As we expect to see more foldable devices this year, TECNO is the most unexpected brand to do so with the Phantom V Fold. Unveiled at MWC 2023, the Phantom V Fold is solid proof that TECNO is ready to compete with the likes of Samsung, OPPO, HONOR, and Huawei in the foldables market globally. We got a chance to get our hands on the Phantom V Fold at their MWC booth–and it’s safe to say that TECNO has a very promising 2023 ahead of it.
How is the folding mechanism?
It feels solid, but it’s not necessarily better than Samsung’s implementation. Like other foldable devices, TECNO managed to keep the Phantom V Fold gapless when folded, and the crease is less visible when unfolded compared to the Galaxy Z Fold4.
While it does look and feel better, there are a few caveats about the Phantom V Fold: the inner display cannot stay in place mid-fold (aka an L-shape laptop mode), and you don’t get any IP rating with it.
The display TECNO used for the Phantom V Fold is a 7.85-inch 2K+ LTPO panel with an 8:7 aspect ratio and a 120hz variable refresh rate. The display does look great, though its not as bright as other foldable devices.
When folded, the Phantom V Fold’s 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED outer display has a conventional 21:9 aspect ratio, making it feel more like a normal phone when folded. The bezels are relatively slim and follow similar design trends to other foldable devices.
How is the overall build?
It feels solid in the hand, though the back panel may be divisive to others: instead of using glass, TECNO opted for an eco-friendly material that’s made of recycled plastics, giving it a unique texture. While we expect premium devices like the Phantom V Fold to use glass or vegan leather, TECNO managed to make the back panel feel premium to the touch despite being more plastic.
The use of this material for the back panel did help make the Phantom V Fold not go over 300 grams in weight. Despite that, TECNO managed to pack in a 5000mAh battery inside, along with support for 45w fast charging. That does beat the Galaxy Z Fold4, but its rivals manage to offer faster wired charging speeds.
How does it feel to use it?
It feels snappy and a proper flagship thanks to its use of a Dimensity 9000+ processor that’s paired with up to 12GB LPDRR5X RAM and up to 512GB UFS 3.1 storage. While it’s not the latest processor and storage solution, the Phantom V Fold does feel like a flagship device.
For software, the Phantom V Fold was running Android 13-based HiOS 13 Fold. While you do get a fair share of bloatware typical to TECNO devices, the one implemented on the Phantom V Fold feels more polished and is snappier–all while providing a plethora of customization options.
How about the cameras?
We weren’t able to test out the Phantom V Fold’s cameras, but they do look promising on paper: the triple setup at the back consists of a 50-megapixel main camera that has a 1/1.3-inch sensor, a 50-megapixel telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom, and a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera.
You get two selfie cameras on the Phantom V Fold: a 32-megapixel snapper on the outer display, and a 16-megapixel on the inner display.
With reports that the Phantom V Fold might make it to the Philippines, we should be able to get our hands on a retail unit by then and have more time to try out its cameras.
What are our early thoughts on the Phantom V Fold?
We’re excited for TECNO with the Phantom V Fold. While we only saw a prototype unit at MWC 2023, our quick hands-on with the Phantom V Fold makes TECNO a promising young brand in the foldable market segment.
Aside from being a new player, the more interesting part with the Phantom V Fold is its pricing–TECNO said that the Phantom V Fold will be priced at INR 89,999(~Php 60.2k) for the 256GB model and INR 99,999(~Php 66.8k) for the 512GB model. While the Phantom V Fold will come out in Q2 (and there might be changes to pricing by that time), TECNO’s pricing for it is very competitive and it might help in making foldable devices more accessible to everyone.