Tecno unveils Phantom X2 with Dimensity 9000, X2 Pro with retractable portrait lens

Peter, 07 December 2022

Tecno’s premium Phantom series is back with new camera innovation and a much more powerful chipset. There are two phones, one of which brings the first retractable portrait camera, we’ll get to the advantages of that in a minute.

The Tecno Phantom X2 and Phantom X2 Pro are both powered by the Dimensity 9000 (the non-plus version). While not the latest, it is still a 4nm chip from TSMC’s foundry using recent tech (Cortex-X2 prime CPU core, three A710, four A510 and a Mali-G710 MC10 GPU), it’s miles ahead of the Helio G95 used in the original Phantom X. The X2 phones use LPDDR5X RAM – 8GB on the vanilla and 12GB on the Pro – plus 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.

Tecno unveils Phantom X2 with Dimensity 9000, X2 Pro with retractable portrait lens

The X2 series improves on the original Phantom by running the AMOLED display at 120Hz (up from 90Hz). The panel has a slightly longer diagonal, 6.8” (up from 6.7”), with FHD+ (20:9) resolution. However, the aspect ratio is different (20:9 instead of 19.5:9), so the phones are slightly narrow. Also, the display is more secure now that it is guarded by Gorilla Glass Victus.

Tecno unveils Phantom X2 with Dimensity 9000, X2 Pro with retractable portrait lens

The Dimensity 9000 has proven itself quite efficient, and here, in the case of both phones, it is paired with a fairly large 5,160mAh battery. The larger battery is paired with faster charging, 45W (for comparison, the Phantom X had a 4,700mAh battery with 33W charging).

With all that out of the way, it’s time to talk about the camera system, which is the biggest differentiator between the Phantom X2 and the X2 Pro. First, how do you tell them apart? The Pro model has a decorative ring around its retractable portrait lens, which is exclusive to the Phantom X2 Pro.

Tecno unveils Phantom X2 with Dimensity 9000, X2 Pro with retractable portrait lens

The magic of the retractable lens is that it has a very bright f/1.5 aperture, which is quite wide for a 65mm smartphone lens. For example, the Galaxy S22+ has a 70mm tele lens with an f/2.4 aperture. The Xperia 5 IV has a 60mm lens, also with an f/2.4 aperture.

This has two advantages. First, it lets more light reach the relatively large 50MP sensor (ISOCELL JN1, 0.64µm native pixels, 1.28µm after binning). The second is just a consequence of the wide aperture and large sensor – the shallower depth of field creates a natural bokeh, which will help separate the subject from the background, perfect for portrait shots.

Tecno unveils Phantom X2 with Dimensity 9000, X2 Pro with retractable portrait lens

While it’s primarily a portrait camera, the 65mm lens is long enough to use as a telephoto lens with 2.5x magnification. As for why this is a “retractable” lens, it’s to keep the phone thin - a powered mechanism extends the lens outward when in use and retracts it afterwards.

The X2 Pro also has a better main camera, a follow-up to the original Phantom X. It uses a 1/1.3” ISOCELL 3.0 sensor (Samsung ISOCELL GNV) with 50MP resolution (1.2µm native pixel size). Joining it is a 13MP ultra-wide camera, which also doubles as a macro cam as it has auto focus.

While the large 1/1.3” sensor is a brute force way to get more light, the Phantom X2 takes a clever approach. First, it uses an RGBW sensor, the “W” stands for a white sub-pixel. This sensor captures 60% more light. Also, instead of an all-plastic lens like on the Pro, this camera has one glass element, which increases light intake by 30%. Combining the two approaches results in double the light being captured by the sensor than a traditional design.

Tecno unveils Phantom X2 with Dimensity 9000, X2 Pro with retractable portrait lens

The X2 uses the same 13MP ultra-wide camera module that has a macro mode and adds a 2MP depth sensor for computational bokeh (since there isn’t a dedicated portrait lens). Both phones feature single 32MP selfie cameras (the module as the Camon 19 Pro).

Tecno unveils Phantom X2 with Dimensity 9000, X2 Pro with retractable portrait lens

The Phantom X2 Pro comes in Mars Orange (which is also the Ec-Friendly edition using recycled plastics for the back cover) and Stardust Grey. The vanilla X2 is also available in Stardust Grey as well as Moonlight Silver.

Phantom X2 Pro in Mars Orange Phantom X2 Pro in Stardust Grey Phantom X2 in Moonlight Silver Phantom X2 in Stardust Gray
Phantom X2 Pro in Mars Orange and Stardust Grey • Phantom X2 in Moonlight Silver and Stardust Gray

The X2 series will go on sale in the coming weeks. We only have pricing for Saudi Arabia right now, the Phantom X2 costs SAR 2,700 ($720/€685/₹59,000), while the Phantom X2 is SAR 3,500 ($930/€885/₹76,700).


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Reader comments

Yeah agreed the UI is terrible on Tecno

  • Anonymous
  • 08 Dec 2022
  • EUk

what kind of mutant is this? :D

My issue is your one-sided consumer approach to the pricing everything you mentioned is ONLY consumer focused This is a product which means there is a PRODUCER side of the coin How much will they need to recoup from R&D from their zoom ...

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