Tecno Phantom 5 isn’t Tecno Mobile’s first attempt at dabbling into premium smartphones but this new addition to the Phantom product line breaks away from the norm. Critics and fans alike have expressed diverse opinions about this device but one thing is certain, we at Geek NG love it.
Tecno Phantom 5 will change the way a lot of people see the tech company behind this masterpiece. It’s easy to love or hate the phone seeing the specifications and pictures online but being with the device for the last couple of weeks further reveals how much effort Tecno Mobile put into it to make it perfect.
We unboxed this device previously and you may want to see the video here. While we have the full specifications on this page, here are some key features:
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Physical Appearance & Build
We’ve said it over and over again, Tecno Phantom 5 is very unlike anything Tecno has done before and this device is a beauty to behold. It comes in a Aluminium body and the display is protected with Gorilla Glass 3. The frontal design looks beautifully simple and the phone has the four edges jutting out at sharp angles.
One thing that’s noticeably absent is the home button that serves at the LED notification light found on newer Tecno phones. The somewhat thick bottom bezel might suggest the presence of physical soft keys but these are placed on-screen.
The front 8MP front camera is supported with a LED flash and both stay at the left side of the earpiece. Turning the device over, the first thing you notice at the back is the fingerprint sensor sitting just below the top-centered 13MP rear camera equipped with dual flash as seen on Tecno Camon C8.
Below that is the branding, almost blending with the back cover and barely visible. Further down is the speaker producing HiFi sound enhanced with Dolby.
Except for the SIM card slot housing the dual micro-SIM cards, the left side of the device is almost plain. On the right are the volume controls just above the power button. Further down is the SD card slot.
At the top, shifted to the right is the 3.55mm earphone jack and at the bottom, is the micro-USB port.
It’s safe to say the design is carefully crafted and the result is a stylish device that looks slim and of course, elegant.
With a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels and a pixel density of 401 ppi, one can expect nothing short of a crystal clear display from the full HD screen.
Tecno Phantom 5 has a display size of 5.5″ against the 5.2″ screen found on it’s predecessor, the Phantom Z. It has a technology called in-cell capacitive touchscreen. In-cell technology is a display technology that combines the digitizer for touch input and LCD display into a single layer which helps in reducing the thickness of the display unit an eventually the overall thickness of a device.
The display is protected with Gorilla Glass 3 with anti-fingerprint coating.
This is definitely one of the device’s main selling point. Tecno Phantom 5 is the first Tecno Mobile phone with this technology and the OEM got it totally right. Though critics had something to say about the placement, it’s a no-brainer understanding this isn’t meant to be unlocked with the thumb like it is on Apple devices, it’s designed for the index finger.
The fingerprint sensor works well and the great thing about it is the ability to store up to five fingerprints. This means you can save other people’s fingerprints if it’s needed.
During the launch event, it was said that the fingerprint unlock generated zero error during 100,000 tests and I assumed it was all a marketing gimmick. The 360° fingerprint recognition leaves absolutely no room for errors and the fact that it takes only 0.7 second to recognize a fingerprint and unlock the device makes it all better.
Well, it works just as advertised.
Tecno Phantom Z has a 16MP rear camera and specification-wise, the camera on Tecno Phantom 5 looks like a downgrade. Well, that’s just on paper. The new Tecno Phantom 5 has a better camera and pictures appear more natural and much clearer.
As a matter of fact, I took pictures indoors to test low-light photography and Tecno Phantom 5 was the clear winner, the lower camera resolution notwithstanding.
The camera on the device has an aperture of f/2.0, the largest ever seen on a Tecno device. Even Camon C8 has an aperture of f/2.8 and f/2.2 on Tecno Phantom Z.
The gallery below shows images taken with Tecno Phantom 5:
The front camera too produces very good selfies and the front flash makes it easier taking selfies in the dark. The camera is equipped with Visidon technology which further reduces noise in nightshots.
When we reviewed the Camon C8, our major gripe was the absence of a Night Mode in the camera settings but thankfully, this has been corrected on Tecno Phantom 5. The night mode allows you to take better pictures in the dark without flash and low light photography has greatly improved. The images below were taken around the same time with different camera setting:
The picture above was taken in an almost dark room and the shot was taken in normal mode. There was no extra camera settings done. Taking it further, we enabled night mode to see if there would be any difference and it was glaring:
Enabling the dual flash and we got this result:
The camera is almost perfect. I would’ve been disappointed if it was anything short of that.
A 64-bit octa-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz coupled with a 3GB RAM is expected to process whatever you through at it easily. The custom UI is smooth and navigation is fluid. A 3GB random access memory is more than enough to efficiently handle multitasking. The benchmark results too look great though I was expecting something higher especially from Antutu. Here’s what we got with Antutu:
Although the single-core processing score wasn’t very impressive, it got a much better score with multi-core processing. And here’s the result with Geekbench 3:
The phone is exceptionally good at gaming and HD games run pretty smooth. We benchmarked the gaming capability with Basemark X and it looked pretty good.
The UI looks beautiful but I had issues trying to get used to the auto arrangement. It appears the icons are arranged based on how often you use them, I couldn’t find a way to customize the arrangement or alphabetically sort them.
The 3,000mAh Lithium Ion battery was able to last me trough the day with heavy use. With light use and 3G & WiFi turned off when not needed, the battery should take one through one and a half days of use. In my video loop test, I started playing videos with MX Player with the battery at 97%, volume at 50% and brightness at 50%. 3G was turned on and both SIM cards were active.
After playing the video for about 5 hours, there was still 33% battery left. Judging with this, the phone should offer about 6 and a half to 7 hours of video play.
You don’t have to be a techie to recognize high fidelity sound when you’re hear it and this is what comes out of the speaker on Tecno Phantom 5. The sound quality is superb. Using the earphones allows you to engage the equalizer to further fine-tune the sound.
Tecno’s proprietary music software that debuted on Boom J7 is also pre-installed and it keeps getting better. The database now has more songs and apart from music streaming and downloads, video streaming & download, playlist creation, social sharing & commenting with a bunch of other new features have been included.
The HiFi earphones included with the device also has a metal build and gives very good sound.
I saw an article on Mobility Arena showing a Smile 4G SIM working on Tecno Phantom 5. The phone supports 2G, 3G and 4G LTE. Both SIM slots supports 3G/4G connectivity.
The device also supports WiFi and can be used as a wireless hotspot.
Tecno Phantom 5 has 32GB internal storage out of which 25GB is usable. This can be expanded up to 64GB via the SD card slot.
At the moment, the recommended retail price is ₦70,000 and it’s only available in selected stores like SLOT, 3cHub, MicroStation and Zenco. You can as well check online retail stores:
Find on Konga: Buy Now
Find on Jumia: Buy Now
Pros: Premium build. Fast and fluid navigation. A 3GB RAM is a lot to work with when it comes to multitaksing. Fingerprint security. Awesome camera with great low-light photography.
Cons: The choice of the speaker placement isn’t the best. There’s no LED notification light. Icons on the app drawer can’t be sorted.
Isn’t ₦70,000 a bit too much?
Well, if you think it is, Tecno didn’t have you in mind when this device was being planned to be released. A lot of people still can’t come to terms with the fact that Tecno is making something as big as Tecno Phantom 5. First, it was the issue of firmware upgrade but news reaching us says there’s a planned upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow scheduled for June 2016.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, this is a premium device and it’s supposed to come with a premium price tag. It’s worth it.