Tecno Mobile, a subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, had made its India debut in April 2017 and is yet to make a mark in the highly competitive smartphone market.
However, things might turn for good with the latest Camon i smartphone series. On paper, the new Tecno device looks promising. It features the latest display standard (18:9 aspect ratio), good camera and a decent battery and most importantly, it costs less than Rs 9,000.
I have been using the Tecno Camon i for little over a week and here's my take on the budget Android phone.
Design, display and build quality:
The new Tecno phone flaunts a sleek body encased with sturdy polycarbonate shell on the back with antenna lines running on the top and the bottom segment. The phone's exterior is curvaceous with corners having rounded edges.
The primary camera module with quad-LED flash sits on the top left corner with a minor protrusion. It will easily slip into the pocket with ease and also won't wobble on the flat surface when kept on top with the back facing down.
On the left, it features the SIM tray with two SIM slots having an extra slot for microSD, which other rival brands lack.
On the front, Camon i features the new 5.65-inch FullView display having 18:9 aspect ratios and full HD+ (1440x720p) resolution, making it the most affordable phone to offer immersive viewing experience.
But, it still needs some work, as the visibility of the contents on the phone when used under direct sunlight is not good. You have to take the phone to face to see the messages or browse the internet.
But, this is not a deal breaker as most of the phones in the same budget category and also some models in the upper Rs 10,000 price-range too have this type of deficiency.
Tecno Camon i models come with either Gorilla Glass 3 shield. In addition, the company has thoughtfully added an extra layer of screen-guard, which looks like a sturdy tempered glass on the display for extra protection. A welcome gesture of Tecno and we hope others to offer similar value-added accessories with the phone.
Tecno Camon i comes packed with a 64-bit class 1.3GHz MediaTek processor backed by 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. It's a decent configuration for a budget phone.
It does its job of running the phone smoothly on average usage pattern which includes app loading, switching between multiple apps and playing smaller and less-power intensive games such as Angry Birds and Temple Run, among others.
But, it runs on HiOS, a custom operating system version of a generation old Android Nougat OS, despite the fact the Android Oreo has been in the market for close to six months.
Having said that, the interface is quite clean with less pre-loaded third-party apps and easy to understand the features of the phone, even for the first-time smartphone user.
The USP of the Tecno Camon i is its camera. Truth to be told, it does live up to its expectations. I was pleasantly surprised with the image quality of the phone. I am not saying, the pictures are on par with top-end phones (above Rs 25,000), but are comparable to some sub-Rs 18,000 category devices.
It takes stunning images under bright sunny conditions and even the ones taken in the night are praiseworthy. You should try taking images in HDR mode to get good quality pictures. I was really impressed with the accuracy of the autofocus on the subject in the low-light environment. [Check images below]
As far as the front camera is concerned, it does a pretty decent job in taking selfies and with dedicated LED flash on the front, you are assured of good quality images even in the dark conditions.
For those unaware, Tecno Camon i houses a 13MP rear camera with ƒ/2.0, 5P lens and quad-LED flash. On the front, it comes equipped with a 13MP snapper with ƒ/2.0, 5P lens, dedicated LED flash in addition to screen flash feature.
The new Tecno phone comes with a decent 3,050mAh cell, but the battery life is very subjective, as it depends on the user behavior. If he/she uses more data stream videos on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, the phone even won't last a few hours.
But, if you use the device moderately like performing basic functions such as taking/making calls, go through the daily feeds on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, browse internet for any information, view multimedia content on WhatsApp, watch videos for half hour and play games for 15 minutes, this device will last till you retire to sleep in the night and let it charge.
Based on several reviews done so far, a battery with 3,050mAh will last a whole day (average active hours 6 am to 10 pm) under mixed usage.
Another praiseworthy feature of the Camon i is its 'Ultra' mode, which curbs applications from running in the background, which not only stop unnecessary data consumption but also extends the battery life.
If you are social media savvy and want to binge watch videos on the smartphone, make sure to carry a power bank.
Tecno Camon i is a reliable budget smartphone with a surprisingly good camera hardware. It is a good option for people looking for secondary touch-screen phone or if you are a first-time smartphone consumer. It won't disappoint you.
- Exceptional camera for its price
- Decent processor
- Day-long battery under mixed usage
- Reliable fingerprint sensor
- Runs outdated Android 7.0 Nougat, but it's not a deal breaker as most of the budget smartphone, even some mid-range consumers rarely bother about the software version. It's the user experience that matters the most and Tecno Camon I HiOS offers a clean interface with less pre-loaded apps compared to other brands.