Tecno, for those who don’t know, is a Chinese brand that makes Android-based smartphones. They purposefully serve the African smartphone market with their budget-friendly devices until they too want to bite other markets across Asia and Europe.
When they released the Phantom X2, it garnered generally positive reviews from critics and users alike due to the uniqueness of the device as well as its premium-grade specifications especially, its retractable camera sensor.
The device marked Tecno’s attempt to rebrand itself as a premium smartphone maker and they are back again with a foldable smartphone this time around.
I was really impressed when I heard the news and couldn’t wait until I actually saw the release of the device which in my opinion will challenge the dominance of Samsung in the foldable smartphone market.
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Before I outline the cool features, specifications, and price of this device, it is worth noting that foldable smartphones are gradually becoming the new norm and many have argued that it may b the demise of tablets which I doubt as manufacturers are now in fact making tablets bigger.
Also, when you realize that even Tecno has launched a foldable smartphone, you start questioning the place of Samsung as an industry leader who is respected as one f the big players in the foldable smartphone market.
And to be honest, I’d say Samsung is doing very great in terms of sales of its foldable because the majority of its competitors in the category aren’t necessarily selling their products to international customers.
With newer brands with good reputations entering the market, especially, its arch-rival, Apple, and Samsungs fate might be sealed especially if it continues in its current trajectory.
One of the reasons why foldable aren’t so common is because of the price and of course, the number of companies making the device. But Tecno with its existing large budget-friendly market in Africa, it will be easy for it to simply penetrate and put foldable in the hands of an average consumer.
But apart from that, the Tecno Phantom V Fold is pretty good and comes with some great hardware features and specifications that put it right at the top where their foldable smartphones sit.
The device made its official debut on Feb. 28th during the MWC in Barcelona and as surprising as it was, the company had previously announced its intentions to go into the foldable smartphone market as well.
The device is expected to hit stores during the Q2 of the year and I hope they can keep to their schedule. Below are some of the cool features and hardware specifications of the Tecno Phantom V Fold
Measuring about “159.4 x 72 x 14.2-14.5 mm” when folded, the size means it can be used without necessarily unfolding it all. The outer display is 6.42-inch and it’s built with LTPO AMOLED technology with a FulHD+ resolution.
I also like the fact that the outer display has very tiny bezels which gives it the premium look and feel. The inner screen measures around 7.85-inch and it’s also an LTPO AMOLED with 1 billion colors.
It of course comes with all the expectations from a big smartphone such as a blazing-fast 120Hz refresh rate except that its peak brightness is just 1100 nits which are really bright if you’re indoors but not in Samsug’s standard when you take it out on a sunny afternoon.
Did I also mention that the outer display is protected by a Gorilla Glass Vitus? Also, there is no noticeable crease when you unfold the device which is yet another big thumbs up for the device.
One noticeable design choice Tecno made on the device is curving the corners of the device while leaving the other straight. This extends to the screen as well so one of the corners (top right and bottom right) are curved while the left top and bottom corners are straight.
The back o the device is textured which is goodbye to fingerprints. I also like the circular camera module which sticks out at the top center position of the device’s back. There isn’t a lot going on at the back as it’s basically simple.
The back is likely made out of recycled plastic according to a report. But it obviously looks and felt really premium which is something that makes the look and feels premium.
The camera system
One noticeable design choice that Tecno made with this device is going with a circular camera module rather than the outstanding camera design it implemented on its Phantom X2 which made its debut last year.
The circular camera module has a total of three camera sensors with the primary sensor being a big 50 MP wide lens with an f/1.9 aperture and PDAF.
Then there is another 50MP 2x zoom telephoto camera with a PDAF feature and another 13MP ultrawide 120-degree camera. There is a microsensor which I often find to be of no use on most devices that have them.
There are two other cameras o the cover and foldable displays for taking selfies. One of the biggest advantages of owning a foldable device is the ability to literally record yourself using the primary rear cameras while looking at yourself with the cover screen.
Although I’ve not personally tested out these cameras, I think they have a great hardware specification and those who have actually interacted with the device confirmed that the camera is quite outstanding, to say the least.
Even if the camera isn’t as great as the ones found on the Phantom X2 for example, it won’t be surprising considering the fact that foldable devices aren’t necessarily known for being powerful in the camera region as they are more of a multi-task tool.
So it’s fair to assume that those who will buy this device will likely have another smartphone and even if they are going to be using it as their single daily driver, its camera prowess is still definitely going to be on par with some other high-end foldable smartphones on the market today.
Platform, storage, and processor
Powering the Tecno Phantom V Fold is a Mediatek Dimensity 9000+ (4 nm) chipset coupled with the current Android 13 OS and the company’s proprietary HiOS 13 Fold user interface.
The CPU is Octa-core (1×3.20 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.85 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510) and its GPU is a Mali-G710 MC10.
The onboarded storage is between 256GB and 512GB while the RAM is 12GB. Remember I told you that the device got some compelling numbers on paper?
Although I’m yet to put the device through rigorous tests to see how well it will fair in difficult positions, the above specifications showed that the device is definitely going to perform well.
I know that a Dimensity 9000 chipset might not necessarily be as powerful as a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that will likely power the next-gen Galaxy Z Fold 5, I that’s what Samsung will call it, There is also nothing official regarding the device’s software support and for how long Tecno will support its consumers.
This is especially the of the big problems of many Chinese brands and that is where Apple ad been Samsung thrives. I hope all these Chinese brands can continue o support their smartphones for at least 5 years.
Powering this device is a big 5,000mAh Li-Po battery that can be charged using Tecnno’s 45W power brick which comes with the device in a box. There won’t be wireless charging support but the charger’s speed is immense since Tecno promises a 40% charge under just 11 minutes.
Even though the battery is quite massive enough to power the device for a long period of time, the most important thing to note is the fact that the device’s custom operating system is well-optimized so you can expect good use of your device’s power on a daily basis.
There isn’t so much to be mentioned regarding the battery until I’m able to get one and personally review it to see how long it will last considering the fact that the device is more of a tool rather than mere aesthetics.
Will you likely buy the Tecno Phantom V Fold?
I honestly see no reason why you shouldn’t because of many factors. Although it’s yet unclear whether the device will be sold globally or n a select market and regions across the globe, one thing that is certain is that it will cost quite lesser than the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
According to reports, the Phantom V Fold will likely come with a US$1,300 price tag which is really expensive for their target market of Africa to be sincere but as we all know, this is a foldable device, so it isn’t necessarily meant for everyone just yet.
Even as popular as foldable smartphones are getting now, not so many people can afford them, and even those that can afford them right not have the right care to keep them safe because of their delicate foldable screens which are often protected by plastic.
Another thing about the device is its hinge which unlike the Galaxy Z Fold 4 can’t be opened to an angle.
This is especially disappointing because the different angles by which you can open the Galaxy Z Fold 4 means that the device can act as a mini laptop at an angle especially if you want to use the device for media consumption or whatnot.
But I think since this is Tecno’s first attempt at the foldable smartphone category, they did quite well with the hardware even though the hinge might not stay at a particular position where you’d want it and that is usually the problem with first-generation products.
Another concern that I have is whether there will b adequate repair and hardware replacement parts for the device in its target regions as well as the prices for those parts. Foldable smartphones are expensive and so will their spare parts. Let’s just hope they are not through the roof or hard to come by.
However, we’ll keep you in the loop when we get our hands on one and make a thorough review of both the device’s hardware and its software as well as how it compares to other foldable smartphones currently on the market such as the Honor Magic V fold or the Huawei Mate X2 and so forth.