Tecno’s premium Phantom series is back with new camera innovation and an even more powerful chipset. There are two phones out there, one of which comes with its first retractable portrait camera, and we’ll run into the benefits of that in a minute.
Tecno Phantom X2 and Phantom X2 Pro are both powered by Dimensity 9000 (non-add-on version). Although it’s not the latest it’s still a 4nm chip from TSMC foundry using modern technology (Cortex-X2 prime CPU core, three A710, four A510 and Mali-G710 MC10 GPU), it’s miles ahead of the Helio G95 originally used Phantom X phones. The X2 phones use LPDDR5X RAM — 8GB on Vanilla and 12GB on Pro — plus 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
The X2 series improves on the original Phantom by running a 120Hz (up from 90Hz) AMOLED display. The panel has a slightly longer diagonal, 6.8 inches (up from 6.7 inches), with FHD + resolution (20:9). However, the aspect ratio is different (20:9 instead of 19.5:9), so the phones are a little narrow. Also, the screen is much safer now that it’s guarded by Gorilla Glass Victus.
The Dimensity 9000 proves to be very effective, and here, in the case of both phones, it’s paired with a fairly large 5,160mAh battery. The larger battery was paired with faster, 45W charging (for comparison, the Phantom X had a 4,700mAh battery with 33W charging).
With all that out of the way, it’s time to talk about the camera system, which is the biggest difference between the Phantom X2 and the X2 Pro. First, how do you tell them apart? The Pro model has a decorative ring around its retractable profile lens, which is exclusive to the Phantom X2 Pro.
The magic of the retractable lens is that it has a very bright f/1.5 aperture, which is pretty wide for a 65mm smartphone lens. For example, the Galaxy S22+ has a 70mm tele lens with an f/2.4 aperture. The Xperia 5 IV has a 60mm lens, also with an f/2.4 aperture.
This has two advantages. First, it lets more light reach a relatively large 50MP sensor (ISOCELL JN1, 0.64µm native pixels, 1.28µm after assembly). The second is just a consequence of the wide aperture and large sensor – the shallow depth of field creates natural bokeh, which will help separate the subject from the background, perfect for portraits.
While it’s primarily a portrait camera, the 65mm lens is long enough to be used as a telephoto lens with 2.5x magnification. As for why this lens is “retractable,” the point is to keep the phone thin — a powered mechanism extends the lens outward when it’s in use and retracts it afterward.
The X2 Pro also has a better main camera, and is the follow up to the original Phantom X. It uses a 1/1.3″ ISOCELL 3.0 sensor (Samsung ISOCELL GNV) with a resolution of 50MP (1.2µm native pixel size). It is joined by a 13MP ultra-wide camera, which also doubles as a macro camera as it has auto focus.
While a large 1/1.3″ sensor is a brute force way to get more light, the Phantom X2 takes a smart approach. First, it uses an RGBW sensor, the “W” standing for a white sub-pixel. This sensor captures 60% more light Also, instead of an all-plastic lens like the one on the Pro, this camera has a single glass element, which increases light absorption by 30%.The combination of the two methods doubles the light captured by the sensor compared to a conventional design.
The X2 uses the same 13MP ultra-wide camera module that has a macro mode and adds a 2MP depth sensor for computational bokeh (since there’s no dedicated portrait lens). Both phones feature single 32MP selfie cameras (the module is same as Camon 19 Pro).
The Phantom X2 Pro comes in Mars Orange (also an eco-friendly version that uses recycled plastic for the back cover) and Stardust Gray. Vanilla X2 is also available in Stardust Gray as well as Moonlight Silver.
The X2 series will go on sale in the coming weeks. We only have pricing in Saudi Arabia at the moment, the Phantom X2 costs SAR 2,700 ($720 / € 685 / INR 59,000), while the Phantom X2 costs SAR 3,500 ($930 / € 885 / AU$76,700) .