The Tecno Phantom Z is a beast. This has to be established from the onset because everything else builds on this premise from hereon end.
If this smartphone were to slug it out with other handsets in a cage fight, the unibody Nano Moulding Technology with which the Phantom has been put together would translate to it taking punches with minimal damage. This is a much better and stronger build as other parts are assembled onto the frame. It feels stronger to the touch as well.
The unibody build means that all parts are assembled onto a sturdy frame with remarkable sized With dimensions of of 71.9 X 144.5 X 7.9 millimeters this mode of assembly contrasts to other handset brands that have pieces separately put together.
The difference in build style is obvious in instances such as when the phone should fall - Tech gods forbid - and one doesn't have to go on an excursion looking for the phone's back cover, battery or other part that conveniently fall into long forgotten crannies.
The smooth metal frame of the Phantom Z also means that in the cage fight, the Chinese handset would pack a mean punch of its own. The phone's back has a leather texture that seems like a thing now with other brands having used the same design.
What's different at the back though is a 16 mega pixels primary camera with not one, but two dedicated LED flash lights, the better to brighten almost any photo situation in less than desirable lighting.
Taking photos in limited light areas will not be the same with this one as the choice shooting device. It doesn't stop there.
The phone also comes with a secondary camera that's 8 mega pixels with a dedicated front flash for soft light. Selfie-crazed users will have a field day with the wide angle front camera that is also great for video calls,
The device's screen is not the biggest out there among competitor brands measuring at 5.2 inches, but what the phone lacks in screen size it makes up for in screen quality. The Amoled Corning Gorilla glass which is full high definition (1080p FHD) is scratch resistant.
It additionally has a crisp colour saturation feature coupled with a high contrast ratio of 1000000:1.
To the more interesting part now, the phone comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4 Kit Kat operating system, so you know you're getting a platform for some of the latest apps in the
As if the latest Android OS is not enough, the Phantom Z additionally comes with not one, not two, not four, not six, but eight cores all clocking a speed of 2GHz. In simple terms, this means very fast. Fast streaming, fast gaming, fast downloads and uploads, as well as fast normal functions like searching for files on the 32 gigabit internal storage that the phone offers.
In addition the sleek handset has a 2GB RAM which also guarantees user next to zero chance of hangtime. Downside to all the space is that the phone's memory is not expandable. But 32GB really is hard to fill.
Any phone worth its salt is only as good as its ability to stay on long enough to wow the user for hours on end. In this regard the Phantom Z does not disappoint with a 3030 mAh non-removable battery.
The power save mode which turns the screen to black and white and only limits operations to the very essential functions or calls and texts means the phone can go uncharged for up to 48 hours.
Music playback or video viewing on the phone is also pure bliss with digital dolby sound surround. The speaker which is crisp enough for a listener to catch the mid-tones between the bass and the treble is conveniently located on the bottom edge of the handset such that whether the phone is placed face up or face down, there is no interference with the sound.
The phone is not perfect though almost there. It has a chink in the armour, literally. The metal frame which comes in black, grey and gold colour options scratches too easily if not placed in an additional protective cover.
It's a simple thing really but one that could drive a user crazy who wants to show of the sleek phone - it is really a sleek phone - but has to contend with keeping it in the smart cover that comes as an add-on of the purchase together with a 5200mAh power bank.
Additionally, the physical buttons, the volume key on the left edge and the power/screen lock key on the right edge tend to rattle ever so slightly when the phone shakes slightly. Again, this is something that can be ignored, that is until you can't.
For such a classy looking phone, the Tecno logo on the front of the phone just below the earpiece is something of a conspicuous eyesore. In truth though it is probably the easiest fault to overlook obviously because when viewing content on the screen, the logo cannot compete with the crisp clarity that the screen boasts of.
The in-ear earphones that are sold with the handset have a really cool wooden finish on the ear plugs, but have really soft wiring covered in rubber.
They produce great sound delivery, but are bothersome to untangle when those little demons that sneak into your back and knot them up are especially enthusiastic. Exorcising them is always well worth the trouble if your single thought is to enjoy the great sound on offer.
For a viewing experience like no other, fast functionality, lots of space to boot, great sound and long battery life, a price range of between Sh35,000 to Sh37,000 is really a small price to pay for this delightful pocket monster.
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