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While most modern flip phone makers have been focusing on maximizing their cover screen sizes, a new contender decided to branch away with a circular one instead. Following its flagship foldable from earlier this year, China’s Tecno has also unveiled its first flip phone, the Phantom V Flip 5G, which attempts to stand out from the crowd by offering a round external AMOLED display. Even though the Huawei P50 Pocket was the first clamshell to carry a similar feature, Tecno’s counterpart comes in at a more practical 1.32 inches and a slightly sharper 352ppi, which should translate to easier selfies, richer notifications and handier widgets — namely weather, vitality rings, audio recording, timer and more.
The Phantom V Flip is powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 8050 5G chip, so it’s going head to head with the Moto Razr in the mid-range segment. As is the case with Tecno’s recent devices, this one is competitively priced — at around $600, though it’s only available in India initially (49,999 rupees, to be precise), with more markets to follow later. At least you get Google services pre-installed on this one, unlike most of its hometown buddies. As a bonus, Tecno’s HiOS 13.5 (based on Android 13) comes with its own voice assistant, “Ella,” which has ChatGPT built in.
Despite the price point, the spec sheet doesn’t disappoint here. The Phantom V Flip is 14.95mm thick when folded and 6.95mm thick when opened. At 195g, this turns out to be the heaviest device in the flip phone category to date. This is somewhat justified by the reasonable 4,000mAh battery (Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 only has 3,700mAh), which supports 45W fast charging — 15 minutes will refill a depleted battery to 50 percent, or wait for 45 minutes for a full charge. Sadly, there’s no wireless charging here, for those who care.
The Phantom V Flip packs a 6.9-inch FHD+ (2,640 x 1,080) flexible screen on the inside, with a 10-120Hz LTPO refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling. The hinge can hover at any angle between 30 degrees and 150 degrees, which is handy for selfies via the rear-facing cameras — you can even use gesture or voice to trigger your shots.
Photography-wise, you get a 64-megapixel f/1.7 main camera, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a small LED ring flash, with all three features positioned along the circumference of the circular cover screen. When unfolded, there’s a 32-megapixel punch-hole selfie camera at the top, complemented with an LED flash in the top screen bezel to make you look prettier in video calls.
Tecno didn’t cheap out on accessories, either. The Phantom V Flip is shipped with a protective case that shields all four sides of the phone, except the opening for the fingerprint reader and volume rocker. The case also has a ring attached above the hinge, allowing you to wear the phone as a pendant or hold it more securely.
While it’s unclear whether the $600 Phantom V Flip will make it to western markets, Tecno does appear to have an opportunity to spook its more established competitors in this ever-growing flip phone segment — especially before the new Moto Razr enters the US, if ever (in China, it starts from around $550). That said, it’s just a matter of time before the likes of Honor and Xiaomi offer similarly competitive clamshells.