Prince Phantom Pro 100 Racket Review
The Prince Phantom Pro 100 brings us the solid beam version of the Phantom 100, adding yet more diversity to this range of rackets.
Prince is quite unique when it comes to its racket ranges because they tend to offer all their rackets with a choice of three different frames.
The O - port, which in this case is the Phantom 100, uses large holes in the frame to increase playability.
The Phantom Pro 100P uses a box beam frame, which is thin throughout the racket and returns great feel, and the Phantom Pro 100, which uses a solid beam that is thin towards the handle to keep good feel but thickens out towards the head for extra stability.
I’ve never been a fan of any of the O – port designs from Prince, and the Phantom 100 was the same.
They might give you good comfort levels, but I find they just don’t have the performance I look for.
However, the Phantom Pro 100P certainly fixes that, as the box beam racket offers great performance and received a top review from us.
The Pro 100 is very similar to the 100P spec wise, weighing in at an easy-to-manage 305g unstrung, with a 320 swingweight.
At 6 PTS headlight, it is set up to get lots of speed out of your swings, and hopefully, the solid beam should convert that speed into plenty of power and spin, something I found the Phantom 100 failed to do as well as I would have liked.
One thing that slightly scares me about this racket is the very open 16 x 18 string pattern.
It’s the same in the Phantom Pro 100P where I did find it worked quite nicely, but I always worry with such an open string pattern that I’m going to get tons of spin and no control.
I normally play with a racket that has a smaller head than the 100 sq. inch of the Pro 100 and an 18 x 20 string pattern.
So that is a whole lot of extra string in an even smaller head!
This means there is much less space for the strings to move, minimizing the spin and power effect the strings have.
You might think it’s a bit of a no brainer.
If an open string pattern gives you more power and spin, and some people would say more feel, surely you would choose that over a closed string pattern.
The thing is, control is an often overlooked aspect of tennis. You can make your own power and spin, but you need the racket to be able to manage that power for you.
That’s why I tend to lean towards the closed string pattern, but we would find out how the Phantom Pro 100 would play with its 16 x 18 pattern.
How you string your stick up can always make a big difference to how a racket plays and for this playtest, I strung the Prince Phantom Pro 100 with some Big Banger Original at 50lbs.
Original is a great control oriented string that should help taper the open string pattern of the Pro 100 and make it suit my game that little bit more.
8out of 10
One thing I particularly like about the Phantom Pro 100 rackets is that they blend the speed and manoeuvrability of a modern racket with some of the control and feel of a more classic, heavier racket.
I find them quite similar to my Pure Strike in that way, and so it’s no wonder I got on so well with the Pro 100P.
I did find this Pro 100 to be slightly livelier than the 100P, giving it a little bit more easy power and spin whilst sacrificing a little control.
On the backhand side, I definitely found this worked to my advantage as I was able to hit with great depth and keep my opponent pinned back in the court.
The 16 x 18 string pattern gives you a high launch angle, so you do have to use plenty of topspin to get the ball to drop back into court, but when you get things right, it results in a very heavy ball.
Hitting with a great flight path and such a heavy ball can make life a nightmare for your opponent and work to your advantage.
As much as I liked the performance of the Phantom Pro 100 on the backhand side, I didn’t find it quite to my liking on the forehand side.
Naturally, I hit with quite a big arc on the ball and plenty of topspin off the forehand side, and the 16 x 18 string pattern just accentuated that a little bit too much.
Unfortunately, I found I was putting too much of my energy into getting the ball to drop back into the court at the expense of hitting the ball through the court with power and taking time away from my opponent.
When it came to taking on the short ball, I was just missing the ability to flatten the ball out that I get with the more closed string patterns.
I’m someone who really values control and feel, so I feel like I was always going to like the 100P a little bit more, but the Pro 100 still gives you pretty good control and feel but with more of a focus on spin and power.
This makes it a little bit more accessible for the average player who wants a good blend of power, spin, and control.
I still wouldn’t say it’s the most powerful racket out there, but it’s got a little bit of pop that should be enough to see you hitting the kind of shots you want.
Speed, spin, and reasonable control are what you get with the Prince Phantom Pro 100 and this combined for a nice 8 out of 10 on groundstrokes.
I scored the 100P a little bit higher in this area, but I still think there will be a lot of people who enjoy the 100.
8out of 10
I loved playing with the Phantom Pro 100P at the net.
It had great stability and surgical precision that really had me enjoying my time on the doubles court.
I got a similar feeling when I played with the Pro 100 and although it didn’t have quite the same levels of feel as the 100P, I still got some excellent performance from this stick.
In many ways, the volley is the simplest stroke, so when I look for a good volleying racket, I’m looking for some simple qualities.
Number 1 is stability.
The ball is coming at you much faster when you’re at the net, so you want your racket to be able to handle the power without being knocked back too much.
The second is control.
These characteristics are linked, but all great volleying rackets allow you to control the ball by taking pace off when you need to and putting pace on when you need to.
The Prince Phantom Pro 100 does both of these things very well and that allowed me to have great confidence in my volleys.
The worst feeling at the net is when you find the ball just pings off your strings and you don’t have much say in where it’s going.
With the Pro 100, I felt in control at all times, though, and this allowed me to really attack my volleys.
I gave the 100P an exceptional score of 9 out of 10 on the volleys, and although I found the 100 to be very good, I did drop the score down to an 8 out of 10.
It has good control and feel, but not quite up to the levels of the 100P.
7.5out of 10
The serve was the one area where I found the Prince Phantom Pro 100 to be a little bit underpowered.
It has the great manoeuvrability to get you swinging through your serve nicely, but when you come to the shot it feels a little bit too spin friendly at the cost of power.
I did manage to use the extra spin potential to good effect; using the good topspin I was getting to hit some strong second serves, but I felt my first serve was lacking a bit of zip.
I said the Phantom Pro 100P would be well suited to a big serving player who would be able to get a little bit more out of the frame than myself, and I found it to be a similar story with the 100.
As much as I really enjoyed this racket on the groundstrokes and volleys, I found that we didn’t quite click when it came to the serve.
Perhaps this was the downside of my string setup, I had gone for a big control setup, in order to blunt the Phantom Pro a bit on the groundstrokes, but it had come back to bite me on the serve.
If it came to it, I would choose to get the performance out of my groundstrokes before my serve, but I’m sure I could tweak my setup a little bit just to add a bit more pop on the serve.
It just goes to show what a difficult balancing act setting up a racket can be.
I think at the end of the day, the Phantom Pro 100 wasn’t quite the right fit for me.
It’s still a very good racket, but the Phantom Pro 100P is the one I would go for.
I gave the Prince Phantom Pro 100 a 7.5 out of 10 for the serve.
It lost a few points on power, but control and spin wise, it was pretty good.
8out of 10
Overall, the Phantom Pro 100 is another very good racket from Prince.
We were extremely impressed with the Prince Phantom Pro 100P, and while we personally didn’t find the Phantom Pro 100 to be quite as good, it still represents an excellent option for many players.
On groundstrokes, this racket offers a good blend of the modern speedy racket and the classic control racket with a little bit of extra spin added in for good measure.
The extra spin didn’t quite suit me, but for anyone who wants to get a few more RPMs on their shots without sacrificing too much control, this racket could be a great option.
I’ve always found the Phantom Pros to be very good at the net, and the Pro 100 was no different, giving me the stability and control I needed to play some good doubles.
Again, I found I got a little bit more out of the 100P but I’m sure that’s just a personal preference.
For me, the weakest area of this playtest was the serve.
I found the Phantom Pro 100 lacked a little bit of pop which left my first serve feeling less potent than it normally does.
For players with bigger serves than me I don’t think this would be a problem, but for anyone who struggles for power on serve, this might not be the right racket.
All in all, the Prince Phantom Pro 100 is a very solid racket though, and we gave it an 8 out of 10.
I liked the Pro 100P a little bit more, but I’ll let you make your own mind up!
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