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TECNO Phantom V Flip
What we like
What we don't like
TECNO Phantom V Flip
TECNO Phantom V Flip review: At a glance
- What is it? The TECNO Phantom V Flip is the first clamshell foldable phone from Chinese brand TECNO. It has a Dimensity 8050 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a 6.9-inch FHD+ OLED screen, and a 4,000mAh battery.
- What is the price? The TECNO Phantom V Flip has an early bird price of Rs 49,999 (~$604) for the sole 8GB/256GB variant. Amazon India and Flipkart list a Rs 71,999 (~$865) recommended price, though.
- Where can you buy it? The TECNO Phantom V Flip will be sold in India. The firm hasn't disclosed any additional markets thus far.
- How did we test it? I tested the TECNO Phantom V Flip for 10 days. The review unit was supplied by TECNO.
- Is it worth it? The Phantom V Flip is a well-priced foldable Android phone at its early bird price, but it's proof that a good price alone isn't enough to stand out in an increasingly competitive segment.
Should you buy the TECNO Phantom V Flip?
The TECNO Phantom V Flip certainly makes a strong impression at first glance. The clamshell-style foldable packs a pleather back, and the light purple color option I got my hands on stands out from a sea of drab glass colors on the market.
TECNO’s also made an interesting move by having a circular camera housing and cover screen. It’s a unique choice, but the execution leaves me wanting. There’s a giant bezel around the screen, for one, leaving you with a tiny display. We’ve also got three sensors (two cameras and a flash) strewn almost haphazardly on these bezels. I would’ve much rather seen the sensors in one housing and the circular display in another, or punch-hole cutouts paired with a larger screen.
The Phantom V Flip brings a unique housing for the cover screen and rear cameras, but it's a clear case of design over functionality.
That giant camera/display housing also has ergonomic ramifications, as some of your fingers naturally rest on this area. Complicating matters is the fact that the Phantom V Flip is a little top-heavy. It’s not awfully balanced, but it is noticeable compared to other flip phones, especially as your fingers shuffle up or down to reach the very top or bottom of the screen.
Otherwise, the Phantom V Flip brings a relatively svelte design that competes with the best foldable phones out there, with the slim, polished edges helping to make the phone feel even thinner. Unfortunately, the handset doesn’t pack an IP rating, unlike Samsung and Motorola’s clamshell foldables.
It’s also worth noting that the two halves of the phone do have a certain “looseness” to them. This can be felt when you hold the folded device in your hand and push the top half up and down and side-to-side. It’s not awful, but it’s not something I’ve noticed on other clamshell foldables. At least the free-stop hinge works reliably.
TECNO has also brought a 6.9-inch foldable 120Hz OLED screen to the fray, complete with ultra-thin glass for added durability. You’ve still got a display crease here, which seems similar to the Galaxy Z Flip 5 crease (i.e. not very subtle). The screen touts a brightness of 1,000 nits, which isn’t amazing for a foldable, but I found it to work fine outdoors. The bigger issue is that it still falls into that foldable screen trap of being very reflective, although the same can be said for most other foldables.
TECNO says the screen is also an LTPO panel capable of dropping down to 10Hz, but I’ve only ever seen it drop down to 60Hz. I do appreciate the ability to toggle a 90Hz refresh rate, though, as many phones still only offer 120Hz, 60Hz, or dynamic options. 90Hz represents a nice middle ground between screen fluidity and battery efficiency, but more on that later.
Meanwhile, the cover screen is quite small at 1.32 inches, while the circular design makes it look more like a smartwatch display. Unfortunately, the cover display software hasn’t caught up to the likes of Motorola and Samsung. You can access roughly a dozen widgets, quick settings, media playback controls, and notifications. But you can forget about running full apps here. In fact, the existing widgets also feel barebones in terms of information density compared to rival Flip phones. A real shame.
The TECNO Phantom V Flip packs a MediaTek Dimensity 8050 processor (four Cortex-A78, four Cortex-A55), 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. That’s certainly a step down from the Phantom V Fold, and benchmarks bear this out, too. Geekbench 6 scores reveal CPU performance that easily beats mid-tier Samsung phones like the Galaxy A34 5G and Galaxy A54 5G but lags behind even last year’s flagship SoCs. Meanwhile, GPU benchmarks show the phone beats most mid-range handsets but lags behind the Pixel 7 series. At least stress testing reveals impressive stability of 96.7%, so you shouldn’t see major performance drops in a long gaming session.
I had no significant complaints about real-world performance, as system navigation, launching apps, and multitasking were all accomplished seamlessly. I did, however, notice that the camera app has a “saving” screen for a couple of seconds after filming even 1080p/30fps video.
Genshin Impact was very playable with default settings, although it had more than its fair share of judder and the very occasional freeze for a second or two. But titles like War Thunder and CoD Mobile were mostly smooth out of the box, so I could chalk the Genshin Impact performance down to a lack of optimization. You can play advanced emulators too, such as Dolphin, although the most demanding titles see frequent frame drops compared to recent flagships.
The TECNO Phantom V Flip brings respectable real-world performance, but this isn't the phone to get if you're an avid mobile gamer.
Clamshell foldable phones tend to skimp on battery capacity, and the TECNO Phantom V Flip is no exception. You’re getting a 4,000mAh battery, and I found it was capable of just over a day of regular usage. I was able to eke out almost nine hours of screen-on time with constant YouTube playback, some Telegram usage, and Reddit browsing, and just over six and a half hours of screen time of heavier usage (e,g. more YouTube and mobile hotspot functionality). Just don’t expect it to last for two days without battery-saving modes. The phone also sports 45W wired charging speeds, allowing you to go from zero to 100% in 45 minutes. This is in line with the firm’s own claims. There’s no wireless charging, though.
TECNO’s phone ships with the Hi OS 13.5 skin atop Android 13, and it’s not my favorite software skin by any measure. That’s due to a bland MIUI-style aesthetic, some unfamiliar apps, separate dropdown panels for quick settings and the notification shade (with no way to unify them), and a dearth of clamshell-specific foldable features.
The company didn’t go crazy with bloatware, although you’ll still find first-party apps like the CarlCare support app, T-Spot, Visha Player, the Ella assistant, and WeLife. These join third-party apps like Facebook, Instagram, BoomPlay, and WPS Office. At least the pre-installed T-Spot forum app no longer blasts NSFW images in your face like I encountered with the Phantom V Fold, so that’s an improvement. It also looks like the brand has polished things compared to its book-type foldable, such as near-instantaneous camera lens switching and a significantly reduced delay when opening the notification shade immediately after unlocking.
Unfortunately, the most disappointing thing about the Phantom V Flip software might be the lackluster update policy. TECNO is promising two major Android version updates and three years of security patches. That’s almost the bare minimum for an Android phone, and it pales in comparison to other foldable manufacturers.
The Phantom V Flip ships with a pretty standard rear camera system for a clamshell foldable, featuring a 64MP main shooter (RGBW) and a 13MP ultrawide lens with autofocus.
Image quality itself is typically solid during the daytime, with a mostly healthy level of detail (save for the occasional mushy image) and saturated colors that can be a little too vibrant at times. The camera starts to stumble in mixed lighting, though, notably blowing out highlights. You’ll also want to stick with the Super Night mode in low-light situations unless you like dark shots with loads of noise. The night mode is heavy-handed with the noise reduction, but at least it isn’t aggressively bright like some other OEMs. And yes, you’ve got TECNO’s plump butt beauty filter, if that’s your thing.
The Phantom V Flip lags far behind other foldables when it comes to camera quality.
There’s a big gulf in quality between the main and ultrawide cameras, with the ultrawide delivering more noise, greater contrast, and a ton of mushiness even in broad daylight. The one saving grace is the autofocus module, which enables macro snaps.
Video quality isn’t quite on par with the likes of Samsung’s wares, mostly due to very noticeable judder. The phone also offers an HDR toggle for video as well as a super steady video mode, but both of these options top out at 1080p/30fps. Otherwise, you’re getting a maximum of 4K/30fps video here. That’s a downer when rival foldables offer 4K/60fps.
In a first for foldables, the Phantom V Flip ships with a front-facing flash for the selfie camera. Then again, you can simply use the rear cameras and flash for selfies in conjunction with the cover screen. Plus, the phone packs a traditional screen flash too. But hey, it’s something different, I guess. You can view full-resolution photo samples via the Google Drive folder.
The TECNO Phantom V Flip is a welcome addition to the foldable market by virtue of its early bird price. It manages to tick a few boxes as well, such as solid battery life, a mostly sleek design, and respectable, if unspectacular, performance.
But there are simply too many compromises, such as the tiny, underbaked cover display, the gigantic bump on the back, the lack of an IP rating, poor low-light camera quality, a bad ultrawide camera, and the lack of wireless charging. This is particularly lamentable in light of the fact that the recommended price is ~$860, significantly higher than the early bird price.
The TECNO Phantom V Flip is one of the cheapest foldables on the market, but the cutbacks are keenly felt.
I take my hat off to TECNO for offering a foldable phone at an attractive promotional price, but the recommended price isn’t much better than Samsung’s phones. So you’re better off buying an older Galaxy Flip phone if you really want a cheaper foldable.
What are the best Phantom V Flip alternatives?
There are a few alternatives to the TECNO Phantom V Flip worth knowing. Here are our picks.
- Motorola Razr (on the product’s website): The vanilla Razr model in 2023 (also known as the Razr 40) is the cheapest Flip phone on the market. Expect a tiny cover display and mid-range Snapdragon silicon, but you’re still getting a 144Hz OLED screen, water-repellent coating, and wireless charging.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 ($999.99 at Samsung): The mega-popular Flip range is the most widely available clamshell foldable around. Between the huge cover screen, IPX8 rating, and powerful chip, there’s a lot to like about the Galaxy Z Flip 5.
- OPPO Find N2 Flip ($1029 at Giztop): OPPO’s first flip phone brings a pleasantly large cover display, last year’s flagship silicon, and a large battery for a clamshell device. Unlike the vivo X Flip, this BBK flip phone is available outside China too.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 ($944.45 at Amazon): Samsung’s previous Flip phone is also well worth considering if you want a cheaper clamshell foldable. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 still offers a powerful processor, IPX8 rating, and polished software. Plus, you’re getting a long commitment to updates.
TECNO Phantom V Flip specs
|TECNO Phantom V Flip specs|
- 6.9-inch OLED
- 120Hz refresh rate (LTPO)
- 2,640 x 1,080 resolution
- 1440Hz PWM dimming
- 22:9 aspect ratio
- Ultra-Thin Glass
- 1.32-inch circular OLED
- 60Hz refresh rate
- 466 x 466 resolution
MediaTek Dimensity 8050
45W wired charging
No wireless charging
Charger in box
- 64MP main, ƒ/1.7, 0.8-micron pixels, RGBW
- 13MP ultra-wide, ƒ/2.2, PDAF, 1.12-micron pixels
- 32MP, ƒ/2.45, 0.8-micron pixels, LED flash
No 3.5mm port
No eSIM support
Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
Camera-based face unlock (insecure)
Dimensions and weight
- 88.77 x 74.05 x 14.95mm
- 171.72 x 74.05 x 6.95mm
TECNO Phantom V Flip review: FAQ
It depends on your carrier. You’ll need to check the Phantom V Flip’s supported network bands to make sure it matches up with your carrier.
TECNO phones are made in China.
Yes, the Phantom V Flip has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner.
Yes, the Phantom V Flip supports sub-6GHz 5G. It doesn’t support mmWave 5G connectivity, though.