Tecno, a Chinese tech maker under Transsion Holding’s umbrella, has made its mark in the budget segment, especially in markets such as India. The company is heading towards the premium segment with the Phantom X2 and X2 Pro launch. Alongside these, Tecno has also introduced an Eco-Friendly variant of the Pro version. This series offers a slew of upgrades over its Phantom X, which made its way into the markets back in 2021. Both the devices have focused on their camera capabilities, with the Phantom X2 Pro gaining the upper hand with the integration of a 50-megapixel retractable portrait camera, making it the world’s first commercially sold smartphone to sport such a feature.
Besides that, the X2 Pro Eco-Friendly Edition showcases a unique back cover made up of discarded plastic bottles retrieved from deep within the sea. The MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset powers the Phantom X2 series. As of now, both devices have only been launched in the overseas market, though they will make their way to India as early as the start of January. We spent a couple of hours using both smartphones, and here are our first impressions of the same.
Tecno Phantom X2 and X2 Pro First Impressions: The unboxing experience
Both the Phantom X2 devices come in an identical square-shaped box with the Phantom branding written in gold letters. The contents of the box slide out with the device and are accompanied by two more boxes. One of which consists of a 45W charging brick. The other box has a USB-Type C earphone and a USB-A to Type-C charging cable. These are retail units for the global market, and Indian packaging will have a different unboxing experience.
Tecno Phantom X2 and X2 Pro First Impressions: Design and display
Tecno has taken a rather wild approach towards the design of the new phones. The Phantom X2 is available in Stardust Grey and Moonlight White colourways. We have the former with us, and the device looks quite subtle with this colour. The Phantom X2 Pro is also available in the Stardust Grey colour variant, but it also comes with a Mars Orange (Eco-Friendly edition) colourway, which is sure to grab some attention in the wild. Both the devices are identical, except for the orange circular strip present on the retractable lens on the Phantom X2 Pro. The back panel has a matte finish with a subtle texture that gives them a premium look and feel. The rear panel does not invite any smudges or dust, which is always appreciated. It’s made of good quality plastic materials, and the entire phone only has a subtle “Phantom” branding at the bottom.
The in-hand feel of the Phantom X2 series is quite good, with curved edges. Despite the very prominent camera island, the weight seems well-balanced on the vanilla X2 variant. The X2 Pro, on the other hand, is slightly top-heavy. Both the devices sport curved displays with a unibody design and a 3.5D lunar crater design. The bottom side of both the devices holds in place a SIM slot, USB Type-C port, primary microphone, and a speaker grille. The volume rockers and power buttons are situated on the right side of the device. The latter comes with a red accent. The buttons have good tactile feedback. The Phantom X2 series has support for dual nano SIMs, but there’s no option to expand the storage.
The Phantom X2 Series sports a 6.8-inch FHD+ AMOLED (1080×2400) display up front with an aspect ratio of 20:9. Both devices flaunt the same display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate. Using the smartphone under direct sunlight didn’t cause any issues. Watching YouTube and other content on it was a decent experience, and the viewing angles of the display are also good. Both phones have in-display fingerprint sensors placed neatly at the bottom of the display. The screen has support for Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for unfortunate drops, which is good. We’ll be testing the display of these phones thoroughly in our review, so stay tuned.
Tecno Phantom X2 and X2 Pro First Impressions: Cameras
The handsets display a rather unorthodox style of camera module at the rear. We have mixed feelings about this. The module protrudes by a bit, causing the device to wobble when kept on flat surfaces. The Phantom X2 Pro has a 50-megapixel retractable camera, which sets the device apart. The 2.5x portrait lens has a moving part, and a simple idea behind this technology was to help you take photos from far out without compromising on the image quality. This is a hark back at the age-old point-and-shoot cameras.
This mechanism needs some tweaking, as we noticed a few delays when switching to the zoom camera. The module takes some time to perform its deed. This can be fixed with a software update. Like the pop-up selfie mechanism from 2019, this retractable camera can detect falls. It takes the camera approximately 0.32 seconds to get into a safe position before hitting the ground. As per a company spokesperson, the retractable mechanism is dust resistant. However, the X2 series does not have any IP rating, which is disappointing.
Alongside this, the X2 Pro also sports a 50-megapixel primary camera with a 7P lens for better noise reduction and a 13-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera that can take macro shots. Furthermore, the front side of the device holds in place a 32-megapixel shooter for selfies.
Coming to the relatively pedestrian Phantom X2, it holds in place a 64-megapixel primary camera with OIS support, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera (with macro), and a 2-megapixel camera. The front holds in place a 32-megapixel shooter for selfies. As for videos, the X2 series can shoot up to 4K 60fps.
Tecno Phantom X2 and X2 Pro First Impressions: Software and availability
The Phantom X2 series is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 5G SoC. The same chipset was seen in Vivo’s X80. It’ll be interesting to see how these devices fare against each other. The Dimensity 9000 is an octa-core processor built on the 4nm fabrication process. The 5G chipset is rated at a maximum clock speed of 3.05GHz and is paired with MediaTek’s APU 590.
Both devices have LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 3.1 standard. The vanilla Phantom X2 is available in an 8GB RAM + 256GB storage variant, while the elder sibling can be grabbed with 12GB RAM + 256GB storage. Ideally, a 512GB variant should’ve been made available alongside this. The phones also pack in a vapour cooling system, and we’ll be putting the device under heavy loads in our full review.
The Phantom X2 series packs in a 5,160mAh battery and comes with a 45W charger. While most budget phones are leaning towards a fast charging solution with 65W and 80W standards, the Phantom series sticks to a lower wattage. The company claims a 10-minute boost should get you through an important meeting call. The Phantom X2 series runs on HiOS 12.0 based on Android 12, which is a bummer since Android 13 has been out since August, and we expect the latest software in a flagship device. Tecno promises future OS upgrades at the start of next year.
Tecno Phantom X2 and X2 Pro First Impressions: Initial thoughts
The Phantom X2 series, as of now, is only available in global markets and will slowly make its way to the Indian market. The Phantom X2 is priced at SAR 2699 (roughly Rs 59,100), while the Phantom X2 Pro is priced at SAR 3499 (roughly Rs 76,700). It’ll be interesting to see the prices of these devices in India once they are launched officially. Can the Phantom X2 series, with its peculiar design approach and riveting camera capabilities, fight against the likes of the big boys — Vivo, OnePlus, and more? Stay tuned to MySmartPrice for the full review of the Phantom X2 series.