Tecno is definitely trying to make a point with the Phantom X. The handset offers some unique features for its price bracket, with the most notable ones being the sleek premium design with a curved OLED panel, a high-end 50MP main sensor and a 2x optical zoom camera.
Unfortunately for Tecno, the €300-350 range in Europe, where the company seems to be aiming at, is quite saturated already. We suspect the emerging markets in Africa would gladly consider the Phantom X when it's time for shopping. Still, it's hard to make a name for yourself in a price segment where big brands like Samsung, Xiaomi and even OnePlus and Realme reign.
The Phantom X doesn't give up the fight, though, as it's the only one to offer such sleek design with curved display (if you are into that), and it tops the competition with the largest base memory/storage combo of 8GB/256GB. It's also a proficient and unmatched nighttime shooter, mainly thanks to the large, high-end 50MP 1/1.3" sensor. It just leaves a little bit more to be desired in the daylight shooting, but this can be easily optimized via a software update. The main 48MP main selfie cam produces some excellent shots too. And last but not least, it edges out the competition with remarkable battery life.
A couple of major pitfalls keep us from giving this phone a higher score. Although good on paper, the 90Hz OLED is no match for the Redmi Note 10 Pro's and the Poco F3's 120Hz OLED panels. The Galaxy A52 and the OnePlus Nord are also capped at 90Hz but offer substantially brighter screens. And smarter HRR control too. While we are in the multimedia department, we can't miss mentioning the single loudspeaker. The majority of similarly priced phones offer stereo speakers.
Overall, processing performance is lacking too as the Helio G95 is dragging the Phantom X behind while the competition employs more competent Snapdragon 720G, 732G, 750G and even Snapdragon 870 chipsets.
Put the nighttime camera performance aside, and the Phantom X has a hard time keeping up with its rivals in the overall camera performance. It's nice that Tecno's contender has a real telephoto camera, but the Realme 8 Pro makes arguably better zoom shots using its main camera only. Video recording isn't up to the snuff either.
AS far as software is concerned, this is strongly subjective. Users will will probably prefer the more established and mature Android skins like Samsung's One UI or Xiaomi's MIUI. OnePlus' burden-less OxygenOS experience should also be considered as it's one of Nord CE's key selling points. Not that the Tecno's HiOS has any intrinsic issues, but it does skip some basic features such as color correction presets, it needs better HRR management, and some fingerprint reader performance optimizations would be appreciated.
Did we like the Tecno Phantom X? Yes, but when you put the device into the context of the available competition, the product's lack of refinement gets in the way. The display is good, but it lacks brightness. It has 90Hz refresh rate, but the HRR control needs optimization. The camera setup is competent, but the main camera needs more work to deliver better daylight shots. Strange how the nighttime performance is so good. And lastly, the handset employs the latest generation under-display, optical fingerprint reader but fails to impress with unlocking accuracy and speed.
Having said all that, we don't want to end this review on a negative note, so we can remind you the Phantom X is still able to deliver excellent battery life, fast charging, sleek and premium design, great selfies, amazing nighttime photography skills and a generous 8GB/256GB memory combo.