There’s significant competition in the mobile phone industry in recent years, and a lot of brands like OPPO, TECNO (www.TECNO-Mobile.com), Samsung, Huawei, Vivo, Realme, Xiaomi launched their new mobile phone products with better features and design, providing the market with some interesting products. TECNO is no stranger to us, we have loved their creations the past years, as they focus on affordable yet quite impressive smartphones, that deliver what the customer wants. Take Tecno Phantom X2 5G for example: it’s a flagship-like device, with a curved display at an attractive price that surely can be of interest to you. So read the review below!
TECNO’s success in the global emerging market has been attributed to tailoring its phones’ features to the needs of the local market and is always committed to provide the users the latest technologies for the youth-generation consumers who are “young at heart”. This brand new Phantom X2 model is only available in a single 8GB RAM + 256GB storage variant, packs a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 SoC and an enigmatic design choice.
We used this phone for two weeks and below you can read our review impressions using this device as a main smartphone for mostly business but also pleasure.
Tecno Phantom X2 – Technical Specs
As we mentioned earlier, this is surely a flagship-like smartphone. So let’s see what it offers on the specs sheet:
- Body: 164.6×72.7×8.9mm, 203g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminum frame, plastic back.
- Display: 6.80″ AMOLED, 120Hz, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 387 ppi.
- Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 9000 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.05 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.85 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Mali-G710 MC10.
- Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
- OS/Software: Android 12, HIOS 12.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 64 MP, PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 13 MP, f/2.2, 1/1.3″, 1.12µm, AF; Depth: 2 MP.
- Front camera: 32 MP, (wide).
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 5160 mAh; 45W wired, 54% in 20 min, 100% in 60 min (advertised).
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; FM radio, recording.
Tecno Phantom X2 – Main package
The Tecno Phantom X2 packs the following items inside the box:
- Tecno Phantom X2
- 45W Charging Brick
- Type-C Charging Cable
- Type-C Earphones
- Phone Case
TECNO Phantom X2 – Design
One thing that makes this little beast stand out from the rest phones in the market, is surely it’s massive camera island on its back – but we’ll talk about it later. The Phantom X2 packs a 6.8-inch OLED screen with an elongated 20:9 aspect ratio. The backside can come in glass or vegan leather “made from recycled materials from the Indian Ocean,” which is something of interest to some – not me. The display is curved, with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels, maximum brightness of 500 nits and refresh rate up to 120Hz.
There’s a “PHANTOM” text placed at the bottom of the back side. It looks quite appealing. I also loved how the back and front panels are connected on the sides, providing a pleasing grip. Tecno calls this a “unibody double-curved design”. It feels premium during in-hand operations, combined with a weight of just 203 gr. However, note that the weight distribution is not on point due to that camera island.
On the right side, we find volume rockers and a power button with a red color accent to it which are pretty. At its top, a secondary microphone for noise cancellation is placed. On its bottom, it bundles a bottom-firing speaker, a USB Type-C Port, a SIM tray slot, and a primary microphone. It doesn’t have IP68 rating for protection, so you’d better be careful.
Tecno Phantom X2 Display
In terms of color vibrancy, viewing angles, animations and sharpness, I have no complaints. The screen looks good. But the 500 nits of brightness is a bit low by 2023 flagship standards, and this is a screen that clearly looks dim under direct sunlight compared to something like a new iPhone or Samsung. During outdoor scenarios, the display is bright enough and we didn’t encounter any visibility issues. Ιt’s covered with Gorilla Glass Victus and comes with 2 colour modes:- Bright colors and Original colors.
I really appreciated the fact that the Phantom X2 supports Widevine L1 certification. This lets the other OTT streaming applications like Netflix and Amazon Prime offer HD quality to cherish your sessions. Thankfully it also holds three modes for refresh rate settings: Auto switch refresh rate, 60Hz, and 120Hz.
TECNO Phantom X2 review – Hardware
The driving power behind this smartphone is the Mediatek Dimensity 9000 SoC. It a high-end SoC with an integrated 5G modem. It includes one fast Cortex-X2 core with up to 3 GHz, three more A710 cores with up to 2.85 GHz and four power efficiency cores (Cortex-A510) with upto 1.8 GHz. The SoC is manufactured in the new 4nm process at TSMC factories. Obviously this is a decent SoC that can easily go neck-to-neck with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which means it delivers best-in-class performance.
There’s also a Mali-G710 MC10 inside. It provides a clock speed of up to 3.05 GHz coupled with 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. There is no software lagging or heating issues.
The Phantom 2 has a single loudspeaker and music sounds ok in all levels of volume. Sound in calls and video-calls is ok but nothing to brag about. Connectivity is also good. Full signal in call conditions. Bluetooth is ok too – I ‘ve used the smartphone with my wireless headphones daily for review purposes without interruptions and by the way, its GPS is instantaneous.
While performing the Geekbench benchmark, the device’s temperature reached almost 39°C which can be accepted. As far as benchmarks are concerned; It hits 1241 in Single Core Benchmark, and 4130 Multi-Core Score. During the CPU throttling test, it throttled down to 79% to its max performance.
I enjoyed playing some nice game titles like Genshin Impact or Call of Duty: Mobile. I didn’t encounter any slowdowns or lags during use. The device felt slightly warmer while playing genshin impact for an hour but doesn’t affect the performance at all.
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TECNO Phantom X2 review – Camera
Obviously, the main reason one should buy the Tecno Phantom X2 is its impressive triple camera. It provides several interesting features for youngsters mainly:
- Customized beauty adjustment
- Smart AI
- Smooth skin
- Skin tone adjustment
- 3D sculpting/Nose shape
- Eye shape
The phone in our review bundles a triple camera array which includes 64MP Primary Sensor, 13MP Ultra-wide Sensor, and 2MP sensor that is equipped with LED flash. On its front optics, it bundles a 64 MP selfie shooter with OIS. It also has an eye-tracking autofocus – a first for me and weird to look at, it reminds me of a sci-fi film. The user can also take pictures only by smiling! The camera app has Super Night, Portrait, Google Lens, Beauty, Video, AI cam and Short Video. The latter is for usage on social media and has a lot of extras for visual effects.
It lacks a dedicated telephoto camera but allows shooting digital zoom pictures via a primary camera. Also, the night mode is a bit disappointing; With a very slow shutter speed during low light conditions, it comes up with a worse photo than the normal mode. Sometimes however, it works flawlessly well.
TECNO has invested a lot in the camera department, and I believe the result is impressive. I really enjoyed the AR Shot, with Animoji/stickers, the face recognition software that can transform our face in an instance, the portrait restoration technique that we can find embedded and of course a seriously sick bokeh effect!
Phantom X2 have also optimized the Super Night Mode 3.0 with AI Scene Light Detection, Multi-frame Fusion Optimization Algorithm and the cutting-edge Touch-up Restoration Technology. This appropriately brightens your image to make it both clear and natural even shooting in a dark environment. What’s more, the Ring Screen Fill-in Light provides an even, three-dimensional fill-in light for the face even in low light conditions.
All in all, the company has added fun in the usage of the camera and I spent a lot of time playing with it during our review.
There’s also support for HDR/Super Night Mode/Panorama modes, while having the ability to shoot 120/240fps Slow Motion videos, 2K lapse videos, and huge Panorama photos that will impress you. There’s also AI support in Beauty Mode, optimized for retouching the user’s body parts! You can easily now become… slimmer with the touch of a button 😉
More camera features
Taking into consideration the camera installation I was surprised at how good daylight pictures are in this review. The main sensor works perfectly. I can’t tell whether the depth / AI lenses help. This phone could be sold with a single camera in other times, but seeing how multi-camera phones push sales, all companies provide extra lenses. Night photos are good in case of light and get better with Night mode. I don’t think anyone will complain about the camera.
Video stabilization is on par, too, the only weakness I would say is the ultra-wide lens, and that the portrait lens struggles with focus in lower light situations. In any case, this is a camera system that can almost face most of the biggest names in the industry. This is a remarkable achievement by Tecno.
TECNO Phantom X2 review – Software
The smartphone comes with Android 12 which is an amazing offer for this price segment. This is not the first time that I used HIOS. It brings all the functions and abilities ROMs have these days. I have to mention that there’s some bloatware and advertisement as we see in other similarly priced smartphones. There were no major bugs or limitations and I believe that – with a little polishing- HIOS can stand next to other skins.
The customization is rich with many features, a theme shop and a dark mode. We can find a memory boost app, Phone Master – a general taking care app, a private app shop called Palm Store, AI Gallery, Ella, Hi Browser, Hi Translate, Palm Store, and Visha Player, Instant Apps – a very nice shortcut app to various games and apps that you can use without installing, a Community app for Tecno, various tools, and various other applications like music stores, data share apps etc. Especially in Notifications we are constantly bombarded by information and advertisement… The good thing is that we can find Google Services and you can instantly start removing any application you don’t use/need. In 20-30 minutes the software is more light and user friendly.
I have the feeling that the people behind HIOS will do a good job onwards since this very rich skin covers all needs of a user and does it with good speed and minimal energy consumption. I hope Tecno will continue to provide updates for this phone. However, Android 12 is a generation old now and Tecno does not have a proven track record of offering software updates in a timely manner. I wouldn’t hold my breath on Android 13 coming here anytime soon.
The huge Li-Po 5,160 mAh battery and the software added by TECNO is an excellent combination that provides two days of light usage or one day of medium usage (no gaming). SOT is about 7-8 hours which is a top performance.
I was happily impressed by the charging speed. The brand new Type-C 45W wall charger is a welcomed addition to the setup. It provides a full charge the device from 0%-50% in 19 minutes and it took us 59 minutes to charge it from 0% to 100%. However, the phone doesn’t support wireless charging, a bummer for those who want everything.
TECNO Phantom X2 review – Conclusion
Indeed, this is TECNO’s most ambitious project, in terms of hype and performance. It features an eye-grabbing design and genuine innovative camera hardware breakthrough. It can easily cover your needs in terms of social media photography, and more. Main camera setup has good performance, but the lack of proper image stabilization and sound of the video recording hurts the total performance in the area.
The SoC is energy efficient and stable and cool. Software is rich but needs polishing to remove some of the bloatware. There is a quite large battery with top standby times of up to 15 hours of use, and the charging speed is good with a 45W charger. Design is great and the addition of case / earphones in the box is a plus.
The TECNO Phantom X2 costs Rs.39,999 in India at this time or approximately 480$, a price which is more than what the fans of the company may want. This is the only way however to make an entrance to the high end market segment. With a bang!