Tecno Phantom V Fold 5G first impressions: Making a bold statement

Tecno Phantom V Fold 5G first impressions: Making a bold statement

For a smartphone company that has focused on the budget and mid-range segment since its inception, it was a big surprise when Tecno went all out and unveiled its first foldable smartphone during MWC 2023. Dubbed the Phantom V Fold 5G, this horizontal foldable smartphone is a direct competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series and will be entirely made in India. This could be one of the reasons for its very aggressive price of Rs. 88,888, which is around where you usually find foldable or vertically folding smartphones. Tecno recently launched this phone in India, and we spent some time with it. Here’s what we think.

It’s natural to draw comparisons with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, and looking at its specs, the new Tecno Phantom V Fold 5G is quite well equipped. From its flagship-grade 4nm SoC and up to 512GB of storage, to its massive 7.85-inch LTPO AMOLED display, it ticks all the important boxes. The phone itself is bulky, like any other foldable phone of its kind, and is meant to be used with two hands. It’s also on the heavier side. When folded, there’s hardly any visible space between the two halves, which I like. At its thickest point (near the hinge), the Phantom V Fold 5G is still slimmer than the competition at 14.5mm.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold 5G has an aluminum frame. The company has developed a proprietary hinge that it claims minimizes crease. This can still be felt if you run your finger across the center of the folding screen, but it’s only noticeable at extreme angles. The outer screen also features a gentle curve on one side, which is an interesting design choice. Ports and buttons are where you’d expect them to be, and the power button also houses the fingerprint sensor. During my brief time with this phone, its build quality seemed decent, although I did notice a bit of play in the hinge when the phone was folded.

Folding screen crease (left) only visible at extreme angles

The back panel of the black variant of the Tecno Phantom V Fold 5G is made from recycled plastic waste, while the white variant uses “organic silicon leather” material. There is a distinctive camera module on the back which includes a 50-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 50-megapixel telephoto camera capable of 2X optical zoom. The selfie camera on the outer screen is a 32-megapixel sensor, while the folding screen gets a 16-megapixel sensor in a punch-hole cutout. The camera app has plenty of additional features to take advantage of the folding screen and we’ll explore them all in the full review.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold 5G runs HiOS 13 Fold, which is based on Android 13. Tecno says more than 1,000 apps have been optimized to take advantage of the foldable display and should work in split-screen and multi-window mode. While the screen can stay unfolded at around 90 degrees, I found that it doesn’t hold its position very well if you try to leave it open at other angles. I’m curious how this will affect daily use and productivity.

tecno phantom v fold 5g first look at outdoor display gadgets360 ee

The exterior display of the Tecno Phantom V Fold 5G is a 120Hz LTPO AMOLED panel

The Phantom V Fold lacks wireless charging, but makes up for that with a large 5,000mAh battery and 45W wired charging. According to Tecno, the Phantom V Fold 5G should be able to fully charge in less than an hour. Its exterior display is a 6.42-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel, while the interior features a 7.85-inch AMOLED display with 2K resolution. The Phantom V Fold 5G is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ SoC.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold 5G is the most affordable foldable phone of its kind in India right now, and that alone should pique the interest of many looking to get their first foldable phone. The advantages of a horizontal foldable phone over a vertical one are undeniable and worth considering now that you can get either type for about the same price. However, this is Tecno’s first stab at the high-end smartphone market in India and it will be interesting to see how buyers react to the Phantom V Fold 5G. We’ll have our full review of this phone ready in due course, so make sure you don’t miss it.

The new Oppo Find N2 Flip is the company’s first foldable to debut in India. But does it have what it takes to rival the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4? We discuss it on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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