Tecno Phantom X2 Review
Design, ergonomics, and software
The design of Tecno Phantom X2 seems to agree with the brand name. At least it looks really technological. On the front panel there is a curved, “like in the best houses”, screen with AMOLED – matrix (which means absolutely deep black even in Always-On Display mode) interspersed with a front camera in its upper part. At the back there is also a curved panel with a giant block of cameras. Yes, none of the cameras here pop out like on the Pro version, but the design is the same. The size of the lenses is also impressive (of course, not the lenses themselves, but the glasses covering them), and their unusual shape. Even the black version that we got to test (as in the case of the X2 Pro) looks impressive, which, in fact, is unusual for smartphones. Design:
- Color. The Tecno Phantom X2 is available in Blue Silver (Moon Silver) and Metallic (Stardust) Gray. It was the last one who took the test.
- Gorilla Glass Victus. The back cover is made of very pleasant to the touch, non-slip plastic. The front panel is covered with tempered glass Gorilla Glass Victus. The edges are aluminum.
- Large and heavy. The smartphone is giant and heavy – of course, with a screen with a diagonal of 6.8 inches and a battery as much as 5160 mAh. At the same time, some balance is still maintained – PHANTOM X2 did not go beyond 9 millimeters of thickness. But for 200 grams of mass, he nevertheless got out – he weighs 203 grams. Thanks to the curved edges, you can hold your smartphone with relative comfort, but only without a case. Everybody – after all, this is a “shovel”, nothing can be done.
- Functional elements. The functional elements are quite ordinary: there is no mini-jack, on the right side there is a pair of hardware keys, on the bottom there is a SIM card slot, a USB Type-C port and a speaker. For the case, moisture protection is not declared, but the overall impressions of the assembly are very pleasant.
- Optical sensor. The fingerprint scanner is located in the surface of the screen. The optical sensor is excellent in terms of sensitivity and accuracy, but does not respond well to the touch of wet or greasy fingers. The sensor is located close to the bottom edge of the display, so when unlocking it is better to hold the smartphone with the second hand so as not to drop it inadvertently, especially considering the weight of the device. A system of user identification by face using the front camera is also available.
- HiOS 12. Tecno Phantom X2 runs on the Android 12 operating system with the HiOS 12 shell. We talked about it in the TECNO POVA 4 Pro review, the company's flagship has few differences: a little more settings in various sections (like the ability to adjust the color rendering of the display), but the overall feeling is not changes: the system is fast, quite convenient, with an excellent “large folders” option and extensive functionality, but in some places overloaded and stuffed with not always necessary pre-installed software. However, if you wish, you can delete all applications you do not need.
Display and Sound
Tecno Phantom X2 received a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of, 2400 × 1080 pixels (Full HD +). Pixel Density – 387 ppi. An increased refresh rate is also supported – up to 120 Hz, and you can force it on. Display:
- Work. Scrolling is smooth, working with a smartphone is pleasant, but in games it will not work to take advantage of the high refresh rate – it is fixed at 60 hertz. At least that's how it is in the gaming apps I've tried: Alto's Adventure, Call of Duty Mobile, Genshin Impact.
- Brightness. Maximum measured display brightness Tecno Phantom X2 (under artificial lighting with incandescent lamps) was 557 cd/m2. There is a special setting High brightness mode, which slightly increases the brightness on a permanent basis and allows you to lift the peak in bright ambient light – when measuring the peak brightness. I used it, but the device did not reach the heights of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, which gave out under a thousand nits with a similar setting. In any case, the smartphone is comfortable to use in any ambient light.
- Settings. There are few display settings: brightness (including adaptive brightness); “eye protection” mode with warm colors, which is appropriate to turn on before going to bed; dark theme with the ability to customize the schedule of its work. Font size; “Pocket” mode, which reduces the sensitivity of the touch layer of the display to avoid accidental actions with it. There is also an Always-On Display mode with the ability to configure it – you can select fonts, a picture that is displayed on the screen, and some other elements. There is also the possibility of adjusting the color reproduction: the choice is made between the presets “Bright colors” and “Original color”, which are complemented by a slider that allows you to manually adjust the color temperature. I measured the color rendering of the display with both presets available, with the default color temperature.
- Modes. Default Display Tecno Phantom X2 works in original color mode. In it, the color space is expanded to something quite close to DCI-P3 – the display does not adjust to the color space of the original image on the screen. The optimal gamma is 2.22, the color temperature is slightly overestimated. But not as much as we are used to on mobile displays – 7,300-7,500 K. The average DeltaE deviation on the Color Checker scale, which includes both a wide range of colors and shades of gray, amounted to 4.33 to 3.00.
- DCI-P3. In Vivid Color mode, the color space expands slightly, already surpassing DCI-P3 coverage in blues and greens. The gamma is slightly increased (2.26), the color temperature is also up to 8,000-8,300 K. Colors are more bright and cold and as a result, the average deviation of DeltaE according to the Color Checker table is already 4.60.
- Bluetooth 5.3. Tecno Phantom X2 does not receive an analog connector, but with wireless data transfer everything is more or less in order: the Bluetooth 5. 3 supports high-resolution data transfer profiles – LDAC, AAC, but does not support aptX. Nevertheless, Hi-Res Audio can be transmitted using this smartphone, the main thing is that the headphones with these profiles are friends. The speaker here, unfortunately, is monophonic, located on the bottom edge. It does not differ in high volume, no sound quality.
Hardware and performance
Tecno Phantom X2 received MediaTek Dimensity 9000 hardware platform, like Tecno Phantom X2 Pro. This is MediaTek's flagship solution, which seems to have been presented for quite some time, but still not widely used. Processor:
- MediaTek Dimensity 9000. The MediaTek Dimensity 9000 platform integrates eight cores: one high-performance Cortex-X2 at 3.05 GHz, three Cortex-A710s at up to 2.85 GHz, and four energy-efficient Cortex-A510 with a frequency of 1.8 GHz. Graphics subsystem – ARM Mali- G710 clocked at 850 MHz. The manufacturing process is conditional to 4 nanometers.
- GeekBench 5. MediaTek Dimensity 9000 outperforms flagship platforms in terms of pure core performance – you can see on our graphs that it is on par with mid-range platforms here, not flagship ones. This is evidenced by the result of the GeekBench 5 test. But the graphics performance is already at a different level – in complex (like Antutu) and graphics tests, the smartphone shows quite flagship numbers. Personal impressions of performance are also very pleasant – the smartphone “flies” quite well. However, there is one noticeable, but.
- Heat. Same as Tecno Phantom X2 Pro, PHANTOM X2 heats up very much, and not just throttling, but it heats up – the system seems to be embarrassed to reduce frequencies, releasing the reins of overheating. Smartphone in 10–15 minutes of a serious load becomes hard to hold in your hands, the body literally burns your fingers. At the same time, throttling, as you can see on the graphs, is not very pronounced – from 25% in the CPU Throttling Test to 15% in the 3DMark Wild Life Stress Test. In general, the smartphone has quite a flagship level of performance, but with a hot temper.
- Slot. Tecno Phantom, The X2, comes with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB flash storage. There is no slot for memory cards.
Communications and wireless communications
Tecno Phantom X2 has both 4G and 5G modems. The list of supported ranges can be found in the specification's table on the first page. For LTE, everything is normal, the smartphone should catch the network stably in various regions. In Moscow and the Moscow region it works smartly, I did not notice any problems. Other wireless modules: dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.3, satellite navigation with support for major systems (GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo), as well as the NFC module.
If Tecno Phantom X2 Pro got a really outstanding and currently unique set of cameras, then PHANTOM X2 got just normal cameras, which you expect from a smartphone in this price category. With one exception – the optical zoom is still not delivered. Three modules are used here: with a standard focal length (Quad Bayer, with the ability to use a “hybrid” zoom), with an extended viewing angle and a classic “depth sensor”. Alas, it's not even a 2-megapixel macro camera. Cameras:
- Samsung S5KGWB. The main module received a Samsung S5KGWB sensor: Quad Bayer (in the Samsung world it is called ISOCELL), 64 megapixels, dimensions – 1/1, 7 “(a single pixel with a size of 0.8 microns). Optics with f / 1.7 aperture, with phase detection autofocus and optical stabilization work with it. Interestingly, this camera is even simpler than the one installed on the twice cheaper TECNO Camon 19 Pro with Samsung ISOCELL GWB sensor and slightly faster optics. The same applies to the wide-angle camera: Samsung S5K3L6, 1/3” (single 1.12 µm pixel), 13 MP resolution, f/2.2 autofocus optics. This camera is used for macrophotography, not a separate module.
- Focal length. With standard focal length Tecno Phantom, The X2 shoots normally. In fact, the quality of pictures in good lighting is neither outstanding nor bad. Nice white balance, sufficient detail, slightly problematic dynamic range. When the lighting conditions worsen, the camera copes well with obtaining a sharp image – the noise reduction works, perhaps, too actively, but the overall picture quality can be called excellent. But, of course, we are talking about shooting at dusk or in bright city lights. With the shooting of the night field, for example, the camera can no longer really cope.
- Approximation. 2x “hybrid” zoom (a frame is taken with a resolution of 64 megapixels, and then it is cropped to 16 megapixels) is exceptional, but the increase in contour sharpness necessary for adequate detail leads to noticeable. However, the general nature of the pictures pleases – neither in colors nor in dynamic range are they inferior to images with a standard focal length. The wide-angle camera is remarkable for its autofocus, which allows it to be used not only for landscapes, but also for close-ups. Pictures are characterized by weak sharpness at the edges with good sharpness in the center. At night, the camera remains quite functional, but with sufficient scene lighting, of course. Yes, the detail is weaker than on the main module, but the pictures do not turn into a complete mess.
- 16 megapixels. By default, the camera shoots at a resolution of 16 megapixels, but at any time you can activate shooting at a resolution of 64 megapixels. Moreover, both with a standard focal length and with a zoom. Above is an example of such a shooting with a double zoom.
- Mode. To improve the performance of the camera at night, a special mode is provided, which in the TECNO camera application is called Super Night. In it, the smartphone camera traditionally takes several pictures with different exposures, which are then glued together and “finished” programmatically. To be honest, it does not have a serious impact on the result. With good artificial light, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between pictures in night mode and in normal mode, and in very low light the Super Night mode cannot “pull out” frames. Sometimes photos in normal mode look even better – more vivid and natural. Here is such a slightly strange work of “brains” Tecno Phantom X2.
- Portrait. In portrait mode in the camera app, Tecno Phantom X2 has the ability to shoot with both artificial bokeh and enhancement – and here they are not mutually exclusive options. Let me remind you that TECNO, like its neighbors in Transsion Holdings, Infinix, most often separates these options. I will note the correct separation of the object and background without noticeable artifacts, good work with color (correct skin tone) and a very advanced beautifier with many settings and the ability to leave everything to decide “artificial intelligence”. By the way, it works aggressively, but, for my taste, without frank enumeration. Above, an example of a beautified portrait can be seen on the left. There is only one focal length available for portrait mode – and it is better suited for full-length or half-length shots.
Tecno Phantom X2 camera application interface
The camera application in Tecno Phantom X2 is designed typical for HiOS (we saw the same on TECNO POVA 4 Pro, for example), but the set of features and functions has grown significantly, which is extremely logical for a flagship. Of the unusual modes, I will note the ability to replace the sky in the photo – for examples I will send it to the TECNO Camon 19 Pro review, where we first discovered this function. Application:
- Video recording is available at a maximum resolution of 4K (3840 × 2160) at up to 60 frames per second. There is digital stabilization at any resolution, but, for my taste, it is not very effective. You can activate the already more effective enhanced stabilization, but in this case, the smartphone will shoot in Full-HD resolution at 30 frames per second. Of the options, I’ll note “film filters”, which quite radically tint the image, the ability to shoot video with artificial bokeh and beautification – both modes are available in Full-HD resolution. There is also a mode for shooting videos on a given topic, consisting of short segments, which the smartphone then glues together on its own and overlays music – in HiOS this mode is called “Film”. There is also a mode of Video Image Enhancement, which again works with Full-HD resolution – here neural networks come into play, raising sharpness and saturation.
- The front camera received a Quad Bayer-sensor (Samsung S5KGD2) with a resolution of 32 megapixels with a lens with f / 2.4 aperture and no autofocus. But there is a real flash, located above the screen, to the left of the conversational speaker. In this mode, the beautifier no longer just works, but there is a whole set of software “make-up”. The system works, of course, aggressively, but someone may like it. As with the rear camera, the bokeh, and beautifier modes are thankfully merged. I also note that two focal lengths are available for the camera. The shooting quality is excellent, I have no questions about the front camera.
Tecno Phantom X2 received a battery with a capacity of 19.61 Wh (5160 mAh, 3.8 V) – this is certainly a lot, but for a smartphone prone to overheating with a “fast” 6.8-inch display, this is not at all a guarantee of outstanding autonomy. Indeed, the gadget rather simply performs a mandatory program, reliably withstanding a working day under normal load. With increased load, it can sit down already in 5–7 hours, so it’s not worth it to completely relax and get rid of power banks. In our traditional Full-HD playback test – video at maximum brightness, with Wi-Fi turned on and notifications, the smartphone lasted about 15 hours – the result is normal. Tecno Phantom X2 comes with a 45W charger — It takes a little over an hour to fully charge the smartphone with its use. Wireless charging is not supported.
- Interesting design and nice case execution;
- Good (but no more) shooting quality on the rear camera;
- Great front camera quality (with real flash!);
- High-capacity battery;
- Powerful hardware platform;
- Large and fast AMOLED screen.
- Huge dimensions and weight;
- No mini-jack;
- No memory card slot;
- Monaural speaker;
- No claimed moisture protection;
- No optical zoom;
- Smartphone heats up too much.