TECNO Phantom X2 VS Samsung Galaxy S22 Comparison Review

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The year has started with the battle of the flagships as Samsung’s and TECNO’s premium smartphones go head to head in our latest comparison review. TECNO just launched the X2 Series in the Phantom sub-brand, including the regular Phantom X2 and the Phantom X2 Pro last month. On the other corner is Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S22 series which launched in early February last year.

We’ve already reviewed them separately here for the Phantom X2 and here for the Samsung Galaxy S22.

In this comparison review we put them head to head.

UNBOXING

The Samsung Galaxy S22 comes in a small minimal black box that contains the phone, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a SIM ejector, and documentation. Samsung doesn’t include the charger head or a case inside.

On the other hand, the TECNO Phantom X2 comes in a relatively bigger cardboard slide-out box packed with accessories that include the 45W charger, Type-A to Type-C USB cable, and documentation. a texturized back case that even has a stand, a pair of earphones and the phone which comes pre-applied with a screen protector.

So far, in terms of packing, the TECNO Phantom X2 takes the lead here with its accessories which means you won’t have to dig into your pocket to purchase what you don’t get in the box.

DESIGN

The Samsung Galaxy S22 ships with the same minimalistic design as its other siblings – the S22 Plus and the S22 Ultra. It’s rounded and curvy at the sides with a flat middle frame and flat back. The camera island extends from the frame to the edge.

At the bottom is the charging port, speaker, microphone and dual nanoSIM card tray.

TECNO Phantom X2 vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ports

At the top, we have the secondary microphone.

On the right side are the power button and volume rockers.

Our unit comes in Phantom black. Other colour options include Phantom White, Green and Pink Gold.

The back is Gorilla Glass Victus plus protected.

Top the front is the 6.1” 1080p Dynamic AMOLED LTPS screen with 120Hz refresh rate supporting HDR10+, Widevine L1 certification and a peak brightness of 1300 nits.

It is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus plus as well. At the centre, a punch-hole cutout is the selfie camera.

The Gorilla Glass Victus protection is important as Samsung went with glass for both front and back for that premium look and increase its scratch and shatter resistance. It is also sturdy thanks to the Armor Aluminium frame to increase durability.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 features ip68 protection.

For biometrics, we have an under-display ultrasonic fingerprint reader and face unlock.

The TECNO Phantom X2 on the other hand goes with a more distinctive look with the main camera island taking centre stage making the phone really stand out.

There are no sharp edges with the TECNO Phantom X2 as compared to the Samsung Galaxy S22 which makes it easier to handle. It is still a huge phone and relatively heavy at that.

At the bottom, we have the speaker, the charging port, the microphone and the dual nanoSIM card tray.

It is worth noting that both phones don’t have slots for expandable storage.

At the top, we have the secondary microphone.

On the right side is the power button with a red accent and volume buttons.

The TECNO Phantom X2 has a curved 6.8” 1080p OLED screen protected by Gorilla Glass Victus and sports 120Hz refresh rate – similar to its Pro sibling. It also has 710 nits of peak brightness.

The TECNO Phantom X2 has Widevine L1 certification for watching HD-quality content on Netflix. It sadly lacks HDR support.

TECNO Phantom X2 comes in Moonlight Silver and Stardust Gray with a plastic back.

For biometrics, we get an optical under-display fingerprint reader and face unlock which is pretty fast.

In terms of design, both phones excel. The Samsung Galaxy S22 has a much better and brighter display and most people would prefer a more compact phone but the standout design of the TECNO Phantom X2 might pique the interest of people who like slightly larger phones.

Phantom X2 goes toe to toe with the Samsung Galaxy S22 when it comes to its screen. It’s relatively bright and the fast refresh rate makes scrolling through social media apps, gaming and interacting with the phone’s interface smooth.

However, its lack of IP68 water and dust rating might hold off potential consumers.

PERFORMANCE

The Samsung Galaxy S22 comes with a Snapdragon 8 gen 1 processor paired with Adreno 730 GPU and 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You can expand the RAM upto 16GB with the added 8GB of virtual RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 ships with Android 12 and OneUI 4.1 straight out of the box. It got updated to Android 13 and OneUI 5 late last year and the company has promised up to four Android OS updates. This is a better update policy even when compared to Google’s Pixel lineup which sticks to three Android OS updates.

Samsung has also kept the updates timely with no long wait periods.

OneUI is comparatively the best user interface when it comes to Android smartphones. Android 13-powered One Ui 5 improves on the Material You integration as the colour changes are applied across the system. Dynamic theming is also expanded with more colour options, including four two-tone options that also extend to the app icon theming.

Phantom X2 ships with Mediatek Dimensity 9000 coupled with Mali-G710 MC10 GPU. It also comes with 8GB of RAM and like the Samsung Galaxy S22, we have 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. You can expand to up to 13GB with the additional 5GB of virtual RAM.

Powering the phone is Android 12 and HiOS 12. HiOS 12 is much more refined compared to its older versions but it still comes with bloatware that can be uninstalled or disabled.

TECNO has guaranteed that the Phantom X2 series will get upgraded to Android 13, Android 14 and probably Android 15 when Google launches it.

Synthetic benchmarks put the Phantom X2 ahead of its rival – recording a multi-core of  3911 compared to 3338 on Geekbench.

Real-life performance is also great with the Phantom X2 as it handled light to heavy tasks very well. The Samsung Galaxy S22 slightly stuttered with some heavy multitasking and could get warm when gaming as it lacked a cooling solution because it’s small.

When it comes to software, OneUI 5 is relatively better than HiOS 12. Tecno’s Achilles’ heel is the fact that the software update timeline is longer than Samsung but hopefully that policy changes this year.

But if you want a phone that you know will get long-term support in terms of software updates, then the Samsung Galaxy S22 is the one to pick.

Also, the Samsung Galaxy S22 recorded much faster 5G speeds at 290Mbps compared to the TECNO Phantom X2’s 240Mbps.

BATTERY LIFE

The Phantom X2 has a bigger 5160maH battery compared to the 3700mAh battery for the Samsung Galaxy S22. The TECNO Phantom X2 supports 45W fast wired charging while the s22 supports up to 25W fast charging. The x2 takes 20 minutes to go from empty to 54% and an hour to full charge.

30 minutes of charge takes the Samsung Galaxy S22 from empty to 63% and an hour to 100%.

TECNO’s bigger battery gives it an upper hand as it lasts relatively longer with light to heavy use. The Samsung Galaxy S22 on the other hand has not-so-good battery life. With heavy use, you’ll need to top-up later in the evening. Battery life is one of its weakest points so you’ll need to carry its charger or an external battery pack to push through the day.

The Phantom X2 wins this round effortlessly.

CAMERAS

So far, both the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the TECNO Phantom X2 are equally good but the most important thing is how do they handle smartphone photography.

TECNO Phantom X2 has a triple main setup that includes a 64MP primary camera with OIS, a 13Mp ultrawide and an additional 2Mp depth sensor. We also get a 32MP selfie camera.

Video recording is capped at 4K 60fps for the main camera and 1080p 30fps for the selfie camera.

Samsung went all with its cameras as they all sport OIS from the 50MP main, the 10Mp telephoto with 3X optical zoom and the 12MP ultrawide.

We have a 10MP selfie camera.

Video recording is capped at 8K 24fps with the option of 4K 60fps for the main and 4k 60fps for the selfie camera.

We took a ton of shots with both phones and you’ll be pleased with either. Samsung opts for more saturated and vibrant shots while tecno keeps it neutral including skin tones.

Both phones handled portraits really well with excellent background separation.

It is actually in Night photography that Tecno zooms past the S22 thanks to the RGBW sensor to allow for lowlight photography. It’s nice that tecno is finally catching up with Samsung in the photography department as an equal rival.

VERDICT

This was a tight race and both the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the TECNO Phantom X2 exchanged blows. TECNO is pushing boundaries with the phantom subbrand as that is clearly evident with the x2 when it comes to photography, design, photography and charging but the Samsung Galaxy S22 has enough of everything.

Its biggest drawback is the weak battery life that you will have to contend with.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

TECNO Phantom X2 goes for Ksh 68,000 at TECNO retail stores countrywide and online at eCommerce sites like Masoko.

Samsung Galaxy S22 goes for Ksh 82,000 at Samsung brand shops and online.