The most affordable book-style foldable, the Tecno Phantom V Fold, costs around $1,100. It undercuts the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 by a significant margin, especially in the market it’s selling in.
I’ve been using the Tecno Phantom V Fold for a week, and surprisingly, it does five things better than the $1,800 foldable from Samsung. It’s something that sounds impossible, but it’s true.
A bigger and more usable cover display
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The Techno Phantom V Fold features a 6.42-inch cover display as compared to the 6.2-inch front screen found on the Galaxy Z Fold 4. It’s not only about the size but also the aspect ratio. While Samsung goes for a narrow form factor, the wider cover display on Tecno’s phone is more usable.
For instance, apps like Instagram sit more comfortably on the screen and load stories in a better manner. Instagram Stories on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 are squeezed to fit the screen, but it’s not so on the Phantom V Fold. The wider aspect ratio also helps the keyboard situation. I get a wider, more normal-sized keyboard on the Tecno Fold, which helps the typing experience.
The wider form factor also makes me feel more confident while holding the Phantom V Fold; I said the same for the Oppo Find N2. The narrower Galaxy Z Fold 4 feels like it’ll slip out of my hand at any instance. It hasn’t yet, but there’s always a concern that it will.
Better crease situation
The Tecno Phantom V Fold houses a waterdrop hinge design that helps minimize the crease and sits flat when folded without a gap between the screen. On the other hand, Samsung opts for a kind of hinge that has a gap between the screen when folded alongside a deeper crease on the inner display.
The crease on Tecno Fold is surprisingly minimal. When you run across your thumb, you almost can’t feel it. The crease is still there, like on the Oppo Find N2, but it isn’t a major dent in the screen like the Galaxy Z Fold 4. I’ve always said that the crease doesn’t bother me on the Samsung foldable, and I’m still on the same opinion. But minimal crease definitely helps the usability.
However, Samsung’s hinge has its advantages. For instance, the Tecno Phantom V Fold foldable doesn’t have a flex mode like the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The latter can be configured to sit comfortably half-open, but there is no such thing on the Phantom V Fold. The Tecno smartphone has a hinge design that pops it open. To fix this, you get a case with a kickstand inside the box that lets you half-open the Tecno Fold on a table.
Accessories in the box
Despite costing almost 40% less than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 in India, the Phantom V Fold packs a whole bunch of accessories in the box. Tecno is offering a charging brick, cable, a case with a kickstand, and a pre-applied screen protector on the cover screen – all of which is absent in the Samsung foldable’s box.
I usually don’t use a case on my phone, but the Phantom V Fold’s case has a built-in kickstand, which adds to the functionality of the device. It not only lets me keep the phone half-open on a table but also adds to the comfort of holding the phone. I’m now considering getting a kickstand case for my iPhone 13 Pro Max because of it.
Bigger battery with faster charging
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still stuck on 25W fast charging for its 4,400mAh battery, and if the leaks are to be believed, it won’t improve on the Galaxy Z Fold 5. By contrast, the Tecno Phantom V Fold packs a 5,000mAh battery that supports 45W fast charging and is rated to get to 40% with 15 minutes of charge.
After using a bunch of OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo, and Realme phones, I’ve grown used to fast charging. I need it in my day-to-day life, and the Tecno foldable supports it. However, there is no wireless charging here, unlike the 15W wireless charging support on the Samsung foldable.
An unbelievable price
Tecno made a foldable that competes with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 neck to neck but is available at a fraction of the price. As MrMobile said in his Phantom V Fold review video, it’s a fold at the price of a flip. In fact, the Oppo Find N2 Flip and Galaxy Z Flip 4 are priced higher than the Tecno foldable in India.
As mentioned at the beginning, the Phantom V Fold costs around $1,100 in the markets where it’s available, whereas the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is priced at $1,800. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 still has better cameras, a more polished software experience, and Flex mode.
But is it worth $700 more? I don’t think so. Tecno is working on democratizing book-style foldable phones, and as per my initial impressions, it’s winning.