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The Tecno Phantom 5 Review: Is It A True Flagship?

Pnatom 5

For about two weeks now, I have been using the Tecno Phantom 5 as my main smartphone. If you still don’t know, the Tecno Phantom 5 is the company’s flagship smartphone for 2015 that has been in the market for a little over two weeks now. This phone takes over from the Phantom Z that has been around since last year.

If you have used any Tecno smartphone before, the Phantom 5 takes that experience even higher. This is not surprising as the Phantom 5 is its flagship smartphone for the next 12 months. The Phantom 5 borrows a few things from the Tecno J7 Boom and the Tecno Camon C8 both of which are 2015 smartphones.

In this review, I will be talking about the phone in general, its design, performance and reliability. In the end, I will tell you if the Ksh 40,000 price tag is worth it and if you should get this phone. This review unit was given to me by the guys at Tecno but be sure that my review will have my honest opinion on the phone, everything I like and everything I hate.

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What’s in The Box?

The Tecno Phantom 5 comes with the following items in the box.


USB/Power cable Charger

Warranty and safety information

A customized flip cover

SIM removal tool

Tecno Phantom 5 and Accessories

Tecno Phantom 5 and Accessories

I have unboxed the Phantom 5 in a previous post that you can read by clicking the link below.

Read More:   Tecno Phantom 5 Unboxing and First Impressions

Design and Hardware

The Phantom 5 has a premium design that I fell in love the first time I saw it. It is an all-metal design meaning that the battery is non removable. This is not a bad thing entirely, I will talk more about the battery later in this review.

As I have said above, the design of the Phantom 5 is really nice and the only thing I did not like about it is that it feels very slippery. This was especially so the first few days I had the phone. After a few days of using it, I got used to it. If you get the phone and find it too slippery for you, Tecno has included a flip cover that makes it easier to hold the phone especially for people with small hands.

Tecno Phantom 5 in a flip cover

Tecno Phantom 5 in a flip cover

Overall, the design of the Phantom 5 feels premium as expected. It is good to see Tecno embrace an all-metal design on the Phantom 5 to set it apart from its other smartphones. You get all the usual buttons with the Power button and volume keys on the right. On the left, there is the SIM card slot with the microSD card slot located on the right side. The USB port and microphone are found on the lower part of the phone with the headphone jack at the top.

At the back sits a 13MP camera with dual LED flash with a fingerprint sensor below it. This fingerprint sensor is a first for Tecno and they got it right. It is quick and responsive and I did not have any issues using it.

The phone also has the Dolby speaker at the back making it perfect for entertainment. The speaker is loud but not annoying. For playing music or watching videos, this speaker is the best. It gives an almost home theatre-like experience which am sure anyone will appreciate. If you get this phone, give this speaker a try and tell me just how good it is.


Phantom 5 display (closeup)

Phantom 5 display (closeup)

The Tecno Phantom 5 has a very vibrant display that gives the phone a premium look. This is a 5.5 inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels translating to a pixel density of 401ppi. This is not the biggest screen size on the market but it is still big to operate with one hand. Am not saying a big screen is a bad thing but I had to point that out so you can be sure if you have small hands, you will need to use both of them most times.

Besides the size, this display is really good, it does not collect a lot fingerprints so I did not have to keep wiping it after a few minutes of using it.

Viewing angles are also great with the Phantom 5 and I did not have any issues with that. You can easily see what is on the screen from the side. Even under direct sunlight, reading what is on the screen is easy. I have the brightness levels set to change automatically to match the light in the room. This is the best setting as I did not have to keep adjusting the brightness levels as the lighting around me changed.

Colors on this display are fantastic and accurate. This is by far the best display on any Tecno smartphone and even beats its predecessor, the Phantom Z.

Performance and Specs

The Tecno Phantom 5, as I have mentioned above, comes with some premium specs that warrant its flagship status. It has a 1.3GHz Octa Core (Mediatek MT6753) processor. This is a 64 Bit processor so you know its future proof. This processor is coupled with 3GB of RAM which is also a first for Tecno and ensures better multitasking. With the Processor and RAM, using the Phantom 5 feels snappy and switching through apps is quick and this is something I liked about this phone.

As for storage, the Phantom 5 is available with 32GB of storage space. About 8GB of that is taken by the system and you are left with 24GB to use. Luckily, the phone has a microSD card slot so you can expand its storage space to up to 64GB.

As for the GPU, the Tecno Phantom 5 has the Mali-T720 which is more of a mid-range GPU but still gets the job done. You can play graphics intensive games with much ease without experiencing any serious problems. I had no problems playing games even the graphics intensive ones such as Asphalt 8.

As for the software, the Phantom 5 comes with Android 5.1 preinstalled which is slightly customized. If you have used any Tecno phone from 2015 (The J7 Boom and Camon C5/C8), you will be familiar with what the Phantom 5 has to offer.

You can check out more features of the Phantom 5 using the link below.

Read More: Tecno Phantom 5 Specs Sheet and Price in Kenya

Camera Performance

As for the camera, the Phantom 5 has a 13MP one at the back with an 8MP one in front. The 13MP camera at the back has dual LED flash for better photos in low light conditions. This camera can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps and 720p videos at 120fps. Some features this camera has include autofocus, Geo-tagging, touch focus and face detection.

Tecno Phantom 5 Camera Test

Tecno Phantom 5 Photo Sample

The front facing camera on the other hand comes with soft flash to make sure your selfies are good in low light environments. Both the front and rear cameras are very first when taking photos and recording videos. They take very good photos in both low light and well-lit environments.

Check out the sample photo I took with the front facing camera.

Tecno Phantom 5 front facing camera sample

Tecno Phantom 5 front facing camera sample

Battery Performance

The Tecno Phantom 5 has a 3000 mAh battery which easily lasts for the whole day. If you are not a heavy user, you can get through the day without having to top it up.  Heavy users can also get through the day as the phone has the battery saver mode that can get you a few extra hours of usage. I personally managed to get through my days without charging it up and still have about 30% of battery as I go to bed.

One thing I liked about this battery is that it does not drain as fast as the battery of some smartphones I have used. At all times, you always have a clue of how many hours of usage you still have depending on your usage. As I mentioned above, the battery is non removable but given that it’s a 3000mAh one, am not complaining.

Fingerprint Scanner

Tecno is really riding on the Phantom 5 having fingerprint scanner. You have to understand them as this is the first for the company and also not very many smartphones out there (especially in Africa) have fingerprint sensors. The fingerprint sensor is quite fast and as I have said before, I did not have any problems using it. It adds extra security when unlocking your phone and that’s just about it.

Tecno Phantom 5 camera

Tecno Phantom 5 camera


The Tecno Phantom 5 is the company’s flagship for 2015 and it truly is a premium device. It has a beautiful all-metal design with a slight bulge at the back which makes it easy to comfortable to hold. Personally I like this design and my only issue is that the phone feels slippery on the hand. When holding it, I almost felt like I could drop it, you do not want to drop such an expensive phone, do you? It big size does not help with things but you can get all that under control if you use the customized flip cover provided for free inside the phone. Problem solved?

As for performance, the Phantom 5 is very reliable. You can run through apps without any lag and multitasking feels snappy. As I said in my unboxing post, Tecno has really pushed its limits with the Phantom 5 and that is a good thing. This is a great phone overall in both design and performance. It is built for those who want a superior Android device without breaking the bank.

So, the question is, should you buy it? The answer is yes, if you can afford it. If you have owned the Phantom A or any Phantom series from Tecno, then you should definitely upgrade. This phone is a premium flagship that brings some high end specs to Tecno’s lineup.

The price of the Phantom 5 is quite high from what we have come to expect from Tecno, even for the Phantom series. This will not be appealing to most Tecno fans who may see the phone as very pricey.

Is it a true flagship? Yes, absolutely. It may not be a Galaxy S6 or a HTC One M9 but it is a flagship in its own way. The phone can be used for both work and play. Its performance and design support those who want to use it for work and those who want to use it for play.

Do you agree with me? What are your thoughts?

Read More: The Infinix Hot 2 (X510) Review: The Hottest One Yet

About author

Editor at TechArena. I cover all things technology and review new gadgets as I get them. You can reach me on email:
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