of Samsung's foldables: using it in L-shape laptop mode. Of course, there's no official water resistance rating (Samsung makes the only foldables with those ratings).

The main foldable screen measures 7.9 inches. It's a 2K LTPO panel with a variable refresh rate between 10-120Hz. The screen looks great in most conditions, but maximum brightness is noticeably dimmer than all other recent foldables I've tested. Tecno did not announce official numbers, but I'm guessing this is sub-1,000 nits.

The outside cover screen fares a bit better brightness-wise. It measures 6.4 inches, with a mostly conventional 21:9 aspect ratio. That makes it feel much more like a normal phone when folded compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 4's narrower, candy bar-shaped form. Again, this is nothing new for anyone remotely familiar with Chinese foldables.

The hardware feels good in the hand overall. I'm a fan of the backplate, which uses material made from recycled plastic. It has a grippy matte texture that's warm to the touch — not quite as soft as faux leather, however. The phone's dimensions are acceptable by 2023 standards and feel similar to the Honor Magic Vs, although it's not as thin and light as the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 .

The Phantom V Fold is powered by MediaTek's Dimensity 9000+, making this the first large foldable to use silicon from a brand other than Qualcomm. The Dimensity 9000+ is a 4nm flagship caliber chip, but it clearly ranks below the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in terms of raw power. Still, I don't think most users would notice unless they are heavy gamers.

Under the hood is a 5,000 mAh battery that can be charged at 45W speed with the included charging brick. It also has 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256 or 512GB of storage using UFS 3.1.

Inside that visually striking circular camera module is a 50MP, 1/1.3-inch main sensor with f/1.9 aperture, another 50MP, f/2.0 telephoto lens that can do 2X optical zoom, and a 13MP ultrawide. It's far too early in my testing period to have conclusive opinions on the cameras, but I did notice a pretty bad shutter lag whenever I switched out to the ultrawide camera. I've included some early photo samples below.

The Phantom V Fold runs on Android 13 with Tecno's HiOS on top, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, HiOS is the most customizable UI I've tested in a long time (I'd have to go back to those odd Smartisan Chinese phones to find a more customizable UI), and that's something I usually like. Everything from the UI to the color scheme and animations can be tweaked. The phone also has close to a dozen swipe gestures you can do to launch an action, including a three-finger swipe up to turn a fullscreen app into a smaller resizable window; a two-finger swipe up to access hidden apps; a two-finger swipe down to access Google Assistant. There are even gestures for two fingers turning clockwise and counter-clockwise.

As I said, I generally like customizable UI (it's why I liked OxygenOS so much), but HiOS borders on overkill and the settings menu can be overly complicated. Even so, HiOS looks clean enough to still resemble Android the way Google intended it to be.

The software plays relatively nice with the floating form factor, although the phone's inability to go into "Flex Mode" means the UI doesn't have to shift around as much as a Samsung foldable.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold is impressive, considering it comes from a smaller brand. If you had told me a month ago a phone brand would be releasing a large foldable internationally, I would have guessed six or seven (or 10) brands before I would have named Tecno.

However, I don't think the Phantom V Fold offers anything new to the foldable scene. It's not particularly thin or light like the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2, nor does it sport a unique form factor like the Oppo Find N2 or pack never-before-seen tech like the Vivo X Fold . I suppose I am spoiled because I have tested every foldable phone that saw a release over the past four years. For others, particularly someone who wants to have more than one brand to choose from when considering a foldable phone, this device's mere existence is a step forward for the foldable scene.

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Meet the PHANTOM V Fold, TECNO’s Innovative Flagship Foldable Phone

John Alexander

This content was produced in partnership with TECNO.

Welcome to the Fold

A lens for every purpose, powerful partners.

It’s the year 2023, and according to what we’ve seen at MWC 2023, the world is about to go back to phones that flip and fold. While it may sound hard to believe, the technology has changed so much since we last properly visited this style of phone that they’re a truly different experience now. All preconceived notions need to be replaced. This has never been more true than with TECNO’s latest phone, and first foldable phone, the PHANTOM V Fold.

This was TECNO’s first appearance at MWC, and they sure chose a good debut with the grand launch event of the PHANTOM V Fold taking place at MWC2023 in Barcelona. Alongside it’s premium foldable product, TECNO has also showcased gear from their wide range of AIoT offerings, attracting lots of visitors and securing itself as a rising star in the industry. That foldable product is the PHANTOM V Fold a large and bold device, at 6.42-inches and with a stunning 120Hz display. That’s just in its folded format, which is made to look like a standard candybar style phone. Unfolded, it’s more like a tablet with a large 7.85-inch display. There’s quite a bit of power packed under the hood too. The PHANTOM V Fold has won several “best of MWC awards” including two from Digital Trends, a “Top Tech” award for MWC 2023 , and a “Best Smartphones” award .

  • You’ve never seen a folding flip phone with a screen like this
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  • The best smartphones at MWC 2023: the 6 coolest ones we saw

Here’s what else we learned as we took a closer look at the PHANTOM V Fold :

If you want to sell a folding phone in the current year, you have to make it truly enhance the user experience. There can’t be bulky openings or hinges that hinder views or unsightly creases that make the user feel like their screen is cracked from day one. If you’re going to do it, you have to do it right, and amazingly, considering this is TECNO’s debut in the foldables market, the PHANTOM V Fold gets it right.

The PHANTOM V Fold in folded format looks and plays like a typical 6.42″ phone but we love its 120Hz display. Unfolded, it converts into a tablet-like, 7.85″ display. There’s no unnatural separation between the two screens. It appears as one screen, like a tablet. Using aerospace-grade hinge material, and with a self-developed drop-shaped hinge design, the thin screen faces reduced pressure from folding and unfolding. The crease is also miniscule and virtually unnoticeable. According to TECNO’s calculations, it measures just 0.11 mm (which is already under half the thickness of your thumb nail) and is capable of 200,000 folds and unfolds. It’s a foldable phone that shows off pioneering innovation and practical application right here and right now. That, in and of itself, is impressive enough.

The next thing to look out for with the PHANTOM V Fold is the five-lens camera system, with the 50MP Super Night main cam taking the show. It utilizes a specialized sensor that is super sensitive to even the smallest amount of light to enhance your afterparty group shots or soulful pictures of the moon.

The folding design even comes in handy when taking photos. For example, in group shots, the photographer will get a chance to see a large-screen version of the image while the subjects can get a preview on the sub-screen facing them. It doesn’t have to be a mystery what a picture is going to look like, even for the people in it, anymore.

In addition to being on display at TECNO’s own MWC booth, we also saw the PHANTOM V Fold at MediaTek’s booth. There, it was the only left-right foldable device powered by the Dimensity 9000+ processor on display. That’s because TECNO has been strengthening its long-term strategic partnership with MediaTek and Google — in the process of developing the PHANTOM V Fold.

MediaTek is providing the Dimensity 9000+, a dual- 5G processor capable of powering the PHANTOM V Fold’s two screens and seamlessly switching tasks between them. Meanwhile, TECNO developed the HiOS13 Fold OS, a specialized operating system based on Google’s Android 13 and made specifically for the PHANTOM V Fold. It’s intuitive, well-designed — and adapted to a larger screen — and looks great especially across the PHANTOM V’s multiple display modes. Altogether, TECNO has created a truly refreshing experience here, which is certainly hard to do in the mobile world these days.

Even during its first attendance at MWC, alongside the launch of PHANTOM V Fold and AIoT products, TECNO has clearly shown its position as an industry rising star. Its “Stop at Nothing” strategy helps to fuel its budding reputation as a committed, customer-centric company looking to pioneer innovation. We’re excited by what they’ve shown, but also we’re excited by what may come.

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John Alexander

While Oppo showcased a rollable smartphone in 2020, it has yet to make the device commercially available. Instead of the rollable Oppo X 2021, the company is rumored to be gearing up to launch its first foldable. The Oppo foldable smartphone, code-named "Peacock," is rumored to arrive by the end of this year, which would precede the rumored Pixel Fold launch.

A tipster on Weibo has claimed that the Oppo foldable smartphone is on its way and could be launched as soon as next month. The tipster goes on to say that the company is working on another high-end foldable, which is code-named “Butterfly." It is scheduled to be made official next year. Notably, the leak doesn't mention if it will be a global launch for the first foldable or if the device would be limited to China.

LG’s next flagship phone, the LG V60 ThinQ, which was expected to launch next week at the now-canceled Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona, has broken cover in a leaked press render published by Android Headlines.

The leak offers the first look at the LG V60 ThinQ’s front, which is largely dominated by a large screen that features a tiny notch. The notch appears to be thinner than the V50 ThinQ's, which hints at the absence of additional sensors for hands-free air gestures. The image also reveals a familiar design in a gold frame, although it’s unclear whether the phone features a dual-tone color similar to what LG has done in the past. The V60 ThinQ also inherits its predecessor’s dedicated Google Assistant hardware key on the left.

LG apparently couldn't help itself and decided to move up launch plans for its latest V-series flagship smartphone. Though V-series phones are typically released in the fall, the company has just announced the V50 ThinQ just five months after the LG V40 ThinQ released. It shares many of the same qualities with its very recent predecessor, but there's an unconventional addition that can turn it into a foldable phone, and the highlight is its ability to connect to 5G networks.

Didn't LG just launch another flagship smartphone? Yes, at MWC 2019, the company took the wraps off the LG G8 ThinQ, a follow-up to last year's LG G7 ThinQ. The new V50 carries a few of the same features as the new phone as well, and you can read more about the G-series phone in our full LG V50 review. But here's what the V50 ThinQ is all about. 5G! The V50 ThinQ's marquee feature is the Qualcomm X50 modem inside the Snapdragon 855 processor, which means it can connect to 5G networks. That attribute is highlighted by the gaudy 5G logo on the back of the phone, which lights up in yellow (presumably because this phone will be launching on Sprint first).

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TECNO Phantom V Fold hands-on impressions: This foldable is cheap

TECNO has long had a reputation for being a budget player in emerging markets, offering a variety of low-cost and mid-range phones with localized customizations. The Chinese brand has made an effort to break into the premium segment in the last few years, owing to devices like the Phantom range. Now, we’ve got what is undoubtedly the apex of its flagship efforts in the TECNO Phantom V Fold . But does TECNO have what it takes to deliver a high-end foldable phone ? It’s time to find out with our Phantom V Fold hands-on.

High-end but familiar

Tecno Phantom V Fold closed gapless

You’d be forgiven for thinking the Phantom V Fold is a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 at first glance. In fact, one of my interviewees at MWC 2023 thought it was that exact phone.

That’s due to the similar screen dimensions and cold, polished metal frame. Flip the phone over and the V Fold makes its TECNO trappings known, featuring a circular camera housing dominated by a 50MP main camera and a rear cover that kind of feels like fancy art paper. We’ve also got a pretty thin design on tap here, at least compared to Samsung’s stable of foldable phones. That’s at least partially down to the firm’s “aerospace-grade” hinge, which also helps to deliver a virtually zero-gap folding mechanism.

We asked TECNO whether the phone is water-resistant, but it has so far skirted around the question, leading us to believe that it has no official rating. That’s not a surprise in light of these thin, new hinges — also seen on the likes of the HONOR Magic Vs — not allowing for water-resistance, but it’s notable nonetheless.

All about the screens

Tecno Phantom V Fold open in hand

Of course, it wouldn’t be a foldable phone without a folding display. The TECNO Phantom V Fold packs an impressive 7.85-inch main screen (2,296 x 2,000, LTPO, 120Hz). TECNO’s folding screen has a crease about as wide as my finger, but it’s far shallower than the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s canal. That foldable display also brings ultra-thin glass (UTG) to the table for added toughness.

Nevertheless, the screen has all the usual folding display downsides. For one, it’s quite reflective compared to conventional displays. TECNO also has a list of warnings in the packaging. This includes warnings not to unfold the device in temperatures of minus 15°C, not to press the middle area of the screen when folding it, and not using your fingernails against the panel.

Perhaps the biggest immediate drawback to the TECNO Phantom V Fold is that the new hinge isn’t of the free-stop variety. Instead, this is a spring-loaded hinge that refuses to stay permanently fixed in any position other than fully closed or fully open. That’s a real shame for those wanting to use their phone as a kickstand for watching video or as a tripod for the camera. What’s even more baffling is that various apps like the camera app, YouTube, and more all attempt to switch to a Flex Mode-style UI when you try to partially fold the handset.

Close the Phantom V Fold and you’ve got a 6.42-inch 2,550 x 1,080 OLED panel here, complete with Gorilla Glass Victus. This is an LTPO panel just like the main screen, capable of dropping down to 10Hz. I also quite liked the subtle curve on the right-hand side of this screen, which is particularly pleasant when using the back gesture.

Reasonable performance

Tecno Phantom V Fold quick settings in hand

The TECNO Phantom V Fold follows the OPPO Find N2 Flip as a foldable phone shipping with a MediaTek chipset, namely 2022’s Dimensity 9000 Plus processor. Yet this is still a powerful piece of silicon, particularly when paired with 12GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB storage. Performance was solid in my experience; swiping between home screens, switching between smartphone and folding displays, and launching apps was generally smooth.

However, the phone’s software drags down the otherwise great hardware. TECNO and sister company Infinix have usually been at the back of the pack when it comes to third-party Android skins, and while things are much-improved here compared to previous devices I’ve tested, there’s still a long way to go to reach the best Android skins.

The Phantom V Fold ships with HiOS based on Android 13 , and you can expect quite a few foldable enhancements here. This includes a handy shortcut for running two apps side-by-side, app pair functionality for launching two specific apps side-by-side, windowed support, and more. TECNO’s skin is fully-featured in other areas too, offering PC integration, dual apps functionality, RAM extension support, and the ability to draw letters on the locked screen to quickly launch apps.

Tecno Phantom V Fold home screen

There are a few grumbles to be had with the software, though. For one, you can’t add Google Discover to the left-most home screen (although you can remove the Shelf-like screen that’s on offer out-of-the-box). The foldable’s taskbar isn’t persistent like the Galaxy Z Fold line either, only showing up on home screens.

Aside from first-party apps (e.g. gallery, Ella voice assistant, Hi Translate), the phone also ships with third-party bloatware. I’ve never heard of some of these apps — what the heck is CarlCare? Who’s Carl? Even some of the first-party apps seem a little sketchy, such as the TECNO Spot app. This seems to be an official forum app, but it’s not uncommon to have some mildly NSFW pictures showing up when you first launch it. Finally, it’s also worth noting that system performance isn’t always a smooth experience. I occasionally saw delays when opening the notification shade, and there’s also a noticeable lag when switching between cameras. Speaking of photography…

Crummy cameras?

Tecno Phantom V Fold camera housing

Sadly, the TECNO Phantom V Fold really stumbles when it comes to the camera experience. The hardware specs seem pretty solid, featuring a 50MP main camera, 50MP 2x telephoto camera, and 13MP ultrawide lens. On paper, that should match the best camera phones . Nevertheless, some of the images we took in our early testing look like they’ve come from a lower mid-range or low-end smartphone.

Pictures from the main camera seem to have a solid level of detail but occasionally feature an overly contrasted look with too much sharpening. It also doesn’t help that TECNO insists on beautifying subjects by default (thankfully, you can disable this option). Meanwhile, the 2x telephoto camera delivers more detail but seems to struggle in even ideal conditions thanks to blown highlights and a more saturated color profile. The ultrawide camera predictably brings some soft corners and less overall detail than the 1x shooter, but at least it has autofocus to take macro shots.

Tecno Phantom V Fold alley ultrawide

We’ve also got a 32MP selfie camera in a punch-hole cutout on the external display and a 16MP shooter in a punch-hole on the internal folding screen. Our initial testing shows that the folding screen’s camera spits out results that look similar to first-gen under-display cameras . That is, expect a washed-out face in scenes with even a little backlighting. At least you can take good-quality selfies with the main camera too, much like Samsung’s foldables.

TECNO Phantom V Fold hands-on impressions: Is it more than a specter?

Tecno Phantom V Fold open standing on table

TECNO’s first foldable phone captures the attention from a pure hardware perspective. Between the folding screen with a minimal crease and ultra-thing glass, a bright and sharp external display, and a healthy level of horsepower, there’s a lot to like here.

Tecno Phantom V Fold: Hot or not?

Unfortunately, the software experience and camera quality have us spooked. With unusual bloatware and picture quality more in line with budget phones, TECNO’s foldable lacks the polish of Samsung, OPPO, and HONOR’s recent offerings.

Then again, the phone’s attractive early bird pricing of just Rs 79,999 / $979 (12GB/256GB) goes some way to off-setting some of these complaints. Even at the regular Rs 89,999 / $1,099 price tag, you’re looking at the cheapest Fold-style foldable on the market. The TECNO Phantom V Fold will arrive in India first, with more countries to be announced at a later stage.

Tecno's Phantom X2 Pro phone has a pop-out portrait lens for 'pure' bokeh

A 'world-first' feature from a brand that's better known in emerging markets..

Many smartphones these days offer artificial bokeh in their portrait photography modes, but with the help of a retractable camera, you can achieve true optical bokeh without missing any edges. Chinese brand Tecno is now bringing such a feature to its latest flagship device, the Phantom X2 Pro 5G, which packs a "world-first" pop-out portrait lens. This is just a little over two years after Xiaomi showed off a retractable 120mm-equivalent wide aperture lens, but it never left the prototype stage.

Tecno's intriguing portrait camera has a 50-megapixel resolution with a relatively large 1/2.7-inch sensor and 1.28um pixel size. Optically, this 2.5x zoom lens offers an f/1.49 aperture, 65mm focal length and 18.9cm depth of field. When you switch to portrait mode in the camera app, you can see (and hear) the portrait lens physically pop out on the back of the phone. This is complemented with Tecno's "self-developed" beautification mode with upgraded make-up settings — up to three faces are supported in each image.

I had a chance to shoot some portraits with my Phantom X2 Pro 5G earlier today, and with the exception of the aggressive skin smoothing, my subjects were quite pleased with the natural bokeh, optimized brightness and virtually non-existent distortion.

There's more on this amusingly large camera island. The 50-megapixel main shooter uses Samsung's 1/1.3-inch GNV ISOCELL 3.0 sensor, which offers 1.2um pixel size and is supported with an f/1.85 aperture. You'll also find a 13-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera nearby, as well as a 32-megapixel front camera on the other side of the phone — in the form of a punch-hole near the top of the curved 6.8-inch AMOLED screen (2,400 x 1,080 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate; Gorilla Glass Victus).

The Phantom X2 Pro 5G is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 9000, which is a 4nm octa-core processor — similar to the faster Dimensity 9000+ found in ASUS' ROG Phone 6D series . It also packs 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, along with a generous 5,160mAh battery with 45W fast charging support. While this phone lacks an IP rating, a company rep claimed that the retractable portrait lens is waterproof and dustproof — the interior of the lens is apparently sealed, and likewise with the connection between the lens and the body. Still, it's probably best to avoid the water when you're carrying this device.

Tecno's new phone runs on a customized Android 12 system dubbed HiOS 12, which features an AI gallery with face recognition and editing functions, along with some productivity tools (built-in translator, file scanner with text and PDF conversion etc.) and a connection speed optimization engine. Tecno added that its device passed TÜV Rheinland's fluency test over a 36-month simulation, meaning its storage memory performance shouldn't deteriorate much (read: fragmentation) during the same period in real life; but we'll take this claim with a pinch of salt for now.

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G

Tecno will initially be launching the Phantom X2 Pro 5G in markets including India, Nigeria, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Turkey, and the Philippines from the end of December, and it'll reach over 60 markets globally later (we're waiting for specific details on Western markets). The device will be available in "Stardust Grey" and "Mars Orange," with the latter featuring an eco-friendly back cover composed of plastics recovered from the shores around the Indian Ocean. Tecno claims that this "Eco-Friendly Edition" reduces carbon emissions by approximately 38 percent when compared to virgin plastics, "with each individual cover producing an estimated 2.4g fewer emissions on average."

If you manage to come across a Phantom X2 Pro, the asking price is around $930 (based on the 3,499 Riyal price tag in Saudi Arabia), which is probably difficult to justify for just some natural bokeh. There's also the Phantom X2 which is around $215 cheaper and looks very similar, but it only has 8GB of RAM and lacks a retractable portrait camera; you'll instead get a 64-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel depth camera, along with the same 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera and 32-megapixel front camera as the Pro model. The orange option is also replaced by a "Moonlight White" design.

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