It’s barely less than a year now since TECNO launched the CAMON 17 Series and we already have the successor. As it is the norm with most smartphone brands around the world to refresh their mid-range devices every six months, TECNO also releases two Camon smartphones in a year.
During its media launch in Lagos, TECNO unveiled three devices in the CAMON 18 line-the CAMON 18 which is the base model, the CAMON 18P, and the Premier which is the one we will be reviewing here.
If you could recall, we first had the “Premier” nomenclature with the launch of the CAMON 15, then some months later we got the CAMON 16 Premier and later they went with “Pro” naming for CAMON 17 Pro.
The CAMON 18 Premier is no doubt a looker and picking up the phone for the first time, one could not help but notice how well-refined the device is. So, what has changed since we last reviewed the CAMON 17 Pro?
Join us as we take a deeper look at the CAMON 18 Premier. We’ll be touching every detail of the phone-the camera, the design to the display, the processor to the newly redefined HiOS 8.0.
Camon 18 Premier key specs
- 6.7 inches 1080p+ 120Hz AMOLED display.
- 64MP main camera.
- 12MP gimbal stabilized ultrawide sensor.
- 8MP 5x zoom periscope telephoto sensor.
- Mediatek Helio G96 processor.
- 8GB RAM + 256GB expandable internal storage.
- Android 11 + HiOS 8.0
- 4750mAh battery + 33W fast charging.
The Design and Display
Design-wise, if you have seen the recently launched iPhone 13 or the Infinix Zero X, you would have noticed how they both shared a flat and rectangular frame design language. The same thing is applied here with the CAMON 18 Premier. The device featured a glass back flat design which no doubt is the best design on a CAMON device yet.
The device comes in two fashionable colours of Summer Breeze and Ocean Moonlight. The one we have here is the Summer Breeze colour but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the colours as they are both beautifully crafted especially with the red accent on the gimbal-stabilized ultrawide camera sensor. It is a lovely job from TECNO and we also love the fact that the back of the phone doesn’t attract a lot of stains.
There are three camera lenses at the back comprising of the 64MP wide lens, a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens which is stabilized with an inbuilt gimbal feature and the third one is an 8MP periscope telephoto camera capable of 60X hyper zoom and 5X optical zoom. The cameras are aided with a quad-LED flash for better photography under lowlight scenarios.
In terms of button placement, nothing has changed from the way the buttons are arranged on the CAMON 17 Pro except that the power button which doubles as the fingerprint scanner now flushes with the design.
We still have the volume controllers and the Sim slot which can accommodate two-nano sims cards and a memory card at the left-handed side.
The top of the phone has a noise-canceling microphone [it helps to improve voice clarity when making calls or recording audio] while at the bottom, you get a 3.5mm audio jack, another microphone, USB type C charging port, and the mono speaker grille.
The CAMON 18 Premier comes with a very sharp 6.7-inch Full HD+ 120Hz AMOLED display offering the smoothest mobile experience on a TECNO phone yet. You are getting a vibrant display with rich colour which is very good for watching videos, nothing beats an AMOLED screen when it comes to watching content and we are loving it so far. In terms of brightness, the display can go as high as 550nit which is decent outdoor but not that bright under a hot sunny day.
Also, at the top of the display, there you have the 32-megapixel front-facing camera, with this you can be sure your selfie game will be top-notch. But keep reading as we will be testing out what the camera has got to offer later in this review.
Performance and Software Experience
Inside the phone, you have the latest HiOS version 8.0 which is a refresh of version 7.6. So far this is looking way better than what we have in HiOS 7.6, in fact, the user interphase has been completely redesigned-the icons are now better presented and more intuitive.
We can also see that the notification panel is now more iOS-like with some Android 12 implementation. To access your notifications, you have to swipe from the left top corner while swiping from the right top corner reveals the control centre.
In terms of performance, the CAMON 18 Premier is equipped with the Mediatek Helio G96 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a huge 256GB of storage. You can also expand the storage further via a micro SDcard. The device is a champ as it effortlessly handles every task we threw at it. If you are into gaming, running heavy apps, managing social media apps, etc the Camon 18 Premier is a capable device and you won’t regret having it as your primary phone.
We played a couple of games on the device, to our surprise it did really well in handling them and bringing the full graphics. The only downside here is that the sound can easily be blocked while gaming because of the single-firing speaker.
Here are some benchmark results
The camera is one of the reasons people buy a smartphone these days and I must say that CAMON 18 premier didn’t disappoint in this regard. The phone is equipped with a 64MP main camera, an 8MP periscopic telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera which has an inbuilt gimbal stabilization feature. With the gimbal camera, one can record stabilized footage making it an ideal phone for content creators.
TECNO claims the periscopic lens is capable of 5x optical zoom and up to 60x hyper Zoom. The back camera is also aided with a quad Led flashlight for illuminating the darkest of scenes and in terms of video recording, the main camera can record up to 2K@30fps, however, it doesn’t offer any form of stabilization that is reserved for the 1080@30fps resolution.
At the front, you have a 32MP selfie camera with a dual-LED flash and can record up to 1080p resolution without any EIS support.
There is no doubt, the CAMON 18 premier camera is the best yet in the CAMON series. To test the capability of these cameras, we took it out in Lagos to take some photos under different conditions. Below are some of the pictures we took.
Pictures taken inside a mall in Lagos.
30X hyper zoom
This particular picture came out really good. Shot at 60X Zoom using super moon mode
Amazing picture taken with the Night mode on the CAMON 18 Premier
Pictures taken with the front camera came looking sharp and detailed with good skin tone and high dynamic range.
Powering the TECNO Camon 18 Premier smartphone is a 4750 mAh battery which supports a 33W fast charging. The device charges via a USB Type-C charging port and from our charging test, it took about 1hr to fully juice up the battery to 100%. Battery life on the device is pretty decent as we got about 7 hours of screen on time playing games, watching YouTube, surfing the net, and always-on social media with 4G mobile internet on which is pretty OK.
If you’re looking for an Android device that offers premium design, AMOLED display, and features-rich cameras within an affordable budget, then, we can confidently recommend the Tecno Camon 18 Premier phone. The CAMON 18 Premier is priced at N182,000 and is available for purchase across all mobile phone retail shops in Nigeria
|Specifications||Tecno Camon 18 Premier|
|Network||2G, 3G, 4G|
|Dimensions||6.45 x 2.99 x 0.32 inches|
550 nits brightness
~393 PPI density
|Resolution||1080 x 2400 pixels|
|OS||Android 11, HIOS 8.0|
|Chipset||12 nm – Mediatek Helio G96|
2×2.05 GHz Cortex-A76
6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55
|Camera||64 MP (wide), PDAF|
8 MP (periscope telephoto), PDAF, 5x optical zoom
12 MP (ultrawide), gimbal OIS
Quad-LED flash, panorama, HDR
Max – 2K@30fps, gyro-EIS
|Selfie||32 MP (wide)|
Dual-LED flash, HDR
Max – 1080p@30fps
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS|
|NFC||Available outside of Africa|
|USB||USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go|
|Sensors||Side-mounted fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity|
|Battery||Li-Po 4750 mAh|
Fast charging 33W
|Colors||Polar night, Vast sky|