- Tecno recently launched its first foldable device, the Phantom V Fold.
- This foldable smartphone is powered by Mediatek Dimensity 9000+ SoC.
- It's the most affordable smartphone available, starting at £88,888.
Price and availability
Tecno Phantom V Fold is only available in 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. This option costs £88,888. You can buy the device on Amazon.
Design and hinges
In its open form, the V-fold is a stunning looking brick. Many people came to me and asked me about the device. Despite what many people wonder, there is one common observation: weight. I certainly echoed his response. While adding a sturdy screen feature, I wish Tecno managed the weight well.
After a day of use, the hands are tired to pick up the device, so it is obviously not intended for people with small hands. The thick design also makes it difficult to carry in a bag. Yes, the fascination with foldable devices sometimes makes them lose sight of their daily uses.
However, when you open the device up and get to grips with the large internal screen, this struggle is entirely justified. I'll cover that in the next section, but for now let's focus on performance.
Tecno did a great job of doing the circuit. It is completely closed, so there is no visible space between the two sides. When you open the device, there is enough power to open it. It still requires two hands, but the operation goes smoothly. The hinge seems very solid and I haven't felt any vibration yet. But yeah, it's not perfect. Unlike the Z Fold 4, I wasn't too comfortable putting the inner screen in clamshell mode. Mainly because I needed to get the right angle to get it right. It might not seem that bad, but after getting to know the Z Fold 4, I can say it helps. The most common use case is placing the device on a table while watching a video.
Tecno tried to solve this situation by adding a case to the box. The cover has a removable back support to accommodate the device. Once you open the device, it becomes much lighter and more comfortable to hold. When it appears, the weight distribution encourages you to change it more often.
Meanwhile, the experience of viewing content on the home screen will be covered in the next section. However, I want to point out here that the wrinkles on the V-Fold are surprisingly minimal and significantly less noticeable than the competition.
The placement of other elements in a foldable smartphone is also very important. As expected, we placed the fingerprint sensor and the volume rocker on the right side. While the fingerprint sensor is sharp, I accidentally rubbed my finger several times to register and unlock the device. Thanks to haptic feedback, the smartphone vibrates all the time. It gets annoying after a while. However, the fit and finish of the buttons here are also amazing and I have no complaints.
The back of the V Fold is textured and looks great. The textured back helps us hold the device better. It is important to remember what weight we are dealing with here.
On top of that we have an external camera module which houses three camera sensors. The ownership of real estate does not remain unbalanced.Below we have the speaker grille and the SIM tray. You can use up to 2 nano-SIMs on the Phantom V Fold.
Overall, the design and performance of the Phantom V Fold is commendable. This can be attributed to the market doing a lot of homework. I didn't remove the bone, it will be interesting to see how they improve it in the future.
I also visited the factory where the v-bend is made, you can watch the video here.
Being a foldable device, the V Fold has 2 screens. The display lid here is a 6.42-inch LTPO OLED display with a resolution of 1080x2550 pixels. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
When used within a week, I used cover view 90% of the time. If I accidentally watch a movie or play a game, switch to the main view.
The cover display is more convenient for casual viewing of YouTube videos or browsing social networks such as Instagram. Like the main display, the cover display supports automatic refresh rate switching, which handles well. The lag occurs when I switch from websites to games like Temple Run.
The screen supports always-on function, which is very bright and you can see it even in direct sunlight. It can also be customized with theme and text color options. But they don't match what we've seen on the Galaxy Z Flip device, especially when it comes to animations.
Although appearance is important in itself, here I must mention the downside - the weight. The Phantom V Fold is bulky and uncomfortable to hold in the hand. I'm not exaggerating when I say my hands are tired from using the Phantom V Fold for so long. That's why I recommend anyone buying a device to try it out in person before investing.Here let's cut to the chase to look inside. It has a 7.85-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a resolution of 2296x2000 pixels. When you open your device, you usually expect the wow factor from it and the V Fold delivers that.
The large internal screen is welcome, especially with the slim bezels around it, giving you a larger screen size. As I mentioned above, I rely on the home screen for watching feature films and playing games. My experience with both has been satisfactory.
Although the screen doesn't support Dolby Vision and HDR10+ certification, the content here plays and looks good. Lately I watched The Mandalorian on Disney+ Hotstar, a show that mixes animation and reality. Located deep in space, it also provides a good platform to gauge black screen levels. Tecno Phantom V Fold was a great device to watch the show, the large screen coupled with the dual speaker setup helps to enhance the experience.
The creases on the Phantom V Fold are also minimal and don't stick out like a sore thumb. You cannot see it directly and its presence is only felt when you run your finger over it.
Therefore, not all content is optimized for foldable devices. Therefore, when viewing content created in 16:9 aspect ratio, there will be large black bars at the top and bottom. That may be disappointing, but that also applies to the Z Fold 4.Tecno offers several options to get the most out of the internal screen. For example, split screen and multi-window mode. Everything is working fine so far. Split-screen in particular democratizes choosing which apps you want to use together. Now I'm obsessed with the combination of Instagram and YouTube, Youtube and Twitter, or Twitter and Instagram. And if that's not enough, floating windows let you dock a third app on top of it. I don't recommend doing this as it's clunky and I've started to see a lag in response with prolonged use.
Another area where I noticed crashes was when returning to the interior view. It may take some time for content to appear on the device title screen. At this time, it becomes black and sometimes it unbalances its content.
Unlike the Z Fold 4, we don't have a taskbar that enhances usability of the big screen. The hack around this will set widgets on the screen for the apps you use the most.
But what else is there? Can we use introspection for daily tasks? Yes and no. Yes, because it works well with social networks and web browsers. I have read a lot about the Phantom V Fold and the website layout helps to use it better. Another area that stands out is the map. You can set your location and the zoom view is useful for better navigation.
Internal screen failure is a common problem we face with foldable devices. For most typing situations, like every fold, the v-fold also splits the keyboard in half. It's been a week and I still haven't reached my normal typing speed on the internal screen.
Tecno Phantom V Fold runs Android 13 with its own Tecno Heios skin. In the past, HiOS usually suffered from malware. There is something I forgave because of the price offered by the device.
But the V Fold is a completely different animal, and Tecno has its own ears. This tool does not contain malware. Other than Techno's own app, we haven't seen the short video apps I'm used to now.
Anyway, I think for a smartphone to be taken seriously as a flagship, the software has to be clean. So the V Fold gets its full marks here.
But is HiOS good enough for foldable devices? Mostly, yes. At least at first glance the leather works well, it retains its strength with beauty and customization. For new buyers, the customization options here will be overwhelming, especially when it comes to backgrounds.Widgets for native apps are also highly customizable. My favorites are the Calendar and Mail widgets, both of which are well optimized and help with productivity.
But there are some flaws in the user interface. First, the lag I mentioned in the display section. Setup in the UI takes a few seconds and sometimes the connection to content is lost when switching between two views.
Another concern I have is Google's lack of navigation flow when swiping left on the home screen. Here Tecno introduced the Zero display with a pedometer and clock display.
Although you should be aware of these two issues, they will not interfere with the overall experience of using the device.
However, I'm sure the operating system can still be improved to take advantage of the infrastructure, as we saw in the Z Fold 4.to show
Tecno Phantom V Fold is equipped with MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ SoC and if we look at the number, it is the previous processor. Because we already have the Dimensity 9200 on the market. It doesn't make the 9000+ any less productive, and I can attest to that after a week of using the device.
I want to start with the most difficult work - games. I've been playing COD: Mobile on the Phantom V Fold for the past week, averaging one hour sessions. During the session I accessed the chart settings and the device did not move. Frame rates are well supported without any lag in my testing.
While the gameplay is at its peak, I'm concerned about the heat. I think the V Fold size lacks heat management. Especially when playing graphics-intensive games like COD: Mobile or Genshin Impact. The temperature may be uncomfortable and you need to rest. This refers to the result of both internal and external views.
For normal everyday tasks, the Vfold maintains output power levels without overheating issues. RAM management is at a high level and the device can store programs for a long time, sometimes up to a day.
The variant with me has 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage, which is sufficient for most users. We also have the option to expand the RAM. I found no use for it.
I tested the Geekbench 6 CPU benchmark on the Phantom V Fold. The single-core score is 1238 and the multi-core score is 3366. The number is a bit disappointing compared to other flagships, but in fact the performance is satisfactory.
The Phantom Vfold is equipped with a 5000mAh battery and works in tandem with the installed software. I spent an average of 6 hours on screen on the V Fold. This uses a sharp 50-50 split between the cover and the inside view.
The Tecno Phantom V Fold has a triple rear camera. The main sensor is a 50MP camera paired with a 50MP telephoto and a 13MP ultra-wide sensor. As you can see from this selection of sensors, they have a purpose and can deliver results.
To my surprise, I wanted to start with the main 50 MP sensor. The sensor delivers accurate color and detail even during direct shooting. I noticed in the photo below that the marni color of the t-shirt stands out against the red background. HDR performance is also up to snuff with well-differentiated skies and trees in the background. The camera suffers when the lighting is a bit low, but the results are good and I can compare it to the Samsung Galaxy S23.
The telephoto lens is also amazing. In the collage below, taken at different zoom settings, I look at the detail the camera can capture. Simply change the color tone to lighter with 20x zoom.
I was disappointed with the condition of the portrait. In the image below I can see that edge detection is completely off and the object and area are in focus. I expected more from the device.
The video mode is comfortable, the camera can record 4K video up to 60fps. Although there is no optical stabilization, the camera holds up well. However, 4K recording means heavier video files and a hotter device. So I suggest sticking with 1080P video at its best.
The camera app has also been optimized internally. When you open the smartphone, half of the screen is divided into the gallery and if desired, the rest is divided into the camera application. However, the optimization that really stands out is the selfie mode.
There are three ways to take selfies with the Phantom V Fold. With a 32MP selfie camera on the protective screen, you can use the built-in 16MP selfie camera or just use the main camera to take photos.
The 32-megapixel screen protector sensor is very comfortable to use and produces clear images, which I also recommend for video calls.
The 16-megapixel sensor inside doesn't look too impressive and delivers undersaturated images. Also, unlike the Z Fold 4, the selfie camera appears to have a hole instead of being hidden under the screen.
Then, of course, you can take selfies with the main camera itself, but I recommend creating videos. If you are a content creator, a large outdoor display frame will help you capture great photos. The sound recorded by the V Fold is also satisfactory.
Tecno Phantom V Fold is a bold attempt to create a foldable smartphone segment and most of the brand has succeeded. However, it's not just the hardware that makes foldable phones great, but more importantly, the software that pushes the boundaries. Tecno has the right hardware, but there is still work to do on the operating system.
However, in this price category, the Phantom V Fold is an ideal combination of price and quality. So, if you don't care about the brand and want to get a good foldable smartphone, you should try the V Fold.