TECNO Mobile, Phantom 5, and the dicey game of perception

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TECNO has just launched a new flagship device for 2015 – the TECNO Phantom 5. The MobilityArena.com team was present at the launch event and enjoyed all its glitz and glamour. We already had a unit of this phone even before the launch event, so we got to play with it and discovered what an amazing device it was upfront.

TECNO logo

Going through Nairaland and other Nigerian forums, you will see and hear people voicing their various concerns. A TECNO phone for N70,000? Why would you or should you buy a TECNO phone for such a huge price?

This is a reply for all those complaining. I don’t have my allegiance sworn to TECNO or any other brand. Rather, as a more privileged observer these are my thoughts.

TECNO as we know it in the Nigerian market pride themselves as makers of value for money smartphones. Over the years they have done well in that aspect and provide Nigerians with affordable smartphones. In fact to be honest, TECNO has contributed to bringing the internet to many Nigerians.

So, people associate TECNO with cheap devices for the mid and lower class people that can afford it.

I remember 2013 when TECNO launched their first flagship, TECNO Phantom A. People cried wolf, but those that bought it bought it. Next was the even more expensive Phantom Z. Some people even wailed louder, and myself and many others still bought it.

Now we have a much better smartphone and people are still wailing. Again, I believe that people will still buy. People understand value and the Phantom 5 is great value. Devices in its class cost N20,000 more than it does, so it still follows TECNO’s mantra of providing value-for-money smartphones.

Looking at all the cries, complaints and criticisms. I came to two huge conclusions:

  1. The people that are crying do so because they have not held, used, or even touched the phone
  2. They cry foul because this is a TECNO

Like I said earlier, we already had this device even before it was launched. Mr.Mo is currently playing with his as I type this article.

We all at MobilityArena.com were amazed at the phone. The design and finishing, music quality both on earphone and external speakers – all superb. Trust me: this phone is miles apart from the TECNO phones you used to know. We were greatly impressed by what we saw, and we think it is worth its price.

Brand perception is one of the major things TECNO now has to tackle. People are resistant to change, and as TECNO wants to change their perception, many people are yet to come to terms with doling out that kind of cash for a TECNO device. People are complaining because it is a TECNO.

If it were a Sony, HTC, LG, or even a Xiaomi, we would all be cool with it. But note that the devices from those manufacturers in this class cost much more than the Phantom 5 does. There is the value.

I have two suggestions for TECNO:


  1. They should do more of marketing and put more effort to change that perceptions Nigerians have of them.
  2. They should try as much as possible to provide a software update for their phones, especially fr a flagship device like the Phantom 5. That will go a long way in attracting the techies who are the most vocal users.
    It would indeed be a sad plight to buy this phone and not get any software update.

If TECNO can do more to market themselves as premium maker (while their younger brother Infinix focuses on mid-low end devices), then assure us of a software update even if its just a single one to Marshmallow, then they have just completed the package.

Please before further criticism, first have a feel of this phone, compare its price with the price of its direct competitors, then come back and let’s talk.

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28 comments

  1. When Volkswagen Beetle tried to move upscale the other time, wasn’t there serious resistance?

    Perception in the minds of the consumer is quite significant..

    A brand associated with mostly medium level class would have some resistance when moving upscale, especial when there is not.much publicity..

  2. Tecno should share a large portion of the blame,when you shell out such an amount for a Flagship,you expect maximum guaranteed software support,previous Phantom buyers have been left high and dry,and as such wary of a repeat scenario..

  3. I don’t know the guys at tecno but they are dumb. I heard people talking of tecno going premium…going premium with a 2013 chipset??? Tecno is just here to reap off ignorant Nigerians. By the way how much are you paid to post this?

  4. Hmmmmm *siping orijin and eating kilishi while I wait for a response from MR Mo and Team*

    …Though I feel these are heavy accusations and really mean choice of words sha. #justSayin

  5. Chibex, abeg shebi you have the device with you. Ooya, give us 15 reasons why we should spend 70k on a phone that doesn’t guarantee software update. That will be better way to convince us imo.

  6. I’m not trying to convince anyone, just trying to set the facts straight.
    We’re all complaining because it’s a TECNO, if this were another brand nobody would talk.

    I’ve handled and used the phone, and it’s undeniably worth the price. Whether you buy it or not is your own cup of tea

  7. someone pointed out that brand perception is rarely tied to brand value and that it changes slowly over time. LG used to have a similar brand perception problem

  8. Someone had rightly said earlier in another post. You don’t have to agree with TECNO on this particular premium device. Just sit back and watch those who agree with it spend their money and get great value for their money.

    Secondly, I might not be so much of a techie, just I think the Ceedgreat guy should go back and take a look at the PT5 specs sheet. It’s chipset I believe was announced this year. Mr Mo please correct me if I’m wrong.

    The wailers amongst us will keep wailing. Ask them to review their own devices, na lie. They will be calling phones they haven’t even seen with their korokoro eyes rubbish. Shebi you will hold your tongue first until you see or use the phone. Eez not that the specs are horrible .

    Lastly, Mobility has overtime shown us where it stands great devices. I have seen people buy devices on recommendation from this blog. I, personally, is a testimony to that fact. So, even if they got paid to do this post- Though I see ELROY’S name up there- dont they have to pay for the data they use? If they ask the readers to contribute to pay for data now, that same guy would be the first to wail ‘Murder’!. Shior!

  9. Brand perception: I will not pay N70, 000 for a Tecno device not because it is subpar but because I do not associate Tecno with class or regard their product as premium. With time perhaps but not yet

  10. Brand perception or utility, Tecno and some other chinese brands always fail to strike a balance in the quality of their devices. All the big brands spend huge sum in R&D and you don’t get consumers’ trust on a platter of gold, you must prove time and again that you can deliver on quality to get the mark.

  11. That’s the unpalatable other side of setting your brand up from the scratch as a low-budget one.

    Once Nigerians saw TECNO as a cheaper alternative to the likes of Samsung, the perception sticks and will take a long, long time of re-marketing to change it.

    The same irony applies to even Samsung itself. It set out as providing same quality as Apple but at cheaper cost. Today, Galaxy flagships are being priced at par with iPhones and some people are crying and resisting.

    Meanwhile, Apple set out from day one as a premium brand priced high and the whole world sticks with that perception. That’s why even if Apple outs a crappy phone and sets its price at premium, they will still sell millions because of long-time perception.

    By the way, I had the opportunity of hands-on with the new TECNO Phantom 5 yesterday at Slot inside Ikeja City Mall. The device is rather bland to me. Nothing exciting or sleek about it. And to make things worse, its build is too angular for me. No ergonomic curves for handiness. And putting that finger print scanner at the back is so awkward. Apple and Samsung are the only OEMs which have got the fingerprint sensors right and functional on the front of their devices where it is easy to reach. To me, the new Phantom is not worth the price.

  12. God bless you so much for this comment. That’s all I have to say. Oh and Sony’s got the best placement and implementation of fingerprint scanner to me.

  13. Well I guess in short, Tecno has a lot of work to do to change people’s perception of them. And they also need to change how they follow up on released brands.

    I look forward to spending time with the Tecno Phantom.

  14. What Tecno can do is what Toyota has done with Lexus. Push another premium brand with a chic name.

    I don’t think they can escape the mid-low range tag though, soon. A lot of things are still sub par with phones like Tecno.

  15. Plenty unlearning needs to be done. The feature to smartphone change was dicey, but hey, here we are today. Contemplating premium feature. I think the outcome would be great. But…

    Let us see how it goes.

  16. The chipset is very recent uncle… Do your homework. The device does stand a chance, your bias is just as a result of the brand name. Yes or yes? PT5 isn’t for everyone. Let they that would buy, buy.

  17. I would like to try out this phone, would make me a better judge on release of other premium devices from Tecno.

  18. Wait, is all this hate on the brand or the specs of the phone? I don’t see any reason the brand should be hated though. They want to step up, good enough for them. Their choice. Specs of the Phantom, also just good enough. Y’all should calm down mahn!

  19. Seems like the major problem of the Phantom. People just can’t believe they are capable of bringing class to the market. Fair enough. I don’t think there’s nothing impossible.

  20. It’s a nice write up. More attention needs to be paid to software upgrade, original content and consistent support for their devices

  21. Mr MO your points of advice giving to Tecno are really good I can see they have taken them all into consideration especially now that an update to marshmallow for camon c8 and phantom 5 has been confirmed

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