TECNO Phantom A (F7) Hands-on

Yesterday night, someone handed me a phone and asked me to have a feel for a few minutes. It was a big touchscreen phone and had a build so at par with Samsung’s Galaxy range that I immediately assumed it was the S3 or S4. The white solid plastic external hardware had a very premium feel – the very same feel of the Galaxy flagships. Flipping it over, my eyes spied the branding: TECNO. There was also an 8 megapixel camera there. I stood in shock and turned the phone in my hands again and again. Quickly, I dived into the Settings and checked About Phone, where all doubts were dispelled. I was holding in my hands a unit of the yet-to-be-launched new TECNO Phantom A (F7) flagship.

I had read up about the F7 before last night and knew about its 4.1 Jelly Bean Android version, 8 megapixel camera, 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 5-inch display. I had also seen an official photo by TECNO themselves. But holding one in my hands still shocked me. I mean, here was a smartphone with top-notch build, a very slim profile (9.1mm only), up-to-date OS, and smooth performance. Did I mention that it costs about half what similar products from competitors cost? Look, I felt that the P3 was solidly and beautifully built, but this F7 guy beat my imagination and expectations hands-down.

I don’t know what sort of juju it is that TECNO is deploying to pull this off, but here is my conclusion: the competition are in serious trouble. More trouble than they probably can imagine. They have a lot to worry about. Dazall. But I know you are all dying for a picture. True to my evil nature, I have kept that for last. Have a look:

TECNO F7

Shit just got real; right? You got that right. Pardon my French.

About Moverick
AKA Mister Mobility. Owned over 100 mobiles. Maverick. Techie. Blogger. Entrepreneur. Agony Aunt. Adventurer. Amateur musician. Ladies man. Follow him on Twitter @Mister_Mobility, on LinkedIn at YomiAdegboye, and circle him on Google+. Listen to his music on SoundCloud.

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77 comments on “TECNO Phantom A (F7) Hands-on”

  1. Chinedu uchu Reply

    Definitely not trying to water Down your enthusiasm, but whats the internal memory size and how well does tecno offer support in terms of OTA updates for bug fixes. Those are the few reasons why I still haven’t been bothered to patronize their products

  2. Harry Echemco Reply

    I saw one in the shop a couple of days ago and was really impressed. The unit I saw was not powered on so I could not say much else apart from what I read about its specs on the internet which is much in agreement with the brief specs here.

    The looks of the front side is very much like the Galaxy S4 truly and it sure has a very solid build. It is a huge improvement on the Tecno N7 really.

  3. belushi Reply

    This is a good one to compete with the Android flagships. We need all the competition to force prices down and better after sales service. I can’t buy any of these tecnos now but will recommend for those on budget and won’t care about bug fixes and updates.

  4. Emmanuel Reply

    The Galaxy S3 and S4 definitely do not feel premium. But this phone looks very promising, if this phone holds up, then I’ll start taking Tecno seriously.

  5. martinkem Reply

    Nice one by Tecno, before one knows these guys would be a major player at least in the Nigerian market and would corner the African market. All they need is more adverts and carrier placements

  6. Nosa Reply

    This is really a nice device and I am pretty sure Tecno is working all night to deliver a quadcore Android device..

  7. Baoku Iseotan Reply

    Hmm, TECNO is really getting good press left and right. But they should just evolve their own unique design language and stick with it rather than cloning the Samsung Galaxies.

    However, discerning phone users will want to take their time and delve deep into the INTERNALS before rushing to swoon over the vaunted TECNO Phantom. If possible, Mr. Mo should run comparative benchmarks on everything from screen resolution, camera, software, features to updates, internet browsing speed,processing power, multitasking, etc and post the results, so we can see how TECNO Phantom actually holds up to the established brands beyond premium looks.

    All said, the competition TECNO is putting up is good and will put established brands on their toes. But if TECNO will take their success global and not remain territorial champions like those knock-off masters in China, they must create a unique brand identity across their phones and stick with it. By the way, I just read of a new gigantic knock-off HTC One clone released at Computex in Taipei, called Galatab 6.3.

    • Mister Mo

      If possible, Mr. Mo should run comparative benchmarks on everything from screen resolution, camera, software, features to updates, internet browsing speed,processing power, multitasking, etc and post the results, so we can see how TECNO Phantom actually holds up to the established brands beyond premium looks.

      Baoku,

      LMAO! You really need all those to see how TECNO phones hold up to the competition? You won’t find me running those benchmarks here on Mobility. The mass market that Mobility is addressing don’t care about those benchmarks either. I have never needed comparative benchmarks to decide on what phones to use, have never run them for our reviews on Mobility, and have no intention of doing so.

      After about 100 mobile devices, if I can’t tell a good device from a bad one, I might as well just pack this up and go enjoy sunny beaches in South America. When I review the F7 – and a review unit is on the way – I shall state simply what my experience with it is, and readers may arrive at their own conclusions from that.

      Cheers.

  8. Ayodele Reply

    For peeps concerned about OTA updates, I use the Tecno N7 at the moment and I can assure you I get good updates whenever available over wifi. I selected this option of updating cos we all know how Android guzzles data. I expect the F7 to be no different and possibly better.

    As someone who had always wanted to try an Android device, but couldn’t largely due to the very expensive nature of the likes of Samsung, HTC, etc, the coming of Tecno into the Android foray was a welcome development. Imagine getting my Tecno N7 for 25k which is about the price of its Samsung competitor, the Grand Duos I9082, it couldn’t have come at a better time and deal (courtesy of Mr Mo, love ya *winks*).

    While I’m still rocking my N7 to bits with people wanting to have a feel of it whenever they realise it’s Tecno and are wowed by that, getting the F7 will surely come to pass for me if what I read about the specs is anything to go by especially its slimmer build and larger RAM. It’s gotta be Tecno for me all the way, chinco or no chinko as long as it delivers.

  9. Andrew Reply

    Mr Mo is it a dual sim or dual micro sim. That will be a game changer for me personally.

  10. Udegbunam Chukwudi Reply

    All those benchmark things na nonsense. I ran it twice on my Aoson M33 and got very different results. I shock.

    @ayodele: thanks for the info that Tecno offers over the air update. That seals the deal for me then. Tecno Phantom F7 don enter my list of must buy gadget

  11. Soji Reply

    Yup, Tecno does allow OTA updates evidenced from the N7. And guess what? The N7 probably comes rooted ‘cos most downloaded apps can be moved to SD. That’s one way I get to enjoy the meagre 785MB on the N7 without lags and shutdowns 2 months and running… Definitely marking down the F7 on my checklist of things to get before 40!

    • Elendu Emmanuel

      Uhm… I use a Tecno F7 and there’s nothing like an OTA update for my device so I ended up flashing a custom ROM on it which ended up bricking my device…at first. But thanks to perseverance and Google I managed to get it back and STILL flushed the custom ROM and now works flawlessly… Sort of ;-) . but my point is there’s no update for the F7

  12. jujukemist Reply

    I am laughing and rolling on the floor! did i hear somebody say Tecno is uping their game? wrong Tecno is now the Leader in Nigeria.Years back I made predictions….. hahahaha Nokia is dead,who killed them from bottom? And now Tecno is the bulldog on the attack…. samsung is the main subject, and doing it well. I am on the ground,take my word, in 24 months Time Samsung in Nigeria, will be in SERIOUS trouble, just the way Nokia is now.
    Yesterday, I took a couple to go buy the Infinix Joy pad, got 2 units for 56T Naira. I saw and held the Phantom.played Asphalt 6.contains so much Apps in a bag unlaunched like Kingsoft office etc. Be warned, the Camera performance is not premium, typical of Tecno’s cost saving. Phone is sold in most cases with a power Bank. Tecno next phone may be a quadcore to counter Gionee’s rising influence with the D1

  13. Seyi Taylor Reply

    Tecno use a very interesting technique… there’s always something missing in the specs. So they’ll invest in a wide screen and a big camera but skimp on the RAM. Or they’ll splurge on the processor and skimp on the camera.

    That’s how they pull the magic off.

  14. Patrick Reply

    I use to think that you can’t get a decent smartphone in Nigeria for any amount before 65k until I came in contact with this phone.Its simply awesome.

    The phone is lovely and also came with a power bank (50 hours). So far the phone have beat my imagination and its retailing for a peanut.

  15. Ahmed Abdul basit Reply

    Mo, pls, make a comprehensive review of this phone and especially the came. I’ve been trying to make the switch from my nokia 701 to a droid but whats holding me back thus far has been the cameras of the droids at my price point. If the camera’s good, I’d but this phone in a heartbeat considering the specs and price. Else, i just might get a refurbished galaxy s3

  16. Chinedu uchu Reply

    @ayodele and all others who have been banging about tecno OTA updates…. I’m not talking about app updates here. That is not the responsibility of tecno as it’s pushed out by app developers through the playstore and all devices benefit from it as long as u have the app installed. I’m referring to firmware updates which address bug fixes in the OS and also possibly device updates which ramp up the OS version eg upgrading from ICS to Jelly bean via OTA updates. name one tecno device that has successfully done this.

    And if u think benchmarks are crap….. Well….

    However the emergence of tecno has opened an avenue for intense competition to bring better devices to the lower tier of the market and as such they should be encouraged. But NEVER make the mistake of ranking tecno devices among the class of the galaxy series, optimus pro or xperia range

    …..connection terminated……

  17. Harry Echemco Reply

    @Chinedu, I won’t hold Tecno if they don’t update their devices mostly selling before 20k. Only the Tecno N7 and the Phantom F7 are priced above 20K and they are rather too young in the market for us to start talking about updates. How many of the big Android players are updating their range of phones selling at around 30K? Maybe none.

    Again, I think it I’d a little oversight if anyone said that the Tecno phones can really match the flagship devices from the top manufacturers, and any such mention could be out of enthusiasm rather than out of seriousness, but don’t you think that the Tecno guys are making serious improvements as to truly become threaten the position of the big players in the near feature, at least in the third world nations? Samsung and LG products were once derided as inferior, but I think that is not the case presently. In fact they are ranked among the top manufacturers of smartphones and televisions worldwide presently so Tecno could get there in the next two or three years.

  18. Faysal Al-Amin Reply

    Hi there, can someone pls tell me wether this device (f7) have a way of switching off the start up tone? thanks

  19. trae_z Reply

    Tecno been bringing big Android things at cheap cheap price to Nigerians. But Looking through their offerings http://tecno-mobile.com/products the only product i can wholeheartedly endorse is the Phantom A which costs about N34k.

    It has all the things i look out for:
    1. Dual SIM
    2. Good battery life at 2100mAh
    3. Good RAM/ROM.
    4. Supposedly good camera at 8MP
    5. the givens: WiFi Hotspot, WiFi, 3G

    But if you’re a pic addict like me Samsung remains your best bet. The Samsung Galaxy S Duos S7562 costs similarly at about N34k with supposedly all round superior quality. But Tecno dey try sha.

  20. Emmaachile Reply

    I have never enjoyed android on a small screen but when I saw the 5 inch of tecno n7, I think i am getting this phantom f7 straight away. The keyboard is spacy and for the first time I will loving android on screen lower than my tablet.

  21. vnblock Reply

    every1 should stop saying crap about the phantom f7.
    D’s phone is Hot, as long as u can do stuffs and enjoy high speed connection, get ur relevant updates, share files online, Skype, whatsapp, play nice games and many more at a cost not more than 35,000 naira, Techno deserves applause, I ve used Galaxy S3 and I think its a waste of money when Phantom can do what I want, well now I use d phantom, and I’m loving it.
    to hell with HTC, BB, Samsung and apple…. nothing is Chinko about the phantom… just relax and watch upcoming Tecno products after ds Phantom.. they will kill d market.

  22. koweiszki Reply

    Pls wats d user available/free ram??? Dis could b gotten from d task manager

    • Mister Mobility

      koweiszki,

      I played with the Phantom for only one night about two weeks and do not have a unit with me now. However a review unit from TECNO arrives tomorrow, so I should be able to answer your question then.

  23. eYinka Reply

    1GB RAM does it, 1GHz D-C processor does it, 5-inch screen does it, Dual-sim input does it, Andy Jelly Bean does it.
    I’m wowed!
    Now my problem with Tecno T1, N3, Q1, P3 is low camera output. Damn! I cannot categorically use cameras like that. I learnt the 5MP on N7 has some improvements but is it worth the 5million pixels quality?

    F7 is a big deal for me as my un-ANSWERED questions have been answered already here. Now, camera!!!!

  24. Emmaachile Reply

    Internal storage where apps are installed= 1gb
    Phone storage= 1.57gb
    Sd card= 7.34gb

    Bought one 2 days ago and I noticed some things
    1. Battery is very poor. Used it yesterday for only 6 hours under heavy browsing. The power bank can only charge it from 2% to 58% b4 dying.
    2. The phone gets hot/warm after very prolonged use.
    3. The screen is very vivid and clear
    4. Compared to the Galaxy S3, it is slighty larger
    5. The phone feels very snappy.
    6. I will more items as I discover them.

  25. Emmaachile Reply

    I mean I will add more items
    7. The camera is ok for everyday use for an amateur. I have a photolab so at least I can argue on this.

  26. trae_z Reply

    @eYinka: Ymy comment again to help you make a more informed decision:

    Tecno been bringing big Android things at cheap cheap price to Nigerians. But Looking through their offerings http://tecno-mobile.com/products the only product i can wholeheartedly endorse is the Phantom A (F7) which costs about N34k.

    It has all the things i look out for:
    1. Dual SIM
    2. Good battery life at 2100mAh
    3. Good RAM/ROM.
    4. Supposedly good camera at 8MP
    5. the givens: WiFi Hotspot, WiFi, 3G

    But if you’re a pic addict like me Samsung remains your best bet. The camera is excellent, far superior then teh many wannabes out there. The Samsung Galaxy S Duos S7562 costs similarly at about N34k with supposedly all round superior quality. But Tecno dey try sha.

  27. Esta Morenikeji Reply

    I bought the phone about 12 days ago and the power button stopped working after 9 days. Now I can’t switch it on or off. When I took the phone to their office on Tuesday, I met another guy who bought the phone on Saturday, and the phone would not come on. The battery is also poor, it doesn’t last for more than a few hours, and it doesn’t charge when the phone is on. I don’t recommend this device if you do serious works with your phone.

  28. Udegbunam Chukwudi Reply

    @Esta please what did they tell you when you went to drop off the phone at customer care? Na the koko be that as even the likes of Samsung and BlackBerry have issues with faulty devices as well.

    It’s how a scenario like that is handled that really matters

  29. Esta Morenikeji Reply

    @Chukwudi, They weren’t attending to customers because of Lagos state government’s order to close market on Tuesday, but from what I could gather from others who came to collect their devices, Techno customer service is poor. I am going back today.

  30. eYinka Reply

    Serious issue…. Now, I’m hearing they’ve released Phantom N9 (8-inch) quad-core tablet running great specs for about 40k. I’ll just sit and watch people talk about it before I go enter one-chance.

  31. Esta Morenikeji Reply

    @Emmaachile, mine was not charging when switched on. Anyway, I took the phone back today and they replaced it with a brand new one. I hope the new one works fine…

  32. Udegbunam Chukwudi Reply

    @Esta : wow. I hope they can keep up with that sha of the number of returns increases.

    Abeg keep us posted if the new device starting acting up again or not :)

  33. don Reply

    techno is a chinease knockout phone mostly targeted to the Nigerian market, have u asked yourself why is it that techno is not used more in the western world,,,

    • Mister Mobility

      Today’s article in business day newspaper, page 9 if I recall.

      Olisa,

      Really? We will go have a look. Thanks for the heads up. Cheers.

  34. Sanusi Aliyu (SANUSIKUTA) Reply

    I find my F7 very promising bought the phone over 10 days now and everything works Okay
    Battery life on droid phones generally are question, but it still OK on F7, performance very good, camera is cool, operations no issues

  35. Edirin Reply

    I think am in love with this tecno F9, please where can i locate their office in Abuja? I will prefer to deal directly with them than a dealer!

  36. Emmaachile Reply

    Tecno f7 charges better when it is off. Takes about 90 minutes for a full charge but about 4 hours when it is on.
    The Power Bank charged up to 95% yesterday from 0% battery power when the f7 was off.
    I will be recommending the f7 to anyone out there

  37. Abdul Reply

    Am really impressed at how far both tecno and gionee have come so far…my only complain with the f7 is the low internal memory compared to the gionee dream d1 and elife e3 which has 4 and 16gb respectively. The f7 is a really good phone and as long as I can play games, watch hd movies, chat with my pals, browse the net am ok

  38. Richard Umute Reply

    Am currently using the tecno P3 and it’s totally amazing tho. But with the newly improved specs on the F7 am totally game to get the device. people generally are almost hard to satisfy so for my tecno haters “get a life” I love my tecno.
    Please where exactly can I get the F7 in owerri? is there any tecno shop here?

    Please visit my blog for the latest updates on fashion and the phenominal Nigerian models we love @ http://www.daffeumute.blogspot.com

  39. wale Reply

    I love did phone ,power bank s very good charge from
    . 5-100%,the cameral is very sharp,
    if buy from slot ,pls download everything there ,I did d same
    if I don’t brows ,d battery last for 5day,make sure u reduce d light to 10%
    thanks

  40. Emmaachile Reply

    Scary time this morning as the tecno phone did not respond after pressing the power button.
    I had to remove the battery for like 3 seconds and then tried the power switch again. This time it gave me three options
    1. Recovery mode
    2. Fastboot mode
    3. Normal mode
    Press volume up for select or volume down for up or down
    I pressed the volume up.
    I had to still remove the battery again before it responded at last. My wife says this one na my wahala be that.
    I use a tablet more than I use a mobile phone so I gave it to my wife.
    I combine my tablet with a lg c333 triple sim phone, very good triple sim phone with wifi enabled. I use this for all my calls.

  41. Emmaachile Reply

    I think it has to do with battery overcharging as it was pulled since yesterday.

  42. device Reply

    i do not trust tecno….. many important things have been compromised to make these phones cheap lyk low quality chipsets and other hardware lyk camera, screen etc.

  43. Oloro29 Reply

    Oga Mo, i just heard that an upgrade of tecno phantom A is out called A+. How thru is this and what are the specs, thanks.

  44. Iwin Abamieda Reply

    Regarding the Tecno F7 the battery is very poor as already stated in some posts
    This was probably why Tecno included the power bank not because of our unreliable power supply
    I discovered that the batteries are almost dead
    The PC Suite I installed [ SonicHandy ] rated my battery at 42% healthty – a phone just about two weeks old which I only use lightly
    Putting on the camera makes the battery level nosedive
    The problem ought to have necessitated a product recall or at least battery replacement
    I wonder what our regulators and certification agencies and consumer protection officials are doing about it
    Hopefully the problem may be addressed when they provide new batteries for the device

  45. victorozubele@yahoo.com Reply

    Plz wre can i get tecno office in benin city o please am dying 4dis device

  46. offeibea sussana Reply

    please am using the techno f7 but my problem is when am typing message then i will be hearing some noise i have check the settings the type touch is off i have check keyboard there too is off but still i hear the sound when i type,so please what should i do.

  47. nathyshollz Reply

    Now am getting scared,I want to buy Tecno N9 tomorrow,do u think the device have issues?

    • Emmaachile

      Tecno n9 tablet is much more stable and better than the Tecno phones. You can go ahead and buy. I have both Tecno F7, Tecno n9 and a Gionee p2

  48. seyi Reply

    pls how can i turn off the on and off sounds on tecno pgantom A+.
    this device is cool . i will post the method of removing the keypad tone soon.

  49. Achille Reply

    que faire quant l écran de son techno f7 ne c affiche pas quant tu lance un appel

  50. Elendu Emmanuel Reply

    On a personal basis the F7 isn’t too bad ifbut heck I’m more or less a tech oliver twist…but come to think of it who here isn’t? The 2,100mAh battery is supported by a 2,200mAh power bank so its not really a problem(for me it is though considering the fact that I’m a game addict and try practically ANY MOD available for Android) on a general note I had to flash a Custom ROM so it fixed some bugs and improved the performance A LOT. But it all comes down to your likes in a device and your budget though

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