Tecno Mobile made a bold statement in the Nigerian mobile market last year with the launch of the “Live Smart” campaign and the introduction of a series of high-end smartphones into the market, putting the much appreciated Android technology into the hands of the average Nigerian. One of the devices in the Live Smart family is the Tecno Phantom A+ Which I’ve been playing around with for the past one week.
Introducing Tecno Phantom A+
Being an iOS user, this device actually made me love Android OS again. Well, I used Android OS for a while last year, had the Samsung Galaxy SIII then some bugs in the phone (not the OS) made me go back to iOS. Tecno Phantom A+ may not be in the same range as high spec devices like HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the rest of them, a week with this gadget made me understand the whole concept behind the “Live Smart” campaign.
I’ve held the crazy HTC One (not mine), toyed around with Samsung Galaxy SIV and a few other high-end Android devices and it’s obvious Tecno Phantom A+ is different in terms of build, price and technical specifications but the fact remains that these devices are definitely not affordable to the ordinary Nigerian. Tecno Phantom A+ gives you some of the core features of these high end devices at a very reduced price and this is the whole idea of the Live Smart campaign.
Display & Camera
Well, the first thing that caught my eye as I unboxed this phone was the ultra-large 5-inch capacitive touchscreen which is one thing I really appreciate as a hard-core mobile gamer. With a resolution of 720 x 1280, the display looks pretty stunning. If you love watching videos or reading ebooks on the go, this is the perfect screen size that’s big enough and still fits your pocket.
It sports a 8MP camera at the back with auto-focus, geo-tagging, LED flash and also supports video recording. You can take pictures with a resolution as high as 3264×2448 pixels. It has a 1.2MP front camera too for video calls.
Build, Weight and Size
Although the phone can be described as fairly slim at 9.1mm, it weighs only about 0.1kg (actually about 141g). It’s got a plastic back and of course, the battery is removeable.
To protect your screen, the smartphone comes with a free flip cover (not the ugly, bogus type) that looks just like it’s a part of your phone.
Operating System & Memory
The second thing that came to my mind was the OS. I would’ve been disappointed if it were Ice Cream Sandwich but this device comes with Android 4.2.1 JellyBean. This is complimented with a 1.2 GHz MediaTek quad-core processor and a 1GB RAM.
This device is equipped with a 4GB ROM and comes with a 8GB SD card (which is expandable to 32GB).
In a country like Nigeria where power failure is more or less a normal thing, a device with a poor battery life isn’t worth it. It’s known that Android OS sucks battery but surprisingly, this device comes with a free power bank. A rechargeable device that charges your phone in the absence of power supply. This device too has a torch that can last up to 50 hours (…quite thoughtful and impressive).
The 2100mAh battery has a talk-time of 12 hours and a standby time of 400 hours. I tried to see how long the battery would last and on 3G, it lasted for almost a whole day though I wasn’t surfing the internet the whole time. It was a day of regular use: phone calls, chatting, a little gaming and internet surfing.
Network and Connectivity
Tecno Phantom A+ is a dual-SIM 3G device that supports GSM900/DCS1800/WCDMA2100MHz network bands. It supports 3.75G, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.
Checking the app drawer, I found a bunch of useful apps already installed. Some of them include:
- Asphalt 6
- Opera Mini
- Angry Birds
- Flash Share
And Even More Apps….
There’s an Assistant app that was a real surprise. From there you can even choose to install more apps like the Instagram, Adobe Flash Player, Quick office, Instagram, Fruit Ninja, DU Battery Saver, English Dictionary and more.
Some of these free Apps included with the assistant are even not available for free at the Play Store.
Without boring you with all the technical mumbo-jumbo, here are some key specifications you would consider before buying this device:
- RAM: 1GB
- ROM: 4GB
- External Storage: 8GB (expandable to 32GB)
- Display: 5-inch
- Processor: 1.2GHz Quad-Core (MediaTek MT6589)
- WiFi: Yes (WIFI Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, WIFI hotspot, WIFI direct)
- 3G: Yes (Up to 7.2 mbps downlink; Up to 5.76 mbps uplink)
- Operating System: Android 4.2.1
- Front camera: 1.2 MP (with flash)
- Rear camera: 8.0 MP
- Dimension : 143.5*70.8*9.1mm
Price & Availability
This device is currently being sold at about ₦35,000 and it can even be purchased a bit less than that at Jumia.
With this device and many other Tecno products, there is a reasonable balance between quality, performance and price. I tried loading some apps on this phone and I didn’t see compatibility as an issue. I even went as far as seeing if the GPU would run an HD game, the critically acclaimed Modern Combat 4.
I was impressed at the performance as there was no noticeable lagging. The device feels good to hold and definitely gives value for the price… maybe even more.