Folding smartphones are known to be expensive, but the Tecno Phantom V Fold, which was launched earlier this year, is quite an affordable option. And now, Tecno is teasing the release of a foldable phone that is likely to carry the same brand values.
The Techno Phantom V Fold is an incredible achievement in affordable folding devices.
Launched earlier this year, the Tecno Phantom V Fold is one of the cheapest folding book-type devices to date. At around US$1,100, it's barely more expensive than mainstream flagships and even cheaper options like the Galaxy S23 Ultra. But more importantly, it's several hundred dollars cheaper than the Google Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.
And you don't have to give up much to get that price.
I've been playing with the Phantom V Fold for the past few weeks and, at least from a hardware perspective, I'm pretty impressed.
The Phantom V Fold has a solid construction from the matte metal frame to the hinges. When you open the device, the hinge slowly opens to reveal the 7.85-inch 120Hz display, which also has an almost invisible crease. Here, Tecno has done better than Samsung or Google, and that's impressive. The hinge sticks out a bit before reaching a full 180 degrees of opening, and usually comes out most comfortably around 178-179. I don't see this as a major problem, but this is one area where a compromise has clearly been reached. Zippers are "flexible" in the sense that they are very willing to open or close completely. Unlike foldable devices from Samsung, Google and Oppo, this hinge can't "sit" at a certain angle - a pretty fair compromise in my opinion.
The back of the Vfold is made of textured plastic, which I really like, and on top of it is a large round camera module that has a unique look and three camera sensors. I rarely play with the camera, but at least it looks decent. In April , Android Police called them "perfectly adequate."
The Phantom V Fold's hardware certainly inspires confidence in a "budget" foldable device, but the software is definitely lacking. Tecno's HiOS is a heavy skin for Android that isn't all that fun to use. There are some nice things, like the ability to launch apps in floating windows and the "quiet" mode on a timer, but there are other things that disappoint in daily use, like the notification bar and the split of quick settings into two sections. Panels (hello iOS) and I'm not a huge fan of the overall design aesthetic. But at least things seem to be getting better. A few weeks later, I had Phantom in my hands, a random update that provided an app drawer on the home screen, going from an almost nightmarish experience to something I actually wanted to use.
Unfortunately, the Tecno Phantom V Fold is one of those book-style folding devices with limited retail space. This device is not limited to the Chinese market like many other markets but is only available in certain regions like India.
But ultimately, Tecno's efforts are about more than just bringing a solid, sophisticated product to new markets. To me, it just shows that the technology has advanced enough that we can finally see the price drop, and that's especially important since Samsung, the market leader, has time and time again opted for sky-high prices despite not being much higher . . Improvements over the last three generations.
And it should be noted that this is not the first time that Tecno has shown how good a budget device can be. Earlier this year, the company launched the Camon 20 Pro as a flagship Android phone with very good specs and cameras, but at a lower price. The Camon 20 Pro costs around $230 in the US market, still has 5G connectivity, a 120Hz display and is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 8050. It's one of the few devices we've been able to test. Android 14 is still early days. .
Compare that to the $230 Android phone sold in the US as the OnePlus Nord N300, which has a smaller 90Hz display, a much weaker MediaTek Dimension 810, launched with Android 12, and only received an update to Android 13.Techno's 'Phantom V Flip'
to be released on September 22nd, which is why Techno's next release, 'Phantom V Flip', is rumored to be so exciting.
The Phantom V Flip has appeared in several previous leaks with a form factor similar to the Galaxy Z Flip 5, but with a unique round exterior. It also seems to have a lot in common with the V Fold in terms of design, which is great news.
According to GSMArena , Tecno will hold an event on September 22nd in Singapore, where it was very clear that this foldable phone would be coming, and Tecno directly stated that the upcoming launch “promises to explore new form factors and redefine style and functionality. " "Flexible phones for a bright, modern and visionary society.
The only question is how much they will cost and whether their impact will be enough to encourage someone to release a more affordable foldable phone…
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