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

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.

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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. 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:

    • The people that are crying do so because they have not held, used, or even touched the phone
    • 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:

    • They should do more of marketing and put more effort to change that perceptions Nigerians have of them.
    • 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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