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Tecno Phantom 5 Review

by Shiko Msa


I’ve been using the recently launched Tecno Phantom 5 for roughly a month now and so far I’m loving it! For me, aside from the emoled dragon screens, quad cores and gigahertz, there are several features that are an absolute priority in a phone, and thankfully easier to digest. I’m tempted to assume that by the time a manufacture makes good on these, the rest of the jargon is also top notch. Top among them are camera quality, sound quality, storage and aesthetics. Yes, aesthetics. Body quality, colour and any additions that make the phone cute. I’m a girl and I’ve always bought things, including electronics, based on a reasonable level of cute.

Be that as it may, sometimes a phone gives you so much that you forget the little matter of colour and this is the case with Tecno Phantom 5. I got so taken by the rock solid metallic steel grey body, subtle self-assured branding, deep Dolby surround sound, and unquestionably good performance that I forgot about my colour preferences. Add the security of fingerprint authentication, and we have a winner. It’s secure, well crafted and suave and the girl in me likes that.

For every phone, there is always that feature that strikes me first and immediately becomes a favourite. For the Lumia 640xl and Nokia 6500 slide, it was the Zeiss Camera. For the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, it was the Bravia visuals. Plus it was so thin I could, and often used it as a bookmark. For Tecno phantom 5, it is the unmistakable quality of Dolby Surround sound. Dolby is a household name for kickass sound and with good headphones, the sound quality on this phone is what music and videos should be. I usually use headphones and I’ve since found a combi made in heaven – Tecno Phantom 5 and skull candy hesh. These headphones do much more justice to the sound quality than the earplugs that came with the phone.

Not to say that the other features are shabby. The phone packs a 13mp back camera with flash and a 5mp front with a lighting system we shall call for ease of understanding, flash. Just about all the features are a great improvement from the phones in the phantom range. With a screen resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels, the phone has crystal clear display and is an absolute pleasure to use. I’ve taken to watching quite a bit of series on it and the combination of high resolution video quality and good sound are quite the winner.The phone comes with 3gb RAM and that is quite a lot to work with even for the most ardent multi tasker. It has 32GB storage, an assurance that users would almost never run out of space.

My experience with the battery so far is impressive. With full use, I’m able to comfortably use the phone for a full day though by evening it’s barely holding on. Note that all my battery guzzling features including WiFi are always on during the day.  With WiFi off when not in use, then the battery can go a day and a half. Other battery saving features are adjusting the display to be dimmer, and making use of the phone’s power saving modes.

The phantom is sealed tight and cannot be opened at all.  Not even to insert a SIM or memory card. For these you’re equipped with a tiny pin which you insert into a tiny hole and the sim tray will pop out.  You will put your one or two SIM cards and slide it back. Same goes for memory card.  Tiny as the pin may be, you best not lose it. You will need it sometime and you do not want to resort to prodding your 39,999/- phone with improvisations.

I absolutely abhor those covers that turn beautiful phones into awkward booklets and I’m totally passing on mine. But for those who don’t share this my abhorrence, and for whom it is actually a necessity due to their daily activities, a custom made cover comes with the phone and it has some features of its own as well. It has a pouch for the tiny pin we spoke about earlier, a sim card adapter and a small pocket for an additional sim card.


Setting up fingerprints is quite the exercise but it’s a one off. The phone is made to recognize your finger no matter what angle you place it at on the finger print scanner at the back. For this reason, initial setup will require you to scan your finger from all angles until the whole print is captured. You can scan upto 5 of your fingers and save. You can also give someone else express permission to be able to unlock your phone by scanning their prints and storing them.  If for some reason you do not want to access the phone via prints, there is always the option of good old pin number. I find this mostly useful when I’m buried in Ugali and fish and I need to prod the phone with my knuckles. With finger print, it takes all of a nano second for the phone to come on.

Every once in a while I find something about a phone that I don’t like. Tecno seems to have covered quite a bit of loose ends on this one. Maybe only for the fact that it comes only in steel gray and gold – ignoring a whole demographic that may see a sakura pink phone and impulse buy it right away.

Here are some photos I’ve taken here and there with the phone.

Bright Colours

Tried to capture the colours of my kitchen in low light.


Broad daylight photo. Me worrying more about the hygiene of the chopping board than the visible gout coursing carbon on the charred meat.


Nzambani rock in Kitui. This pic is zoomed in from almost a kilometer away.

Image Credit

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Ken Bonyo November 19, 2015 - 3:02 pm

The last camera shot. Thats a good pic for a zoomed shot on a smartphone.

Femme Staff January 21, 2016 - 8:19 am

True that Ken.

Henry January 20, 2016 - 4:06 pm

Please I want to buy the latest Tecno phantom 5
but I am somehow confused.
On the media I see Tecno Phantom 5 Gray
another Gold…
Please educate me. Is it more then one brand.

Thanks in anticipation
Igiede Henry

Femme Staff January 21, 2016 - 8:19 am

Henry the phone comes in two colours, gold and grey. As long as its written Tecno Phantom 5 it is the same phone.

Femme Hub | One Word - Sleek. The Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 Phone - Femme Hub February 11, 2016 - 11:08 am

[…] I’m good to hit the track. I like the direction phones are taking with sound. A phone that I reviewed late last year was fitted with Dolby sound and now […]

Victor Wachanga January 29, 2017 - 5:04 pm

I love those camera shots. I’m gonna get me one 🙂


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