Chinese mobile smartphone manufacturer Tecno Holdings has introduced its most iconic device into the Kenyan market in the shape of the Tecno Phantom V Fold. The device which was announced globally in late February was made available to the Kenyan market in April.

Phone enthusiasts and heavy users will marvel at the device which offers users the option of a 21:9 aspect ratio on the secondary screen. The primary screen offers an aspect ratio of 8:7 when the device is unfolded.

Out of the box

Tecno Phantom V Fold Specifications

Network: 2G/3G/4G/5G
Dimensions: (Unfolded) 159.4mm X 104.4mm X 6.9mm / (Folded) 159.4mm X 72mm X 14.2mm-14.5mm
Weight: 299 grams
Build: Gorilla Victus Glass front, Polycarbonate Plastic back, Aluminium Frame
(Primary screen) 7.86-inch Foldable LTPO AMOLED 1B colors, 120GHz refresh rate, 1100 nits (peak brightness), ~88.0% screen-to-body ratio, 2000 x 2296 pixels resolution (~388 pixels per inch density)
(Cover screen) 6.42-inch LTPO AMOLED, 1B colours, 120HGz refresh rate, 1100 nits (peak brightness), 1080 x 2550 pixels resolution (~431 pixels per inch density)
Operating system: Android 13, HiOs 13 Fold
Chipset: Mediatek Dimensity 9000+ (4nm)
CPU: Octa-core (1×3.20 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.85 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510)
GPU: Mali-G710 MC10
Internal storage: 256 GB
Main camera: 50MP (Wide), 50MP (Telephoto), 13MP (Ultrawide)
Selfie camera: (Primary screen) 16MP (Wide) / (Cover screen) 32MP (Wide)
Communications: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band/ Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE/ GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS/ Near Field Communications/ FM Radio, Recording, USB Type-C, OTG
Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted)/  Accelerometer/ Gyro/ Proximity/ Compass
Battery: Li-Po 5000mAh non-removable, Wired 45-watt fast-charger
Colours: Black, White

Exterior and Dimensions

The Tecno Phantom V Fold has dimensions of 159.4mm X 72mm X 14.2mm-14.5mm when folded. When unfolded, it measures 159.4mm X 104.4mm X 6.9mm.

When folded, its slender profile makes it exceptionally easy to hold in hand despite the weight. The textured back when bare and the polycarbonate protective case, add that extra grip for holding it in hand without fear of dropping it. Additionally, the textured back means it is not a fingerprint magnet.

The top edge of the Phantom V Fold has a secondary stereo speaker and an ambient sound microphone. The left edge both when folded and unfolded is plain. In its folded form factor the left edge is an aerospace-grade, drop-shaped hinge that strengthens the device when open.

The hinge additionally ensures the LTPO AMOLED folding screen has a near-invisible crease. When new, the Tecno Phantom V Fold is capable of up to 200,000 folds before the crease starts to show.

The bottom of the device has a dual nano SIM tray capable of dual stand-by mode in 5G. It also has the primary stereo speaker, the USB Type-C charging port that is also the data transfer port and an earphone jack. Next to that is the primary microphone for phone calls.

The right edge has the volume rocker and the power button that also serves as the device’s side-mounted fingerprint scanner.

The cover screen is a 6.42-inch LTPO Amoled display protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. It has an aspect ratio of 21:9 which is ideal for landscape viewing. It additionally has a 32-megapixel, wide-angle selfie camera sitting beneath the monolithic screen slightly below the top edge and just under the earpiece.

The main screen is a 7.8-inch foldable LTPO Amoled display with an aspect ratio of 8:7. The screen-to-body ratio is approximately 88 per cent. The selfie camera on the primary screen is a 16-megapixel, wide-angle lens.

The back of the Phantom V Fold is textured plastic with a multi-step camera bump and three cameras to make up one of three sets of cameras the device has. The split is two of the lenses being 50 megapixels – one wide-angeled, the other a telephoto lens. The third is a 13 megapixels ultra wide-angle lens.

While the Phantom V Fold has notable girth and weight to it, it is generally easy to hold in hand for single-hand or multi-hand use.

Camera and screen

As mentioned, the cover screen is 6.42 inches while the primary screen is 7.85 inches. Both screens are capable of 1100 peak brightness. Both screens also have a 1 billion colour range that relays crisp images even in bright light. Similarly, both screens have a refresh rate of 120GHz which ensures that content remains clear as a user swipes across either screen. Watching video content or browsing web content is achieved with high clarity of content. It is also a device that gamers will love because of how sharp the graphics remain despite objects moving fast on the screens.

The Phantom V Fold has three sets of cameras; a selfie camera each for the cover screen (32 megapixels) and a primary screen (16 megapixels). Both cameras can record footage in 1080 progressive scan resolution with up to 30 frames per second. The cover screen selfie camera bumps up the frames per second to 60 capturing more detail in video format.

The main camera which most people will prefer to use has two 50-megapixel lenses and a third one that is 13 megapixels. The first two are a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. The third is an ultrawide-angle lens. The rear camera can also capture video in both 2K and 4K resolution with the latter having options for capturing up to 30 frames per second, or 60 frames per second.

The V Fold has a variety of camera modes that include Film Mode (a collection of presets for different scenes a user might want) Video Mode, Portrait Mode, and Super Night Mode. Super Night Mode is especially interesting in how it utilizes the large lens sensors and high dynamic range features to capture fantastic images even in low light.

Some of the pictures that we took with the phone are below;

Performance, Storage and Battery

The Tecno Phantom V Fold comes pre-installed with the Android 13 operating system and HiOS 13 Fold, a custom skin based on the former. Because it is a customised skin, HiOS has a host of other applications available in the Play Store that are made specifically for the Fold with its 8:7 aspect ratio when open. This ensures that there is no dead space on the screen while users interact with applications.

To support the functions of the applications, the V Fold is kitted with a Mediatek Dimensity 9000+ (4nm) chipset, an octa-core CPU and the Mali-G710 MC10 graphic processing unit.

The octa-core split (1×3.20 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.85 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510) allocates processing power according to need so that the applications with the heaviest use are assigned to the higher function units while lighter tasks are taken care of by the smaller elements of the CPU. So gaming and browsing concurrently seem a breeze with no apparent challenges to the device.

For storage, the V Fold comes with 256GB and 512GB which is non-expandable as the device does not support the use of the popular MicroSDXC cards.

However, 256GB is in most cases ample storage that users would be hard put to fill up as the device itself comes with no bloatware.

The random access memory on the Fold is 12GB, which can be further expanded by 9GB if RAM-heavy applications run on the device simultaneously.

One of the simultaneous functions that will be popular with users of the Fold is the multi-window and split-screen feature that allows the running of applications concurrently. This productivity tool offers the perfect balance between work and play.

To power all of this, the Phantom V Fold has a Li-Po 5000mAh non-removable battery that is paired with a 45Watt wired fast charger that will get the phone from no charge to 40 per cent in 15 minutes. A full charge will be achieved in 55 minutes, 5 minutes shy of an hour. This will prove handy when a quick power boost is needed for work or travel.

Our Verdict

The Tecno Phantom V Fold has everything from smooth running to great cameras, to a highly functional protective case that has a kick-stand for hands-free use when playing back media or reading. What’s more, it has no bloatware ensuring that a user has all they need at hand and nothing they don’t.

The only drawback to the device is its limited colour range – the V Fold is only available in black and white. Apart from that the 256GB+12GB version is retailing at Ksh 129,999 while the 512GB+12GB version is available for Ksh 143,999. The prices would be cause for pause to users who are not accustomed to devices from the manufacturer going past Ksh. 70,000. However, investing in the Tecno Phantom V Fold would be a worthwhile exception.