Many smartphones these days offer artificial bokeh in portrait photography modes, but with the help of a retractable camera, you can achieve true optical bokeh without losing any edges. Chinese brand Tecno is now bringing this feature to its latest flagship device, the Phantom X2 Pro 5G, which has a “world’s first” pop-up portrait lens. That’s just over two years after Xiaomi showed off a retractable 120mm-equivalent wide-aperture lens, but it has yet to leave the prototype stage.
Tecno’s stunning selfie camera has a resolution of 50MP with a relatively large 1/2.7″ sensor and 1.28µm pixel size. Optically, this 2.5x zoom lens offers an f/1.49 aperture, 65mm focal length, and 18.9cm depth of field. When you switch to portrait mode in the camera app, you can see (and hear) the vertical lens that actually appears on the back of the phone. This is complemented by Tecno’s “self-developed” beauty mode with developed makeup settings – up to three faces are supported in each photo.
I had a chance to shoot a few images with the Phantom X2 Pro 5G earlier today, and with the exception of aggressive skin smoothing, my subjects were quite pleased with the natural bokeh, improved brightness, and almost non-existent distortion.
There’s more to this big, entertaining camera island. The main 50-megapixel shooter uses Samsung’s 1/1.3-inch GNV ISOCELL 3.0 sensor, which offers a 1.2-micron pixel size and is backed by an f/1.85 aperture. You’ll also find a 13MP ultra-wide-angle camera, as well as a 32MP front-facing camera on the other side of the phone — in the form of a punch-hole near the top, curved 6.8-inch AMOLED display (2400 x 1080 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate; Gorilla Glass Victus) .
The Phantom X2 Pro 5G is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 9000, which is a 4nm octa-core processor – similar to the faster Dimensity 9000+ found in ASUS’ ROG Phone 6D series. It also packs 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, along with a large 5,160mAh battery with support for 45W fast charging. While this phone lacks an IP rating, a company representative claimed the retractable selfie lens is water and dust resistant — the inside of the lens appears to be sealed, and likewise with the connection between the lens and the body. However, it is better to avoid water when you carry this device.
The new Tecno phone runs on a custom Android 12 called HiOS 12, which features an AI gallery with face recognition and editing functions, along with some productivity tools (built-in translator, file scanner with text and PDF conversion etc.) and connection speed optimization engine. Tecno added that its hardware passed TÜV Rheinland’s fluency test over 36 months of simulation, which means that cache performance shouldn’t degrade too much (read: fragmentation) over the same period in real life; But we’ll take that claim with a pinch of salt for now.
Gallery: Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G | 7 photos
Gallery: Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G | 7 photos
Tecno will initially launch the Phantom X2 Pro 5G in markets including India, Nigeria, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Turkey and the Philippines from the end of December, and will reach more than 60 markets globally later (we are waiting for specific details on western markets). The device will be available in Stardust Gray and Mars Orange, with the latter featuring an eco-friendly back cover made of plastic sourced from the beaches around the Indian Ocean. Tecno claims that this “green version” reduces carbon emissions by approximately 38 percent compared to virgin plastic, “with each individual lid producing about 2.4 grams less emissions on average.”
If you can find the Phantom X2 Pro, the asking price is around $930 (based on its 3499 SAR price in Saudi Arabia), which is probably hard to justify. Just Some natural bokeh. There’s also the Phantom X2 which costs around $215 and looks very similar, but only has 8GB of RAM and lacks a retractable portrait camera; You instead get a 64MP main camera and a 2MP depth camera, along with the same 13MP ultra-wide camera and 32MP front-facing camera as the Pro model. The orange option has also been replaced with a “Moonlight White” design.
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