Tecno phantom Z Review
Tecno Phantom Z is the latest smartphone offering from Tecno mobile. The phone has been around for quite some time now and was officially released into the Nigerian market in August after a heavy promotional campaign during the FIFA 2014 world cup. Apparently, we got the device late but we still have to put up a phone review considering the fact that there is still a lot of promotional activities going on so people need have adequate product info.
Now straight to business, permit me to say that this device has transitioned Tecno to another level and you can now begin to make direct comparison with some high end devices like Samsung, HTC etc. The Phantom Z, also code named as Tecno A7 delivers almost everything you would require of a smartphone from premium metallic design (evident from the unboxing), functionality, clear & sharp and bright screen, to camera quality. It is a 5.2 inch Dual SIM phone that is richly designed with great ingenuity. As tempting as the Camera quality is with its Dual flash behind and even a flash in front.… OK, I won’t begin with that but a quick one for Selfie Lovers, this is the phone I would recommend so you can feel fly all day especially at Night.
One does not need a blind man to tell you that the Phantom Z is fine, almost everyone who has seen the phone with me testifies to this and they keep asking what brand of Tecno it is. This is the best designed Tecno phone ever with its build quality. It is a 5.2 inch phone, easy to handle with one hand, made of plastic with a metallic wrap round the edges. The three soft navigation keys are positioned on the screen of the phone and there is another illuminate Home button just beneath the screen that lights up even when the screen is out. The front facing camera and a flash are also found just above the screen.
At the back of the phone is the 16MP camera and a dual flash, the back cover is a good quality plastic which looks like a faux leather. This time around the USB/Charging port is at the base of the phone which is a lot better, loud speaker is also at the base of the phone while the head phone jack is placed at the top. To the right side of the phone is the power button while the volume rocker and SIM tray are positioned on the left hand side. The SIM tray is exactly what we found on the Infinix Zero and can only be removed with a small pin which also comes along in the pack.
Tecno made an impression by placing a 16MP camera AF camera and a dual flash on the phantom Z. Although a high MP camera doesn’t accurately translate into excellent picture quality, the Camera on the Z will always tempt you to take more and more pictures. Pictures look sharp and natural without excessive colours. I also noticed a very deep sharp contrast in the pictures and videos taken with the camera, this simply means that black is black with the phantom Z camera.
Low light picture quality is also good and you need not worry about taking pictures under low light conditions or at night. Thanks to the double flash at just beneath the camera, the flash is brighter than what is obtainable on any Samsung device. Taking pictures at night just got so easy with the dual flash. Even in the darkest night when there is no light, you take a picture with the camera and you still get clear images.
Another impressive feat is the 8MP front facing camera which also has a flash, seriously Tecno nailed it with this. We all know how bad selfies go when we take them at night, even when you have some form of brightness, we still struggle to get the best shot with our front camera. The 8MP front camera with flash just solves that problem. Apart from the joy you derive from taking selfies at night, the picture quality of the front facing camera is very impressive and even better than what we have from primary cameras of many high end devices. I can dare you to compare the front camera of the Z with that of the HTC, Samsung and iPhone.
Other camera features include Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), touch and voice capture, gesture shots and wave hand shutter where you can just wave your hand across the screen to take a picture.
The Phantom Z has a 5.2 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920X1080. This full HD screen delivers an exciting multimedia and viewing experience. The screen is very sharp with deep contrast, very bright such that you always have to reduce the screen brightness especially at night, all thanks to the AMOLED technology. The quality of video on the screen just makes you think you are watching on a LED television set and you can pitch the screen side by side with every other high end device in the market. Below is a screenshot of a movie scene i was watching on the device.
FEATURES & SOFTWARE
Powered by a 2 GHz Octa-core (8 Core) processor, the phantom Z delivers with great speed and multitasking power. It runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat version with an OTA update available, the device is very touch responsive, smooth and fluid when browsing, navigating and switching through apps.
The ROM has a black theme with few customizations here and there. There is different customized UI which is noticeable when you intend to power off, access the Quick toggle and notification centre.
Pulling down the notification drawer from the top of the screen will show you notifications such as missed calls, messages etc. When you tap ‘switch’ which is now place above the screen, allows you access common settings like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Data connection, Hotspot, GPS.
Other interesting features of the phone include:
Tap to wake: Instead of reaching out to the power button to wake your phone, you only double tap the screen to quickly turn on the screen while you can also do a double tap to put off the screen.
Quick Start: This allows you start you start your device by making specific gestures with your fingers while the screen is off. For example lets say you want to quickly take a picture while your screen is off, you only draw a letter C on the screen of the phone and the camera will come up. This also applies to reaching out to music and Whatsapp, you simply draw a letter M or W to open your music and Whatsapp respectively when the screen is out.
Some additions include lifting up the phone to your ear to automatically call the contact displayed on the screen and waving your hand over the screen of the phone to answer a call so you don’t have to always pick touch the phone to answer. This comes in very handy especially with women getting their hands wet and busy while in the kitchen.
Sensors in the phone include the proximity sensor, G-sensor and light sensor.
For the tech endowed, below are the screenshots of the Antutu Benchmark test for the device
…and these are the comparison of the its result with the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8
The RAM of the Phantom Z is 2GB, internal memory is a huge 32GB without the option of expansion with a memory card, this is not a big deal because the 32GB is enough memory to take care of all files. It is also a delight to know that there is about 8GB of space allocated for apps alone.
Battery is irremovable and the capacity is bigger at 3030mAh which is enough to run through a whole day. This rather varies with individual usage level. While the device will carry you for a whole day with an average use of the internet, chat etc, a heavy user will need to hug the wall later in the day. I think the fact that Tecno permanently kept the battery in the phone goes to boast about the battery power and durability.
There is also a new power saving management feature which allows you to save power by turning off some features and adjusting screen colour to save more power…..This feature really worked well.
Connectivity options include GPS, AGPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, WiFi Hotspot.
Finally I would like to say that the Phantom Z is a combination of premium, power and quality. One little slack I observed was that the phone just gets hot within few minutes the camera is up or browsing the internet, I think this is as a result of the high power demand from the various improved specifications packed into the phone.
That being said, with its impressive high specifications, great design, great camera (especially for selfie) and many others, I would say the Phantom Z is just another wonder which can considerably play on the same field with other high end devices.
You can watch the video review here: