Tecno, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer founded in 2006. A subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, a Chinese company that specializes in manufacturing and distributing mobile phones and other electronics in emerging markets such as Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Their mission? To provide affordable and high-quality mobile phones that are designed specifically for consumers in said regions.
The most touted features from their smartphones have been their large displays, long battery life, and dual SIM functionality.
And with the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro, they aim to shake the flagship smartphone market with an affordable offering; but at what cost? Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
So in all its glory, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G has a nice and ecofriendly design that immediately catches the eye, especially in this Mars Orange color. It’s also available in Stardust Gray, if you’re into something more muted. Both options are stunning and unique, the back panel is made of a recycled polymer material and the Mars Orange variant provides this grippy, almost leather-like feel to it.
Either way, if you aren’t into it, we also get this cool case in the box, that gives your device a front lip for when laying flat as well as a nifty stand around the camera module.
Speaking of the camera module, it’s HUGE.
During first observation it can feel verry jarring to the eye, luckily this phone is tall so from an overall aesthetic standpoint, you get used to it with each glance.
You may noticed the accented camera sensor as well, some of you may be surprised to know that this isn’t the main camera sensor, but instead the telephoto one. Why is it accented? To highlight this devices’ winning feature, a retractable telephoto lens.
For I/O we get a noise-cancelling mic up top for loudspeaker calls; Volume rocker and power button on the right side (button placement feels just right for the device’s dimensions); and a dual-SIM card tray, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille that houses the main mic and speakers at the bottom.
In front the Phantom X2 Pro rocks a 6.8-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED panel (2400 x 1080 ~387ppi) and we don’t know how to feel about it. The variable refresh rate doesn’t seem like the smartest implementation for their software. With the adaptive refresh rate option enabled, allowing the Phantom X2 Pro’s display to variably refresh from 120Hz down to 60Hz to conserve battery life.
We noticed it only drops down to 60Hz when using virtually any app like the camera, chrome or Instagram, as well as searching in the stock settings app. Again, that’s only when searching in the app, apart from that scrolling and selecting options keeps it at 120Hz.
What’s weird about this one is it sticks to 120Hz when typing or dialing in the stock messaging or phone app. And when in idle, you’d assume that it should drop down to 60Hz to save battery life, but it doesn’t! (Update: after a firmware update the screen now refreshes to 60Hz when the display is idle)
Not to give too much of a knock on Tecno here but at this price point, c’mon! I’m pretty sure this is a HiOS optimization issue and not so with the display’s hardware.
With that aside, the display is a great AMOLED one. Deep blacks, vibrant colors — perfect for watching or consuming any sort of media on this device. For gaming, I played hours of Diablo Immortal with it and I don’t really have any complaints to point out here.
I ‘will’ throw a jab at that single Mono speaker. It’s loud and highs are very clear and crisp but seriously, it’s 2023! Sell me a flagship by featuring stereo speakers.
But of course the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G isn’t just a pretty face and back. It’s also a powerful device that can handle multitasking and demanding apps with ease. The phone is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset and a Mali-G710 MC10 GPU. You can only get it with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, and overall it can handle virtually any app I throw at it.
For those of you interested in benchmark scores, check them out below:
|Device:||Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G|
|3D Mark Wild Life||7,342 (44 Avg fps)|
|PCMark Work 3.0||13,697|
For software we get Android 12 skinned with Tecno’s HiOS 12 on top. And as I’ve mentioned previously, this operating system could use some optimization. The overall experience seems fine once you get used to everything, and of course in a scenario where this is the only device you have, you’ll definitely get over all of those nuances with daily use.
My main issue here is, compared to other interfaces at this price point, it somewhat falls short. Even Nothing’s NothingOS in its infancy does a better job optimizing their software given their hardware. So I am a little bit turned off by HiOS, as it feels like all they wanted to churn-out is what was passable. Which in-turn makes me feel like it’s a little bit unpolished.
For battery, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro sports an impressive 5,160mAh cell with support for 45W fast charging. (And yes, the brick comes in the box.) Charging up the device from 0-100% takes about an hour. And with a whole day of use I still end up having to charge at the end of my day before going to bed.
In PC Mark’s Work 3.0 battery test, our Tecno Phantom X2 Pro scored 9 hours and 7 minutes. We’ve seen other devices with lesser capacity cells do better. So again I can infer that this is from poor software optimization.
Biometrics and Security
For Biometrics and Security, the Phantom X2 Pro 5G features an in-display optical fingerprint sensor, as well as face unlock. Both work as advertised with the fingerprint sensor being more secure. I do find the face unlock on this device very sticky like other Chinese manufactured smartphones of the past. Even at weird angles where you wouldn’t think it would be scanning your face, the device unlocks quick.
But what really sets the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G apart from other phones in its class is its camera system. This device has a triple-camera setup composed of a 50MP primary sensor [f/1.9], a 13MP ultrawide [f/2.2], and that 50MP [f/1.5] retractable telephoto lens.
Is it a gimmick? Honestly, yeah! I mean, I thought the first retractable camera lens on a smartphone was Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Zoom released in 2013, remember that thing?
But this doesn’t mean the camera system on the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro is trash. It’s actually quite good and in my opinion is definitely its most redeeming factor.
Images come out clean and sharp with good detail. The image processing at times can feel heavy even with Ai turned off (I’m summing this up to user error). But overall thanks to those wide open apertures from the main and telephoto sensor, it’s easy to take shots with a natural looking bokeh all-day if that’s what you are into.
For selfies, the Phantom X2 Pro 5G gets a 32MP [f/2.2] sensor in front, and just like the back you can expect similarly good image quality out of it, good enough for social media.
For video you can shoot modes from [email protected]/60fps to [email protected]/60fps.
Overall the advanced camera software on the Phantom X2 Pro allows users to take stunning photos and videos, even in low-light conditions. This makes it an excellent choice for taking pictures of landscapes, food, or people. I’m actually impressed with the camera system here, so impressed I’m sure it can go toe-to-toe with the latest iPhone.
So to conclude this review we cannot ignore the device’s price.
Tecno’s Phantom X2 Pro 5G launches at PHP 42,999 with its one and only configuration of 12GB of RAM + 256GB of internal storage. The standard Phantom X2 5G is PHP 10,000.00 cheaper, and if you really love this device but can’t afford the Pro, the standard non-pro is a good alternative with an arguably lesser camera system.
And with the likes of the Xiaomi 13 Pro at PHP 59,000.00 and the cheapest Galaxy S23 device at PHP 53,990.00, I can see why one would consider the Phantom X2 Pro.
So for those primarily focused on budget alone, it ‘is’ safe to say that the Phantom X2 and X2 Pro 5G are affordable flagships from Tecno.
Overall, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro is an impressive phone that offers high-end features at a relatively affordable price point. It’s a device that’s catered to the Philippine market, with its interesting design, advanced camera system, and good performance. If you’re looking for a flagship smartphone that won’t break the bank compared to the competition, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G is definitely worth considering.
What do you think of Tecno’s Phantom X2 Pro 5G, let us know below.
Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G specs:
6.8-inch 2K 120Hz OLED panel @ 2400×1080 pixels
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Mediatek Dimensity 9000 chipset
MaliG710 MC10 GPU
256GB UFS 3.1 internal storage
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band
GPS with aGPS support
50MP Main sensor (f/1.9 aperture, PDAF)
50MP Telephoto (f/1.5 aperture, PDAF, retractable lens)
13MP Ultrawide sensor (f/2.2 aperture, AF)
@[email protected]/60fps, [email protected]
32MP Selfie (f/2.5 aperture Dual Pixel PDAF)
5160mAh Li-on battery, 45W wired fast-charging
Type-C, USB 2.0
HiOS 12 Launcher, Android 12
164.6 x 72.7 x 9 mm (dimensions)
201 grams (weight)