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HomeTechnologyMobileThe best portrait camera is attached to a quirky smartphone

The best portrait camera is attached to a quirky smartphone

It should not shock you that we’re huge pictures followers at GSMArena. Most of us had a devoted digicam with a so-called portrait lens hooked up that we might lug round on journeys. But as smartphone cameras acquired higher and their photographs acquired higher, these devoted cameras slowly pale into the background, and we stopped carrying them round.

Then, circa 2016, Apple made one thing known as Portrait Mode mainstream with the announcement of the iPhone 7 Plus and all of the sudden each cellphone was now making portrait photographs with software-assisted bokeh. That was over six years in the past, and people portrait mode pictures have gotten higher, and inadvertently, the digicam {hardware} acquired higher as properly (we even ventured to seek out the best phone camera for natural bokeh).

But at the moment, we determined to see whether or not the retractable portrait digicam on a Tecno smartphone is the perfect portrait digicam we have seen but.

This is NOT a sponsored article. Like all smartphones, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro has each its optimistic and unfavourable sides, and we invite you to take a look at our full review to examine these. Here, we’re specializing in one small however very intriguing side of the cellphone’s digicam system.

You might have heard of Tecno, particularly for those who’re a GSMArena common, however likelihood is you have by no means seen one within the flesh or had the chance to get one in your house market as a result of they’re largely a regional participant – huge in Africa, substantial within the Middle East and Russia, however little energetic on Western or Far Eastern markets. That’s about to vary as Tecno goals to launch the Phantom X2 Pro extra extensively.

The Phantom X2 Pro is a capable flagship phone with a Dimensity 9000 chipset, a 6.78-inch 120Hz AMOLED, and a premium design. It has a triple digicam system with a novel retractable portrait lens.

It’s the world’s first such digicam on a manufacturing cellphone (Oppo, Xiaomi, and Tecno itself have had prototypes), and it is highly effective. It’s a 50MP sort 1/2.7-inch sensor with 0.64µm pre-binned pixels that shoot as much as 1.2µm after binning at 12MP. The lens is a high-end 7P component optic with a 65mm equal focal size and a large f/1.49 aperture. That’s a perfect focal size for each portraiture and zoom pictures.

When you open the digicam app and select the two.5x lens possibility, the lens bodily pops out from the digicam module. You can each really feel the motion by way of the cellphone and get a tender sound. It evokes emotions of nostalgia for a time when telephones had shifting components.

When you mix the comparatively massive sensor dimension with the brilliant lens and the 65mm focal size, you’ve a digicam that has some naturally-shallow depth of discipline and might isolate topics from the background (and foreground) with out the software-based portrait mode. At 65mm or round 2.5x, that is additionally an affordable zoom digicam for non-human topics.

This is the best portrait zoom camera and it's not on a mainstream flagship

We captured a number of pattern pictures to indicate you simply how good the Phantom X2 Pro’s portrait digicam is, and we have in contrast it to the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 3x digicam and the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra’s predominant digicam. We selected to make use of the Galaxy as a result of at about 70mm, its center zoom may be very akin to the Phantom’s 65mm digicam. The Axon has a novel 35mm predominant digicam that brings an even bigger sensor than the portrait digicam on the Phantom X2 Pro. But as a result of it is a shorter lens, it is evident that it lacks Tecno’s background compression. But let us take a look at photographs earlier than we get overly technical.

The 65mm portrait digicam on the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro and the 70mm zoom lens on the Galaxy S22 Ultra have virtually similar fields of view, however the Phantom can isolate the topic higher because of its greater sensor and brighter lens.

The bigger sensor inherently brings benefits like higher element and nicely-defined textures. Also, the background is blurrier, and the standard of the bokeh is superior.


Tecno Phantom X2 Pro f/1.5, ISO 659, 1/100s
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/50s

Phantom X2 Pro 2.5x vs Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x

Moving on to an outdoor portrait pattern the place the development continues. Our topics stand out because of the portrait digicam’s higher isolation. The Axon’s large digicam has an edge in nice element (it is a bigger sensor), however at 35mm, it is a lot too large to ship the identical portrait look. Our topic’s options are distorted, and the background seems to be extra in focus.


Tecno Phantom X2 Pro f/1.5, ISO 50, 1/335s
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/658s
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra f/1.6, ISO 129, 1/863s

Phantom X2 2.5x vs Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x vs Axon 40 Ultra 1x

All three cameras profit from a more in-depth composition. Our topic is even higher remoted from the background. The Tecno has a textbook portrait look – the facial options aren’t distorted like within the Axon shot, and the background is additional away and blurrier.


Tecno Phantom X2 Pro f/1.5, ISO 50, 1/351s
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/644s
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra f/1.6, ISO 129, 1/850s

Phantom X2 2.5x vs Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x vs Axon 40 Ultra 1x

Foreground separation can be superior on the Tecno, in comparison with the 2 different cellphone cameras. Just take a look at the yellow triangle and the feel on the ground on the backside of the photographs beneath.


Tecno Phantom X2 Pro f/1.5, ISO 57, 1/100s
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/272s
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra f/1.6, ISO 585, 1/640s

Phantom X2 2.5x vs Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x vs Axon 40 Ultra 1x

But the Tecno’s retractable digicam can do extra than simply portrait pictures – it is a close-focusing zoom. The advantages of the digicam’s greater sensor and longer focal attain are emphasised in closeup pictures or macro. In this instance, the lens and sensor mix to seize a “dedicated camera look” with ample foreground and background defocusing, which neither Galaxy nor Axon can match.


Tecno Phantom X2 Pro f/1.5, ISO 491, 1/100s
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/50s
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra f/1.6, ISO 227, 1/50s

Phantom X2 2.5x vs Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x vs Axon 40 Ultra 1x

That devoted digicam look is noticeable in different examples. Tecno has tuned the two.5x digicam to be a bit heavy-handed with sharpening, however the truth stays that it might get higher texture element than greater sensor cameras just like the Axon 40 Ultra’s predominant one. Just take a look at the element within the beer glass beneath.


Tecno Phantom X2 Pro f/1.5, ISO 1487, 1/25s
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra f/1.6, ISO 2381, 1/25s

Phantom X2 2.5x vs Axon 40 Ultra 1x

Tecno selected a fantastic focal size to pair with a big sensor. The 65mm discipline of view is right for human faces, objects, landscapes, and absolutely anything else you may consider. This focal size does not endure from distortion and might produce beautiful pictures with naturally blurry backgrounds when paired with a big imager. That is a pleasant base for the software-assisted Portrait mode, which the Phantom X2 Pro additionally affords. It brings the already good bokeh to a different degree.

This is the best portrait zoom camera and it's not on a mainstream flagship

Let’s see if extra telephones add a big-sensor zoom digicam. Maybe that would be the subsequent huge factor. We hope so!

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