We saw the folding smartphone from a giant you’ve never heard of

At IFA 2023, we visited the stand of Tecno, a Chinese brand from the Transsion group, now 5th in the world in terms of smartphone sales in the 2nd quarter of 2023. Here is what we thought of their products.

Do you know Tecno? Unless you closely follow Tech news or the development of new brands in China, you probably haven’t heard of it. And yet, it is the biggest brand in a group that is gaining momentum on a global scale. Transsion recently obtained 5th place as the largest smartphone seller in the world over a quarter and integrates three brands: Tecno, by far the largest, then Itel and Infinix.

If Tecno is not yet present on the European market, that does not prevent them from presenting their products at IFA 2023, where we were able to take charge of three smartphones.

The marriage between a Galaxy Z Fold 5 and an Honor Magic V2

The most interesting is undoubtedly the folding one, called Tecno Phantom. It seemed to us the illegitimate child of a Galaxy Z Fold 5 and an Honor Magic V2. On the Samsung side, it takes the edges and thickness, and on the Honor side, we find its wide screen on the front which allows the external screen to not just be a secondary screen. It then allows itself a touch of originality with its photo block, typical of Chinese manufacturers since it is a central matrix. This includes three photo modules.

Holding it in hand, it is difficult to find where the manufacturer has been able to make savings to reduce its price as it does. It is sold for 89,999 INR (around 1,030 euros excluding tax) for comparison, excluding tax, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 starts at 1,136 euros excluding tax. There are some finishes that are a little less successful than elsewhere, such as the punch of the internal screen which is quite visible, or the look of the photo block which is quite plastic. But apart from these aesthetic considerations, the Phantom V Fold appears to be an effective price breaker.

Tecno could arrive in Europe within 3 years

On the stand, we were able to talk with a representative of the group who we asked when the brand will arrive in Europe. She said the following: “We are in the process of setting up a distribution channel in Germany. We will first start with PCs, since unlike smartphones, they do not require adaptation for the European 4G and 5G bands. » According to this same representative, once Tecno is established in Germany, there is no reason why a deployment in France and Italy should not follow. In terms of timetable, the representative assured us that Tecno should arrive in Europe within three years.

Efforts to make before arriving in Europe

As it stands, apart from their folding nature, it is not certain that Tecno’s smartphones are of particular interest to the public, at least from what we saw during our visit to the stand. We saw two models: The Pova S Pro and the Tecno Spark 10 Pro.

The Pova S Pro is a sort of Nothing Phone with an LED on the back, but a much more eye-catching design than its model. The smartphone seemed thick and its screen was seriously lacking in brightness (while we were indoors).

Tecno Spark 10 Pro and its LCD screen did better on this point, but the vibrancy of the colors did not convince us.

The design seems suitable for an entry-level smartphone, with flat iPhone-style edges and a screen as if placed hamburger-style directly on the body of the smartphone, which is not very pretty. Let’s also point out a big chin.

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