Being the very first TECNO phone released for 2015, the Phantom Z Mini (a.k.a PTM-Z-mini) is a finely pieced beauty of hardware, and a perfect way of announcing the brand in the new year.
Right from the phone pack to through the phone, and to the internals, first thing you’ll notice about this phone is the revamped packaging. The pack looks good and appealing with good looking designs, the phone itself looks finely crafted and gives you that iPhonesque feeling, the software and innards of the phone looks well packaged with clean intuitive UI improvements and software features.
- Very light and just 6.6 mm thick.
- 5.0-inch AMOLED IPS display, with Gorilla Glass, 720 × 1280 pixels, and (294 PPI).
- Android 4.4.2 Kitkat, with customized modern looking UI.
- MediaTek MT6592 chipset with octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A7 processor, Mali 450-MP4 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
- 13 MP Auto focus, with LED flash, and Video recording of 1080p @ 30fps.
- 8MP front-facing camera, with LED flash, and 360p video recording.
- Fully partitioned 16GB internal storage (10 GB useable).
- Dual SIM support, Mini/Micro SIM, 3G switchable, and hot swappable.
- Dolby Digital Sound.
- Non-removable battery.
- No memory card slot.
Here’s the full specs in detail. Much has already been said about this phone, Sir Moverick did an Unboxing Review. I loved it from first sight and shared some more pictures of the device, so this review explores mostly the innards and functionality of this phone and probably more reasons why you should purchase this lovely device for yourself. Covering every blade of grass, Mobility style , sit back grab a bag of pop-corn, because the show’s only got started.
At first sight, you notice this phone is very slim even slimmer than the iPhone 6, and unbelievably light, barely will you feel the weight in your pocket. The phone is a flat slab with unibody design and curved edges. The Back camera and flash looks like that of an iPhone 4s, the front camera also has a flash placed beside it. This device finely fits into your hands despite its slimness.
Software-wise, this phone comes with “packaging” running a custom Android 4.4.2 Android OS called Aliyun OS. The user interface is clean, and neat, with icons well spaced-all on a black background-while maintaining the iPhonesque style. Here’s a pull down of the Notification bar.
We have Inadvertently Mode, a feature whereby the phone automatically locks itself once it enters your pocket. The other one, ClearMotion is said to enhance video playback.
The display is a crisp AMOLED 1280×720 HD display, with clear viewing angles, we have Gorilla Glass rocking the face.
This phone comes with 16GB in-built memory but there’s about 10GB useable. The storage is fully partitioned for both apps installation and media storage.
The 13MP shooter we have here performs admirably, even in dark places. One thing though, If you don’t let the sensor focus on the subject, the image will come out blurred.
The 8MP front facing camera takes superb selfies, covering a wide angle. The sensor takes in lots of details, even in somewhat dark scenarios, the image output is sharp. Mind you we also have a front facing LED flash to provide lighting.
The internal speakers we have here deliver pure sound, all thanks to the Dolby Digital feature pre-installed. The volume just isn’t loud enough. The best music experience is felt when ear phones are plugged in.
Video playback is bliss supported by the vivid AMOLED display. FM Recording is also bundled with the radio app.
Performance and Battery Life
The TECNO Phantom Z Mini is a capable performer. With the octa-core 1.4GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, apps run fluid and fast. Here’s a screenshot of the Antuntu benchmark.
Battery life of this phone is stellar. I managed to churn out 10 straight hours of steady 3G usage with 2 SIMS installed. There’s a Battery Saver Mode provided in the OS, and TECNO introduced Ultra Power Saving Mode (The kind found in Samsung Galaxy S5) to further extend battery life.
This phone has many smart gesture controls. Most notable is the Double tap to Wake/Sleep feature. When you double tap the screen it lights up or sleeps as the case maybe. This saves you the stress of always tapping power button. We love this feature and suggest it should be implemented by every other phone maker, irrespective of OS.
There are plenty of other gesture controls like Quick start, Waving answer, etc which can be activated in the settings.
The middle home button acts somewhat as a notification light, glowing when battery is full, or when you receive a notification. Impressive, really!!
The SIM slot is hot swappable, this entails that you can change your SIM cards smoothly without having to reboot the phone.
We noticed that when you try to multitask and minimize apps, swiping from middle to left locks the app to the memory- this means it won’t close even when RAM is low, while swiping from middle to right closes the app in question. See screenshot:
From the first minute after handling this device, it’s easy to tell that TECNO has totally changed their packaging. There’s marked improvements from the hardware to the software. The TECNO Phantom Z mini is one such representation; fine device, great display, decent camera, and absolute performer. Having just 10GB to use without a memory card slot is tricky, but that’s about the only annoying thing with this ravishing specimen. Get this device if you like it slim and beautiful *winks*