Tecno recently announced the Phantom V flip to complete the set of a folding phone, Phantom V Fold, and a flip phone. And it’s going for around US$600 making it the most affordable way to get a flip smartphone right now. So why is it so affordable?
It’s because Tecno cut some corners
Tecno is in my books the rocket scientist of cutting corners in that they will trim off the sort of features that would more often than not be the least valuable data-to-day features on a device. On the Phantom V Flip, they did the same thing. The CPU is a slight downgrade from the Phantom X2, a Mediatek Dimensity 8050 compared to the Dimenity 9000 in the X2.
They also didn’t use the flagship camera system that comes in the X2 or even the Camon 20 Premier. Instead, there is a 64MP main similar to the one on the Camon 20 and 20 Pro plus a 13MP ultrawide. A decent camera setup for this class of device given that since it folds, you lose a significant amount of internal volume to the hinge.
As a package, it’s actually great
The Phantom V Flip looks really good. It comes in 2 colors, Mystic Dawn (a pale sort of purple) and Iconic Black. The Mystic Dawn looks better in my opinion and it looks like the finish is the same sort of soft, leatherlike texture that we got on the Camon 20 Premier.
It’s got a large battery for this class of device, a 4000mAh unit that can charge at a maximum of 45W. It’s bigger than the competition from the likes of Samsung and Motorola and only bested by the Oppo Find N3 Flip and its 4300mAh unit. No wireless charging if anyone is curious.
The back cover is where folding phones have fun figuring out the second screen configuration. Tecno went for a rounded screen similar to what Huawei had on the P50 Pocket but this time it’s right in the middle surrounded by the 2 cameras and the main flash.
The secondary screen can be used for a whole host of stuff. It can be a viewfinder if you want to take selfies with the main camera, and it can display notifications to which you can reply that way…why you would not just open the phone and reply that way I do not know…and also see alarms, timers, answer and end calls and play with some pets. Yes, the little screen comes with a couple of virtual pets.
The Phantom V fold joins the crew with the largest screen on a flip phone and it’s an LTPO OLED screen supporting up to 120Hz refresh rate. On brightness it is falling slightly behind the competition, another area where Tecno did some surgery to shed off a couple of bucks. Still, at 1000 nits, there are not that many scenarios where that brightness will not be sufficient. They also managed to add a selfie flash in the bezel which I still think is a useful though underrated feature and a 32MP selfie camera.
|CPU||MediaTek Dimensity 8050
6.9″ 2640×1080 pixels
FHD+, LTPO, OLED
1.32″ 466×466 pixels
|Main Camera||64MP Primary
13MP Ultra wide
4k Video recording
|Secondary Camera||32MP primary
|Storage||8GB RAM + 8GB MemFusion
2G, 3G, 4G, 5G
45W fast charge
You get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage with no memory card slot because space is at a premium. Space is in such a premium that the Phantom V Flip is probably the first Tecno to come as a single SIM. It will not even get an eSIM option to keep it as a dual SIM without a hit on internal space.
Tecno has it’s own personal assistant, Ella, that we compared with Google Assistant, and back then on the Phantom X it was still very much behind Google Assistant. On the Phantom V Flip, it’s now getting a boost from ChatGPT’s AI which I will be curious to try out and see how it performs.