TECNO Phantom Z Mini review – a ravishing specimen

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.

TPhantomZmini (1)

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.

Key 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.

Main Disadvantages

  • 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 smile emoticon, sit back grab a bag of pop-corn, because the show’s only got started.

Hardware /Design
TMPZ2-horz

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/Display
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.

Z Mini Display (2)

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.

Z Mini Display (1)-horz

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.

Z Mini - Storage (1)-horz

Camera
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.

Multimedia
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.

Z Mini- Dobly

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.

Z Mini- 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.

Z Mini- Power Save (1)-horz

Miscellaneous
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.

Z Mini- Gesture Controls

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:

Z Mini- Multitasking

Final Verdict
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*


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TECNO Phantom Z Mini review - a ravishing specimen

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 annou

Editor's Rating:
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32 comments

    1. Hi,pls I own a PTM Z MINI and I am having problem on how to screenshot. pls kindly replyon how to do that.tnx

  1. UI change is refreshing, the music player’s been upgraded from the generic AOSP player. does it have the permission manager (as found in the P5 ?). lack of expendable memory is a deal breaker, especially considering there’s no 32 GB variant

  2. please my phantom z mini is stuck at the no command prompt and i need someone to please upload the operating system online please.

    help please for close to a month i have been searching i would be for ever grateful for the upload

  3. Hi,

    I bought this a couple of weeks ago and it has been great until yesterday when I started encountering some terrible issues with it. The screen goes blank (dark), no display, but home button lights up on touch indicating that it is on, all without being provoked, sometimes it happens while it is in the pocket.

    Trying to power it up is hopeless and I have been forced to leave it lying there for some hours until it reboots itself and allow me sane usage, of course before it does its thing again. This is annoying and worrying and I first experienced it with Infinix X570 – which I sold the minute it was repaired (under warranty).

    What’s the remedy for this?

    1. thanks for this post, i have same problem with my phantom z mini. the screen goes off as you described and will only power on by itself, this is very frustrating cos i lose a lot of calls because of this terrible setback, beyond this i think its a good phone!

  4. Quite an impressive review. please i heard rumours tecno is providing OTA update support for its phantom Z series is the Z mini to get this support as well?…i’m thinking of upgrade to Lollipop Android. secondly what is the actual capacity of the battery on this device, mAH?

    1. Hello Jate, currently there’s no word yet on a Lollipop update for any Tecno phone. The battery rating is 2420mAh

  5. What the problem with my z mini? It goes blank at anytime. will not power on or off but the screen is fully lit but will show nothing. its so frustrating and the phone is almost new. just a white dotted screen and a black line cutting across and until this black line climbs from bottom to top of the screen it won’t obey any command. it may take even three days. help else I quit

  6. hi, why does my phone fail to show contacts quickly when I press contacts is doesn’t display but keeps loading for like 30 minutes? please help coz am really getting disapointed

  7. Hi, with my PTM-Z mini, I cannot install apps after I’ve uninstalled all…. I keep receiving the notification “storage full” whereas I’ve got over 1.4G of RAM and 500MG of storage…. The most shocking part is i cannot update any app including whatsapp due to this…
    Help me….

    1. My PTM-Z-mini -G870 -A1-KK-20141209 after changing a Sim card from another country to another it has blocked now asking for a password but I don’t know it coz I was not using password. Please assist.thanks

  8. Hi there.

    So the phone when blan on me for more than 3hrs I have no idea on what to do, can’t chuck the battery to refresh it or anything it’s so frustrating especially if you can’t receive calls the whole day do the light button is still functional. Any ideas on how I can fix this. Thanks

  9. My PTM-Z-Mini is giving me problem for almost a month now, whenever I am browsing/making calls/or doing one things or d other on d phone, d phone normally brings up unfortunately, measure has stopped, what can I do to reset it pls bcs its really given me tough time

  10. My PTM-Z-mini goes blind whenever I get am making calls and when I want to open the panel cover most times. The sms does not come and it mixes up with the two SIM cards network: an Etisalat message may come and appear as coming from Airtel network. When I request for credit balance it comes after 5 days. When people send me sms, it enters after 1 week. My Google play store has stopped functioning too. Please, how do I get it fixed? Thanks.

  11. hi I have PTM Z mini but I have problem with accessories like stickers, glass covers or others not available for the size of these mobile to protect the mobile screen from damage pls help me.

  12. hi,my PTM Zmini went off for like two days,after that it restarted by it self,but my problem now is that i have been ask to put privacy protection passwords,which i never had on it………am not accessing my phone for like a week now,some one pls help me with this privacy protection passwords……..never had it and never activated it ……

    1. Hello Femuh, Switch the phone off, boot to recovery mode by holding down power button & volume down button. From there use volume buttons to navigate. Then wipe phone or restore to factory settings

  13. my tecno phantom z mini fell and the screen goes blank but the light in the home mode is on pls can it be repaired…..can it be loosed to be repaired or its software problem….pls respond

  14. I interchanged my SIM card, suddenly I see enter privacy protection password and my phone could not open again, then I remembered that I activated anti-theft long ago and I cannot remember the password, please help.

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