Shocking! The new Tecno Phantom 8 is far less powerful than last year’s Phantom 6 Plus


Several weeks ago, after the launch of the Infinix Note 5, we highlighted the trend of how Infinix has been recycling processors in all its midrange and high end devices. We recommended the company to borrow a leaf from their sister and rival, Tecno, they seemed to have their CPU game on point, or do they?

The Phantom 8 is now available at Jumia starting today, going through its specifications, we realized something odd, the Mediatek Helio P25 powering this phone was actually weaker than the Mediatek Helio X20 inside last year’s Tecno Phantom 6 Plus. That is unacceptable for a flagship device.

The arrangement of the 10 cores in the Helio X20, notice the two extreme performance cores (far left)

First of all, the Helio X20 from last year’s model had 10 cores (deca-core), the one in the latest Tecno Phantom 8, the Helio P25, has only 8-cores (octa-core). CPU enthusiasts will be quick to counter that more cores do not necessarily translate to more  speed, and they would be right in some scenarios such as the Apple A-series CPUs running on iPhones, but when it comes to Mediatek, more cores equals more power. This is because all deca-core Mediatek processors contain two high end A72 cores that are optimized for high performance, the remaining 8 favor energy efficiency. Put differently, the Helio X20 deca-core inside the Phantom 6 Plus has 2 high performance core+8 energy efficient cores while the Helio P25 in the Phantom 8 has only 8-energy efficient cores. This means that the X20 is so much more powerful than the P25. It is not surprising seeing the Helio X-series is Mediatek’s high performance line of processors while the P -series is designed for longer battery life.

The Antuntu score of Helio P25, tested on the Doogee S60

The benchmarks results of both of these processors further emphasize the performance gap between them. The Phantom 8 has a CPU that averages a score of 65,000 on Antutu benchmark.

On the other hand, the Helio X20 on last year’s Phantom 6 Plus hits a score of over a whopping 100,000 on the same benchmark (around 80,000 score in less optimized devices). In fact, Antutu had the Helio X20 appear on the Top 10 fastest processors in the world- last year- as you can see in the ranking above.

Last year’s Tecno Phantom 6 Plus

Why would Tecno downgrade their performance? Perharps they justify this move with the fact that the Phantom 8 is faster than last year’s cheaper flagship version the Phantom 6 (without the Plus), maybe they wanted to prioritize more on battery life longevity this year, (but again the Phantom 6 Plus had a bigger battery than the new Phantom 8 so the difference will be negligible). Perharps the answer is in manufacturing costs or the support for dual camera technology. Whatever the reason, the fact still remains, if you want more raw power for gaming and productivity, bigger screen (6 inch vs 5.7 inches) and also save some money while at it, forget the new Phantom 8 and go for last year’s Phantom 6 Plus. However, If zooming into objects while taking photos and having a new shinier design is what you are after, go for the new Phantom 8. The choice is yours.