TECH BREAK: Tecno Phantom 9 wins on performance, fails on gaming

 TECH BREAK: Tecno Phantom 9 wins on performance, fails on gaming

The Tecno Phantom 9 was launched in August without much fanfare.

This Flipkart-exclusive device has a triple-rear-camera set-up, an AMOLED screen with in-display fingerprint sensor, gradient design and a dot notch-shaped display accommodating the front camera.

At Sh24,999, Tecno Phantom 9 seems to be a good value for money in a midrange segment. But is it?

The device has a trendy design. It comes with reflective plastic back that feels like glass. The phone has a micro pattern on its back, which Tecno refers to as holographic design.

The gradient scheme is a rage these days, and this phone no exception and the colour goes from light to dark blue.

The display has a full HD+ resolution, stretched in a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Though it is an AMOLED panel, the screen’s contrast, saturation and colour rendition do not seem very well calibrated.

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Moreover, there is no option in the phone’s settings menu to tweak display settings.

The Full HD+ display has a pixel density of over 400 ppi, which makes up for a pretty sharp display. The screen is sufficiently bright and can hold its own under direct sunlight. For protection against the scratches, the Phantom 9 relies on Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3.

The display comes with an integrated fingerprint sensor, which works but is slightly slow.

It has a triple-camera set-up on the back, featuring a 16-megapixel primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide lens of 120-degree field of view (FoV), and a 2MP depth sensor.

For selfies, the phone is loaded with a 32 MP AI front-facing camera and with that it is impressive. On the other side the camera performance is a bit of a let-down and fails to impress, especially in terms of capturing details and low-light imaging. The camera’s user interface is cluttered and affects user experience.

The phone draws power from a 3,500 mAh battery and takes over two hours to fully charge. On a single charge, the Tecno Phantom easily last for an entire day with screen-on-time of around 7 hours. PHOTO| HILLARY KIMUYU

The phone draws power from a 3,500 mAh battery and takes over two hours to fully charge. On a single charge, the Tecno Phantom easily last for an entire day with screen-on-time of around 7 hours. PHOTO| HILLARY KIMUYU

The handset lacks a dedicated night mode. It is no surprise then that the camera disappoints in low-light conditions. The camera records Full HD videos at 30 frames per second. For a budget phone, the resolved detail is decent.

The app design lacks uniformity as some of the pre-loaded apps feature rounded icons while others have a square outline. Moving onto the color scheme, well there’s no coherent color scheme. By default, the phone comes with some puerile transition effects, but thankfully these can be disabled.

It is powered by Mediatek’s MT6765 Helio P35 chipset and also loaded with 6 GB of RAM, this handset does well to keep the stutter and lag at bay during normal tasks. However, things go south when you turn to gaming.

The phone draws power from a 3,500 mAh battery and takes over two hours to fully charge. On a single charge, the Tecno Phantom easily last for an entire day with screen-on-time of around 7 hours.

The Phantom 9 is not a bad phone. The AMOLED display is undoubtedly its strongest point. Build quality and cameras are also decent. However, it fails miserably in the gaming department.

Overall, it is an average phone struggling to keep up with the highly competitive handsets. However, you might like to consider it for its design, on-battery time and decent performance.

The phone is available at all Tecno retail shops, Safaricom outlets and Jumia at a retail price of Sh24,999, but there is a catch.

Thanks to the partnership between Lipa Later Tecno, you can now get the latest device and pay later in affordable monthly installments for up to 12 months from as low as Sh2,730 per month. You can also trade in your current Tecno phone to upgrade to the Phantom 9.

ekenyan