TECNO has decided to join the big boys in the premium midrange smartphone market with the launch of the Phantom X and in this comparison review, we pit it against the heavyweight champ from Samsung – the Galaxy A72.
But before we begin, we’ve already gone through the key highlights of the Phantom X, including our first impressions review, camera review and full review but how does it compare with other midrange smartphones in the market.
Both smartphones ship with nice designs. The Phantom X is thin and light featuring a curved display. Phantom X has Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and patterned glass back. The back has a colour gradient and comes in Van Gogh’s Starry Night Blue and Monet’s Summer Garden colours.
On the other hand, the A72 has a plastic back with a silk finish and comes in Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet and Awesome Blue.
The Camera bump on the Phantom X is located in the top middle part while the A72 has a camera bump at the top left corner.
Coming back to the displays – both phones have 6.7″ screens with 90Hz refresh rate. Phantom X has a 6.7″ curved AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 by 2340 pixels and brightness capped at 405 nits while the A72 has a flat Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. The display is also Gorilla Glass 5 protected and its brightness is capped at 800 nits.
The A72 and Phantom X go at it feature for feature trading blows. The A72 has a better and brighter display while the Phantom X has a more premium look with its glass back. It’s going to be up to your preference when picking between the colour-gradient back of the Phantom X or the pastel tone of the A72.
Software and Performance
As usual, both smartphones pick midrange specs to power them. The A72 ships with Snapdragon 720G and Adreno 618 GPU with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage.
Phantom X comes with Helio G95 chip, Mali-G76 MC4 GPU paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage.
Both processors are equally capable. Antutu benchmark puts the Helio chip ahead while Geekbench 5 shows that the Snapdragon processor comes first.
On the software end, we get Android 11 and HiOS 7.6 with the Phantom X while A72 comes with Android 11 and OneUI 3.1 out of the box.
HiOS 7.6 and One UI 3.1 have their own perks and downfalls. They have come far from their earlier days with features that consumers on both ends of the spectrum will love.
However, One UI is more refined and Samsung has assured its users that the A72 will get 3 major OS updates plus 4 years of security patches. TECNO has yet to share its update cycle for its flagship – so we’re not sure if the Phantom X will receive Android 12 when it launches later this year.
The software side of TECNO’s smartphones needs to catch up, especially as rival user interfaces are getting more polished with the respective companies committing to updating their smartphones to the latest Android OS when available for the device.
This is really important as the Phantom series goes after heavy hitters in the premium midrange market.
Battery Life Performance
Phantom X has a 4700mAh battery that supports 33W fast Type-C charging. During my time with the Phantom X, you could go from 4% to 64% in 29 minutes and an additional 15 minutes to 89%.
Galaxy A72 has a 5000mAh battery that supports 25W fast Type-C charging. 30 minutes of charging gets you from 0% to 54%.
Theoretically, both phones will give you dependable battery life.
Cameras have gotten really good with midrange smartphones. Phantom X has a 50MP triple setup that includes a 13MP telephoto lens with 2X zoom that’s also good for portrait shots and an 8MP ultrawide lens with a 120-degree field of view.
For selfies, the Phantom X has a dual punch-hole cutout in the top left part of the screen that accommodates two front-facing cameras that comprise a 48MP main and an 8MP ultrawide.
When it comes to the Galaxy A72, we are getting a 64MP quad setup that features an 8MP telephoto with 3X optical zoom, 12MP ultrawide and a 5MP macro lens. Samsung included OIS(Optical Image Stabilization) for both the main sensor and the telephoto lens. This puts it ahead of the game with the rest of the midrange smartphones.
Both smartphones support 4K recording capped at 30fps, 1080p at both 30fps and 60fps.
OIS gives the A72 an upper hand and that’s something TECNO can add to its Phantom line – probably the sequel to the Phantom X.
OIS is really handy for shooting smoother and sharper photos and less wobbly videos, especially for handheld shots.
With the Phantom X entering the even more competitive premium market, it still has a lot to prove. Consumers are way picky at this smartphone category and you need to pack more than what the market already offers – no room for compromise.
And in this comparison review, the A72 has more to bring to the table than the Phantom X. This isn’t to negate the gains the Phantom X improves on from its predecessor, but it’s to ensure its sequel comes out better than the rest.
The A72 already did it as the successor to the A71 from last year. I am looking forward to what TECNO does with the upcoming Phantom 11. The revamp will be exciting to see.
Pricing and Availability
TECNO Phantom X goes for Ksh 49,999 and is already in TECNO’s official retail stores countrywide(check here).
Samsung Galaxy A72 goes for around Ksh 47,000 on Jumia(out of stock right now). Other e-commerce sites start at Ksh 52,000.