Prince Phantom O3 100X Racket Review
The beginning of a new year isn’t just exciting because of the Australian Open, it normally means we get some new rackets to try as well!
Today it was the Prince Phantom O3 100X as we tried out Prince’s latest effort.
We’re big fans of the Phantom series but aren’t always the biggest fans of the O3 rackets, so we were interested to see how this stick plays.
So let’s start off with the obvious question for those people that aren’t familiar with the O3 technology.
The O3 rackets have extra-large grommet holes (the holes the strings go in) to give the racket extra comfort and cushioning.
As well as this signature Prince technology, the Phantom O3 100X has a forgiving 100sq inch frame, with a 16 x 18 string pattern and a 326g strung weight.
These specs should give players a combination of lots of speed, spin, and comfort, in a very playable package.
While in the past, we’ve recognized the extra comfort the O3 technology brings, we’ve always had question marks about the performance.
The rackets always feel a bit pingy and don’t have the brilliant feel we associate with Phantom rackets.
Hopefully, the Phantom O3 100X would be the racket that changed our minds though and showed that performance and comfort can exist harmoniously.
To find out, we strung the Prince Phantom O3 100X with Luxilon Element at 50lbs, hoping to add plenty of control to the Phantom setup.
7.5out of 10
You can’t fault this racket when it comes to comfort. It absorbs shots amazingly well and feels effortless to swing. It’s just the feel that still doesn’t sit right with me.
All that absorption seems to dampen the feel on the racket and make finding your spots that bit harder.
Anyway, you know my feelings on the O3 ports now, so that’s the last I’ll say on it. For those people who like the feel, this racket will tick a lot of boxes.
It’s very easy to swing, offers good spin potential and offered more control than I’d expected.
It took me a little bit of time to get used to the racket, but once I was dialed in, the 16 x 18 string pattern gave me a lot of spin which I used to control the ball nicely.
It did make things a little bit harder when I wanted to flatten the ball out, but that’s something I struggle with anyway.
Out of the O3 rackets I’ve tried, this was perhaps the one I got on best with because it offers reasonable control and the feel is a little better than something like the Beast O3, but it still didn’t get close to the Phantom 100X 18 x 20 in my opinion.
However, for those people whose number one concern is comfort, this is a very good option.
There are very few rackets out there that can rival this stick for comfort and as the 7.5 score suggests, you don’t have to sacrifice too much in performance.
The Prince Phantom O3 100X did enough for us from the back of the court without blowing our minds.
7.5out of 10
It was much the same from the Phantom O3 100X at the net. Again it surprised me with a bit more control than I had expected, and this translated nicely on the volleys.
This stick has good stability, reasonable control, and plenty of comfort; all good ingredients for solid volleys.
The muted feel did make life a little bit more difficult, but all in all, I thought the Phantom did a pretty good job.
Getting the racket into position is nice and easy and once you’re there, the racket absorbs power pretty well.
This means when the ball is coming at you very quickly, you’ve got the tools to take the power off the ball and place it back into court.
I played much better singles with this racket, where I could come into the net off some strong approaches, but did find it a little bit more difficult in doubles.
That’s just because I had to play some more difficult volleys and felt I was lacking the necessary feel to be at my best.
If you’re looking for comfort with decent performance though you’re in the right place.
There are plenty of rackets that don’t offer either the comfort this racket does at the net or the performance levels.
We gave the Prince Phantom O3 100X another good score of 7.5 out of 10 at the net.
7out of 10
This was the weakest part of the playtest for me.
The Phantom rackets have a habit of being a little bit underpowered on the serve and I certainly felt it with the Phantom O3 100X.
You still get the good comfort that’s a feature of this racket, but there was just something missing.
There was no pop and though I kept swinging faster and faster not too much seemed to change.
In the end, I went for a high percentage of first serves, and this strategy seemed to work best.
You’ve still got reasonable spin potential, which allows you to get the ball moving off the court but I just could have used a few more MPH.
This racket would probably work best for someone who isn’t looking to be too aggressive on the serve, and prefers just to go for that high first serve percentage.
For these people, they’ve got a racket that can do the job they need without putting any stress on their joints and muscles.
7.5out of 10
The return is an area where you want comfort and control to be able to guide the ball back into court.
The Phantom O3 100X does this nicely and allowed me to get a good number of returns back into court.
The feel didn’t allow me to be quite as accurate as I would have liked, but it wasn’t too much of a problem once I got used to it.
I found returning first serve a little bit easier than the second serve for some reason, as I struggled to attack the second serve as accurately as I normally would.
The Phantom has many of the basic ingredients to allow you to return well, it mainly depends on how you get on with the feel and whether it suits your game.
This stick did alright for us and we gave it a 7.5 out of 10 for the return.
7.5out of 10
This is a great racket for those people who are looking for maximum comfort and a reasonable level of performance.
The downside of O3 ports for us is that you lose some of the feel that the Prince Phantom rackets tend to have, but once you look past that, this is a good racket.
We found the Prince Phantom O3 100X to be solid on the groundstrokes, volleys, and return, but it did lack a bit of pop on serve.
I don’t think it’s bad enough to really put anyone off this racket, but it is worth bearing in mind if you struggle for power on the serve.
We really like the Phantom range, and certainly, as the O3 rackets go, we would say this is one of the best.
We gave the Prince Phantom O3 100X a 7.5 out of 10.
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