Hello nerds and nerdesses and potential gadget buyers, welcome to The Osai Effect. Tonight we are finally reviewing the Tecno Phantom Pad which has been in the market for just around six weeks.
The Tecno Phantom Pad runs on Android Jellybean OS (4.2) and boasts of a quad-core 1.2GHz processor with an 8 inch capacitive touchscreen. The Phantom Pad sits quite well on the hand although it may be a little slippery; however it comes with a smart case which makes up for the not-so-awesome grip.
It possesses a 5MP rear-facing camera (without a flash I must say) which produces just about basic pictures and was frankly disappointing; it has a 2MP front-facing camera which can be used to take ‘selfies’ and can be used with apps such as Skype and Line. The 8-inch screen makes for awesome quality high-res images and quite frankly exceeded our expectations.
Gaming on the Phantom Pad is smooth and fun although the graphics card is a bit poor and some games may look tacky or basic. Temple Run 2, Subway Surfer, Highway Rider, Spartan Wars, NFS: Shift and a few other games we tested ran superbly when we got over the not-so-awesome graphics.
Browsing on the Phantom Pad is first class! It blows through sites in a matter of microseconds with MTN 3G. The default browser is good enough for basic surfing and is really quite good generally. The speed further improved when we used Chrome and Skyfire although Opera was slower than the stock browser. Message delivery speed and connectivity are also lightning fast on Whatsapp, Line, Twitter and Facebook apps. Image refresh rate and general speed of loading were pretty neat on the Instagram and Google+ Images apps and websites. When tested with Wifi, the speed was totally unrealistic and we have to say the Phantom Pad is fast!
The music player is really wack though; there are no dedicated keys for skipping tracks and the search function was pretty difficult to find. This means that if you have 2,754 songs like we have on our memory card, you are in for a long thing. The headset equalizers are pretty nice but too focused on bass boost and certain songs sound really weird and uncool. There is no voice control in the music app and this is another turn-off for us. Some of these issues can be corrected by downloading and installing VLC media player which we are sure a number of us are familiar with.
The video player is considerably better than the music player. We can fast-forward, rewind, skip, and take screenshots from the comfort of the initial screen. VLC also helps with some of its flaws as well.
Bluetooth connectivity is pretty neat with Bluetooth 3.0; Flashshare also comes as an optional app which can be installed with the Assistant. Making and Receiving calls (which we did exclusively with the stock earbuds) are also simple and easy to use. The calls come across really clear on our MTN network and we are able to conference quite simply. The is no voice control here either which sucks 😦
The battery life of the Phantom Pad is also unrealistic as all Tecno devices are. We found out that we could use our Phantom Pad for 8-12 hours when fully charged and optimized for longer battery life. Tecno boasts of 800 hours standby time (we will take their word on that ha-ha) and 13 hours talk-time but we are yet to verify those stats for obvious reasons 😀
The Phantom Pad comes with the Android Keyboard set to default but there is also the option to install Go Keyboard (which is pretty neat) and to download SwiftKey from the Play Store or One Mobile Market. Voice Typing with the Android Keyboard is also pretty accurate (although it could not get my name right no matter how many times or how hard I tried 😦 ) and is a welcome relief from having to type with our fingers all the time. The Voice Search option is also pretty cool and fun to use as well.
Wifi Hotspot, Bluetooth and USB tethering worked reasonably well although we were expecting much more from the Pad. We really loved the sensor as it orients to any way you hold the device (even upside-down). The GPS is also first class; we were able to go from Challenge District, Ibadan to Apata Market, Ibadan (about 5km) without hitches and it was accurate up to the point of traffic and landmarks and there was very little lag when our connection acted up. This was of course using Google Navigation app which comes pre-installed on the Pad.
Synchronization with Google and other accounts is also first class on the Phantom Pad. The Pad has no screenshot button but screenshots can be taken by holding down the power and volume-down key simultaneously.
Downloading apps OTA (Over the Air) is quite bad as most sites were unable to read our device type and we ended up downloading incompatible apps with our precious ‘MB’. This problem can be solved by downloading all apps from Play Store and One Mobile Market and we are sure the situation will improve as more people pick up the pad.
Generally, the Phantom Pad is an awesome device and really is worth its price. At a retail price of N36, 000 we can more than say it gives absolute value for your money. We cannot vouch for the hardware as of yet as we have just been using ours for about 3 weeks but we will make updates to our reviews in time. We did find a huge glitch in the programming of the Pad and we can only hope our particular devices (yes, two) were defective. Your Pad may become unresponsive if you swipe your screen in any direction other than the down-direction when an alarm is blaring.
To be safe, we would advise us not to use the alarm function. We were only able to get another device because of the warranty which governs the usage of all Tecno phones. It would be wise therefore for us to get our Phantom Pads from only authorized dealers and outlets.
We do hope you were enlightened by this review. Do leave your comments in the comment box below.
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