TECNO Phantom X Review
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The TECNO Phantom X Review
Without a doubt, one of the most exciting launches of 2021 is TECNO’s leap forward with the Phantom X. This is an exciting phone from appearance to actual use. It’s such a leap forward from the company – from its previous offerings – so much so that it makes sense to push the Phantom category as a sub-band. Now I know it’s kind of confusing to call something a flagship sub-brand. But this is not something new in the industry. TECNO itself is part of the Transsion Company which also owns companies like Infinix. Other companies such as Xiaomi and OPPO have also launched their own sub-brands that have grown into huge smartphone vendors over time. So TECNO definitely knows what it’s doing, as the Phantom is a sub-brand. Let’s wait..
Saying the Phantom X is a giant leap forward wouldn’t make sense if you’ve never used a TECNO device before. But I believe most of you reading this have. You know the usual build, finish and design we are used to: nothing bad. A few times we get something really good. But never really anything special. And that’s the problem with the Phantom X; It’s excellent.
The Phantom line is Tecno’s most technologically advanced range of smartphones and the Phantom XI here is probably the best execution of a Tecno flagship smartphone yet. It has an uncompromising look and feel, although some compromises were made to make it what I’d call a flagship killer.
The front is dominated by a 6.7-inch full HD OLED screen with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, some extreme curves on the sides and a pill-shaped cutout for the dual selfie cameras, a regular and a wide angle. The earpiece is a small slot between the edge of the screen and the metal frame and in that small edge are the usual sensors and a selfie flash.
Your volume and power buttons are on the right side but pushed back slightly to accommodate the curved screen and I love how the back glass and metal frame deviate cleanly from their original line to allow equal margins of the frame above and below the row of buttons. The top edge houses the secondary microphone and the triple slot tray that holds 2 SIM cards and an SD card. It also has a rubber ring for improved water resistance, even though it does not have an official water resistance certification.
At the bottom is the headphone jack that has gone completely extinct on some flagships, the primary microphone, a USB-C port that supports 33W fast charging, faster than what Samsung, Apple or Sony can do with their flagships, and an array holes for the speaker. The Phantom X goes backwards and has one of the largest camera bumps I’ve ever seen on a smartphone. It’s as thick as 4 credit cards stacked on top of each other and it’s also a 2-layer bump, with the first featuring the signature Quad LED flash and laser autofocus and the second featuring 3 camera lenses.
The Phantom X is running Android 11 with HiOS 7.6 on top and I found 6 software features that looked quite interesting. It has a picture in picture mode. So if I want to keep listening to my YouTube video while writing down my notes. i just wipe up with 3 fingers in youtube app and it becomes a floating window then i can open my notes app and take notes.
If I want to interact with the YouTube app while it’s in this floating window mode to maybe select another video, I tap it once, search for the clip I want to watch, then tap it pinch buttons to make it smaller and continue with my notes. When I feel like closing the YouTube app, I just swipe left or right and it’s gone.
The Phantom X is running Android 11 with HiOS 7.6 on top and I found 6 software features that looked quite interesting.
There’s also a peek-proof mode that lets you dim or completely darken a portion of the screen so that curious passengers or spouses can’t see the full display of the content on your screen. You use some virtual buttons to adjust the blinders exactly to what you want to show or hide by moving them around up or down and left or right to adjust how transparent or opaque the blinds will be.
The fingerprint is now in the display and it is very snappy but above all very reliable. It was able to recognize my fingerprint 100% of the time. I wasn’t very confident because of how slow it was during the set up phase, but it performs well when it matters. There are also 3 different unlock animations available in case you want more spice up the unlock experience, but unfortunately there is no way to disable animations or download more. Something that can be fixed with a software update.
There’s also edge lighting that animates the curved edges of the screen for things like app notifications and calls. For each you have an option of 3 different animations to choose from and also the option to disable them all together if you’d rather not have them.
Video assistant mode is another interesting feature. It only activates when you are in one of the pre-listed video apps and you can add more if they are not on the list.
So let’s say you’re on YouTube, you swipe and hold from the left or right edge of the screen, and you get a toolkit for some quick controls and quick actions, like a call-only or do-not-disturb mode. messages or just notifications.
Playing in the background is super great for YouTube as it allows you to listen to any video you play with the screen off. Unfortunately you can’t play video on YouTube in the background while doing other things like WhatsApp or something but you have the floating window feature therefore.
Something Tecno doesn’t mention is that the display on the Phantom X supports HDR 10, which is impressive at this price point. HDR means better image quality, especially for color transitions and richer colors. I am impressed by that.
Both SIM slots get the same treatment in terms of 4G connectivity that is available on both. And for those who are curious, yes Zol SIM cards work in this phone but due to the always on LTE requirements of Zol and TelOne SIM cards, it will IMPORTANTLY affect the battery life.
TECNO chose a 6.7-inch 90Hz AMOLED display for the device. It is awesome. Like really very good. They have done everything right with this screen. Let me explain:
They have arranged the color reproduction well. So everything feels and looks good. I’m glad they didn’t over-saturated the colors or made it more vibrant. It’s just good. They also have a good refresh rate. This means that after long use I don’t get any problems with my eyes. In addition, you can set the auto refresh rate that changes between 60 Hz and 90 Hz depending on what you’re doing. Brightness is also well controlled. And the sensors know very well when to lower and raise the brightness. This is something I have complained about with other Transsion devices. So it’s good to see it being done well here. And of course they got the corners right. I know curves look great in photos and in renders, and people love to stare at a curved screen phones. However, accidental touches are quite annoying. With this phone, the curves may seem quite aggressive, but I’ve never been bothered by accidental touches.
Tecno Phantom X is expected to launch in July 2021 and runs on Android 11 OS. The smartphone is only available in one color, which is black and also has a built-in fingerprint sensor as primary security feature, along with the many connectivity options in terms of 3G, 4G, GPS, Wifi, NFC Bluetooth capabilities. The phone comes with 256 GB of internal storage.
Wrap up TECNO Phantom X Review
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