You’ll most likely by no means use a Tecno cellphone. Till this week, I’d by no means heard of the Chinese language model or its Camon line of handsets. Now, it’s unlikely I’ll neglect them.
The corporate just lately held a swanky New York Metropolis launch for its new Tecno Camon Collection 19 Professional Android 12 telephones though the merchandise gained’t be on the market within the US (or the UK, for that matter). I truthfully puzzled what they had been doing there and, extra importantly, why I used to be there.
Tecno insisted on describing the handsets as being “designed for fashionistas.” I couldn’t let you know what which means, however I admit to being intrigued by the design, specs, and, particularly, the value.
Key specs embrace:
- 6.8-inch FHD+ just about edge-to-edge 120 Hz show
- Drill-hole front-facing 32MP digicam
- 64 MP and 50 MP cameras on the again
- 2X optical zoom
- Optical Picture Stabilization
- 5,000 mAh battery
- Fingerprint reader
- Face unlocking
- Some nifty AI-infused photograph tips
- a 3.5mm headphone jack (!)
- An influence brick, cable, and earbuds (!!)
It’s additionally a surprisingly enticing cellphone. There’s a fingerprint-rejecting diamond-coated again that appears and feels pretty. The twin circle digicam array (which homes three cameras – there’s a 2MP bokeh-assisting lens), is giant however elegant, its premium seems assisted by its crystal glass protecting. The chassis is simply barely thicker than an iPhone 13 Pro Max, however the cellphone feels significantly lighter.
The Camon 19 Professional comes will all this (and extra) for $280. That’s a cellphone you may repay within the area of 5 – 6 months (should you pay round $50 a month). The Camon Collection 19 Professional 5G begins at simply $320. That’s, on each telephones, with 128 GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.
To place that in perspective, the most cost effective iPhone you should purchase is the $429 Apple iPhone SE, which has simply 64 GB of storage.
There is a catch
There are, in fact, large caveats, the largest one being world availability. These Tecno telephones can be found in Africa, Latin America, the Center East, Southeast Asia, and Southern Asia, however not, as I famous earlier, within the US or Europe. Pricing may also differ and the $280 and $320 Tecno supplied remains to be simply an “estimate” for my market.
There are quite a few limits usually related to price range telephones like no under-the-screen fingerprint reader. As a substitute, the facility/wake button doubles as an efficient fingerprint reader. The display screen remains to be LCD and never OLED. There’s no reported IP score (possibly maintain it away from deep puddles). It doesn’t provide wi-fi charging.
Then there’s the cell CPU, a MediaTek Helio G96, which might be equal to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G. Its benchmark numbers aren’t even in the identical neighborhood as, say, an Apple A15 Bionic or a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
So, once I unexpectedly walked out of the occasion with a evaluation unit in hand and determined to spend a day or so with it, I attempted to level-set my expectations.
For probably the most half, although, this price range system exceeded them.
Not unhealthy in any respect
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As I discussed it’s a horny big-screen cellphone with a vibrant show that, naturally, seems wonderful indoors. Outdoors is a distinct matter. It struggled in vibrant gentle, however I might nonetheless see nicely sufficient to make use of its digicam and fairly wealthy settings to take quite a lot of photographs. Every thing from normal to 2x telephoto, and from Portrait to gradual movement appeared fairly good. Even low-light and evening photographs had been respectable (nothing would qualify as exceptional). There’s no wide-angle lens, not to mention ultra-wide however the included lenses captured sharp, colourful, and correct photos.
Portrait mode from the rear digicam is sweet (the entrance digicam had extra artifacts), although you’ll be able to’t modify the extent of bokeh earlier than or after the shot (how many individuals do that on their iPhone 13 or Samsung Galaxy, anyway?). There may be an modifying software that allows you to add and modify a bokeh impact on any picture, nevertheless it’s circuitously tied to Portrait Mode pictures, which is type of foolish.
The AI-powered digicam and its efforts to establish objects in a scene had been entertaining. At one level, I pointed the cellphone at my hand, and it got here up with “Pet.”
There are such a lot of picture manipulation choices that you could be by no means discover or use all of them. The set for physique manipulation is, at greatest, problematic. It gives to slim the waistline, head, shoulder, slim and lengthen legs, “plump butt,” together with different beauty alterations. Maybe that is what Techno meant by a cellphone for “fashionistas.”
It was, to be honest, onerous to search out these options and the cellphone definitely doesn’t push them. Nonetheless, it’s bizarre that they’re there.
Punching above its weight
For a sub-$300 cellphone, the Tecno Camon 19 Professional is kind of the performer. It performed taxing video games like Asphalt 9: Legends with out lacking a beat. I believe it would’ve been dropping a body or two, and the audio may very well be richer, nevertheless it was nonetheless an pleasing expertise.
It’s an efficient productiveness platform for looking and file administration, and I do love the alphabetically ordered app checklist (Apple, Samsung, please do that).
That 5,000 mAh battery is, by the way in which, an all-day champ.
Principally, that is an above-average cellphone at a ridiculously good worth.
Will it ever arrive within the US and UK? I don’t know and Tecno supplied no steering. I’m undecided it issues. What the Tecno Camon 19 Professional demonstrates for me is that every one cellphone producers can do higher on the affordability entrance. We’re paying as a lot as $999 for highly effective big-screen telephones that most likely do way over we’ll ever want them to (at the least for many of us).
The Camon 19 Professional units a pleasant instance for the chances of price range. I believe it’s time Apple, Samsung, and others reply in sort.