I am sure some of us have questions and concerns about the Phantom 8, questions that I’d try to answer in this review.
TECNO PHANTOM 8 REVIEW
Like with every other smartphone, the first thing you’d do when you get the Phantom 8 is to power on the device — which takes about 29 seconds and this places the Phantom 8 in the 4th position on the boot test leaderboard.
The next thing you’d probably do is to unlock the device and it would interest you to note that the fingerprint sensor on the Phantom 8 is incredibly fast and accurate, just a tap unlocks the phone:
You can also use the sensor to take a picture and accept calls.
With the device unlocked, you are fully able to see the 5.7 FHD display.
The screen is not an OLED display, so you are not getting the super rich and vibrant colors specifically in the reds and blues.
But, overall, the Phantom 8’s screen is still a pleasure to look at, plus, sunlight visibility is quite good.
The next thing you’d get to experience is the UI, which isn’t stock Android because Tecno used the latest HiOS — HiOS 3.0
The overall experience is a two-way thing —HiOS 3.0 right now:
If you do like it, you can further tweak the option by choosing between the single launcher — which places all the apps on the home screen:
Or the Standard launcher — this comes with an app drawer.
On the bloatware side of things, the Phantom 8 comes with a couple of them like, Recharge King, to name a few
All of which can be uninstalled to save storage.
Speaking of storage, the Phantom 8’s UI and Android’s OS has used up about 24% of the 64GB storage, so you only have about 48GB left, but there is the MicroSD card option.
MUSIC ON THE PHANTOM 8
For the Music lovers out there, Tecno is offering the Boom Play as the default music player, although you still have Google Play Music.
The audio quality on this thing is good, not overly loud, but it sure has a nice bass effect to it, which I love.
CALL QUALITY AND CONNECTIVITY
At this point, I am sure you must have probably made a call or two on the Phantom 8 and during my time of usage, I had no issues with the call quality on this device.
As for the connectivity, I tried to get 4 4G LTE SIM cards from the top telcos in Nigeria including my old nTel SIM and during my test, the Phantom 8 was able to peg to all the 4G LTE networks I tried it with, including GLO.
TECNO PHANTOM 8 CAMERA
The camera is surely one of the biggest highlights of the Phantom 8, it doesn’t come with Pro camera settings and the ability to shoot in 4K:
But this thing takes excellent pictures.
And as you already know, the Phantom 8 comes with a dual camera setup at the back the first camera is the main camera — this is also used for the 2x optical zoom:
2x Optical ZOOM
2x OPTICAL ZOOM
And 10x digital zoom — as a matter of fact, you can operate the Phantom 8’s main camera without the secondary camera provided you are not using the refocus effect
However, where you need the secondary camera is with the refocus effect, otherwise known as the bokeh effect.
And trust me when I say that you’d be tempted to continue taking pictures using the refocus camera because of how lovely the pictures are.
There is also the option to manually tweak the bokeh effect after taking the picture.
However, this effect doesn’t do well in low light condition. Plus, you must be 1.0 m to 2.5 m from the subject.
Now, Both cameras are missing OIS or EIS which means that you would need to have stable hands while recording (or use a tripod, instead). As for the overall quality, the Phantom 8 looks vibrant and it dealt with the outdoor, sunny, and cloudy shots much better and it also showed a lot of details.
I did notice that sometimes the shots were a bit saturated, but this isn’t something that is particularly bad.
The good stuff with the back camera can also be said for the front camera, the 20MP camera also did excellently well in low light condition.
Even without the need to put on the dual flash which isn’t a favorite of mine (I don’t like using flash in general)
With regards to the battery stamina, the 3500mAh on the Phantom 8 is okay to meet your daily needs, it lasted me the whole day on “moderate use.” I also did like a 15-minute battery drain between the Phantom 8 and the Note 4 pro which has a larger battery. After 15 minutes, the Phantom 8 drained 4% as opposed to the 3% on the Note 4 pro. Not so far off.
Lastly, I tried to stream a 16-hour video on YouTube using WiFi and I was able to get a 10-hour- 3 minutes screen on time with the brightness slider at minimum
I was able to get the Phantom 8 from a dead battery to full in an hour 49 minutes.
For the performance, you don’t need to be told that the 6GB of RAM paired with a Helio P25 processor clocked at 2.5GhZ offers a smooth and fast multitasking experience. The phone didn’t show any signs of slowdown or lag during my time of usage.
Also, I tried to download highly intensive graphics game like the Lords of the fallen, Asphalt extreme, to name a few and the Phantom 8 handled it well. Still, on the performance, the Phantom 8 is also good at managing heat, it did get warm, but didn’t get past the hot mark.
BENCHMARKS AND SENSORS
For those who are interested in benchmarks, here you go:
Also, check out the sensors:
Now, no phone is perfect and the Phantom 8 isn’t either. So, asides from the issues I mentioned, I did notice that the auto brightness didn’t perform as I’d wanted it to, but this can be fixed by manually tweaking the brightness slider.
Also, there were several pre-installed applications like boom play and PHB browser, to name a few that kept on sending notifications, but just like the auto-brightness issue, you can fix this by uninstalling them completely or disabling notifications from these apps.
Lastly, the screen protection on the Phantom 8 does attract scratches, but this shouldn’t be a problem since it’s replaceable and doesn’t affect the main screen.
Yes, a lot of us had an issue with the bezels on the Phantom 8 given that it looked like something from 2016, but the Phantom 8 does shine in areas that matter like the Camera, performance, and even the battery.
As always, let me know what you think of the Phantom 8 and all of its good and bad parts.