Tecno Camon i Review
The Tecno Camon i is one of the newest launches in the sub Rs. 10,000 smartphone segment. The Tecno brand is owned by Transsion Holdings which also sells phones under the Itel, Infinix and Spice names. These are all targeted at developing markets, and most of the models are budget-friendly. Tecno says that the Camon lineup consists of camera-centric smartphones and this is currently its global flagship series. The Techno Camon i is going to be counted among most Affordable smartphones reviewed by androidjunctions.com
Tecno Camon i design
The Tecno Camon i is a budget smartphone with an 18:9 display, in line with the current trend. The 18:9 aspect ratio makes the phone narrower and slightly taller than usual. The phone has a plastic body with antenna lines running along the top and the bottom of the back, as well as rounded sides and edges that make it easy to hold.
At the front, the Techno Camon i has a metallic grille which houses the earpiece alongside the selfie camera and flash. The power and volume buttons are on the right side of the smartphone, and while the power button is easy to reach, the volume buttons are placed a little too high for our comfort. The rear camera protrudes a little, causing the phone to rock when placed on a flat surface. Below the camera is a quad-LED flash. The smartphone also has a fingerprint scanner at the back which is easy to reach. While the plastic quality is good, the back picks up fingerprints quite easily.
The Techno Camon i has a Micro-USB port at the bottom along with a microphone and a speaker grille. The 3.5mm headphone jack is positioned on the top. There's a 3050mAh battery inside, and Tecno ships a 6W charger in the box.
Tecno Camon i specifications and software
The Tecno Camon i sports a 5.65-inch IPS display with HD+ resolution. Tecno told Gadgets 360 that initial batches of the device shipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 but later batches use Nippon Electric Glass which is also supposed to be hard and scratch-resistant. There's no way to tell which lot our review unit came from. It also had a pre-applied plastic screen protector. Powering the Techno Camon i is a MediaTek MT6737 which is a quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. There is 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, plus a dedicated microSD card slot that allows for expansion of up to 128GB.
The Techno Camon i is a dual-SIM device with two Nano SIM slots and supports 4G with VoLTE. It has Bluetooth, WiFi b/g/n, and GPS as well. This phone also has 13-megapixel cameras with an f/2.0 aperture at the front and at the back. There's a quad-LED flash at the back and a selfie flash on the front.
Software is where Tecno has taken a somewhat unique approach. This phone runs on Android Nougat with Tecno’s custom UI called HiOS on top. It is visually quite different from stock Android but it isn’t very hard to adapt to. The launcher has an app drawer and suggests adding new apps to specific folders after installation. HiOS also supports gestures, allowing you to do a three-finger swipe to take a screenshot or draw alphabets to launch specific apps when the screen is off.
The Tecno Camon i has a WhatsApp Mode toggle which lets only WhatsApp notifications through, while disabling background data for all other apps. In this mode, all other apps can only get online when they are active. This might be useful if you want to be frugal with your data usage but still receive WhatsApp messages. Tecno also offers a Full-Screen Mode toggle which lets you use apps in the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio if they aren't compatible with the 18:9 screen.
Tecno Camon i performance, cameras, and battery life
The Tecno Camon i has similar hardware to other smartphones in this price range. The MediaTek MT6737 is an entry-level processor. While we did not feel any lag in the UI, the phone does take a while to load heavier apps.
The Techno Camon i's Battery life is okay and the phone should last you one day with light use. Play a couple of games and you will need to plug it in to charge by night. The 3050mAh battery managed to clock 9 hours and 25 minutes in our HD video loop test.
The Camon series is billed as a camera-centric smartphone lineup, so we were curious to see whether the Camon i could be a good budget shooter. The camera app is basic and has photo, video, beauty and panorama modes to choose from. Apart from that, it has a couple of filters, a quick toggle for HDR, and a Square photo toggle.
Photos taken with the Camon i are average but it did manage colour reproduction quite well. Outdoor shots taken during the day ended up being overexposed but the phone did manage macros quite well. Adjusting the exposure manually before taking shots did give us slightly better results. HDR mode is a little slow and any movement while shooting results in ghosting.