Flip phones are making a resurgence as a new smartphone trend. In the past, they were considered obsolete, but now we’re witnessing the transformation of smartphones into modern flip phones
Meet the PHANTOM, TECNO’s high-end tech sub-brand. They claim it’s all about empowering you to be a pioneer of innovation. But can their new flip-phone, the PHANTOM V Flip, stand up to the competition in the growing flip-phone market? Let’s find out!
The TECNO PHANTOM V Flip arrives in a generously sized package that offers a lot of goodies. Inside, you’ll discover the phone itself, naturally. In addition, you’ll come across a 45W power adapter and a USB-C-to-A cable.
The retail package includes a stylish case with a metal ring, adding a touch of flair. Although this case bears a resemblance to the ones Samsung offers for the Z Flip5, it stands out with its unique design. It features two distinct covers held together by a piece of vegan leather, and this same strip secures the substantial metal ring. This ring can serve multiple purposes, from holding the phone securely on your finger to conveniently attaching it to various items as needed.
The TECNO PHANTOM V Flip immediately captures your attention with its stunning appearance, resembling a piece of fine jewelry, especially when adorned with the included case.
Designed to flagship standards, the PHANTOM V Flip boasts exquisite craftsmanship. It features vegan leather on both rear panels, an aluminum frame, and a steel hinge, while the internal screen is protected by a slim plastic film and is surrounded by a prominent plastic bezel, much like the Galaxy Z Flip series.
TECNO has paid meticulous attention to detail, exemplified in both versions, Mystic Dawn and Iconic Black. We’re currently looking at the Mystic Dawn model, featuring a captivating purple hue on its leather sections. The bottom panel showcases a metal V logo transitioning from light to dark purple, adding a subtle yet striking touch.
TECNO refers to the round screen and the cameras encircling it as the “Planet Cover Screen,” an arrangement resembling stars and planets in orbit, creating an aesthetically pleasing effect. It’s a unique design that sets the Phantom V Flip apart from other flip phones.
The phone is equipped with stereo speakers, with the earpiece serving as one and the other located at the bottom near the USB port.
The PHANTOM V Flip can be partially folded to stand, with no visible gaps around the hinge, reducing the risk of dust or sand infiltrating and affecting the screen from below.
While the screen crease and the phone’s slight curvature when open might appear as minor issues, especially for a mid-range device, it’s worth noting.
Moving to the back of the phone, you’ll find a beautifully arranged setup, with a round 1.32″ AMOLED screen resembling a planet, housing the 64MP primary and 13MP ultrawide cameras, along with a ring-LED flash. The bottom section features a metal circle with the V logo.
The Phantom V Flip boasts a slim aluminum frame with a glossy finish and a subtle curve. On the top, there’s a solitary microphone, while the bottom houses the primary microphone, a USB-C port, and one of the speakers.
The dual-SIM card tray is located on the left side, while the right side houses the volume and power/lock keys, with the power key doubling as a fast and highly accurate fingerprint scanner.
The phone opens and closes smoothly, with a premium feel to both its appearance and handling. The leather panels offer a good grip, while the glossy frame provides a sleek contrast. Using the included case, which matches the phone’s color and has a matte plastic texture for added grip, is recommended. It’s a convenient accessory that allows you to carry the phone securely on your finger.
The TECNO PHANTOM V Flip boasts two displays, consisting of a compact cover screen and a larger foldable screen on the inside.
The external 1.32-inch AMOLED display, with a round panel featuring 466 x 466 pixels or 352ppi, a 60Hz refresh rate, 120Hz touch sampling, and a maximum brightness of 800 nits, is primarily intended for notifications and serving as a selfie viewfinder. While it doesn’t support full-fledged apps, it fulfills these specific roles effectively.
The internal display, a 6.9-inch LTPO OLED screen with a resolution of 2,640 x 1,080 pixels (426ppi and a 22:9 aspect ratio), offers an impressive dynamic 120Hz refresh rate (ranging from 10Hz to 120Hz), a 360Hz touch sampling rate, and a peak brightness of up to 1,000 nits. Additionally, it features 1440Hz PWM dimming support, ensuring excellent performance in low-brightness conditions.
The foldable screen is protected by a thin film, and it’s advisable not to remove it, as it safeguards the screen. A small punch hole on the panel houses the 32MP selfie camera with autofocus. TECNO’s signature dual-LED front flash, though discreetly located near the earpiece in the top plastic bezel, is also present.
The PHANTOM V Flip offers a High Brightness Mode (HBM), enhancing maximum brightness in both manual and auto modes, elevating it to a peak of 818 nits under bright lighting conditions. It’s worth noting that HBM requires manual activation within the Display Settings to provide a brightness boost in auto brightness mode.
The refresh rate menu offers four options: 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, and an auto-switch mode. Regardless of the chosen mode, the Tecno device defaults to a 10Hz refresh rate across the user interface when not in use.
While the Phantom V Flip doesn’t claim HDR capabilities, it’s worth mentioning that it supports software decoding for HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG formats, rather than genuine HDR playback. Although YouTube may offer HDR streams, the enhancement mainly pertains to brightness, contrast, and colors, with minimal impact. The Widevine L1 certification enables FullHD playback for DRM-protected content.
The TECNO PHANTOM V Flip is equipped with the Mediatek Dimensity 8050, a seemingly NEW 6nm chip. However, a closer look reveals that the Dimensity 8050 shares remarkable similarities with the Dimensity 1300, which itself bears a striking resemblance to the Dimensity 1200.
The Dimensity 8050 incorporates a configuration of four high-performance Cortex-A78 cores and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores. The Cortex-A78 cores are divided into one Super Core, capable of operating at speeds of up up to 3GHz, and three Performance Cores, reaching speeds of up to 2.6GHz. Complementing the chip is a Mali-G77 MC9 GPU. The device comes with 8GB of physical LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of non-expandable UFS 3.1 storage.
|Games||Graphics Quality||Refresh Rate||Battery Drain/10 min.|
|Mobile Legends: Bang Bang||Ultra||Super||3%|
|Call of Duty: Mobile||Max||Very High||0-1%|
|Genshin Impact||Max||Very High||5%|
Ultimately, we would assess the performance of the PHANTOM V Flip as highly satisfactory, well-suited to the capabilities of this device. It manages mobile gaming effortlessly. However, if it starts to overheat, it’s advisable to pause and allow it to cool down.
The TECNO PHANTOM V Flip operates on Android 13, featuring the proprietary HiOS version 13.5 tailored for the Flip. The device offers various always-on display styles, including options for continuous display, scheduled activation, on-tap, or complete deactivation.
Upon unlocking, the lockscreen includes convenient shortcuts for the camera and flashlight. Navigating past the lockscreen brings you to a standard homescreen interface. The leftmost pane, referred to as the Zero screen, presents cards with suggested news, weather and quotes widgets, as well as an app usage widget. You have the option to disable the Zero screen within the ‘Desktop settings,’ and an app drawer is provided by default.
Accessing the PHANTOM V Flip can be done through both fingerprint and face recognition. The fingerprint reader can be set to unlock with a single tap or require a press, while face recognition can either directly bypass the lockscreen or prompt a swipe gesture.
The device incorporates a range of advanced features carried over from previous models, such as Game mode with comprehensive settings, statistics, and parental controls. Additionally, there’s the Smart panel, offering slide-from-the-side shortcuts, as mentioned earlier.
A notable inclusion is the Social Turbo toolset, designed to enhance WhatsApp functionality. It provides features like voice modulation, video call enhancements, call recording, and message reading without marking them as “Read.”
The PHANTOM V Flip utilizes MemFusion, Tecno’s term for virtual RAM. The device comes with 8GB of physical RAM, which can be extended up to a total of 16GB using an additional 8GB of virtual memory. By default, MemFusion is set to allocate 5GB.
For added privacy, Peek Proof allows you to obscure sensitive content on your screen. While there are some pre-installed apps and utilities, the device carries less bloatware compared to previous models. Notable exclusions include proprietary app stores, a Hi browser, and the Hi Themes app, with just a couple of pre-installed themes.
The software also provides some provisions for a semi-folded state in specific apps like Gallery, the video player, and the camera app. Furthermore, YouTube automatically adjusts to its foldable-specific half-screen split interface.
How about the cover screen though?
The cover screen isn’t designed for continuous display; it activates with a tap or when you pick up the phone.
Now, let’s delve into what different swipes do on the cover screen. When you swipe up, you’ll access a mini notification area, and a downward swipe reveals quick toggles for functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mobile Data, Airplane mode, Vibrate, Do Not Disturb (DND), Hotspot, and NFC.
Adding a touch of personalization, you can select from a choice of five distinct pets to add a playful element to your clock widget.
If you swipe to the right, a selection of up to nine widgets awaits you, encompassing weather information, your schedule, camera shortcuts, vitality (fitness) rings, alarm settings, weather alerts, voice recording, a stopwatch, and timer functions.
On the other hand, a swipe to the left unveils music controls. Pretty convenient right?
The PHANTOM V Flip offers adequate performance for its price and class and it delivers smooth performance across various apps, games, and Android UI.
Battery and Charging
The TECNO PHANTOM V Flip is equipped with a 4,000mAh battery, which offers more capacity than the Z Flip 4 and Z Flip 5 by 300mAh, although it falls short of the Razr 40’s battery by 200mAh.
For fast charging, the PHANTOM V Flip supports up to 45W fast wired charging, and the phone comes bundled with a compatible power adapter. As per the provided information, the device is expected to reach a 50% charge within just 15 minutes, with a full charge achievable in 45 minutes.
It’s worth noting that the PHANTOM V Flip does not provide support for wireless charging.
To enhance power efficiency, the phone offers several power-saving options, including adaptive battery management for apps and standby optimization. Users can also customize power settings for individual apps, regulating screen activity and enabling scheduled push notifications. Furthermore, the phone includes dedicated Power Saver and Ultra Power Saving modes.
In addition, the device features AI Smart Charge, a function that partially charges the battery and then completes the process in the morning, ensuring your device is ready for the day ahead.
The TECNO PHANTOM V Flip has a stereo speaker setup of a hybrid kind, with the earpiece acting as one speaker and a dedicated driver at the bottom of the phone near the USB-C port. While the earpiece isn’t as loud as the other speaker, the setup still sounds balanced due to the speakers’ positions.
The TECNO PHANTOM V Flip boasts a camera trio – two rear cameras and a punch-hole selfie camera on the foldable screen.
The rear camera setup consists of a 64MP primary camera and a 13MP ultrawide camera, both featuring PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus). Meanwhile, the inner camera is a 32MP shooter, also equipped with PDAF capabilities.
The primary camera employs the 64MP Samsung ISOCELL GWB sensor with a 1/1.73″ optical format, 0.8µm pixels, and a Tetrapixel color filter array (similar to Sony’s Quad Bayer) but with an RGBW twist. It features an f/1.7 aperture and an equivalent focal length around 24-25mm.
The ultrawide camera utilizes Samsung’s 13MP (S5K)3L6 sensor with a 1/3″ optical format, 1.12µm pixels, and a conventional RGB filter array. Notably, this ultrawide camera comes with autofocus and has an f/2.2 aperture.
For selfies, the device offers a 32MP (S5K)GD2 sensor with a 1/2.8″ optical format, 0.8µm pixels, and a Tetrapixel filter. It features an f/2.5 lens with an equivalent focal length of 24mm, and it also supports autofocus.
To enhance photography, the V Flip features a four-LED flash arranged in a ring-like design at the rear and a dual-LED front flash embedded within the screen bezel.
The device provides a cover screen user interface to operate the rear cameras in both folded and unfolded states. This allows you to use the rear camera for selfies and video in both modes, with the rear screen serving as a preview when capturing portraits. When using the camera app on the inner display, you can switch between the cover screen preview and the ultrawide camera for selfies.
The main camera saves 16MP photos by default and those are mostly great. The white balance and the color rendition need tuning – the photos are a bit warmer than they should be and sometimes the colors can be a bit too saturated. But overall – the photos are quite likable.
On the other hand, the 64MP photos turned out surprisingly detailed with very greatly rendered high-frequency detail like foliage and the detailing on the building facades. The noise is notably low, and everythingelse is a match to the default output. You can use these 64MP photos for more detailed 2x-like crops.
The portrait mode offers 1x and 2x options. The 1x photos are excellent – the subject is detailed, always well exposed, the dynamic range is mostly wide, the colors are lively even if a bit over-saturated, and there is no noise.
The 32MP inner camera saves 32MP photos, which means they are upscaled from the default 8MP output. Had those been 8MP they would have been perfect – with exceptional detail, wide dynamic range, accurate colors, no noise.
Still, when you upload those to the social networks, they would look magnificent, so we are happy with their overall rendition.
There is no Auto Night Mode, though the camera app and its “AI” will periodically show Night scenes. This means that the app has recognized the scene and will tune the camera settings accordingly.
The main camera should benefit greatly from the RGBW sensor and according to Tecno it should save some good nighttime photos.
And speaking about Night Mode, it takes about a second to shoot and another one to save the photo. It widens the dynamic range, slightly brightens the image, and cleans up noise. But it lowers the detail and the sharpness, and its harsh noise reduction is responsible for the oil-painting look.
The PHANTOM V Flip offers video recording capabilities at various resolutions. Both the main and ultrawide cameras support 4K at 30 frames per second, while the dedicated selfie camera records at a maximum of 1440p at 30 frames per second. Additionally, there is an option to shoot at 1080p at 60 frames per second for both the primary and selfie cameras.
It’s important to note that the device exclusively uses the h.264 codec for video encoding, with no support for the more modern but less universally compatible h.265 codec.
A stabilization feature known as “Ultra Steady” can be enabled for all cameras when recording at 1080p at 30 frames per second. If this feature is turned off, you have the flexibility to shoot at various resolutions, including 1080p at 30 frames per second, but stabilization won’t be available.
The 4K videos are recorded with a bitrate of 50Mbps, while the 1080p videos at 30 frames per second have a bitrate of around 20Mbps. Audio quality is consistently stereo, with a bitrate of 250Kbps, delivering satisfactory sound.
Regarding 4K daylight footage captured with the main camera, it impresses with solid detail, sharpness, and a wide dynamic range. However, there is a slight deviation in white balance, which remains generally acceptable.
What we like
- Both OLED displays are of great
- Premium and beautiful design
- Loud stereo speakers
- Good gaming performance; doesn’t throttle that much
- Good photo and video quality
- Minimal bloatware
- Battery life is decent, with normal usage
What we don’t like
- No ingress protection
- The phone does not lie flat when opened
- HDR10 support is not officially supported
- 4k videos don’t have EIS
- High thermals under heavy, continous load
With an official SRP of ₱29,999… this is the first fashionable Flip Phone under ₱30k in the Philippines!
Here are the details:
|Online Pre-Order November 9 to 11||First-sale Exclusive on Shopee: 11.9 -11.11|
● Up to Php 5,000 discount
● Free TECNO customized vacuum worthPhp 2,000
● Buy One and Pay later for up to 12month 0% interest (lowest Php 2,083 per month)
|TECNO PH Shopee Official Store|
|Offline Pre-Order November 12 to 17||● Up to Php 2,000 discount|
● Free TECNO customized vacuum worthPhp 2,000● Buy One and Pay later
|Preorder is available in the following stores:|
● SM Tanza
● SM San Jose DelMonte
● SM Fairview
● SM Bacoor
● One Mall Ayala
● SM Consolacion
● SM Makati
● Gaisano Grand Carcar Cebu
● Robinsons Galleria South Pedro
When is the Official Open-Sale? On November 18, 2023.