Techno phantom X2 Pro review

Techno Phantom X2 Pro

The Chinese electronics corporation Transsion uses Tecno as one of its names for its international markets, particularly in Africa. The Camon series, a kind of flagship line with a distinct focus on the camera experience, is arguably the product line for which the company is best known. The Phantom line, on the other hand, has more or less grown into a distinct entity of its own. one that seeks to offer genuine top products and services.

After the initial Phantom X was released last year, the Phantom X2 series is now available. The Phantom X2 and Phantom X2 Pro are the two models that make up its lineup. The latter is currently being treated completely at our office.

The Phantom X2 Pro is an incredibly high-end gadget, starting with its striking and comfortable unibody design, moving on to its flagship MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU internals, its sizable battery, and finally the retractable portrait camera that is its standout feature.

We will undoubtedly examine the strong emphasis on photography that the Phantom X2 Pro has. With one particular Eco-Responsible variant of the phone employing recovered ocean plastics for its back cover, it is also presenting itself as an environmentally friendly phone.

The Phantom X2 Pro is an all-around flagship smartphone that doesn’t cut corners on any one aspect of its specification list. A 6.8-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display, dual SIM compatibility, a 5160mAh battery, and quick 45W charging are a few of its further characteristics. All of these features are packaged in a reasonably small frame.

Unboxing Techno phantom x2 pro

Let’s first take a peek at the retail packaging before moving on to the phone itself. We cannot guarantee that the press kit consumers receive will be the same as the press package we received. It’s important to keep that in mind. We were given a sizable two-piece cardboard box. It’s fantastic to find one that is quite strong.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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A 45W charger, a Type-C connection to go with it, a protective case with a stand, and a pair of attractive earphones with an in-line microphone were all included inside the package in addition to the phone, which was snuggled in its own cradle.

With its distinctive design, the cover sticks out in particular and is far superior to practically any other case we’ve seen included with a phone for free.

Design

The Phantom X2 Pro’s startling appearance is fully intentional. Its large, central camera island is highly distinctive and was undoubtedly done on purpose. Even the camera lenses of the X2 Pro have colourful embellishments.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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Discussing handling and ergonomics at this point is a good idea. The phone’s edges have been nicely rounded off by Tecno, allowing for a secure grip. Additionally, it rounded the corners of the camera modules to produce what it refers to as 3.5D “lunar craters”. Mission accomplished if the goal was to avoid being captured by the cameras.

Techno phantom X2 Pro
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Despite this, the Phantom X2 Pro is not a very comfortable device to hold. You have to work to keep the phone in your hand since it is extremely top-heavy.

It should be noted that the phone’s width is relatively modest; in fact, it has the narrowest body of any 6.8-inch phone in our database, which is remarkable in and of itself. It makes it a little easier for your thumb to use the screen.

Leaving that aside, we don’t want to be too harsh on Tecno’s design team because we actually kind of like the Phantom X2 Pro’s overall appearance despite how unique it is.

Build quality

The Phantom X2 Pro has a substantial, robust feel. We can appreciate the fact that its chassis exhibits little to no flex. Overall, it is well put together. Tecno refers to the X2 Pro’s design as “unibody double-curved” in certain press materials. Given that both the phone’s back and the display are somewhat symmetrically curved into the central frame, it is understandable how someone could come up with such a description. However, the front, rear, and middle frame are clearly three separate sections in this arrangement.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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While the front of the phone is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, the middle structure of the phone is composed of metal.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

The Phantom X2 Pro’s back is, without a doubt, its most intriguing feature. It is made of plastic, and according to Tecno, all of the material was recycled. It has a unique texture that ranks up there with the Zenfone 9 as one of the strangest we’ve seen on a smartphone this year.There are two colours available for the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro: the incredibly “out there” and brightly coloured Mars Orange that we have, or the more sombre and serious Stardust Grey. According to some product images, the Stardust Grey version’s back surface appears to be smoother.

controls and connectivity

The layout and control system of the Phantom X2 Pro are very typical. On the right side of the phone are the power and volume rockers. Both are comfortably positioned in height and, although having a somewhat compact profile, are not too difficult to use. A beautiful “click” with good tactile feedback is also present.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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We also value how the colour of both buttons matches that of the device’s back. Thus, they receive a lovely orange accent on our unit.

The full and uninterrupted left side of the phone is empty.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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The top of the phone, which solely contains the secondary noise-canceling microphone, is largely similar.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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The Phantom X2 Pro has a much busier bottom. The main microphone and bottom-firing speaker are located here. Both the USB Type-C jack and the dual Nano-SIM card slot are situated here as well. The latter doesn’t have anything particularly fancy about it. It only has USB 2.0 data transfer capabilities of up to 480 Mbps installed. There is no alternative form of output for video or anything like.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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A fingerprint reader is located under the display of the Phantom X2 Pro. It is really concise and precise. No complaints have been made about it.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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The Phantom X2 Pro has SA/NSA sub6 5G on both SIM slots, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, and other wireless connectivity options. Along with NFC, there is an FM radio on board.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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The Phantom X2 Pro contains a stk33562 light and proximity sensor, a lsm6dso accelerometer and gyroscope combination, a mmc5603 compass, and an accelerometer and magnetometer combination. Not a bad loadout, and we are pleased to report that the proximity sensor hardware performs as expected.

Display

Given that the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro is only 72.7mm wide, the 6.8-inch diagonal size of the phone’s display is really astounding. Here, the Gorilla Glass Victus is used to protect the OLED panel, which is curved on both sides. Even better, the screen refreshes at 120 hertz. The pixels have a resolution of 1080 by 2400.

The display looks good on paper but doesn’t impress in terms of performance. Starting with brightness first, the Phantom X2 Pro reaches a maximum of 505 nits on the slider.

Unfortunately, we never saw the automatic brightness control boost the brightness level beyond that, even in bright light. Maybe that’s something Tecno will enable via a software update, as there is clearly a high brightness option in Settings.

Color aquraccy

Thanks to the flawless inky blacks of the AMOLED display, at least the contrast is excellent. However, perceived brightness isn’t all that great, and using the Phantom X2 Pro outside is generally challenging.

The Phantom X2 Pro also struggles with accurate colour reproduction. Bright and original are its two available colour modes.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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Both of these attempt to use the DCI-P3 colour space but fall very short. Whites and greys are still a little too blue to be deemed color-accurate in original mode, which considerably reduces the amount of blue in contrast to bright mode’s pronounced cold temperature and accentuated blues.

HDR mode

Even though the hardware may support HDR video, the Phantom X2 Pro’s display does not. The Phantom X2 Pro has the highest Widevine L1 certification in terms of DRM, and we are glad to report that. This makes FullHD resolution broadcasts available from streaming services like Netflix.

We had to get the Netflix APK from the Palm store, which is also pre-loaded on the phone, since we were unable to download it from the Google Play Store. Since the phone already appears to be whitelisted for FullHD streaming within the app itself, we believe this is a blacklisting issue on Netflix’s end that will hopefully be resolved.

Refresh rate

There are two refresh rate settings available for the Phantom X2 Pro: 60Hz and 120Hz. The monitor and its controller do not allow any other intermediate modes, such 90Hz. The phone features three software operating modes: 60Hz, 120Hz, and “Auto-switch Refresh Rate.”

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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Mode 60 performs as predicted. The refresh rate is simply fixed at 60Hz. It’s a little strange that the Auto mode and 120Hz mode appear to accomplish the same goals. In our testing, we discovered that 120Hz mode regularly triggered the 120Hz refresh rate as opposed to Auto, but that’s about it.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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As long as you are interacting with the screen or there is motion on the screen, the Phantom X2 Pro maintains 120Hz mode when in auto mode. Overall, that is sound reasoning.

In order to save battery life, the Phantom X2 Pro is also intelligent enough to switch to 60Hz mode and maintain it for some programmes, like YouTube.

It is sad that the default local video player does not follow the same rationale. It is wasteful for that player to remain at 120Hz all the time. The 120Hz mode is also activated by many other video players inside of apps, such as Facebook or TikTok, which is not ideal.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
Default 120Hz refresh rate in vedio playback. Image credit: GSMArena.com

Naturally, we tested a few games that enable rendering at frames per second (fps) higher than 60, and we can attest that each of them properly activated the 120Hz mode and made advantage of the additional headroom to draw at frames per second (fps) higher than 60. This indicates that, excluding a few behavioural problems, the Phantom X2 Pro is ideal for high refresh rate gaming.

Overall, the Phantom X2 Pro manages its high refresh rate fairly well. However, there is a lot of space for development. The accessible modes overlap to some extent and are confusing. Additionally, it would be much better if the auto-switching behaviour could be improved by offering the choice for 90Hz.

Battery life

Originally billed as 5,000 mAh, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro’s battery pack has a capacity of 5,160 mAh. Therefore, there is sufficient battery capacity. There is unquestionably sufficient there to support a respectable battery life. The Phantom X2 Pro’s battery performance is excellent.

Our in-house battery of tests resulted in an overall endurance rating of 109 hours for it. Despite the Dimensity 9000’s generally dismal track record for conversation and standby times, it performed fairly well in this instance.

Charging speed

A USB Type-A to Type-C connection and its own 45W charger are included with the Phantom X2 Pro. The charger only supports the normal [email protected] and [email protected] outputs and appears to employ a proprietary charging protocol. Even though the USB cable needs to be rated for that high wattage output and the USB port doesn’t appear to have any proprietary pins, we should still try to keep track of both and avoid using any generic cords.

The Phantom X2 Pro charges rather slowly, which is disappointing. Our device charged completely in just over an hour and a half, going from completely dead to 26% and 39% in just 15 and 30 minutes, respectively. That’s not bad, but by modern standards, it’s not particularly quick.

Speakers

There is only one bottom-firing speaker available for use with the Phantom X2 Pro. On a flagship mobile, the absence of a hybrid stereo system is somewhat disappointing.

When it comes to volume or frequency response, it is not very noteworthy. Phantom X2 Pro’s audio output is usually considered to be a weak point.

Software

The Phantom X2 Pro is powered by Android 12 with Tecno’s exclusive HiOS 12. Since quite some time, Tecno has been developing and perfecting its own skin, which we have previously found to be generally fairly nice with a few on-and-off caveats here and there. These mainly consist of pre-installed bloat and advertisements. But credit where credit is due, things seem to have improved significantly on both fronts. The Phantom X2 Pro didn’t irritate us as much with bothersome notifications and intrusive offers as some of its predecessors did. Actually, the experience is quite pristine.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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That is not to suggest that there aren’t many apps and utilities already installed. In order to cover the essential functionalities, Tecno is continuing to develop and distribute its own collection of apps. You receive an internal movie player, gallery, and app store—or two, depending on how you count them. These are still somewhat irksome, but we can see where Tecno is coming from.

You can block those notifications from within the bothersome app or from the Notification settings if any third-party apps are annoying you with numerous notifications.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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With fingerprint and face recognition options, opening the Phantom X2 Pro is routine business. For face recognition, you can set the fingerprint reader to open with just a tap or require a push as well.

One shortcut to the camera is located in the bottom right corner of the lockscreen. After that, you encounter a typical homescreen UI. The leftmost pane, referred to as the Zero screen, contains cards with suggested widgets for news, weather, quotations, and app usage. In the “Desktop settings,” the Zero screen can be turned off. By default, there is an app drawer that you can open by swiping upward from the bottom or using the retro orange A-Z symbol at the bottom.

HiOS includes the ability to use themes, and there is a special Theme store for this reason.

Long-standing advanced features from Tecno models are typically carried over to newer versions. That comprises the entire set of options, metrics, and parental controls in the game mode. A Smart panel with slide-from-the-side shortcuts is also available.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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The Social Turbo toolset is rather intriguing—it functions as a kind of WhatsApp enhancer—and lets you alter your voice, improve your face during video chats, record WhatsApp conversations, and read messages without marking them as read.

The virtual RAM used by Tecno is known as MemFusion. The Phantom X2 Pro features 12GB of actual RAM chips on board, and an additional 5GB of virtual memory can increase that amount to a total of 17GB. MemFusion is set to 3GB by default.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
memfusion. Image credit: GSMArena.com

You can also access the CarIcare after-sales service tool onboard at any time if you experience issues with your phone.

The software part of the Camon 16 Premier review has further information on the HiOS if you’re interested. There are still all the other features listed there, and they are all applicable.

Performance

Powered by a cutting-edge Dimensity 9000 4nm chipset, the Phantom X2 Pro. Manufacturers like Asus have taken use of the substantial customizability that MediaTek offers on this processor to raise clock rates. The Dimensity 9000 is being used by Tecno with its standard CPU clocks. One ARM Cortex-X2 core operating at up to 3.05 GHz, three Cortex-A710 ones operating at up to 2.85 GHz, and four Cortex-A510 ones operating at up to 1.8 GHz are all included in the CPU arrangement.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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These are coupled with an 850 MHz, 10-core Mali-G710 MC10 GPU. Additionally, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro has 12GB of physically quick LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of storage.

Start out by running some GeekBench and CPU tests. With a fantastic overall performance, the Phantom X2 Pro more than holds its own. It is flanked by scores for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, demonstrating the parity between Qualcomm’s and MediaTek’s current top offerings.

In fact, the improved performance provided by the Asus ROG Phone 6D and 6D Ultimate demonstrates exactly how far the Dimensity 9000 architecture can be pushed. With sufficient cooling, both of these phones, which use an overclocked Dimensity 9000+ version of the chip, achieve quite excellent results.

Other potentially intriguing findings include the excellent performance and close proximity of the Snapdragon 888+ and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in CPU operations.

Among other things, AnTuTu’s comprehensive suite of tests includes several GPU runs. Additionally, it is quite complimentary of the Phantom X2 Pro. As anticipated, we discover it once more surrounded and marginally outpaced by a few Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 phones.

We can also observe the Phantom X2 Pro effectively utilise its high refresh rate display and successfully surpass the 60 frames per second threshold as we reduce the intensity of the graphical benchmarks. As we’ve already established, this behaviour carries over to real-world gaming and, where available, allows for a lot smoother and more pleasurable experience.

Although we don’t yet have nearly as much information regarding 3DMark tests, we can confidently state that the Phantom X2 Pro and its MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset maxed out both the Slingshot and Slingshot Extreme tests, as was to be expected. The phone also did well on the testing for Wild Life and Wild Life Extreme.

All things considered, the performance testing of the Phantom X2 Pro was essentially perfect. The integration and optimization of the Dimensity 9000 chipset by Tecno were excellent. The chip itself is highly powerful and can exert a lot of force. Additionally, it comes with a contemporary feature set and connection.

Practically speaking, we experienced zero performance concerns with the Phantom X2 Pro. The phone gladly devours everything we throw at it, from productivity to gaming, and its HiOS environment operates with little to no glitches.

Camera

The camera configuration on the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro is its standout feature. Particularly noteworthy is the pop-out telephoto/portrait camera module. When in use, the motorised camera in question automatically protrudes from the phone’s body. Although the lens has a 2.5x zoom level compared to the primary camera, Tecno is selling it as a portrait camera rather than a telephoto camera for zooming.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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Let’s review the cameras and their corresponding sensors before moving on. The Samsung s5kjnv sensor, which looks to be the ISOCELL GNV and was previously utilised in the Vivo X80 series, is the basis for the device’s primary 50MP camera. It is 1/1.3 “size, 1.2 m pixels, using ISOCELL 3.0 technology and an RGBW layout. The front element of the lens, which is the outermost of its seven components, is constructed of glass.

Moving on to the Samsung s5kjn1tele sensor, also known as the Samsung ISOCELL JN1 camera, which is used in the 50MP, f/1.49, 65mm portrait camera. This equals 1/2.76 “Tetrapixel RGB Bayer pixel layout, 0.64 m pixels, ISOCELL 2.0 technology, Double Super PD autofocus

The 13MP ultrawide camera is based on a Samsung S5K3L6 sensor, which is fairly uncommon. It has a 1/3″ optical format and 1.12µm pixels.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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It’s significant to note that the Techo Phantom X2 Pro has autofocus on all three of its back cameras. You don’t see stuff like that every day.

However, optical image stabilisation (OIS) is absent from both cameras, which seems to be a mistake.

The 32MP fixed-focus selfie camera is our last option. The selfie camera of the Tecno Camon 19 Pro is the same as this one. The sensor is a Samsung S5KGD2 with 1/2.8″ dimensions, 0.8 m pixels, ISOCELL PLUS technology, and a Tetrapixel RGB Bayer configuration.

The camera app is simple; other than the full-auto photo mode being called AI Cam, everything else is what you would expect. The top row of icons can be brought closer by swiping downward on the viewfinder, which Techno refers to as one-handed mode.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
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On the Phantom X2 Pro, Super Night mode is accessible on all three cameras.

It’s interesting that there isn’t a Pro camera mode, or at least we couldn’t locate one. There are various presets available in Film mode for quick videos. If you prefer the look of bokeh, video mode has it.

Daylight photos

The primary 50MP camera produces high-quality images. The sharpness and detail are both excellent. There are times when algorithmic sharpening is apparent, but it is never excessive. The hues are lovely and authentic.

Some of the images don’t appear razor sharp, or at least not to our eyes.

The Tetracell/Quad Bayer pixel layout causes the camera stills to output at a preset resolution of roughly 12.5MP. Instead, you can shoot in 50MP mode. It’s difficult to distinguish between the two styles at 1:1 zoom level, which is a very excellent problem to have. Compared to their 12.5MP counterparts, 50MP images are much more consistent in their colour reproduction, contrast, and dynamic range.

However, pixel-peeping shows that the 50MP images have more genuine fine detail, which the 12.5MP images typically make up for by sharpening. Another reason to consider using the mode is the Phantom X2 Pro’s lightning-fast 50MP photo capture. If you don’t mind the larger file size, it looks to be worth the trouble.

The primary camera performs admirably for portrait pictures as well, with outstanding subject separation, subject identification, and attractive backgrounds.

Just as effective are non-human subjects.

However, the Phantom X2 Pro contains a 50MP portrait camera that is specifically designed for portraiture. It is also fairly well suited for the job at an equivalent of 65mm. Overall, the portrait photos it takes are good. Autofocus, however, occasionally behaves badly and produces certain faces that are fuzzy. Take a couple pictures just in case, so make sure to.

The portrait camera takes approximately 12.5MP photographs by default, just as the main camera. With a 2.5x increase in zoom compared to the main camera, you may also use it as a general zoom camera. Even superior than the primary camera, it takes pictures that are incredibly clear and sharp.

It’s wonderful to find that colour reproduction is also rather constant between the primary and portrait cameras.

Additionally, you can let the portrait camera take 50MP photos. We don’t particularly enjoy the portrait camera’s full-res 50MP stills, in contrast to the primary camera.

There is rarely any additional detail; oddly, the 50MP images generally appear softer and slightly blurrier. Additionally, the majority of the 50MP portrait camera samples we took have a strong red tint.

Even without the portrait mode turned on, the portrait camera’s additional wide aperture enables it to offer a naturally blurred background behind subjects at near to intermediate distances.

Surprisingly clear and detailed images are also captured by the 13MP ultrawide camera. Additionally, colours are pleasing, true to life, and consistent with the other two cameras.

Additionally, there is some corner softness present, but nothing overly significant.

The ultrawide camera works well as a macro camera as well because it has autofocus. Here are some examples of macro.

Selfie camera

The 32MP selfie camera also makes a good impression. It provides excellent sharpness, lots of detail, and attractive skin tones.

In our opinion, 32MP is a bit overkill in terms of quality and file size, therefore you can get just as good 8MP stills by taking self-portraits without any filters.

The selfie camera on the Phantom X2 Pro doesn’t have any obvious flaws, although we do wish it had autofocus like the other cameras on the phone. That would have taken things significantly further.

Low-light photos

The Phantom X2 Pro’s main camera performs admirably in low light. The images are really detailed and barely have any noise. The dynamic range is respectable, and the colours are lovely and accurate.

Light sources are somewhat overexposed and might be handled more well overall. The dedicated Super Night mode fills this role. Three to four seconds are added to the capture time, but the light sources are visibly better contained and there is less clipping in the shadows.

The night mode images first seem to have a little bit more information than the ordinary ones. However, upon closer examination, a large portion of that appears to be more of an artificial sharpening than anything else. Nevertheless, the images don’t appear overprocessed or excessively sharpened. Tecno was able to strike a satisfying equilibrium.

In low light, the 50MP portrait 2.5x camera still performs admirably, but it struggles substantially more than the primary camera. Overall, images come out a little softer and darker. The amount of information is sufficient and noise is still not a problem.

The ultrawide camera follows, which naturally struggles in low light. It takes fairly soft pictures, especially close to the corners of the frame.

Positively speaking, detail isn’t too awful for an ultrawide. Additionally, the colours are realistic and quite consistent with the primary camera.

Since the auto might mode that automatically activates in AI camera mode is severe enough to already offer the majority of the effect, Super Night mode has a negligible impact on the ultrawide.

Video recording

The two 50MP rear cameras on the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro can record video at up to [email protected], however the ultrawide and selfie cameras are only capable of 1080p. These videos are saved in an MP4 container together with a stereo 48kHz AAC audio track and a typical AVC video stream at 50 Mbps in 4K and a fairly consistent frame rate. The Phantom X2 Pro does not support h.256 (HEVC) video capture.

Our Verdict

For Tecno, the Phantom X2 Pro marks a very exciting new route. Such high-end specifications from the often cost-conscious manufacturer are unusual. The Phantom X2 Pro is remarkable on paper in a variety of ways. Featuring a roomy 6.8-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display that is curved on the sides for an extra premium look and feel, it has a sturdy metal frame. The phone is powered by the Dimensity 9000 flagship chipset as well. Last but not least, the Phantom X2 Pro’s outstanding camera arrangement screams to be recognised.

It is distinctive in a number of ways since it has autofocus on all three of the rear cameras and a dual 50MP configuration with a pop-out 2.5x zoom camera. Additionally, camera performance has often been excellent.It is distinctive in a number of ways since it has autofocus on all three of the rear cameras and a dual 50MP configuration with a pop-out 2.5x zoom camera. Additionally, overall camera performance has been excellent.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

However, if you dig a little deeper, the flaws soon become apparent. Official ingress protection does not exist. It’s difficult to utilise that display outside because it doesn’t get very bright. Additionally, there is no support for HDR video, and it is not very colour accurate. The Phantom X2’s large 5,160 mAh battery charges relatively slowly. There is only one bottom-firing speaker built into the phone, and it doesn’t function all that well either.

Techno phantom X2 Pro review

Overall, it’s difficult to give the Phantom X2 Pro a strong recommendation. It has several interesting elements, but some of them detract from the overall experience. If the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro doesn’t meet your specific needs, we’d definitely explore elsewhere for a more complete substitute.

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