TECNO Phantom A review: 5-star player

TECNO Phantom A

I have lived with the TECNO Phantom A for over a week now, using it from day to day in a variety of scenarios. A lot of people have been on my neck to publish this review. I appreciate your apprehension, but if my review must be true, I had to spend time with my devices. Thanks for bearing. Finally, it is here. Enjoy.

If you are not into detailed techie things and just want a summary from me, the Phantom A is a superb piece of work from TECNO. From hardware to software, this Android smartphone delivers and it is very hard for me to find something bad to say about it. Consider that you are being asked to pay just N35,000 for this, and in my opinion, it is a steal. You’ve been wanting to buy one? Go get it!

Table of Contents

Hardware

As have mentioned earlier, what strikes you first about the Phantom are its appearance and feel. Both reflect quality and attention. The Phantom looks good and feels sturdy. The body is indeed super slim and nice at only 9.1mm thickness. The 5-inch display means that you have enjoyable web browsing, video watching and the like. The Phantom has an acceptable weight. I was expecting it to be heavy, considering bits size, but I am surprised that TECNO were able to keep it at an acceptable weight.

Performance

Looking and feeling good are two things, how does it perform in everyday scenarios is the question that most people have on their lips. If I can answer it simply: the Phantom performs as you would expect any Android smartphone in its class to. It performs well. With a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, this phone is quite capable and stable. There is a graphics GPU to handle graphics intensive apps like games, and the entire combination works fine.

The Phantom is powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Apps run nicely. All updates are executed without issues.

Telephony & Internet

Mobile internet works as advertised – and being a dualSIM phone, one of the SIMs can have 3G enabled and even pegged on it. To keep power drain down, the other must stay on 2G. Both lines are active and you can place and receive calls on both conveniently.

Storage

There is an internal storage of 1GB, so there is enough space to install your apps if you are into lots of apps. There is also a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB cards. The Phantom gives you the option to select either the SD card or the phone storage as your default storage area.

Multimedia

Video playback on Tecno Phantom A
There is a video player bundled and my AVI files were played back without issues. Audio playback is nice too, and loud, so music playback is enjoyable on the Phantom. There is a built-in equaliser (named Sound Effects), so you can tweak output a bit. FM Radio is in there as well.

Camera

The Phantom A has an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash. It works well and produces decent quality images. Colours are a bit washed, and it does not produce details close to that of the best 8 megapixel cameraphones, but it is decent. In this price range, it really is a good camera.

Battery Life

Consistently, the Phantom A saw me through a day’s use if I didn’t put it to extreme use. Turn on the WiFi hotspot, for example, and the battery will drain out in a few hours, but that holds for all other smartphones. Stay browsing and tweeting intensively and power will drain fast, but for regular use – in my own case, we are looking at two active SIMs, two email accounts always connected, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress admin, and a smattering of Google+ and web browsing, the Phantom A has been very adequate for my daily grind.

Conclusions

If you have a mid-range budget but want a big screen and good performance, the TECNO Phantom A is a steal. In its class, this is as close to perfection as things get. TECNO has made a big splash with this one.

Mo Rating: 9.5/10

re

32 comments

  1. Nice review. But the Tecno Phantom didn’t blow me away in any aspect when I played with it at Slot Store on Medical Road, Ikeja the other day. It’s a good effort but the Phantom is not yet in the class of global best-sellers like HTC One, LG Optimum G Pro, Galaxy S4, Lumia 920, BB Z10 and even Sony Xperia Z.

    Like Mr. Mo rightly said, for those who are on modest budget but desire a semblance of high-end smartphone experience, the Tecno Phantom would serve them.

  2. I couldn’t wait for your review before getting one I can attest to the fact that it is a great phone

  3. Handled a friend’s Phantom, briefly, today.

    Was I impressed!

    It sure feels premium, and for that price, you probably can’t get a better bargain.

  4. Phantom performs as you would expect any Android smartphone in its class to

    Abeg, Mr. Mo, can you define “in its class”? Is class based on price (35k)? Or specs (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 1 GB Memory, 5.0″ Display, 8.0 MP camera)? Methinks “class” is defined by price. As such, the Tecno Phantom ANNIHILATES any phone – Android, iOS (LOL – no iOS for 35k), BlackBerry (are they still selling phones outside Nigeria), Windows Phone 8, Symbian etc.

    At 35k, it challenges phones that are 3 times its price & dazes phones like the Z10 & Q10 which are astonishingly over-priced!

    @Baoku Iseotan: Do you know that quite some time ago, Toyota & Honda were once considered “inferior Japanese” cars? And more recently Kia & Hyundai were also “cheap Korean” products? Are the Samsung S4, HTC One & iPhone 5 not also “chinco” phones? Did you say they are not manufactured in China?

    I’ve gotten me a Tecno Phantom. Wish there was a Phantom Mini for my wife. I won’t pay 105k for a phone that does what a 35k phone can do. When my 17-month old kid plays “Cut The Rope” or my daughter plays “Temple Run” or “Iron Man 3”, I care less. The phone is “just 35k”… Let me see you do that with your over-priced, they-just-played-a-fast-one-on-you 100k device.

    The only reason why I justify a “named” phone is that in Nigeria, where appearance & packaging is EVERYTHING, it helps to close the deal when at the start of the business meeting, you bring out & lay on the table, your Q10, S4 & iPhone5 or iPad.

  5. Aniedi Udo-Obong, you said it all, i don’t own a phatom now but i plan to acquire one soon, people seem to forget that every phone is made in China one way or the other.

  6. Soon even Nations would be made in China!
    Worst still, Tecno is becoming over priced, off course we wont know now, because of these other guys with their class Warfare

  7. I have been duped!. This is the phone I was supposed to buy!. If only they had just released it 3 months ago!. Oh well, the N7 would have to suffice for now!

  8. Nice review Mr mo, would have loved some extra detail though. Like d clock speed of the processor, performance while running certain games like dead trigger, screen resolution of dpi, or its ranking using a benchmarking app like antutu to see how is scales with d top guns. I understand dat u r a busy family man though so this would do fine for now. Thanks

  9. Nice review. Tecno did very well with the Phantom A but still, it will not be very correct to compare the Phantom A with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S4, LG Optimus G or HTC One. Those will still beat the Phantom A hands down in raw power and camera performance but it would be fair to say that the Phantom A will be able to do most of what all these others would. If you enjoy photography, then you only need a couple of minutes to convince yourself that the Phantom A is by no means in the same league as all these other high-end devices.

    Indoor shots from the Phantom A are simply poor, even with its flash and 8MP camera, but only in the open does the phantom A camera show semblance of 8MP sensor but that is very forgivable if you consider its price tag of 35K or less. Every other thing is very good at this price range but one thing you may miss is the ability to take screenshots with the device like other Jelly Beans powered Android devices and there seem not to be any app currently capable of fixing this without rooting and I understand that rooting is tricky on the phantom A.

    On the whole, I think the 9.5 score by Mr. Mo is a very fair one. If you are not going to be taking a lot of pictures indoors and won’t be bothered by the lack of screenshot capability of the device, then nothing beats this device at the offered price. And finally, there’s a power bank that accompany the Phantom package that can be used to charge the phone on the road and also acts as a touch light too.

  10. I have been duped! This is the phone I was supposed to buy!. If only they had just released it 3 months ago!. Oh well, the N7 would have to suffice for now!

    If you buy the Phantom A now, in two or three months Tecno will come out with Phantom A2 or Tecno N8 and you will feel cheated again. Enjoy you N7 my brother as it is not even bad by any means.

    Nice review Mr mo, would have loved some extra detail though. Like d clock speed of the processor, performance while running certain games like dead trigger, screen resolution of dpi, or its ranking using a benchmarking app like antutu to see how is scales with d top guns. I understand dat u r a busy family man though so this would do fine for now. Thanks

    All those benchmarking apps don’t always portray true life performance and I personally don’t attach much to them any longer and didn’t bother with it this time. For your other requests:
    * Processor & Clock Speed: Dual core 1 GHz
    * Screen Resolution: 720×1280 @5″ (720p)
    * DPI: 294
    * Game play performance: I’m not into games, but the unit runs Asphalt 6 and Temple Run 2 without stutter or lags and also does excellently well with videos. Multitasking is very good too.

    It can’t be compared with say S4 because they are not in the same range at all. this is a dual core device clocked at only 1 GHz and also runs on 1 GB RAM while the others are quad core devices clocked in excess of 1.5 GHz with 2 GB of RAM. It also costs significantly less.

  11. Go to Nairaland for all those benchmarks, you will be shocked that the phantom A beat some big names. All jellybean phones can take screen shots including the Phantom A. Just hold down the volume keys and I think the home button simultaneously.

  12. Hi MM,

    In the last 2 months or thereabout, I’ve been constantly exposed to S4, S3 and now Tecno’s D5. Of course none of this is mine-I use an iPhone 4s-, but in my mind I couldn’t really see much difference between these phones except in Camera performance and some extras – mainly on the S4. And if i was mightily impressed by the D5 which costs 16k, I think it’s fair to say that I will be WOWed with the Phantom A. I’m already thinking of getting it, but if/when BBM comes to Android, i’m definitely getting it and disposing of my iPhone 4s and Bold 5.
    Both are available for 80k combined, since these phones cost unreasonably high.

  13. taking a screenshot with the phantom is pretty easy like all jelly bean powered phone, just hold the down volume key and the power button simultaneously…that simple…you will get your scrrenshots

  14. Got me the Phantom A today and all I can say is, WHOA! A great departure from the N7. I’m loving this all the way. Great job TECNO.

  15. “I am delivered from temptation. I am not getting any phone or device based on review, but on need.”
    Thank you Mr olukunle, for this advice, most of people are being drained by the ‘CLASS” Why buy a phone of 120K when you can buy a phone of almost the same capability at 35K, about speed and size of RAM doesn’t matter as long as the NEED is achieved.
    Watch the adverts of S4, they only advertise about the camera, so why spend all that just to have a difference in camera!!!!!!!!!!
    I own Phantom A, and i tell you to me its great phone, WHY!!!! i once owned a iPhone 4s but that phone puts you in your own world, for example why own a phone a phone which you can not share any file with anybody unless its your fellow iPhone maniac!!!!
    But guys what i can advice anybody out there, read the reviews, make your conclusions and buy what you need.
    Phantom A does all what you need to communicate decently, emails, SMSs, tweeter, Facebook name them they are there with al the updates anytime you need them.
    ONCE AGAIN, “BUY WHAT YOU NEED, NOT WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO BUY”

  16. DMYINEE, I could kiss you, but I won’t.

    Whether you are male or female, my wife or the homophobic Senators would have my neck.

    Please tell them!

  17. I’m getting one 2mao. Was thinking of buying samsung galaxy mega 5.8 but after reading this review, I see no reason why I should waste my money wen I am getting same value. Mega5.8 goes for 60k, phantom goes for 35k. 25k difference. Case dismissed

  18. I fink we need to face d truth here Tecno phantom A+ haz come to stay now dat bbm is going android men,men we nid to b wise at dis juncture wt all dis high priced fones.I am now making a u turn frm my bb to android device all fo d sake of need not fo efissy.

  19. Not bad but i’m a picture freak so on that budget i’d get the Samsung Galaxy S Duos S7562 with similar but all round superior specs for about N34k Or upgrade a little to the Samsung Galaxy Core I8260 for about N40k

  20. Your review of Techno Phantom A was a good attempt. However,it lacks specs details and sounds like an advert or a ‘made -to -fit’ write up.Not much critical thought was done meaning everything even the screen has no problems? A good try.

    1. Hello Frank,

      If you do the correct key combination for screenshots and yet it does not save, that might indicate a problem with the phone. A quick trip to a TECNO service centre (CarlCare) is recommended.

Speak Your Mind. Have Your Say.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *