Over the years, the launch of a new TECNO Camon smartphone has always come with a great buzz. The Camon series needs no introduction, they represent the OEM’s “premium”, yet affordable smartphone with good camera and performance for those who cannot afford the high-end Phantom.
This year’s Camon 17 series launch also saw TECNO signal its intent to go beyond the continent by unveiling American superstar, Chris Evans as its global brand ambassador. TECNO is bundling the Camon 17 Pro with its newly released earbuds and I will be sharing my review of the two devices together.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Key Specifications
- 6.8” Dot-in, 90Hz FDH+ Display
- MediaTek Helio G95, 256+8GB Memory
- 48MP Ultra Clear Selfie Camera
- 64MP Ultra Clear Quad Camera
- HiOS based on Android 11
- 5,000mAh battery, 25W Flash Charge
Body and Design
I got the Ice Silver colour and it looks premium out of the box. The smartphone has a plastic cover which is fingerprint and scratch resistant. The ice silver colour really shines through and one can’t help but notice how aesthetically pleasing it is. The phone is thin but not ultra-thin, it measures 8.95mm in thickness, 76.98mm in width and 168.89mm in height.
At the back, the 64MP quad-camera stands out and it is hard to not notice it because of the slight bump, the bump blends in perfectly however when you wear the pouch to the phone.
At the right side of the phone is the volume control buttons and the power button which also doubles as the fingerprint sensor. The other side houses the dual Nano SIM tray and microSD card slot. Beneath the phone is the speaker grill, USB-C charging port, 3.5mm audio jack and the mic port. TECNO also added another mic port at the top of the phone.
The Camon 17 Pro has a 6.8” IPS LCD display which is surprising, one would expect an AMOLED display but the phone compensates for that offering a 90Hz FHD+ display with a 1080×2460 resolution.
The 90Hz display means scrolling and animations on the screen feels very smooth without any lag. The screen is also very immersive vivid colours and a 500 nits brightness which provides a cinematic viewing experience.
OS and Performance
The smartphone is powered by MediaTek’s Helio G95 gaming chipset. The chipset has two very fast ARM Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.05GHz, and six Cortex-A55 efficiency-focused CPUs. For graphics, it is powered by a Mali-G76 MC4 GPU with speeds up to 900Mhz.
The Camon 17 Pro ships Android 11 out of the box based HiOS v7.6 which provides a good user experience. It has 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage which means data transmission is very fast and it comes paired with 8GB of RAM. The internal memory can be further expanded via the microSD slot. There are some apps that come pre-installed on the phone which is not really necessary, other than that, the experience is good. The phone will be getting the Android 12 update with TECNO already on the Beta program.
The camera has always been the standout feature for the TECNO Camon series. The Camon 17 Pro has a quad-camera setup at the back featuring a 64MP main shooter, 8MP wide-angle, 2MP portrait/bokeh and a 2MP black/white sensor with a quad-LED flash. There are other features like HDR, Panorama, Beauty, Super Night Mode, etc.
Shots taken outside where there is much light. The HDR manages to control the light but sometimes struggle.
In front of the phone is a 48MP front-facing camera that takes clear selfies, the camera also works for Face ID unlock. Below are some selfie sample images taken on the Camon 17 Pro.
Shots taken with the Super Night Mode really came out well. The night mode makes a big difference.
The Camon 17 Pro has a 5,000mAh battery capacity which is powered via its USB-C port and a 25W Flash Charging brick. It took around 1hr 40 mins to power the battery from 0-100% and the battery lasts pretty long.
Thanks to the powerful Helio G95 chipset, there are optimization features that make sure the battery life is well optimized.
Pricing and Availability
The Camon 17 Pro retails for N125,000 and is available in TECNO stores and authorized retail outlets nationwide. It comes with the new Earbuds which we will also talk about in this review.
Apart from their smartphones, TECNO now makes a lot of accessories such as speakers, wearables and many more. For the first time, the OEM has come up with its own true wireless earbuds.
The TECNO Buds1 as it is called comes a white rectangular box which houses the buds, charging case, an extra eartip and its USB type-A to Mini-B charging cable.
The TECNO Buds1 pair with an Android device over a Bluetooth v5.0 connection. I connected the earbuds with my Camon 17 Pro and it was very smooth.
To connect, open the charging case with the earbuds intact and makes sure your phone’s Bluetooth is switched on. The phone automatically sees the earbuds and tells you to pair together on the screen. When you tap on pair, it shows its connected on the screen and the earbuds begin flashing blue indicator light to show its connected.
Wireless Stereo Sound and Deep Bass
The Buds1 fit tightly into the ear and there is no way they could possibly fall off without the use of force. The audio quality is great for music and they produce true wireless surround audio quality. There is also a Deep Bass effect which means every drum and music instrument comes out very when with the earbuds. The earbuds out HD audio, the standard AAC quality. There is no noise cancellation.
Now, this is the most interesting part. With the earbuds plugged into your ear, you do not need the phone to do basic functions such as answering calls, rejecting calls and music playback. The earbuds are touch sensitive and can perform all these functions just be tapping it.
- To play music, all you have to do is double-tap on any of the earbuds (below the indicator light).
- To pause, double-tap again when music is playing.
- To increase the volume of playback, tap the right earbud at a single time repeatedly till you get to the level you want.
- To decrease the volume of playback, tap the left earbud at a single time repeatedly till you get to the level you want.
- To play the next song, triple-tap/click the right earbud during playback.
- To go back to previous song, triple-tap/click the left earbud during playback.
- To answer and end calls, double-tap when a call comes in for both functions.
- To reject a call without picking, press and hold on the touch area for 2 secs then release after hearing a prompt tone.
- To summon the Voice AI (Google Assistant), tap/click four times repeatedly in quick successions.
The charging case has a 300mAh battery capacity while each of the earphone has 40mAh. At full charge, the earbuds produce around 4hrs of music playback time while the additional battery of the charging case offers more than 12hrs. That’s pretty good to be honest.
There’s no type-C charging port on the case, just the standard port which means there is no fast charge.
The Camon 17 Pro has a couple of good pros like its fast and efficient performance which overcomes the few pros like the IPS LCD display. The camera is also very decent, with this, the phone is easily recommended to anyone out there looking for a good Android device.
Another plus is that the phone will be getting the next Android 12 OS update and the earbuds is free for you when you purchase. The Camon 17 Pro is available for N125,000 in authorized retail outlets nationwide.