TECNO Mobile is one of the three emerging brands from Chinese giant Transsion. Like its sister companies, the brand also wants to stand out from the crowd by offering smartphones with interesting features at a reasonable price tag.
The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro, the company’s latest flagship, has arrived in the Philippines to show that TECNO is more than just an affordable Android manufacturer. Its key highlight is the retractable camera lens on the back. But with a price of Php42,999, how does it compete with other flagship smartphones in the market? Are you better off going with something else? Let’s find out in our TECNO Phantom X2 Pro review.
TECNO Phantom X2 Pro Specs
- Android 12, HiOS 12
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.8-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 387ppi
- 120Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
- TUV Rheinland SUD 36-month Fluency Rating A
- 3.05GHz MediaTek Dimensity 9000 octa-core processor
- Mali-G710 MC10 GPU
- 12GB RAM
- 256GB UFS 3.1 internal storage, non-expandable
- 32-megapixel front camera
- 50-megapixel (f/1.9, PDAF) + 50-megapixel (retractable lens, f/1.5, 2.5x zoom, 65mm) + 13-megapixel (ultra-wide/macro) rear cameras, LED flash
- Under-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
- Loudspeaker, Headphone jack
- HSPA+, 4G LTE, 5G
- WiFi 6E, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.3
- GPS, A-GPS
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 164.6 x 72.7 x 9mm
- Weight: 201g
- Colors: Mars Orange, Stardust Gray
- 5,160mAh non-removable battery, 45W fast charging
Design and Build Quality
The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro is a stunner and could easily catch anyone’s attention, especially in this Mars Orange color that we’re testing. It even has a textured surface that feels nice on the hands.
Oh, and of course, you cannot miss that large camera island in the middle with two gigantic lenses with the retractable one highlighted by the matching orange ring around it.
If you want something cleaner, there’s also a Stardust Gray option with a red accent on the lens.
The device feels sturdy with its metal chassis and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front. We tried flexing it and it was solid.
The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro also has curved edges in front and back, which made it relatively comfortable to hold despite being noticeably heavy. Still, our hands felt tired after 30-45 minutes of using it.
The device weighs 201g and is quite thick at 9mm. It also goes without saying that there’s a substantial camera bump on the back.
It also comes with a black case with “X II Series” etched, plus hard plastic that surrounds the camera to protect it. In addition, the said hard plastic is actually a kickstand that you can use when watching movies, video calls, or when recording videos.
Taking a tour, we have the secondary microphone on the top on a shiny metal surface. We also have the loudspeaker at the bottom, together with the USB Type-C port and the SIM tray that can house two nano SIM cards. No microSD card expansion support on this one.
The left side is clean, while on the right are the lock/power button and the volume controls. Buttons are thin and tactile enough, but not the best that we’ve seen at this price point.
On the front, we have an enormous 6.8-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera. The bezels are really thin you won’t even notice it, especially on the curved sides.
Overall, the Phantom X2 Pro is one hell of a device to look at. It also feels sturdy and may last a long time, although you might have to get used to its weight.
Display and Sound Quality
The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro comes with a 6.8-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels and 120Hz refresh rate.
Is it the best display in the market? Definitely not. The screen brightness could be better as we find it lacking on sunny outdoors, despite the brightness slider maxed out.
But then again, it’s an AMOLED screen, which means that it boasts vibrant colors and deep contrast that are great for watching content on streaming apps.
Oh, and streaming in HD on streaming apps is possible thanks to its Widevine L1 certification. However, it appears that the Phantom X2 Pro is not Google Play Protect certified, so we can’t download Netflix from the Play Store. Other services like HBO Go and Amazon Prime are available.
Thanks to its flagship processor, you can feel the smoothness of the fast 120Hz refresh rate provides. It also has a standard 60Hz mode for apps and games that don’t support 120Hz.
One of the most disappointing features of the Phantom X2 Pro is the lack of a stereo speaker setup. It only has a single loudspeaker, which is lackluster as it lacks the volume and clarity we expect from a flagship smartphone.
On the upside, it managed to come with free USB-C earphones in the package, which we rarely see on devices these days.
Hardware and Performance
The new TECNO Phantom X2 Pro comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 processor with a Mali-G710 MC10 GPU, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It has virtual RAM expansion that adds up to 3GB of memory, but it lacks a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
TECNO Phantom X2 Pro benchmarks
Being one of the most powerful chipsets from MediaTek, the Dimensity 9000 provides flagship-level performance. Everything is just smooth on this device. No issues there.
It did get very hot when running benchmarks, but it was not a big issue when gaming.
As expected, it was able to provide a smooth gaming experience with Call of Duty Mobile running at high graphics settings without a hitch. The same can be said with other games like League of Legends: Wild Rift, Mobile Legends, and Asphalt 9. Genshin Impact also ran fine without any issues.
Software and User Interface
The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro still runs on the Android 12 operating system with the brand’s HiOS 12.0 interface on top. We understand that Android 13 is fairly new, but being a flagship device, we expect it to get the update soon. But looking at the current state of the software, which only has the security update from September 2022.
Still, HiOS is fine. It’s not the best nor the cleanest brand interface we’ve seen, but it’s decent. Unfortunately, it has one of the most bloatware we’ve seen on an Android phone — most of which cannot be uninstalled.
We love all the customization features, especially those for the Always-On Display with different AOD wallpaper styles.
For security, the Phantom X2 Pro has both an in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock. Both worked fine during our tests. However, since the latter only uses the selfie camera with no IR sensor, it does struggle in pitch-black rooms.
Gesture Navigation is available, which we prefer to the traditional three-button option. The gestures just feel satisfying on a display this smooth with thin bezels and curved sides.
TECNO Phantom X2 Pro also has a Special Function section in the settings that lets you enable multi-windows for multitasking; MemFusion that adds up to 3GB of virtual RAM by borrowing from the storage; Smart Panel that can be launched from anywhere in the interface to gain access on chosen apps; Kids Mode, Game Mode, App twin for multi-account management, and Video assistant for improved viewing experience.
As a default, it uses the user-friendly Google Keyboard. The camera app is fairly intuitive too, albeit naming the standard camera mode as “AI Cam” can be quite confusing to those who don’t want to use AI. Fortunately, the actual AI function can be toggled at the top menu.
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As you already know, the main highlight of the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro is its retractable lens found on the sharp 50-megapixel camera. It has a 65mm equivalent for a 2.5x zoom and comes with f/1.5 aperture.
The main shooter has a 50-megapixel sensor while the ultra-wide shooter that doubles as a macro lens only has a 13-megapixel lens. A 32-megapixel shooter is on the front for selfies.
Let’s start with the main 50-megapixel camera. This one takes superb photos with a lot of detail and natural colors. It outputs images in 12.5-megapixel resolution, but there’s still the 50MP mode for those who want to use it.
Low-light photos from the main camera are also good with tons of details and barely noticeable noise. Colors are also accurate with a clean dynamic range.
Next stop, we have the 50-megapixel telephoto camera. Unlike other telephoto lenses on other phones, this is more suitable for taking portraits of people and subjects. While we do prefer 50mm for this kind of job, we could say that the 65mm equivalent on the X2 Pro is also fine.
That said, the image quality is great with fine colors, dynamic range, and sharp detail. Although, the focus can get jittery at times, which results in blurred faces. In addition, the wide f/1.5 aperture makes for brighter images with a shallow depth of field.
It is best paired with the Portrait Mode in the app. If you can, disable the face beauty mode so the subject’s face remains sharp. If you want more flexibility, you can play with the aperture settings for a more blurry background.
You can slide the lens toggle and get up to 20x of digital zoom. The image quality is that good, but it was useful for someone like me with bad eyesight who need help when looking at faraway objects. It’s like a telescope in your pocket.
We also have a 13-megapixel ultra-wide lens, which takes nice images with clean colors and nice details. Distortion on the corners is noticeable but nothing to worry about.
The ultra-wide lens has autofocus, which means that it can also be used for taking macro shots. Close-up images look passable and are way better than the 2-megapixel macro shooters that other cheaper phones have.
Just like the cameras on the back, the 32-megapixel selfie shooter also takes good images. Unsurprisingly, sharpness and detail are not a problem. It also captures fine skin tones — a quality that was maintained even in low-light selfies.
Clearly, the cameras on the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro are more than just a gimmick. This device can really take great images — making mobile photography its best quality.
As a standard for flagship phones, the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro has 5G connectivity together with 4G LTE — both worked fine during our time with it.
It also has the latest WiFI 6E standard, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, USB Type-C port, and NFC connectivity. Nearby Share for quick file sharing with other Android devices and Android Auto support for supported infotainment units are also available.
The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro comes with a huge 5,160mAh battery and support for 45W fast charging.
Despite its fairly large battery, it got one of the worst scores in PCMark’s battery test. At only 8 hours and 50 minutes, it’s way below the average score we usually get of around 12 to 14 hours. This could be due to the fast display and throttling issue, as the device did get hot just a few hours after running the said benchmark app.
In translation, the Phantom X2 Pro may not make it through the entire day if you’re a heavy gamer. But if you just love to watch binge-watch shows, browse the web, or do other light tasks, then you might get a few more hours on this device. Still, expect that you need to charge it every day.
Speaking of charging, it does have a 45W adapter in the box. For 45W, the charging speed feels really slow compared to others with over 60W. Charging from 20% for 30 minutes managed to take us to 60%. After another 30 minutes, it got up to 92%. 10 more minutes later and it reached 99%. Overall, a full charge from 0 to 100% might take an hour and a half.
The new TECNO Phantom X2 Pro managed to stand out from the crowd by having an eye-catching design and a retractable lens. It also offers flagship-level performance, display, and great image quality.
However, some of the special features added resulted in the removal of other standard hardware flagship phones should already have. We’re referring to the lack of a stereo speaker, OIS for the camera, slow charging for the price, and the fact that it still runs on Android 12. The software also has its quirks, but we hope that TECNO could fix them in a future update.
At its current price tag, it’s hard to recommend the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro because there are better options in the market right now. But if you want a reliable phone that’s great at taking photos and can catch people’s attention, the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro is still worth looking at.
TECNO Phantom X2 Pro price and availability in the Philippines
The TECNO Phantom X2 Pro has an SRP of Php42,999. It is usually discounted to Php39,999 to Php41,999 on the brand’s official store in Shopee, so make sure to watch out for deals before buying.
- Great build quality and attractive design
- Speedy and reliable performance
- Good image quality across the board
- Free kickstand case
- Outdated, buggy Android software
- Single speaker
- No OIS
This article, TECNO Phantom X2 Pro Review, was originally published at NoypiGeeks | Philippines Technology News, Reviews and How to’s.