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Tecno Camon I Review: A budget device with good design and features

Today, the definition of a smartphone is constantly changing, and India is a big part of this change. It can be said that in the world of smartphones, India has become a big name today. However, credit to Chinese smartphone makers isn’t out of place here. Brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus have brought prices down and added value to the devices we can buy today. In fact, these brands have shown the way to our homegrown India brands and indeed even Indian brands depend heavily on Chinese components.

When it comes to offering value for money, Xiaomi has led the way in India. Today, it’s one of the leading manufacturers in India by smartphone shipment volumes. And although smartphone brands such as Intex, Micromax and even Samsung have tried to offer competition, it’s been an uphill task to take on Xiaomi. While Xiaomi has a lot of rivals, the one we’re talking about today is the Tecno, I was impressed with this device when I first saw it, and I’ve been using it for some days now. Here’s our review of the new Tecno Camon I.

 Competition to the Tecno Camon I:

If we talk about price, the biggest competitor to the Tecno Camon I in this price bracket is the Rs.8,999 Infinix Note 4. Apart from this, there are a couple of phones from InFocus Turbo series, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi Redmi Y1 and Y1 Lite, as well as the Micromax Canvas Infinity. Furthermore, the InFocus Vision 3 should also be considered a competitor despite the lower price. You’ll also find a handful of similarly priced options from Indian smartphone maker Intex.

Tecno Camon I Build and Design:

Talking about build and design, the smartphone may appear to be metal at first, but is actually made of plastic. What truly appeals to you about the phone is the midnight black color. The fingerprint sensor is at the back, and there is no physical home button at the front. Thanks to its 18:9 screen aspect ratio, the phone looks almost convincingly flagship.

The rear camera is placed at the top-left corner of the phone, similar to what we’re used to seeing on the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 There are also strips on the body that resemble antenna lines, bit considering this is a plastic smartphone, the antenna does not need specialized plastic strips. These are likely only for aesthetic value, to more closely resemble the Apple iPhone series. On the whole, I was most impressed with the design because as earlier mentioned, this is a plastic smartphone that looks metal. It’s a well-designed smartphoe for the price, and is far more than we would typically expect from a Rs 9,000 smartphone.

Fingerprint sensor and other key features:

I usually do a bit of gaming with smartphone I review to get an idea about performance with intensive usage, and have done the same with the Tecno Camon I. The phone has 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. This storage can also extend up to 128GB with a microSD card. The Mediatek SoC under the hood isn’t ideal for gaming in my opinion, and although the rest of the specifications sheet is good, around 10-15 minutes of intensive gaming on the TecnoCamon I will cause the phone to heat up significantly.

For example, switching between the front and rear cameras only needs a swipe down on the camera screen, rather than tapping a button Similarly, a quick three-finger swipe on the screen will take a screenshot on the phone. When installing new apps, the Camon I automatically categorizes it into the right folder on the home screen. For example, the Facebook app would be automatically categorized into the Social Media folder. Similarly, it’s possible to use the smart sort feature to quickly sort apps into the right folders for a cleaner home screen.

Tecno Camon I Specifications and Features:

The phone runs on Android Nougat, with Tecno’s own HiOS user interface on top. What is disappointing and beyond my understanding about the Tecno Camon I is the use of Android Nougat when Android Oreo has been out for so many months. Had this phone been launched with the latest version of Android, it may have given the Tecno Camon I  a significant edge over its competition. It remains to be seen if the phone receives an update to Android Oreo in the coming months.

The Tecno Camon I has a 5.65-inch HD+ 18:9 aspect ratio screen. At this price, you won’t find too many smartphones with this aspect ratio. This is the current trend for budget smartphones, and other devices in this price range such as the Micromax canvas Infinity and InFocus Vision 3 also offer this kind of screen. The Tecno Camon I will go on sale through the offline market this month.

Tecno Camon I Camera:

When it comes to the camera of the Tecno Camon I, you get decent pictures in good light, but average performance in low-light. However, worth noting is that the phone comes with a quad-LED flash at the rear, which reallybrightens up pictures in low light. You can also add watermarks to your photos with the Tecno Camon I. Both sides have a 13-megapixel camera, and you get flash at the front as well. The flash is the differenting factor and makes the phone stand out in its price bracket.

Tecno Camon I Performance and Battery:

I usually test performance on smartphones I review with gaming, and I play everything from Fruit Ninja to Asphalt 8 to test this. On the whole, I haven’t been very impressed with performance on the phone, particularly due to heat issues. However, similar to a lot other phones in this price bracket, heavy gaming will cause the phone to heat up quite a bot. Along with heavy gaming, I have also tested the smartphone with web browsing, messaging emails, social media and multi-tasking. Therefore, it’s safe to say that performance is reliable enough for basic usage, and you’d do better to look at a slightly more expensive phone if you want better performance on the whole. The Tecno Camon I comes with a 3,050mAh battery, which helps is getting decent battery life from the device.

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