TECNO PHANTOM V Flip 5G Unveiled: Tech Marvel Meets High-End Design

Today, the PHANTOM sub-brand of TECNO unveiled its first flip phone, the PHANTOM V Flip 5G, which marks a new era of design innovation. This foldable marvel distinguishes itself from other smartphones by combining advanced technology with a high-fashion aesthetic. Its camera trinity is at the heart of this cosmic ensemble: a powerful 64MP+13MP+32MP system. With aesthetics reminiscent of celestial bodies, its unique circular cover screen and cosmos-inspired finish are bound to turn heads and spark conversations.

Designer: TECNO

The PHANTOM V Flip 5G is a remarkable device that can fit easily in a pocket. Its sleek design has received much acclaim and even earned a prestigious German Design Awards nomination. The device was unveiled during the “Flip In Style TECNO Flagship Product Launch 2023” event in Singapore, which showcases PHANTOM’s dedication to innovative design, pushing limits, and providing an unparalleled foldable experience.

Eclipsing Shadows: Illuminate Every Moment

The PHANTOM V Flip 5G’s camera has been crafted to turn low-light moments into luminescent memories. The 64MP RGBW Ultra Sensitive Sensor Main Camera is designed to swallow light, boasting an impressive 60% surge in light intake. The RGBW pixel format ensures minimal noise and enhances color fidelity, ensuring every captured moment reflects reality. With its industry-leading f/1.7 aperture, large 1.6μm (4in1) pixels, and a resolution untouched by any flip phone, nighttime photography is not just possible – it’s great.

TECNO’s Dual-camera Fusion technology ensures every image, whether shot with the 64MP main or the 13MP Ultra-Wide Angle Camera, is detailed, vast, and immersive.

Are you a fan of taking selfies? The PHANTOM V Flip 5G has exciting news for you! It now includes a 32MP Dual-flash Autofocus Front Camera that will take your selfies to the next level. This flip phone has first-of-its-kind Micro-slit Dual-flash technology and TECNO’s Super Flashlight algorithm that guarantees perfect lighting every time. The Automatic Eye-focus feature also ensures that all your selfies and vlogs capture even the smallest details with crystal-clear precision.

In the evolving smartphone world, the PHANTOM V Flip 5G emerges as a shining star, a testament to PHANTOM’s relentless pursuit of design perfection and technological brilliance. Only time will tell where they’ll take us next, but the universe seems a little brighter for now.

As dusk sets and shadows dance, the PHANTOM V Flip 5G stands poised, ready to turn every fleeting moment into a luminous masterpiece. Delving deeper into its prodigious camera capabilities, one can’t help but marvel at how it seamlessly conquers the challenges posed by low-light conditions.

Exploring the Versatility of PHANTOM V Flip 5G’s FreeCam System

The unique flip design of the PHANTOM V Flip 5G isn’t just for aesthetics—it introduces a dynamic new way to capture photos with the FreeCam System. This system provides users with a vast canvas to stretch their creativity, utilizing both front and rear lenses. With the ability to stabilize at angles ranging from 30-150˚, it offers opportunities for diverse shots: group photos, detailed rear camera selfies, and low-angle captures that provide a unique perspective. Additionally, the FreeCam Time-lapses bring a fresh perspective to traditional time-lapse videos. The phone’s capability to hover and accept both gesture and voice commands further enhances its versatility, paving the way for hands-free photography and videography.

A Design Masterpiece in Your Pocket

The PHANTOM V Flip 5G is a tech device that combines luxury with cutting-edge technology. Its cosmic-inspired design features a round “The Planet” cover screen with a deep black hue that evokes the vastness of space, making it truly eye-catching. The innovative “Asteroid Belt-Shaped” camera module is seamlessly integrated into the screen, giving the phone a sleek and unique appearance.

For those who appreciate the finer details, the phone’s exterior boasts premium lychee-pattern classic leather, a material often associated with high-end fashion and luxury cars. It brings an added layer of sophistication and tactile pleasure to the device. Available in two refined shades—Mystic Dawn and Iconic Black—the PHANTOM V Flip 5G caters to various style preferences.

In terms of form and size, the PHANTOM V Flip 5G is designed with user comfort in mind. When folded, it is 88.77 x 74.05 x 14.95mm, which fits snugly in one’s pocket and allows for intuitive thumb navigation. Unfolded, it measures 171.72 x 74.05 x 6.95mm, with a slightly narrower screen. This design decision is rooted in research, ensuring users have a comfortable one-handed experience.

The PHANTOM V Flip 5G is joining competitors with a more modern mobile design, introducing a new dimension to user experience. At the heart of its exterior is “The Planet,” a centralized circular screen designed for effortless one-thumb operation, ensuring convenience from every angle.

This innovative cover screen is not just functional but also interactive. Users can personalize it with a selection of wallpapers, interactive animations known as Tmojis, and even engaging 3D virtual pets. Importantly, this screen allows immediate access to essential functions, such as capturing photos, selecting music tracks, or sending quick replies, without needing access to the main display. The integrated “Smart Widgets” also bring a suite of utilities right to the user’s fingertips. With these, one can view the day’s weather, activate timers, record voice memos, consult their daily agenda, and set alarms without opening the device.

Upon flipping the phone open, users are presented with a pristine 6.9-inch display. This expansive screen, without distracting creases, offers exceptional clarity and detail. With advanced technology behind it, the display ensures smooth navigation and responsiveness, enhancing activities like photo browsing and gaming. In essence, the PHANTOM V Flip 5G represents a harmonious blend of innovative design and user-centric features, making it an ideal choice for those seeking both sophistication and functionality in a mobile device.

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OnePlus Open foldable phone renders paint a better, more realistic picture

Last month’s big Samsung event attempted to remind people that foldable phones are here to stay. While the fancy and hip Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the one making headlines, large foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 are still the first thing that comes to mind when people talk about this kind of form factor. Of course, Samsung is no longer the only game in town either, and OnePlus even boldly made that fact known right at the start of Samsung’s device launch with an equally bold name. While most brands, Google included, focused on how these devices fold down, OnePlus might have chosen the name “Open” to send a very different message. That said, the OnePlus One’s design might not be completely different from what we’ve seen before, but it seems that there will be some big changes that will set this phone apart, at least visually.

Designer: Steve Hemmerstoffer/OnLeaks (via SmartPrix)

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard or even seen what is allegedly the OnePlus foldable, with inklings and leaks already trickling down for months. Back then, it was christened the OnePlus V Fold, more in line with the naming convention of foldable phones. It also had a fairly typical tall design, with a circular camera bump that’s becoming a norm on foldables other than Samsung. In all honesty, the images felt more like a rehash than the daring character that OnePlus often paints for itself. Fortunately, that’s not going to be the case it seems.

A fresh batch of renders shows a design that diverges from the older ones in important ways. The biggest difference is the aspect ratio, now wider when folded and more horizontal when unfolded. This puts its closer to the design of the OPPO Find N2, but these cousins are far from being twins. The OnePlus Open, should that be truly its name, has very flat edges, though its outer rounded corners are more pronounced. Although the inner corners near the hinge are still angular, the screen and back cover are cut to be curved, giving the illusion of rounded corners that make the entire design more symmetrical.

The camera design has also shifted, both inside and outside. The internal selfie camera moved from the left corner to the right corner, a more natural spot for it, while the circular camera bump is now larger and thicker. The latter could hint at an upgrade in specs, especially with an unknown sensor sitting below the Hasselblad “H” logo, speculated to be a 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor. There’s still a faux leather cover on that side, though it’s unknown whether there will be other options without this material.

Internally, the OnePlus Open is expected to have the staple high-end components, so it will be battling Samsung and other brands in terms of design, overall experience, and camera performance. OnePlus will surely play up the “Open” name, but it remains to be seen if its first foldable phone will have the same groundbreaking impact that the OnePlus One had which catapulted the brand into stardom.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Motorola Razr+ (2023): Which Foldable Clamshell to Get

Foldable phones are seemingly becoming more common, at least if you ask the major phone manufacturers. Almost all of them have one form of foldable device or another by now, trying to push the idea of these form-changing devices into mainstream consciousness. Although there’s still plenty of debate on the practicality of the larger and more expansive foldables, it seems that the smaller “clamshell” types may have already found a captive audience, or at least a more concrete demographic. These “flip” style phones seem to be squarely aimed at a younger market, around Gen Z-ish ages, with an emphasis on self-expression, selfies, and style. Of the handful of clamshell foldables, the Motorola Razr+ (2023) and the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 seem to be taking the lead, but which of these brands is actually ahead of the race? We put the two side-by-side to find out.

Designers: Samsung, Motorola

What is the Motorola Razr+ (2023)?

Of these two foldable phones, the Motorola Razr+ (2023), also known as the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, had a head start, but only by a month. At the time of its announcement, it was largely hailed as the poster child for a good small foldable, particularly because its external display practically covered all of the top half of the phone’s rear. This meant more space for content, not to mention less cramped interfaces for regular Android apps. Although some of the hardware looked last-gen on paper, the overall package still seemed acceptable, especially when you consider the price tag.

For a time, it seemed that Motorola is giving Samsung a run for its money, at least with this singular device, and that the Korean tech giant would need a lot of work to reclaim its crown. Its next foldable phones looked more evolutionary than revolutionary, making some wonder if ol’ Sammy has lost its touch or is letting its competitors leave it in the dust. Things seemed to be looking up for Motorola, one of the world’s oldest mobile brands, with the Razr brand poised to regain its iconic fame. And then the Galaxy Z Flip 5 finally arrived.

What is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5?

Truth be told, Samsung was left with very few surprises when its Unpacked event finally came around. Most of the specs of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and its larger sibling, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, have already been leaked to death, and the official announcement only served as confirmation. Yes, Samsung’s foldable clamshell does have a much larger Cover Screen, now called Flex Window, and, yes, it is now using the gapless “teardrop” hinge, officially branded as Flex Hinge. And, yes, the cameras have not been upgraded, at least the two on the outside.

Of course, the devil is in the details, especially in the way that Samsung is taking advantage of the oddly-shaped external display. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is also more than just the sum of its hardware parts and it promises a very different experience from the Motorola Razr+, especially for its more youthful customers.

Flip or Razor?

From a cursory look, the Motorola Razr+ (2023) and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 seem almost too similar, with just a few differences here and there. It’s not an unfair comparison, but there is definitely a lot more than meets the eye. Here are some of the finer details of how the two stand head-to-head.


Right off the bat, the Motorola Razr+ (2023) loses for running last year’s silicon, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, versus the latest and greatest Gen 2 mobile processor. In practice, the two aren’t really worlds apart, so most people might not be able to tell the difference anyway. It just means that the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a bit more future-proof than its Razr counterpart. Speaking of future-proofing, both do come with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, but Samsung offers a 512GB storage option, albeit at added cost (after pre-orders). These days, storage size is extremely important because you can no longer expand that capacity with microSD cards, so at least having that option goes in Samsung’s favor.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5, however, has a slightly smaller 3,700mAh battery than the Motorola Razr+ with its 3,800mAh pack. Considering Samsung is running more powerful hardware and more complex software, you’d think it would want more capacity as well. Making matters a bit worse is that it charges slower at 25W compared to Motorola’s 30W. It’s not a lot, but every bit counts when it comes to battery life and charging speed.


Both of these “flip phones” have slightly similar “base” designs, especially now that the Galaxy Z Flip 5 can close flat without any visible gap. They both look stylish, though Samsung seems to prefer softer pastel colors over Motorola’s sharper hues. The Motorola Razr has a classier bent, but both can look elegant, depending on your tastes. But while both companies seem to be trying to woo the young and young at heart, Samsung might have the upper hand when it comes to appealing to their aesthetic tastes and inclinations.

That’s largely thanks to the Flipsuit cases that Samsung has designed for this particular generation of its small foldable phone. At face value, the concept is nothing remarkable, just a bumper for the upper half of the phone and a clear case for the lower half. The ingenuity comes in the form of NFC-enabled “interactive cards” that you can sandwich between the phone and the clear case which would set a special wallpaper or lock screen on the Flex Window (formerly Cover Display) to match the design of the card.

Definitely a gimmicky feature, but one that opens the doors to many brand partnerships, especially those favored by consumers. Imagine all sorts of collectibles and tie-ins, allowing brands to provide a whole theme package that lets owners easily switch just by swapping NFC cards. It might be a cheaper alternative to producing a complete case for both halves, though the Flipsuit system definitely leaves room for that design. It’s a potential gold mine for marketing, especially considering Samsung’s brand clout.

Cover Display

The biggest “innovation” that these two foldable phones have is their larger external display, but the two brands clearly have different plans in mind. With the Motorola Razr+, its External Screen is simply just a larger version of its predecessors. It has the exact same capabilities, which means you can still run any regular Android app on a now larger display. The catch, however, is that screen wraps around the cameras, so any part of the app’s interface covered by those will be unreachable. Of course, you could do the old notch trick to push the display up, but that leaves wasted space that has little practical use anyway.

In contrast, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 features an actual cutout, creating a shape that looks like a folder tab. You won’t notice this uneven appearance when the display is off, but it might annoy some people who are particular about those details. The two phones also differ greatly in terms of functionality, with Samsung limiting the Flex Window to a selection of “widgets” ranging from a music player to messaging to Google Finance. This allows Samsung to create a more fine-tuned experience but also limits the usefulness of such a large screen. There is word that an extension from Samsung’s “Good Lock” suite of utilities will make it possible to run regular Android apps, but that collection isn’t available in all markets yet.

Durability & Sustainability

One of the biggest concerns people have over foldable phones is their durability or rather their fragility. Moving parts like a hinge increase risk factors like dust and liquid ingress, and a soft touch screen that could be scratched by fine particles also add to their fears. That’s why manufacturers have been trying to calm those worries with promises of increased resilience and reliability, and this is where Samsung and Motorola diverge paths once more.

The Motorola Razr+ (2023) has an IP52 rating, which means it has quite a lot of dust protection but can only withstand light sprays of water. In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is IPX8 rated, so it will survive a dunk in a pool but all bets are off when it comes to dust and sand. The two devices both promise protection but place importance on different things, so consumers will be left to decide on their priorities.

Samsung has been playing the sustainability game far longer than any other manufacturer, and it definitely has a wide lead over Motorola in this race. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 steps up the game with increased use of recycled plastic, glass, and aluminum, in addition to more eco-friendly packaging. Motorola does have some sustainability commitments, but it hasn’t had much visibility as Samsung.

Other Features

Beyond these major points, there are also a few smaller details where the two flipping clamshells differ. The Motorola Razr+, for example, has a bigger 32MP selfie camera, while the Galaxy Z Flip 5 remains very conservative with only a 10MP shooter. Despite being at the forefront of providing a “desktop mode” experience, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 curiously doesn’t support Samsung DeX. Surprisingly, Motorola’s oddly-named “Ready For” is available on its latest foldable.

Both phones currently run Android 13, with promises of an Android 14 update once that’s out. Samsung, however, is guaranteeing one year more than Motorola when it comes to both major and security updates, and now has a better track record of actually making that happen. Samsung’s One UI might be “heavier” in customizations compared to Motorola’s Android skin, but it is better and longer supported, which means you won’t have to worry about software updates for at most four to five years.

Price & Availability

Another reason for people hesitating to even consider foldable phones is their prohibitively high price tags. Thanks to their smaller sizes and less complex designs, however, foldable clamshells like these two can push their prices a bit down to more palatable levels. In fact, both the Motorola Razr+ (2023) and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 retail for $1,000, though the latter has a 512GB model that will go for $1,120 once the pre-order phase ends. At the moment, Samsung’s special promo sells that 512GB model for the same $999 price, significantly undercutting Motorola.

In terms of availability, both phones can be purchased easily either unlocked or with carriers, at least in the US. In other markets, however, Motorola has a more limited reach, so it might be a “no contest” against Samsung anyway. Samsung also has more retail partners and service providers, making it easier to find support for the phone should it meet an unfavorable fate.

Final Thoughts

For a brief moment, it seemed that Motorola finally won the crowd, at least as far as foldable clamshells are concerned. But although there are points that go in its favor, the overall package and experience seem to tip the scales in Samsung’s favor. In terms of specs alone, you would be getting a bit more for the same price, making the Galaxy Z Flip 5 a more worthwhile and future-proof investment over the Motorola Razr+ (2023). Samsung’s small foldable is far from perfect, but it checks most of the right boxes, especially when it comes to presenting a more reliable device.

But smartphones have long gone past being just pieces of tech. They pretty much have become lifestyle choices, and Samsung is in the position to really play up that aspect. With customizable, fun designs and features that appeal to younger generations, Samsung is establishing the Galaxy Z Flip 5 as the hip choice of today’s social media-centric society, and it’s a strategy that might just work in its favor.

The post Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Motorola Razr+ (2023): Which Foldable Clamshell to Get first appeared on Yanko Design.

Vivo X Flip Review: Playful, practical, almost perfect


  • Excellent camera experience

  • Largest battery among clamshells

  • Sleek design with unique charm

  • Almost invisible crease


  • Limited cover display functionality

  • No wireless charging

  • No IP rating




The Vivo X Flip checks most of the right boxes but now faces even stiffer competition even in its home market.

The market for foldables is still marginal, but the demand for foldable phones is steady, backed by the number of sales. 2023 seems to be a year for foldables phones, with iterations of foldable phones from familiar brands and inaugural foldables from big and not-so-big brands. Vivo released its first clamshell foldable Vivo X Flip in China along with the second generation of book-style foldable Vivo X Fold2. We checked out the Vivo’s first attempt at a flip phone.

Designer: Vivo


Vivo X Flip sports a large 3.0-inch horizontal cover display. With bezel extended to the entire back of the device horizontally, the cover display is nicely integrated into the design, rather than the vast cut-out of display we’ve seen in the OPPO Find N2 Flip. The design also gives you the illusion of the cover display being bigger than it actually is.

On the left upper corner, sitting atop the cover display, is a circular camera bump adorned with a Zeiss logo. The circular camera bump design echoes Vivo’s other foldable released on the same day, the Vivo X Fold2. Vivo did not compromise aesthetics for the form factor. Unfortunately, the rather big, attention-seeking Vivo logo placed on the bottom spoils the sleek and premium design of the phone.

X Flip comes in three color options: Rhombic Purple, Silk Gold, and Diamond Black. While each colorway offers unique charm and character, the eye-catcher of three is Rhombic Purple, with its quilt-like vegan leather cover inspired by luxury bags.

More subtle Silk Gold and Diamond Black variants feature a glass back cover. The Diamond Black we got is beautiful with a small diamond pattern reflecting light, but we find the shiny, glossy glass attracts fingerprints and smudges. The phone comes with a transparent plastic case, but that, too, is a fingerprint magnet.


Vivo X Flip size varies slightly between the colorways, but the largest Rhombic Purple measures 86.40mm x 75.25mm x 17.56mm when folded or 166.42mm x 75.25mm x 8.19 mm when flipped open. It is practically the same size as the OPPO Find N2 Flip. The Vivo X Flip closes all the way flat and has absolutely no gap when closed. When unfolded, the phone looks and feels like a regular smartphone. The crease is barely noticeable for the eyes and very subtle for the fingertips thanks to the 5.3mm waterdrop hinge structure.

The phone feels comfortable to hold in your hands. The build quality of X flip feels premium and gives you satisfaction each time you open and close the phone. The Vivo X Flip is certified by TUV Rheinland to endure up to 500,000 folds, so there is no need to worry about durability.

The X Flip can stay stand steadily on its own at the range of somewhere between 60 to 120-degree angle. Try to sit the phone at an angle wider or narrower than that, and it will slowly close or open.


Vivo X Flip is powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and comes with 12GB of ram that can be expanded by up to 8GB and either 256 GB or 512 GB of storage. It’s not the latest high-end Qualcomm chip, but plenty powerful. The clamshell runs Origin OS 3 on top of Android 13.

The X flip features a 6.74-inch screen with a 2520 x 1080 resolution. It has a 21:9 aspect ratio and an LTPO 120 Hz refresh rate. No official peak brightness figure is provided, but the main screen is bright enough under harsh sunlight. Unlocking the phone can be done using the impressively fast and accurate fingerprint sensor on the side.

As for the 3.0-inch cover screen, it offers a broader range of possibilities compared to Samsung Z Flip4 or OPPO Find N2 Flip. You can swiftly access quick settings, check notifications, make and receive calls, take pictures and videos, record audio, check the weather, and set a timer. You can use WeChat with full keyboard input, use a navigation app, watch videos, or even lock/unlock your car on the cover screen. But these are limited to Chinese apps. Vivo didn’t give X Flip the freedom to run any app on the display screen, and it may not be a big issue since this is a China-only phone, at least for now.

However, it feels like a missed opportunity for the phone to have a large 3.0-inch of canvas to play with, yet we’re limited in what we can do with it. If Vivo wanted it, we could run the entire phone without ever having to open it.

It’s no secret that foldable phones lag behind premium camera phones when it comes to mobile photography. But Vivo’s well-regarded improvements in imaging software in recent years are present in X Flip, and the clamshell can produce excellent pictures. X Flip boasts 50MP main camera that employs IMX 866V with 1/1.149”. It has an f/1.75 aperture and features OIS. The 12MP ultrawide camera with f/2.2 aperture also is equipped with autofocus. And there is a 32MP selfie camera.



2x Zoom

X Flip’s main and ultrawide angle capture images with nice details and great dynamic range. The color rendered is on the warmer side, but nothing unnatural. Green, notably lighter green, tends to be more vibrant than it actually is. Zeiss mode produces images with softer green.

Normal 1x


Normal Macro


Low-light photos the X flip capture are impressive too. Vivo employs aggressive shadow brightening while ensuring good white balance and color saturation. Different light sources are adequately exposed, and the details are retained. It seems Vivo is proud, and rightly so, of its night mode and decided to apply it to low-light photography by default.

Regular Mode

Night Mode

One advantage of a flip phone is that you can prop it up as its own tripod or let your subject see the framing as you take photos. And you can see Vivo puts significant consideration and care in this area. The preview mode shows the cropped view of the framing. Vivo added a dual-preview letting your subject see the cropped picture along with the entire framing by splitting the cover screen into two. This lovely function allows your subject to check the whole composition of the photo and not just the zoomed view of the photo you usually get with flip-cover displays.

You can take selfies with the rear cameras by launching the camera directly from the cover screen or switching to Rear HD Selfie mode from internal camera mode. You can access camera settings like camera timer, aspect ratio, and shutter release mode. For Portrait and video, filters and beauty modes can be applied via the cover display. What’s fun is that you can pinch in to access the ultrawide’s 0.6x on Portrait and Photo via the cover display.

Of course, you can shoot selfies with the internal camera. But with the ability to take selfies with the superior rear cameras, the internal camera will likely be left for video calls only.

As for video recording, Vivo X Flip can shoot up to 4k 60fps with the main camera and up to 4k 30fps with the ultrawide. Both the main and the ultrawide camera are equipped with stabilization. Weirdly, the preview on the cover screen is not available for video. And what is more puzzling is that recording selfie videos with the cover display is limited to 1080p 30fps, and no stabilization is available.


Vivo X Flip packs the largest battery for a flip phone at 4,400 mAh and supports 44 W wired charging. The battery is more than enough to get you through the day. Unfortunately, it does not come with wireless charging capability or an IP rating.


While many smartphone manufacturers are putting efforts into being environmentally responsible, it seems they throw it out of the window when it comes to foldable smartphones. Sadly Vivo is no exception here. For example, Vivo makes no mention of using sustainable or recycled materials on the flip phone or its package.

That said, the X flip is built well and rated to withstand at least 500,000 opens and closes, so it won’t die on you too early. At least if you’re careful. No formal IP dust and water resistant rating is given, though, so you’ll need to take extra measure to keep it away from risky environments. It would be great to see Vivo leading the area of sustainability in this form factor segment, but that doesn’t seem to be on its radar yet.


Currently only available in China, Vivo X Flip is priced at CNY 5999 ($838) for 256GB of storage and CNY 6699 ($936) for 512GB storage. The X Flip has a lot to offer as there are only a few competitors for flip phones out there, and X Flip can be one of the top picks when it was launched. But now, with Motorola Razr+ and its larger, fully functional display, as well as the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip5, the competition is getting stiffer. No global availability and limitations on cover display functionality are major drawbacks that won’t help the situation.


Even though the limitation on what apps you can run on the cover screen has left us disappointed, Vivo has done so much right with X Flip. With its sleek design, highly customizable Origin OS 3, excellent camera experience, bright main screen amongst flip phones, beefy battery, and a large and responsive cover screen, Vivo certainly left a mark on the clamshell segment. It’s timing, however, leaves something to be desired, and it will be facing tough rivals in the coming months, even in its exclusive Chinese market.

The post Vivo X Flip Review: Playful, practical, almost perfect first appeared on Yanko Design.

Vivo X Fold 2 Foldable Phone Review: Beautiful, Big, and Bewildering


  • Stylish design with a thin profile

  • In-display fingerprint sensor on both screens

  • Largest screens among foldables

  • High-performance hardware with fast-charging battery

  • Rare mute switch


  • Limited market availability

  • Downgrade in camera and USB technology

  • No dust and water resistance rating




The Vivo X Fold 2 takes the foldable game up a notch but strangely takes two steps back as well.

As foldable phones start to become a little bit more common, it will also become harder for brands to stand out from the growing crowd. There’s definitely still a lot of room for improvement, of course, but many of the features have started to become more standard these days, especially those surrounding the all-important foldable screen. The challenge is even higher when trying to put out a successor to a successful first attempt, with the stakes now higher and the competition even tighter. That’s the difficult task that Vivo had to face in coming up with a successor to its notable first foldable phone, and so we take the Vivo X Fold 2 for a good run to see if it manages to overcome the odds or if it is a victim of the brand’s own success.

Designer: Vivo


At first glance, the Vivo X Fold 2 immediately sets itself apart with its distinctive and elegant looks. Circular camera bumps seem to be the new trend, but not all styles are as pleasant to look at. Normally, one that isn’t centered would look a bit awkward and unbalanced, but Vivo manages to pull this one off thanks to a neat visual trick.

The non-screen backside of the phone is made from two materials. There’s a vertical strip on the side of the hinge that’s made of glossy glass, serving as an accent to the rest of the surface, which uses that oh-so-familiar faux leather material. Beyond giving the phone a unique visual, it also gives the illusion that the camera enclosure is sitting in the middle rather than off-center. That said, that camera design is a bit of a mixed bag. Its stepped design and textured ring make it stand out a bit less despite its height, but that small LED flash ring sticks out like a sore thumb and breaks the visual flow of the design, not to mention the necessary ZEISS branding that sits like a blue wart below the camera.

The Vivo X Fold 2 is definitely quite a looker, especially in the eye-catching red unit we were given for this review. Compared to its predecessor, it’s supposed to be thinner and lighter, though you won’t be able to easily tell even if you have both devices at hand. It’s definitely on the thin and light side compared to other foldables, but it’s certainly not the top of the pack in that aspect. What it is, however, is large, and it is possibly one of the largest in the foldable market, especially when it comes to screen size.

Like many other foldable phones outside of Samsung, Vivo uses a well-known water drop hinge to help make the crease less visible while also allowing the phone to fold shut completely. In both cases, the Vivo X Fold 2 doesn’t disappoint, but it’s not exactly a groundbreaking feat either. It would be more shocking if it actually did worse since it’s a more or less established technology at this point. Fortunately, you really don’t notice the crease that much unless you intentionally look for it, and the bright and large 8.03-inch inner display will be enough to distract you with the way it shows your content in vibrant and crisp colors, even outdoors under the sun.


Now that the once ridiculed “phablet” has become the standard smartphone size, even for Apple, it is nearly impossible to use smartphones these days with a single hand. That is especially true for foldable phones, which transform into small tablets that you really need two hands for. When folded closed, however, the phone’s doubled thickness makes it even less comfortable to use with a single hand, no matter how large your hands might be.

This is probably truer for the Vivo X Fold 2 simply because it is larger than any other foldable phone. When folded, the 6.53-inch external display makes the surface area even less unwieldy. Fortunately, the phone’s textured back gives it a better grip than others of its kind. If you’re the type to still worry, though, Vivo includes a protective back case in the same color and, amusingly, the same vegan leather material as the phone itself.

The one thing that’s a bit easy to do with one hand is to unlock the phone. Thanks to housing an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor in the middle of the screen, you don’t have to fiddle with power buttons located on just one side of the phone. This is already a rare sight on foldable phones, but even more impressive is the fact that the Vivo X Fold 2 also has a similar in-display sensor on the inner display.


The Vivo X Fold 2 is equipped with top-of-the-line hardware you’d expect from a premium flagship this time of the year. That means a beefy Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB or 512GB of storage. What all these figures mean in practice is that it won’t be lacking in power, handling anything you throw at it with aplomb. There is, however, one caveat where the phone gets quite warm when playing graphics-intensive titles. It’s not hot enough to burn your skin, but it might make you want to pause the game a bit, especially since it would eventually affect frame rates.

The phone is equipped with a dual battery that totals 4,800mAh, quite a generous capacity as far as foldables go. Given the power and the two displays, however, you are going to see a shorter uptime compared to normal slabs with the same battery size. Vivo makes up for it with a 120W ultra-fast charging capability that’s one of the fastest in the industry, foldable or otherwise. Unfortunately, that may have come at the price of Vivo downgrading the USB-C port from version 3.2 of its predecessor to an older 2.0 technology. Not only does this mean it has a slower data transfer rate, it also loses the ability to output video through that part. The latter is probably less important to most people compared to faster charging times, but it’s still an unfortunate downgrade nonetheless.

The crowning glory of the Vivo X Fold 2 is, of course, its foldable screen, which is currently the biggest in its category. It has quite an impressive performance, especially when it comes to brightness, but its size does come with a price. It has an overall lower pixel density, and while you won’t be able to make out individual pixels, more discerning eyes might notice the step down in quality compared to other foldables. Fortunately, that doesn’t take away from the enjoyable viewing experience, whether you’re watching videos or reading documents.

Foldable phones haven’t exactly been at the height of mobile photography, mostly because of the sacrifices that have to be made in terms of design and price. Vivo, however, is quite known for its smartphone cameras, especially with its flagship X family, so you’d expect that the X Fold 2 would rise above the rest in this regard as well. Just like the rest of the phone so far, however, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. It definitely takes impressive photos and videos, but they won’t sweep you off your feet, especially when it comes to close-up shots.

The main 50MP camera might not sound like the greatest, but it gets the job done without breaking a sweat. Images have plenty of details, and colors are bright, perhaps even too vibrant for some tastes. Vivo has again partnered with ZEISS for the optics as well as some special camera modes, and those turn out to be more color accurate. The main camera delivers plenty of detail, even in low light, to the point that the dedicated Night Mode might look redundant as long as there is enough illumination from the surroundings.

Left: Regular Shot; Right: ZEISS

Regular (1x)

Night Mode


Unfortunately, the other cameras are less impressive. The 12MP ultra-wide is so-so, and it’s no better nor worse compared to other 12MP ultra-wide cameras you’d find on most smartphones these days. Things take a rather sad turn with the telephoto camera, though. Where there were once two, there is now only one, and Vivo removed the one that was actually more interesting. There is no longer a periscope telephoto camera, leaving only a 12MP shooter in its stead that is capable of doing a measly 2x optical zoom. Many “main” cameras are capable of that much, which makes this camera feel redundant. As for output, it’s decent enough to be usable, but it’s a few steps short of what fans have come to expect from Vivo.



2x (Telephoto)

As for software, the Vivo X Fold 2 comes with Origin OS based on Android 13, which is the China-exclusive flavor that Vivo ships on its phones. This means that there is no Google Play Store pre-installed, though you can definitely install it through other means and get access to your favorite apps. Alas, Origin OS is also filled to the brim with other pre-installed apps, but that, too, is the norm for phones coming from that market. The even bigger concern, however, is how the custom Android experience feels a little rough around the edges as far as support for foldable features is concerned. Given it’s just the company’s second stab at the form factor, it’s a bit understandable, and it will hopefully push out improvements quickly while the phone is still actively supported.


While the Vivo X Fold 2 is able to set itself apart from the others in terms of design, it isn’t that different when it comes to its effects on the environment. The choice of vegan or eco-leather is definitely a good one, but its positive effects are quite minimal compared to the other materials that make up the phone and its packaging. Vivo’s super-fast charging requires a proprietary charger, so it’s unavoidable to ship one in the box.

Sustainability wouldn’t be so bad if the product is made to last, but even then, this foldable might raise some concerns. There is no formal IP dust and water resistance rating, not even a formal assurance of its durability under the most common accidents. Granted, there are few foldable phones aside from Samsung and Huawei that can make such promises, but it is also an opportunity for brands like Vivo to step up their game and prove that they’re no small fry when it comes to providing their customers with peace of mind.


The Vivo X Fold 2 is a bit of a mixed bag. It has a striking design that makes it memorable and attractive, and it also has the power to support all your mobile needs, from browsing to photography to gaming. The larger screens leave plenty of room for your content, or even two of them for the inner foldable screen. There are special features you won’t find in other foldable phones, like an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner and a physical switch to silence notifications, ala the iPhone. We have a few complaints, of course, but nothing so glaring as to make the phone something to avoid.

That said, the biggest deal breaker for this stylish foldable is the fact that only a select number of people will be able to buy one in the first place. Never mind the roughly $1,300 price tag, the Vivo X Fold 2 isn’t even available in markets outside of China. Whether that situation will change, Vivo isn’t saying, but it will definitely need a more polished Funtouch OS experience to improve its reception in international markets.


At this point, almost all the major smartphone players except Apple have entered the foldable smartphone market. The competition will soon be just as fierce as it is in the “normal” smartphone arena. With many of them having nearly the same hinges and almost crease-free displays, manufacturers will have to find ways to differentiate their products in other ways that create better value for their customers. That doesn’t always have to be new hardware or gimmicky features. Sometimes, just having a powerful and beautiful device is enough to get people to buy. Just ask Apple!

The Vivo X Fold 2 clearly tries to reach those goalposts. Its elegant design actually makes the off-center circular camera bump work in a simple yet memorable way. In addition to its powerful hardware, the foldable phone offers unique features as well, like larger screens and in-display fingerprint sensors that even industry leaders failed to offer. Unfortunately, Vivo seems to also have cut a few corners in the process, and while they’re not deal-breakers on their own, they make the experience less than ideal altogether. As a successor, the Vivo X Fold 2 definitely rises to the challenge, but Vivo will need to step up its game to really leave a lasting mark in this growing market.

Aki Ukita and JC Torres contributed to this review.

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How the Motorola Razr+ will finally make you want foldable phones

Foldable phones have been in the market for four years now, and despite Samsung’s aggressive marketing, it is still considered a niche and a very expensive one at that. The “regular” book-style foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold, the OPPO Find N2, and the upcoming Google Pixel Fold definitely spark the imagination and open up new use cases, but they also lack the mass appeal necessary to make the product line a success. In a nutshell, they have a hard time explaining why people would want to cough up a large amount of cash for what seems to be an experimental and unproven device. The new Motorola Razr+, also known as the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra elsewhere, is seemingly saying that you really don’t have to, and its latest design might finally succeed by targeting the market demographic that made the RAZR V3 an icon.

Designer: Motorola

Back when clamshells or flip phones were en vogue, the Motorola RAZR V3 turned heads because of its thin profile and chic design that turned what was normally seen as a business phone into a lifestyle choice. Motorola tried to recreate not only that phone’s magic but also its commercial success, redesigning the now ancient clamshell into a modern foldable phone. After a few tries, Motorola might have finally gotten the formula right, not only with the phone’s design but also with its product positioning.

Right from the start, the new Motorola Razr sported one of the largest external or cover displays for clamshell foldables, but the Motorola Razr+ pushes that envelope even further by having that screen take up almost all of the available space on that half of the phone. It makes it possible to use almost any app in that space, presuming you can stomach the still-small 3.6-inch screen. More than just using it as a camera viewfinder for better selfies, you can also use it to watch Videos, check Instagram, or even type with a full QWERTY keyboard if absolutely necessary. It’s not going to be fun, but the idea is that you won’t have to flip the phone open just to use it like a normal phone, especially when circumstances prevent you from doing that in the first place.

The large screen also opens up more opportunities for styling beyond simple stickers and widgets. Along with the stylish color options that include 2023’s “Viva Magenta,” there is plenty for fun-loving and suave people to like in the Motorola Razr+. In fact, most of the brand’s marketing revolves around a generation who loves to take photos, flaunt their style, and see their smartphones as more than just tools. In other words, the very kind of people that gravitated toward the original RAZR V3.

It also doesn’t hurt that the Motorola Razr+ is expected to cost a lot less than the competition, or at least that’s the expectation when it fully launches in the US. Even if it does cost $1,200, which is pretty much the same price as today’s high-end smartphones, the Motorola Razr+’s stylish design and more flexible functions make the idea of a foldable phone a little bit more normal and definitely more desirable.

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Google Pixel Fold is officially here: what you need to know

It’s fascinating to see how mobile devices constantly evolve year after year, providing users with a broader range of options to suit their needs. The Google Pixel Fold is a perfect example of this, as it combines smartphone and tablet technology to push the boundaries of innovation in the Android market. Foldable smartphones have risen in recent years, and Google is finally getting into the game with the Pixel Fold. This device offers a versatile form factor that seamlessly transitions between folded and unfolded states, meeting the demands of users who want the best of both worlds, powered by the rawest form of the Android operating system.

Designer: Google

The Pixel Fold has an exceptionally proven camera system that takes full advantage of its distinct design, providing a smooth experience on both screens. The phone’s rear camera has a 10.8 MP ultrawide lens, a 48 MP primary camera, and a 5X telephoto lens. Additionally, the inner camera has an 8 MP lens.

The Tensor G2 and Android, combined with AI, make the Pixel Fold a powerful phone that transforms into a compact tablet. When folded, it reveals a slim 5.8-inch front display that easily fits in your pocket, making it the thinnest foldable on the market.

Experience a larger-than-typical smartphone display with the Pixel Fold. Simply unfold it to reveal a spacious 7.6-inch screen. Its custom 180-degree fluid friction hinge ensures a flat and crease-free display. Plus, the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus provides scratch resistance, and its IPX8 water-resistant design safeguards it against the elements.

The Pixel Fold is incredibly slim, with a thickness of only 0.5 inches. When closed, it measures 3.1 inches in width and 5.5 inches in height. Once it is unfolded, its overall size is 6.2 inches. Amazingly, it only weighs 10 ounces.

Despite its size, this device’s battery is smaller than its competitors and other Pixel phones, with only 4821 mAh. However, Google assures users of a battery life of more than 24 hours or up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver mode on. Unfortunately, the fast charging feature requires a separate purchase of a 30W USB-C charger.

As a globetrotter, one feature I’m most excited to try out is the dual-screen interpreter mode for real-time translation and all the personal AI features expected from a Pixel device, including safety speech and call assist. This is also an excellent entertainment device, with a “tabletop mode” for optimized video playback and the ability to switch displays within an app.


You can now place a preorder for the Pixel Fold, which will be shipped next month. As a bonus, if you preorder, you can receive a free Pixel Watch. The Pixel Fold is a high-end device that Google has put a lot of effort into creating. It starts at $1,799 for the 256 GB model and goes up to $1,919 for the 512 GB model, which is only available in Obsidian. However, the Porcelain model only comes with 256GB and is exclusively sold in the Google Play store.

Considering that the Pixel Fold is a first-generation device, the cost charged by Google better come with a long-lasting build. We’re excited to test out the design and usability of the device once we get our hands on it.

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5 ways the Google Pixel Fold could succeed and 5 ways it could fail

Google has just officially confirmed something that has long been leaked almost to death. With its entry into the foldable phone competition, Google has pretty much validated a device category that manufacturers have started taking seriously, but consumers are still wary of. The Pixel Fold isn’t exactly proof of a successful and thriving niche market, but it is at least an indication that the Android maker is taking it seriously. There are still many variables that could make or break Google’s first stab at a foldable phone, but here are some of the design decisions that the Pixel Fold needs to follow or avoid to survive in this exciting but risky endeavor.

Designer: Google

5 Ways the Pixel Fold will Fly

Ergonomic Design

Samsung might be the leading brand in foldables, but its design isn’t exactly the best in class, especially with the Galaxy Z Fold line that hasn’t changed its basic shape since it first debuted. Disregarding technical considerations like the hinge design and the foldable display panel itself, the biggest design complaint people have is that the device is difficult to use as a regular phone when folded shut.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

OPPO Find N2

The Pixel Fold will seemingly join the likes of the OPPO Find N2 with an external display aspect ratio that is closer to the norm compared to the tall and narrow Galaxy Z Fold 4. Although it does make the device a bit more squarish when unfolded, this design means that the Pixel Fold will be more usable as a regular phone when folded. That will also make the device more approachable to people that do still use their smartphones as phones rather than just miniature tablets.

Killer Looks

Foldable phones, by their very nature, are head-turners already, and some brands seem to leave things at that. While the foldable display is definitely novel, the rest of the phone sometimes ends up being lackluster. With few exceptions, foldable phone designs have simply followed that of their non-folding siblings, making them almost visually indistinguishable from regular phones when they’re folded shut.

The Pixel Fold is bringing something fresh, a trait that it inherited from the current Pixel phone design. While not exactly identical to the “visor” of the Pixel 7, it still carries that distinct horizontal camera bump that you won’t see on any other brand these days. It isn’t trying to mimic the look of a digital camera or any other device and stands proudly on its own with a quirky design that could appeal to a wide range of people, especially younger audiences.

Water Protection

Foldable phones have the image of being fragile luxury items, mostly because of how the first generation of devices lived and died with the slightest accidents. A lot has changed over the years, but that stereotype remains, especially since few of these phones can even boast of the same durability as normal handsets. Where dust and water resistance is common among premium devices, it’s still a rarity among all foldables save those made by Samsung.

Of the many foldables in the market, only Samsung is able to boast of an IPX8 rating. It might be thanks to its hinge, which, unfortunately, still causes a more visible crease. Google could easily one-up the competition with this much-sought-after assurance. It had more time to cook in the oven, so it has little excuse not to get this basic feature down right from the start.

Pixel Perfect Photography

Although not exactly dismal, foldable phones aren’t exactly up there when it comes to photography performance. There is just so much you can cram in such a thin device, and most of the build costs will go toward the R&D and implementation of the hinge and display technologies. That makes foldables less ideal for one of the most important uses for phones these days: taking photos and videos.

This is where Google’s special sauce comes in. Ever since the first Pixel phone, Google has been doing magic with its computational photography, producing astounding results even with what some would consider sub-par imaging sensors. That said, the first teaser for the Pixel Fold hints at a competent array of cameras, including what could be a periscope telephoto shooter. With both hardware and software, Google could possibly pull off a foldable phone that shutterbugs would absolutely love.

Premiere Android Experience

Google isn’t the oldest or biggest phone manufacturer in the market, but the reason that its Pixel phones sell well is because of the software experience it offers. Android is long past its teenage years, but some of its flaws linger around. Although they do offer some added value, custom vendor skins and experiences come with a lot of bloat that creates problems across the board.

It does have its own set of proprietary and exclusive bits, but the Pixel experience is the closest you’ll get to an unadulterated Android experience as envisioned by Google. For the Pixel Fold, we’ll finally see Google’s interpretation of what a foldable phone is supposed to be and do in a way that’s not burdened by bloatware or hampered by late or sporadic updates.

5 Ways the Pixel Fold will Fold

Growing Pains

Although Google has nearly perfected its Android phone experience, it hasn’t seriously dabbled outside that category. Sure, it knows about tablets, but its attitude to these large slates has been anything but supportive. The Pixel tablet may be a sign of the changing times, but that only means that Google is only now acknowledging a device it has long tried to ignore.

A foldable is a cross between a phone and a tablet, and it would be completely uncharted territory for Google. Sure, it actually worked with Samsung on some of the features that would be hidden in Android for years, but it’s one thing to work on things behind closed doors and quite another thing to have a finished commercial product. Hopefully the Pixel Fold won’t feel half-baked like Google’s first attempts to support tablets back in Honeycomb and Nexus days.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Fledgling Ecosystem

Unlike a smartphone or tablet, a foldable phone would need some special attention from developers to get right. Although it’s definitely possible for apps to work as is without modification, the experience wouldn’t be comfortable and may sometimes even break, depending on how well they conform to Android app guidelines.

Even years after major brands like Samsung have been launching foldable phones, only a few apps have taken advantage of this unique form factor. Then again, some apps still don’t support tablets at this point in time. Google will definitely need to do some nudging to get developers to take note, especially those with popular names on phones or tablets.

Limited Edition

Despite their popularity, Pixel phones are not that easy to come by, especially if you live outside the US and EU. The global coverage of Google’s products is still relatively small compared to the network of the likes of Samsung or even OPPO. The Pixel Fold might have an even shorter reach, limited to a few markets that Google would consider “major.”

It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy because sales of such a limited device will definitely be small. Furthermore, it won’t have a chance to be tested by a lot more people, people who could provide important feedback on how to improve the product. It might not be a surprise, then, if Google announces later on that the Pixel Fold is a commercial failure and axes it after just a single generation.


Purposeful Existence

Despite their growing numbers, many people still aren’t convinced there’s ever a need for foldable phones. Most of that is probably due to how expensive and fragile these devices are. More screen space and more productivity have been the common tag lines for foldables, but those might not be the only ways to sell the design.

Google definitely needs to work on how it sends its message across effectively, and it might actually have a bit of trouble pulling that off on its first try. It took almost six generations for Google to make a hit Pixel phone design and a marketing strategy that revolved around creating a personal connection with one’s smartphone. It could try that same strategy with the Pixel Fold, but a clamshell-type foldable might be a better fit for a lifestyle device like the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7.

Google Pixel 7

Google Graveyard

At the end of the day, however, the biggest hindrance to the market embracing the Pixel Fold wholeheartedly is, ironically, Google itself. While the tech giant is famous for its ideas and products, it is equally notorious for killing them off suddenly as well. Google’s past attitude towards Android devices outside of smartphones might not spark much confidence, so it isn’t going to be a surprise if people approach it with some hesitation.

The age of smartphones being one-off novelties is long over. People buy these essential devices with some expectations not only about their longevity but also about their future options. If there is no or little assurance that Google will carry the Pixel Fold forward to future iterations, they might be less willing to invest in an expensive product that might not live beyond the first generation.

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Galaxy Z Flip 5 might have a unique but slightly questionable design change

Although it was never really the only game in town, Samsung’s lead in the foldable phone market is starting to narrow down. There are now plenty of competitors, both in the book style and clamshell designs, and some of them are even scoring higher than Samsung on some points. Despite the growing rivalry, Samsung’s response so far has been modest or even downright disappointing. That might finally change with this year’s generation of foldables, with some big changes rumored to already be in the works. Based on unofficial 3D renders, it seems that the biggest change will be seen on the Galaxy Z Flip 5, though that much-anticipated upgrade still leaves a few questions unanswered.

Designer: Steve Hemmerstoffer (via Mediapeanut)

Unlike with a large, horizontal book-type foldable phone like the Galaxy Z Fold, you don’t really expect to be able to use the Galaxy Z Flip as a regular smartphone when it’s folded shut. Samsung, however, took that to the extreme and provided only a small window into your phone with a screen that’s barely larger than the two cameras beside it. Not only was it barely usable, but it was also a huge missed opportunity, something that the likes of the Motorola Razr and the new OPPO Find N2 Flip took advantage of.

It was probably only a matter of time, and the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 5 might finally try to get ahead of the race with what may be the biggest Cover Display for clamshells, a good 3.4 inches if the leaks are to be believed. This is only a tiny bit larger than the OPPO Find N2 Flip, which we reviewed a few months back, but it’s plenty big for plenty of content. It almost covers the entire upper half of the phone’s back, which suggests it will have a more comfortable user interface compared to the cramped Galaxy Z Flip 4.

The shape that Samsung chose, however, is quite odd and might not bode well for the experience that people can expect from it. It has a tab-like cutout to make room for the camera, similar to the notch on the first Galaxy Fold. This would suggest that the Galaxy Z Flip 5 will still use a custom UX for this external display, and it is unlikely that it will support the use of regular apps, unlike the Motorola Razr.

It’s admittedly a small nitpick compared to finally having a large external display. What the renders don’t show, however, is whether the Galaxy Z Flip 5 will be able to fold shut completely flat. That would require a change to the hinge technology that might, in turn, bring undesired regressions, like the loss of water resistance that only Samsung is able to confidently promise.

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TECNO PHANTOM V Fold Foldable Phone Review: When The Price is Right


  • Eye-catching and distinctive design

  • More usable outer Cover Screen

  • Great value for its price

  • Large and fast-charging battery


  • Hinge doesn't support intermediate angles

  • Limited global availability

  • Missing features like HDR, IP rating, and wireless charging




A beautiful phone with shockingly good performance, the TECNO PHANTOM V Fold's aggressive pricing is enough to make you overlook its minor flaws.

You know that foldable phones have really hit mainstream when even relatively lesser-known brands start launching one. Although it has been serving markets like Africa for years now, TECNO has only recently started to spread its wings globally. This year, it made its most ambitious move yet, launching a phone in a market that is still considered niche and a luxury that few could afford. The TECNO PHANTOM V Fold, however, has a trump card that almost no other of its kind dares to use: a significantly lower price tag. But at what cost does that price cut come, and is it enough to give the PHANTOM V Fold the upper hand? We give the latest foldable phone a spin to find out.

Designer: TECNO


The TECNO PHANTOM V Fold immediately stands out among its peers the moment you lay your eyes on it. Its large internal screen is nearly crease-free (we’ll get back to that later), and its external cover display is along normal aspect ratios in contrast to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4’s uncomfortably tall and narrow version. What really catches the eye, however, is the rear design, including the camera bump, which is thankfully more than just a pretty face.

Like a breath of fresh air amid the sparkling or frosted glass of most of today’s smartphones, foldables included, the PHANTOM V Fold adopts a textured back panel similar to faux leather but with a more fibrous appearance reminiscent of craft paper or felt. It’s plastic, yes, but recycled plastic, at least, making you feel good about it in more ways than one.

Although circular camera bumps are no longer unique, TECNO puts a rather interesting spin on it by having the main 50MP camera raised a bit higher and off to the side of the enclosure, visually counterbalanced by the other two circular lenses on the opposite side. It’s an asymmetrical design that quickly calls your attention in a pleasing way, and it might remind you of the moon or, for some Star Wars fans, a certain planet-sized planet-killing machine.

Thanks to the use of that now famed “water drop” hinge, the PHANTOM V Fold can boast of a flatter internal display and a tighter fold. That said, it’s not as invisible as the OPPO Find N2, especially at certain angles, and the fold isn’t completely flat either. It’s still a lot better than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, though, which is quite impressive for a first attempt compared to Samsung’s four generations.


While the TECNO PHANTOM V Fold might be a joy to look at, you might be taken aback a bit when you finally hold it in your hand. At 299g, it is easily one of the heaviest foldable phones on the market, even among the “horizontal” foldable kind. Thankfully, the textured plastic back helps give it a bit of a grip, but it’s something you should take into account when trying to use the phone for long periods of time.

Unlike most foldables, the PHANTOM V Fold’s outer Cover Display curves down on the right side, similar to the curved edge displays of past flagship phones. Unfortunately, it doesn’t add much to the experience except for a slight visual flair. Some might even find it to be a drawback because of accidental triggers when part of the palm or finger brushes that sloped side. Fortunately, its wider aspect ratio makes it a lot more usable than the narrow and tall oddity of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but you would still prefer to use it with both hands anyway.

One of the neat tricks of foldable phones is to be able to use them in a half-folded state. It’s a novelty that only works if the apps support what some companies have branded as “Flex Mode,” and that’s sometimes the case with apps like YouTube or the camera. Unfortunately, none of that is possible with the PHANTOM V Fold because it can’t really stay still at any angle except completely opened or closed. It will stay open a bit at an angle but will eventually either open flat or close down. It’s not a deal-breaker considering the relatively small number of uses for Flex Mode, but it’s still a disappointing absence for a foldable.


Given its price tag, you might presume the PHANTOM V Fold to be the first mid-range foldable phone, and you’d be shocked that it isn’t the case. Granted, it’s not exactly the fastest or the best in class, but it’s far from being the last in the race. The phone is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+, which can definitely pull its weight and handle almost anything you throw at it, including games. In terms of benchmarks, it’s on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which was the flagship chipset last year. In practice, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that will make it choke, especially with the 12GB of RAM that can be expanded up to 21GB.

The displays are nothing to scoff at either, both using AMOLED LTPO technology, which gives it a range of 10Hz to 120Hz refresh rates. Images are sharp and colors are vibrant, especially with the internal foldable panel’s higher pixel density. Neither are the brightest in the market, and the larger screen also takes a larger hit in brightness, but they’re usable enough even under bright sunlight. The display isn’t rated for any HDR support, which is quite a bummer in this day and age. Some streaming services might still attempt to play HDR content, though most likely through software processing.

The PHANTOM V Fold rightly has stereo speakers, with grilles located on opposite halves of the phone. The output is loud and serviceable but totally unremarkable in any aspect. You’d be better served by connecting wireless earphones, but the speakers will still do well enough when you really want to blast music out loud.

The theme of “decent but unremarkable” continues with the triple camera setup, led by a 50MP main shooter. Under bright light, shots are actually good with a fair amount of detail, though the colors look a bit washed and dull. The camera falters a bit at night unless you enable the dedicated Night Mode, at which point it actually comes out with impressive output. The 50MP 2x “telephoto” camera does reasonably well, though its zoom level can be considered to be the bare minimum. Jumping from 2x optical to 3x digital zoom immediately reveals a dive in quality. The 13MP ultra-wide is what you’d expect, though it thankfully still comes out with OK shots. None of the cameras advertise OIS, but the ultra-wide camera does have autofocus, which is actually a rarity.



2x Zoom

The internal front-facing camera uses a 13MP sensor and is easily outclassed by the 32MP selfie shooter on the outer display. Just like with most smartphones coming from the region, the PHANTOM V Fold applies aggressive “beautification” post-processing to the point of becoming a tad unrealistic. That’s especially true for Portrait Mode, which may misidentify people and start embellishing facial features and tones.

For its first-ever foldable phone, TECNO modified its custom Android experience with plenty of multi-window and multitasking features. Unfortunately, the HiOS 13 Fold user experience also comes with plenty of bloatware, some of which might be completely unfamiliar to most people. There are also some areas that feel rough around the edges, unoptimized, or even downright buggy. This is, fortunately, also the easiest part of the experience to fix, presuming TECNO puts in the work to push out updates quickly and regularly.

This entire experience runs on a 5,000mAh battery, which is admittedly one of, if not the largest for a foldable phone. Given its specs and its two 120Hz displays, however, the uptime practically evens out at the end of the day. The PHANTOM V Fold’s 45W charging speed isn’t exactly the fastest, but it’s almost twice what Samsung has to offer. There’s no wireless charging, though, but that’s also something that only the Galaxy Z Fold has anyway.


Just like any other smartphone these days, the TECNO PHANTOM V Fold doesn’t really score that high in this category. It deserves props for using recycled plastics for its back cover, but that’s a comparatively small part of the whole. The phone, however, takes the biggest hit when it comes to its longevity because it almost feels as if this phone isn’t built to last.

For example, there is no IP rating, not even an assurance beyond something along the lines of using a “splash-proof” coating. The hinge type might be at fault here, but anything that would give consumers some confidence is definitely welcome. Official IP certification definitely costs a lot, but given how fragile these foldable phones already are, it could be something buyers will be willing to pay for.

TECNO also doesn’t have a track record of software updates, at least not yet, and it’s only offering the barest of bare minimum for the PHANTOM V Fold, just two years, in this case. That can and will hopefully change now that the company is trying to play in the big leagues, where Google’s three-year commitment was almost laughed out of the room.


If it hasn’t been apparent yet, the TECNO PHANTOM V Fold seems to have many of these small nitpicks and paper cuts, minor flaws that keep it from getting a perfect score. Granted, no phone is really perfect, even those from much bigger brands than TECNO, but are these drawbacks enough to ruin the overall value of this foldable phone? Fortunately, no.

When looking at the bigger picture, the PHANTOM V Fold offers what market watchers and fans have been asking for for years, an affordable foldable phone that doesn’t come in a clamshell form factor. The $1,100 price tag alone, which is nearly half that of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, is enough to turn heads, but that figure doesn’t mean that the product isn’t up to snuff. It’s less about cutting corners and more about providing the best set of features for that cost. From that perspective, TECNO managed to pull off a miracle and might be the first one to really come out with a flagship foldable phone for the masses. Unfortunately, only those in India will be able to get their hands on this wonder device, at least for now.


A lot of smartphone manufacturers are trying to make foldable phones more normal, but filling the market with such devices solves only one part of the problem. By now, many people are already aware of the benefits of such a device, and almost everyone definitely wants to have a larger screen to watch or play on. The only problem left is an affordable option that lowers the risk when buying a comparatively less durable phone.

The TECNO PHANTOM V Fold is the first to really take a step in that direction. In some ways, it is better than the standard that Samsung set, and in other ways, it is at least on par. It is far from being perfect, and there’s a laundry list of flaws to nitpick. In the grand scheme of things, however, the PHANTOM V Fold delivers a solid foldable phone experience that’s well worth the $1,100, presuming you can get your hands on one.

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