Foldables have now become more widely available. The Tecno Phantom V Fold, a model with a bendable screen that has recently become available outside of China, offers a cost-effective alternative to the Galaxy with a same moniker, which has become the de-facto standard for a tablet disguised as a phone.
The cover screen on the Phantom is larger and considerably more useful than the one on the Samsung, and the foldable display inside is bigger as well, giving it the best proportions among foldables that aren’t the Galaxy. Then, a sizable battery is required to power the entire 120Hz OLED panel area, resulting in a package that is just shy of 300g in weight.
You do get a really decent camera system with two 50MP primary and tele units as well as an ultrawide with autofocusing – when will we ever get AF on a UW on a Samsung foldable?
The Tecno’s fundamental component is a Mediatek chipset, in contrast to the majority of foldables. But the Phantom V Fold is anything but underpowered—the Dimensity 9000+ is almost on par with the Snapdragon 8(+) Gen 1. You won’t be short on memory either with 256GB or 512GB of storage and 12GB of RAM as standard.
Stereo speakers, 45W quick charging, and an FM radio—which flagship Snapdragons no longer offer—are additional modest comforts. That the V Fold runs Android 13 and has up-to-date software is a very nice sight (also quite capable, it turns out).
Unboxing of Tecno Phantom V Fold
As befitting a foldable, Tecno did create a nice package for the Phantom V Fold. The package, which is the size of two standard phone boxes and has a V-shaped opening in the centre, opens on both sides to show a cover with the words “Beyond the Extraordinary.” You cannot see the phone itself until you have removed that tray.
A snap-on rear cover with a kickstand is kept in another package underneath. One of the prettiest back panels in existence is something we’re not completely sure you’d want to cover, but you do you. The USB cord and charger are also neatly packed in two additional individual containers.
The Phantom V Fold is a foldable, to be sure, but we can’t help but begin our investigation of its design with the portion of its surface that lacks a display. We enjoy the rear panel’s distinctive Tecno finish, which resembles random fibres, just as much as we did on the Phantom X2 Pro.
It is fundamentally plastic, which is not a problem in and of itself. It actually has a premium feel, provides a good amount of grip, and doesn’t attract fingerprints. Call us fans if you want.
Of course, our V Fold review unit’s Black hue is far less loud than the Mars Orange X2 Pro we had for review, and that’s probably for the best as the Fold looks best with a covert paint job. But, a white option is also available, and while it does appear very inviting, we can see why the frame’s copper colour would be divisive.
The camera island on the back is also not to everyone’s taste, however the reviewer who is penning these words does not find it in the least bit offensive. We understand why a Star Wars enthusiast at work saw the similarity to the Death Star. In any event, the V Fold is significantly more understated in its rear appearance than the X2 pair, camera cluster included, much like the colour choice. We’d give the appearance high marks.
There is nothing “cheap” about the front, which has a beautiful OLED display protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, respectably small bezels, and a tiny punch-hole for the selfie camera.
The display is infinitely more usable than the one on the Galaxy Z Fold4 thanks to its 21.3:9 aspect ratio and 6.42-inch diagonal size, but by this point, you’ve probably heard us say that a dozen times – practically every other large foldable has a better cover screen than the Samsung in terms of proportions.
The grey frame of our black unit has a satin finish, and the V Fold has a lot of exposed aluminium around its circumference. In contrast to the Honor Magic Vs, both physical buttons are located on the bottom side, and they both positively click. With either the left index finger or the right thumb, the capacitive fingerprint scanner on the power button operated without a hitch.
Opening the V Fold is a more complex process. The Fold can be difficult to unfold because of its strong magnets, tight hinge, flat and rather slick frame, and limited space for your fingers to fit. Since you’ll be using it with both hands anyhow, that is obviously a minor quibble, and making a conscious effort to open it isn’t a big concern.
The V Fold does not actually unfurl to a flat position once it is opened. As opposed to being on one plane, the two parts still need to maintain their angle. Does the V in the name refer to that?
To be clear, everything is extremely subtle, and you never feel as though the gadget hasn’t fully opened up; it’s only something you notice when you’re looking for it.
The display crease’s story is somewhat comparable. This one is more of a gentle wave than a true crease; it resembles the Oppo Find N2’s flatness more than the Galaxy Z Fold4’s almost-groove. It is also smoother than the Magic Vs’, in our opinion.
The Phantom has some strange hardware quirks that we hadn’t noticed, such the display’s slight corrugation along its central axis. By no means can you feel it, nor can you see it in action. Nevertheless, if you turn off the display’s lights and position the tablet correctly, you can see it.
Many of the aforementioned points can be categorised as interesting observations and may not necessarily have any bearing on daily life. But the hinge’s dislike of any condition that isn’t fully open or totally closed does. For camera-related use cases like tripod mode or waist-level photography, that entails no luxuries. I guess. There is that—it does fold without a space between the sides.
One of the heaviest full-size foldables on the market, and undoubtedly the heaviest to leave China, is the Phantom V Fold. It feels noticeably heavier at 299g than the 263g Galaxy or the 267g Magic Vs with glass back. With those trousers, a belt is definitely recommended.
The display specifications of the Phantom V Fold are comparable to those of more expensive foldables; in fact, the Tecno outperforms some of them. Both the 6.42-inch display on the lid and the 7.85-inch bendable panel are LTPO AMOLEDs, promising adaptive refresh rates in the 10-120Hz range.
The inside panel is marginally higher-res, if slightly smaller, than the Honor Vs’ 7.9-inch 1,984×2,272px unit, with a resolution of 2,000×2,296px (pixel density works out to 388ppi). But, at 7.6 inches, the Galaxy Z Fold4 is even smaller and has fewer pixels (1,812×2,176px). The Honor’s foldable display has a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz, while the Tecno is tied with the Galaxy in this regard.
The Tecno’s 6.42-inch panel compares favourably to these two on the cover, being marginally smaller than the Honor’s (6.45″), and significantly larger than the Galaxy (6.2″). The Phantom is undoubtedly far more useful than the Galaxy, in part because of its more practical aspect ratio (21.3:9 vs. 23.1:9). FullHD resolution with a slightly unusual vertical axis measurement of 2,550px.
In our brightness tests, we were unable to get the Tecno to attain the claimed peak brightness of 1,100 nits on either panel; instead, they both stayed around the 500 nit range. With the Adaptive brightness toggled on, no boost was seen either. That was also our experience with the Phantom X2 Pro, but the X2 did offer a further 200 nits to unlock, so it’s not like Tecno is unfamiliar with the idea of a brightness boost.
On general, competitors’ performance are comparable to the Tecno’s when adjusting brightness manually, but they typically provide a significant improvement when exposed to intense light. The Phantom’s does not vanish in the sun; on the contrary, it continues to function flawlessly. Simply said, you would feel more at ease around the others.
The Phantom V Fold handles colour in a similar two-mode manner to how the X2 and X2 Pro do. There is no sRGB-specific setting, however both the “Bright-colored” and the “Original colour” modes aim for the DCI-P3 colour space, albeit neither does so particularly accurately. While original mode slightly mutes everything down, bright mode is more vivid. In either case, you can anticipate relatively cool and bluish whites. For the most balanced rendering, you might want to move the temperature slider towards warm approximately a third of the way.
Although hardware detection apps show the Phantom V Fold as supporting HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG, this is more of a software decoding capability than genuine HDR playback. The Phantom V Fold makes no claims to support HDR. YouTube did offer HDR streaming, but they lacked the recognisable pop or brightness bump. DRM-protected content can be played back in FullHD thanks to the Widevine L1 certification.
You have a total of four settings in the refresh rate menu: 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz, as well as an Auto-switch mode. If you’re not touching the Device, it will wind down to 10Hz across the UI, regardless of the setting.
The 120Hz mode is your best option if you want to ensure that you receive the full 120Hz in as many applications as you can. In games that support high frame rates, you will then get the maximum refresh rate. As long as there is dynamic content requiring it, it will also allow browsers to operate freely up to 120Hz (if for some reason you may wish it). When the page is stationary and you are not touching the screen, you may still anticipate 10Hz.
While the full auto refresh option will continuously provide you 120Hz in the UI, browsers and games may wind up being capped at 60Hz. This is because it is more likely to limit refresh rate on a per app basis. To get the most out of the Phantom V Fold’s display, we recommend sticking with the 120Hz setting. The adaptive smarts will still reduce the refresh rate and conserve life, but you’ll also consistently get the maximum.
When watching videos fullscreen on YouTube, we noticed a highly unpleasant behaviour where the phone’s refresh rate would dip to 10Hz, making the video rough to watch. Videos filmed at all frame rates were affected by this across all refresh rate options, with the strange exception of 24 frames per second, which would play back without any issues. As we saw problems on both panels as well, the folding screen is not the only one affected. If you like your adjustable refresh rate, it’s kind of a big deal, therefore we’re hoping Tecno will provide a software update to address that.
Because we sideloaded the Netflix app ourselves, we were hesitant to draw attention to the fact that it was also present in Netflix. In a way, there’s no need to criticise anything if it’s not formally accessible.
The Phantom V Fold has a battery with a capacity of 5,000mAh, which is the same as that of the Honor Magic Vs and greater than that of the Samsung Z Fold4, Oppo Find N2, or Xiaomi Mix Fold 2. The Phantom’s more sophisticated display is both a blessing and a burden compared to the Honor because it is more adaptable but has a higher maximum refresh rate. The Tecno differs from the other huge foldables in that, while they all employ high-end Snapdragon chipsets, this one is based on the Mediatek Dimensity 9000+.
However, enough with the speculation. In our tests, the Phantom showed itself to be a solid performer in terms of longevity. 11 hours of continuous online browsing and 14:44 hours of looping videos were recorded (at 60Hz). A total endurance rating of 92h is produced by the 29 hours of talk time and an average standby efficiency.
According to the Tecno specifications, the Phantom V Fold can charge at a 45W rate, and the included adapter is also rated at that level. The press materials state that the phone should be able to charge to 40% in 15 minutes and to 100% in 55 minutes.
Although we weren’t quite able to equal Tecno’s results, we weren’t too far off. We needed 61 minutes to complete the full charge; at 30 minutes in, the battery indicator read 62%, and at 15 minutes, it read 31%.
Most other devices in the same class charge more quickly, but not always noticeably. This is especially true when compared to the Oppo Find N2 or the Honor Magic Vs. Despite this, the Samsung Z Fold4 is noticeably slower than the Tecno.
Although we can’t really hold it against Tecno, the Phantom V Fold does not allow wireless charging. In addition to being among the heaviest smartphones of its kind, only the Galaxy features wireless charging among the huge foldables that are now on the market internationally.
A stereo speaker arrangement with a driver on each end of the top/left side of the device is present on the foldable Phantom. The top speaker also functions as an earphone and directs some of the sound towards the display. Each speaker emits sound through a grille in the frame.
While in portrait mode, the left channel is often assigned to the top speaker as is customary (the Honor Magic Vs is a notable exception). The Tecno does not alter the output to match the device’s orientation when held in landscape mode, therefore holding the Phantom V Fold with the camera partially up is necessary to receive the correct channels coming from the right side. It’s not a big deal—for instance, all Sony phones have that basic behavior—but auto switching shouldn’t be too difficult to do (assuming you’re not resistant to it).
In our loudspeaker test, the Phantom V Fold performed satisfactorily, automatic channel switching or not. For volume, it received a “Very Excellent” rating, placing it on par with the Honor Magic Vs and a few dBs above the Galaxy Z Fold4. The sound quality isn’t great, but it’s not horrible either. The mids have a little bit of a toilet vibe, but the treble is clear and there’s considerable bass.
The Phantom V Fold runs Android 13 and HiOS, the company’s own operating system, both in version Fold 13. It has the most recent core OS version, making it the first Tecno we’ve encountered, and it also contains a foldable-specific implementation of the proprietary software.
As a feature-rich Android overlay, HiOS features a good amount of functionality to help you maximise the form factor; in particular, we’re referring to its thorough split-screen multi-window implementation.
You can enter split-screen or pop-up window mode in a variety of ways. You can access the full-screen button when in either of the other two modes by tapping the three-dot button in the status bar of the app, which also brings up a menu with split-screen or pop-up options. As an alternative, you can press and hold the three-dot button while pulling down on it to move the active app to the left and reveal the app drawer to the right so you can select a different one.
Together with the apps that support them, the task switcher also displays icons for the split-screen and pop-up window modes. If you’d rather utilise the Smart panel, which you can access by swiping and holding from either side edge, touching an app icon will open it in a pop-up window while dragging it to either side will make it appear split-screen.
There is yet more to it. Swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen and moving it to either side will minimise the currently open fullscreen app into a type of pop-up window. The pinch gesture is another option; if you use four or five fingers to pinch in, the full-screen programme will be shrunk to an active, huge pop-up window.
Although it may seem like there is a lot to remember, all the options are generally obvious and don’t require any purposeful effort. Also, you’ll probably become accustomed to employing one or two of the various techniques and stick with them. Having choices is advantageous.
App pairings are also a thing. Above the recent apps cards in the task switcher, you may discover them. By dragging a new app pair from the recent applications section to the row of pairs or by selecting the “save” symbol in the pop-up menu on the border between the two apps, you can save that app pair. We were unable to arrange an app pair in the Smart panel or directly on the homescreen, even though Samsung’s One UI offers both choices.
Further restrictions were also found. For starters, while using split-screen, you can either use fullscreen or a 50/50 split of the screen.
Another issue is the lack of a horizontal split feature. Samsung has the finest execution of it, whereas Oppo and Honor have less capability for it (but still some). Tecno joins Xiaomi and Huawei in rejecting it.
The hand-off from the internal screen to the cover while shutting the device is a problem unique to foldables that needs to be fixed. The Tecno has a menu item named “Smart Relay” that has four settings.
The first three are pretty self-explanatory, but the fourth one is more of a novelty. When you close the phone, it will stay active on the cover screen for a few seconds while the selfie camera scans the area for faces, and if it doesn’t find any, it will put the phone into standby. Although the menu’s phrasing makes it sound as though it would only function with “your” face, it really works with any face.
Another option is the Driving mode, which displays a set of sizable buttons and cards with Google Maps navigation, BoomPlay audio streaming, a dialer, and a shortcut to the built-in smart assistant Ella. Although Google Maps would be an excellent alternative for navigation, we were unable to find a method to tailor this driving style, and an option for Spotify as a music player would be highly appreciated rather than Boomplay.
Apart than YouTube automatically transitioning to its own foldable-specific half-screen split interface, there are no software features for a semi-folded state. Lack of software to take use of such a use case isn’t truly an omission as the Fabric can’t be forced to remain in a partially unfolded state.
The HiOS 13 UI on the Phantom V Fold in smartphone mode is really a slightly improved version of the HiOS 12 we saw on the Phantom X2 and X2 Pro.
In the bottom of the lockscreen, there are two shortcuts: one for the torch and one for the camera. Mind you, they operate with a lengthy push rather than the typical swipe.
You reach a typical homescreen UI once you’ve passed the lockscreen. The leftmost pane, referred to as the Zero screen, has cards with suggested widgets for news, weather, quotations, and app use. Under the “Desktop settings,” the Zero screen can be turned off. A default app drawer is present.
You may enter the Phantom V Fold with your fingerprint or face, just like any other non-foldable. Face recognition may be configured to skip the lockscreen directly or demand a swipe in place of it, and the fingerprint reader can be configured to open with simply a tap or require a push as well.
Long-standing sophisticated features from Tecno models are typically carried over to newer versions. It comprises the entire collection of options, metrics, and parental controls in the game mode. The Smart panel with slide-from-the-side shortcuts is an additional option.
The Social Turbo toolkit is rather intriguing—it functions as a kind of WhatsApp enhancement—it lets you alter your voice, improve your face during video chats, record WhatsApp conversations, and read messages without marking them as read.
The virtual Memory used by Tecno is known as MemFusion. The Phantom V Fold has 12GB of actual RAM chips on board and can add an additional 9GB of virtual memory to make a total of 21GB. MemFusion’s default setting is 6GB.
There are some pre-installed programmes and utilities, but overall, the package is quite restricted and has a lot less garbage than the X2 and X2 Pro we previously owned, which were a considerable improvement. You receive a built-in movie player and gallery but no pre-installed Hi browser or exclusive app shops. There are only a few themes pre-installed; not even the Hi Themes app is present.
The Phantom V Fold is the only huge foldable that employs the Dimensity 9000+ chipset rather than a Snapdragon processor. The clamshell Oppo Find N2 Flip also has the Mediatek SoC, thus it’s not the only foldable with that Dimensity.
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 seen in the Galaxy Z Fold4 or the Honor Magic Vs is quite close in CPU configuration (identical cores at basically the same frequencies also) to the high-end processor called the Dimensity 9000+, which was constructed using a 4nm manufacturing process. Here, the GPU is identified as Mali-G710 MC10.
There are two memory setups available: 12GB/256GB (like our evaluation model) and 12GB/512GB.
On the single-core GeekBench 5 test, the Samsung Z Fold4 and the Tecno were both noticeably faster than the Honor Magic Vs. All three individuals obtained nearly identical scores on the multic-core. In both tests, the Mix Fold 2 performed somewhat better than everyone else, but the Find N2 lagged behind.
In Antutu 999348, the Tecno edges the Galaxy out a bit, but the Honor continues to rank lower. Another triumph for the Mix.
While we’re talking about 3DMark, we should point out that the Tecno scored a 95% stability rating in the Wild Life Stress test, which is one of the greatest results we’ve seen from a high-end chipset smartphone. But, at some point during the 20-minute test, the display brightness was drastically reduced, without the change being visible on the slider and without the device becoming overheated to the touch. The outcome is therefore remarkable but not totally legitimate.
In the CPU Throttling test, when the Phantom V Fold produced good results, there were no such tricks. It decreased to 66% of its maximum performance, while it might be able to sustain performance in the high 70%s with more careful tuning to eliminate those mainly unneeded surges.
A genuine triple rear arrangement and a selfie camera for each display are present in the Tecno Phantom V Fold’s decent camera configuration. A 13MP autofocusing ultrawide sensor is included on the rear in addition to two 50MP sensors for the primary and telephoto lenses.
Oddly, the selfie cameras are different—32 MP on the front and 16 MP on the back—but that’s practically beside the point because the V unFolds to reveal a fully-functional camera UI that lets you take selfies with the rear cameras.
The hardware applications claim that the main camera is built upon the Samsung GNV sensor, which we believe to be a variation of the GN1 and an imager we thought was unique to vivo. But, because the X90 Pro has advanced beyond it and it was in the X80 Pro, perhaps the exclusivity is no longer valid. As far as we can determine, it has a Tetrapixel colour filter array (Quad Bayer in Sony language), 1.2 m pixels, and a 1/1.3″ optical format. According to Tecno, the lens has an alleged f/1.9 aperture and an approximate equivalent focal length of 24–25mm.
The zoom camera uses the Samsung JN1, a well-liked device for the job. It also features a Tetrapixel colour filter, 0.64 m pixels, and a 1/2.8″ optical format. We estimate the lens’ equivalent focal length to be roughly 44mm, which isn’t particularly telephoto but is still useful to have. It has an aperture of 2.0.
The (S5K)3L6 sensor, which has a 1/3″ optical size, 1.12 m pixels, and a traditional RGB filter array, is used by the ultrawide. The feature that stands out most on this one is autofocusing, which is uncommon in products with limited budgets.
The (S5K)GD2 on the cover (1/2.8″, 0.8 m, Tetrapixel) has a 25mm-equivalent f/2.5 lens, making it ideal for selfies. The single non-Samsung sensor is used by the internal selfie camera and has the same lens specifications: the OmniVision OV16B10 (1/2.8″, 1.12 m, standard RGB). Also having fixed focus are both lenses.
Rear camera selfie images and video are one of the major advantages of having a large-screen foldable, and the Tecno doesn’t miss the chance to give cover screen UI for controlling the rear cameras with the device unfurled. The rear/front camera toggle can be found above the shutter release button, and above that is the switch that transfers the complete fully working Interface to the front screen.
There are other foldable-specific capabilities available as well, such as a live preview on the cover screen that allows your subjects to see themselves while you are still in charge. Another option is a split-screen view, in which the viewfinder shifts to one side and the opposite side becomes a film strip displaying the most recent pictures taken. The Tecno’s hinge can’t truly be retained in intermediate states to begin with, thus we wouldn’t call the absence of a split for waist-level shooting a software deficiency.
The camera app is simple outside of the foldable-related sections, maybe with the exception of the full-auto photo option being dubbed AI Cam.
The primary camera on the Phantom V Fold takes decent images in daylight. They have a decent variety of dynamic range, although we would suggest that outside images tend to be little overexposed; in our opinion, a half stop darker nearly always looks better. While photographing outside, the white balance is also just barely wrong, giving off a little green tint.
Moreover, a slight increase in saturation wouldn’t hurt; while it’s fine as is, we believe a little more would be preferable. Or, you might prefer a more subdued colour rendition that you can adjust on your own in post-processing. Also, the excessively exuberant display colours may deceive you about the outcomes you will truly be obtaining.
The processing is quite advanced in this area, and the sharpness and detail are amazing. There is also no discernible noise.
Speaking of detail, if you choose the full-res 50MP option, you stand to acquire some of it as it isn’t an upmarket job from the binned photographs like some others still are. Expect some, but not significant, penalty in highlight dynamic range and noise—nothing significant. Yet, file sizes are often four times bigger.
With the Phantom, we decided it was worth a shot to see if the AI Color Improvement setting may provide a little more saturation. Well, it delivers, and it does it in a restrained manner that isn’t excessive. Maybe it makes sense to leave the toggle on.
2X Zoom photos
The zoom camera (recent discussions about terminology at work have us wondering if we should call it a “telephoto”) takes great pictures at around a 2x magnification. While there is little noise, there is a lot of detail, even if some of it is fuzzy, like the vegetation or the mural of the “castle.” Zoom pictures often have more vibrant colours and more consistently precise white balance (though not infallible still).
You can get finer detail using the telephoto camera’s full resolution mode. In the process, it loses contrast and adds a faint magenta hue.
Although while manufacturers don’t commonly use composite action in their ultrawide shots, when it is used properly, as it is in this instance, it may provide excellent results. The Phantom’s ultrawide photos only fill in the perimeter; the primary camera captures the majority of the scene. Due to the fact that ultrawides tend to be softer off-center, you should expect weaker detail along the borders of the frame than in the centre.
The ultrawide samples are not totally color-matched to the main camera’s; in particular, sky exhibit deeper, bluer blues compared to the more cyan depiction at 1x. Yet, overall, a little extra saturation wouldn’t hurt, just like it did on the primary camera.
You can take closeup photos with the ultrawide thanks to its autofocusing prowess, and we admire Tecno’s decision to forgo developing a “macro” mode that combines digital zoom and upscaling in favour of just focussing near and using that.
Under certain circumstances, you don’t receive information from the primary camera since, if it could focus that closely, you would be utilising it instead.
The shadow you tend to cast with the phone when you’re this close to the subject is one drawback that immediately becomes apparent. Workarounds with odd angles may prevent you from getting the optimal frame. With those disclaimers in place, the close-ups on the Phantom are actually pretty good; what little is in focus is beautifully crisp and detailed.
While not flawless, the Phantom’s main camera’s low-light images are already good in AI Cam mode. Although the dynamic range is not the widest, it is respectable, and while more contrasty scenarios will produce shots with clipped highlights and deep shadows, more evenly lit scenes will produce well-exposed pictures. Very good detail, well-controlled noise, and effective auto white balance for all types of artificial illumination.
There are some improvements brought about by Super Night mode. A significant increase in dynamic range will enhance the darkest parts while also nicely restoring the highlights. While it’s undoubtedly not the most realistic representation, it’s also not the worst one we’ve seen either. You will notice some of that relatively heavy sharpening and watercolor-like affect on detail. For the enhanced tonal qualities, we’d say it’s well worth it.
In terms of the 2x zoom, we’re delighted to inform that regardless of how dark the scene was, we never saw the Tecno switch to its main camera. The telephoto lens does a good job of capturing detail, but it struggles with dynamic range and frequently produces too-dark shadows and clipped highlights.
The promised tonal evolution is delivered by Super Night mode, which is especially noticeable in settings with deeper shadows, while there is also some highlight restoration activity. Here, the watercoloring seems more prominent, but it’s still a good trade-off.
Unless the situation permits the composite processing (samples 2 and 7 below), for which we are not quite confident of the requirements, the ultrawide’s results in the dark are rather soft. All things considered, the dynamic range is still good, and the white balance is consistent.
Super Night mode ostensibly disables the composite processing; otherwise, we can only image how difficult that would be to process. The changes between the two modes are negligible except from that. We’d hazard a guess that the Tecno is already doing as as well as it can in ordinary mode, so the Super Night couldn’t really add anything.
It makes sense to start talking about selfies using the rear cameras in foldables that have the necessary functionality. Yes, the Phantom’s primary camera will produce some excellent selfies. Your cup features excellent detail, a naturally blurred background, and accurate skin tones.
Even for arm’s-length selfies, images taken at 0.6x zoom may occasionally be composites. The exact distance and lighting also important; if you’re too close or the lighting is complicated and requires a lot of HDR activity, the UW is on its own.
Portrait mode on the Phantom V Fold may take pictures using either the primary camera at 1x or the zoom camera at 2x, with the 2x setting being the default. Both times, you’re getting excellent subject separation, and the preset f/4.0 simulated aperture’s cautious blur level creates an out-of-focus backdrop that looks realistic.
Since the 2x camera is a pretty good camera to begin with, you get extremely beautiful image quality. It also helps a lot with subject distance and facial proportions.
The ultrawide and zoom cameras on the Phantom V Fold are limited to 1080p30 while the main and zoom cameras can shoot video up to 4K60. The h.264 codec, which is more often compatible but older and less efficient than h.265 is the only option for encoding videos. A 4K30 stabilisation option is offered.
For one key reason, we’re not really lovers of the Phantom’s video clip. The contrast in the main camera 4K clips (53Mbps bit rate) is simply too high and screams out at you, and the tonal extremes are far too harsh in our opinion. Nonetheless, white balance is excellent and colours are generally pleasing to the eye, with saturation levels higher than in stills (which in this case means better). There is plenty of detail, albeit some overprocessing. The quality is the exact same at 4K60 (about 65Mbps).
The Phantom V Fold, which is accessible outside of China, is by far the most reasonably priced phone-turned-tablet style foldable. Those two arguments ought to be persuasive enough on their own, but budgets require compromises, and there are a few to note.
The ones that pertain to the display may be the most significant. The Phantom’s panels, for instance, fall short of the competition in terms of maximum brightness, though this is hardly a deal-breaker as the panels are still perfectly functional as is. Another issue is the video streaming apps’ erratic frame rate behaviour, which renders them essentially unwatchable. We’d anticipate that this issue will be resolved in a software update, but it was a huge oversight in the first place.
While we’re talking about displays, the V Fold’s hinge doesn’t want to stay in any position other than fully open or fully folded, which limits the phone’s ability to be used in various situations. It wouldn’t have hurt to include wireless charging, either, and with the weight being around 300 grammes, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.
Nonetheless, considering the cost, the list of drawbacks is manageable, which only serves to highlight the Tecno’s advantages. While being limited to the extremes, the hinge does enable an almost crease-free unfolded condition that no flexible Galaxy can equal. You have a software package that is exceptionally feature-rich, capable of managing high refresh rates, and with good battery life. Even while cameras have their shortcomings, they are generally pretty adequate for most purposes. Selfies stand out as being especially excellent. Also, the chipset and speakers are far superior than one may anticipate for the reduced price.
One thing we cannot predict is how the Phantom will hold up over time and how Tecno will handle any future mechanical problems with the folding display (should they occur). In the past, we have found that Samsung is generally helpful when their folding displays malfunction.
In the end, you get a lot of foldable with the Tecno Phantom V Fold for (relatively) little money. On board with it, please. Tecno, just resolve the refresh rate problem!
Pro’s & Con’s
- It has a distinctive finish on the back that makes it attractive to look at and pleasant to handle.
- minimal show crease within.
- High refresh rate displays both inside and out, with 120Hz gaming options.
- Long lasting batteries and quick charging.
- booming stereo speakers.
- Custom software with lots of features, good multitasking, and effective use of the cover screen for photo and video capture.
- There is not much to criticise about Dimensity 9000+.
- Regardless of how you take them, excellent selfies.
- Outstanding video stabilisation.
- Hinge does not support any kind of intermediate positions.
- Both displays’ maximum brightness does not match those of the rivals.
- unreliable refresh rates for streaming videos.
- unable to charge wirelessly.
- Shady video processing decisions.