Tecno may be killing it or whatever it is people perceive of it but there are some things it needs to get right if it is to go on and become a trusted premium brand. Take its latest “flagship” smartphone for instance. That’s the Phantom 5. I got a review unit for the purposes of trying it out and eventually penning a review like we always do here at Techweez. All went smooth for a month then one evening, when I had removed my Safaricom SIM card from the Galaxy Note 5 and wanted to use it on the Tecno Phantom 5, the SIM tray simply couldn’t open fully. It only opened halfway so since it has two slots for SIM cards, the other end slot containing my Airtel SIM card was “stuck”. For no reason at all. I found that to be strange. After a few moments, I was able to pop out the SIM tray but as fate would have it, that was the end. It couldn’t go back in. Yes, that! For a Kshs 40,000 device, I found that to be not only disappointing but also embarassing. I downplayed the incident thinking maybe I am the one who was unlucky and had a faulty device but it is unacceptable. I returned the device to my contact at Tecno where it was forwarded to the necessary support team but since I’m yet to hear back from them almost 4 weeks later, I guess that’s the end of the road for the device. A 2015 “flagship”. So much for being a flagship.
Tecno may have successfully conquered the low-end smartphone segment but it takes a whole different level of customer satisfaction to make it at the premium level. Tecno makes the best entry-level smartphones and no one can even hold a candle to it. Even it’s lower mid-range devices are likeable. But if you’re to compete with the Huaweis and Samsungs of this world at the very top, quality has to be assured. I have a 2 year old Galaxy Note 3. It’s never had even a common cold (or whatever it is that smartphones could suffer from if they were human).
And it is quite a shame really since I liked the Phantom 5 during the one month I had it. The camera was so-so but generally, the build quality was top notch, the display was good, the fingerprint scanner worked as advertised and the software was bearable. It also had some of the loudest speakers I’ve ever had on a smartphone thanks to that Dolby Surround tuning.