The smartphone world generally has me bored these days. There isn’t much that excites me anymore, seeing as phone after phone is just a rehash of existing models. Every now and then, a device shows up and is groundbreaking in some way and I am excited about it. The Phantom X2 Pro falls squarely in that category.

And it is easy to see why. But note that I said “groundbreaking in some way”. The device does not have to be groundbreaking in the general scheme of things. It doesn’t have to blow everything else out of the water; it just has to represent a significant move or shift by a phone brand. For example, the Nokia G60 5G is such a device. In the grand scheme, it is just another smartphone, but it is a major shift in HMD Global’s approach. And that is how the Phantom X2 Pro is – a major shift for TECNO.

Phantom X2 Pro
Phantom X2 Pro

Phantom X2 Pro is the first proper premium flagship from TECNO. Someone might point at its predecessor, the Phantom X, and say, What about that? The original Phantom X was a mid-range phone dressed up in premium clothes. It was premium in build but offered only mid-range performance. The X2 Pro is the first TECNO smartphone ever to be powered by a proper premium flagship processor.

Fitted with the Dimensity 9000 5G chipset coupled with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage memory, the X2 Pro sits with the big boys in terms of power and performance. Examples of phones with similar performance (from benchmark tests) are Xiaomi 12T pro, Huawei Mate 50 Pro, ROG Phone 6D, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Google Pixel 7 Pro, and OnePlus 10T. As a matter of fact, it is more powerful than the last 4 phones on that list. This is TECNO finally playing properly with the big boys.

But performance is not the only area that the X2 Pro shines. The display is an AMOLED panel with 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass Victus protection. Definitely flagship specs.

The rear camera has a 50MP main lens seen in some other premium flagships, a 50MP telephoto lens with retractable zoom, and a 13MP ultrawide angle lens. Definitely flagship specs.

What is missing in Phantom X2 Pro

The X2 Pro is not perfect. While it checks the core flagship points, there are a few things missing. It launches with outdated software, Android 12. Premium flagships should launch with the latest software available, so this is a minus on the scorecard. Also, it lacks any ingress protection; this will cost TECNO some sales when buyers compare the Phantom X2 Pro with the competition. Even IP52 would have been a fair attempt.

What else are we missing? Oh, yes; now that TECNO is playing in the premium flagship field and charging a hefty sum for it, it needs to get serious about Android software updates. Samsung is doing great in that field. Nokia is updating all its phones. OnePlus, Xiaomi and others are, too, no matter how slowly or inconsistent they are. TECNO does not have a track record of updating its phones. This has to change.

Update on software updates: Reports say TECNO has confirmed that the Phantom X2 Pro will get guaranteed updates to Android 13 and Android 14. Which is not much, considering that this phone should have been released with Android 13, to start with. But one update is better than none, so…

Location technologies is another weak point. The X2 Pro has only GPS; no GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, and QZSS, like most other premium flagship phones have. Lastly, a decent pair of stereo speakers would be a good look on this beauty.

Key Specs of Phantom X2 Pro

  • Body: 164.6×72.7×8.9mm, 201g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), metal frame, plastic back.
  • Display: 6.8″ AMOLED, 1080x2340px resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 379ppi.
  • Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 9000 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.05 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.85 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Mali-G710 MC10.
  • Memory: 256GB 12GB LPDDR5X RAM.
  • Expandable Storage Memory: No.
  • OS/Software: HiOS based on Android 12.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, F/1.9, PDAF; Telephoto (Retractable 2.5x zoom): 50 MP, 64mm, F/1.5, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 13 MP, F/2.2, AF.
  • Front camera: 32 MP, (wide).
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps; Front camera: Yes.
  • Battery: 5160mAh; 45W fast charging (wired).
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical).

Price of Phantom X2 Pro

The Phantom X2 Pro has a price tag of ₦470,900, while its slightly less endowed sibling, the X2 costs ₦373,900.

I like what TECNO has done with the Phantom X2 Pro. I love the design, especially the beautiful camera island at the back (that Mars Orange colour scheme is to die for). Some will argue that it is hideous; design is subjective, after all. But I love it. I love how TECNO is going about their premium brand ambition with the Phantom series. It is commendable. It is also clear that they have more work to do.

As for the price, I shall leave buyers to decide whether or not they the Phantom X2 Pro is worth that price. The sales figure will tell us eventually. But the Phantom X2 Pro is a groundbreaking step in the right direction. It really is good to see a proper premium flagship smartphone from TECNO’s Phantom sub-brand.

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By Mister Mobility

Nigeria's foremost tech blogger and smartphone reviewer. Call me Daddy.

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