It’s no secret that breaking into the market as a “new” brand is tough. As consumers, we have come to trust certain brands based on experience and time in the market. However, it’s not always a bad idea to try something new – which is exactly what I did with the Tecno Camon 11.
A dominating force within the African market – Tecno Mobile occupies a great deal of market share beating the likes of Huawei and Nokia and only being slightly pipped to the post by Samsung as of 2018. And now that it has found its way into South Africa, we are very excited to be amongst the first to be able to offer this incredible budget device.
I’m going to say it up front – at R2999 you get incredible value for money from this device. I will go as far as saying that I think it may be the sleeper hit of the year taking on the likes of the Huawei and Samsung budget ranges.
In a word – Stunning! I really like it! Yes, it has a plastic body, but with the notch display and slim design you get a very premium look and feel which would not look out of place next to an iPhone or top end Samsung. If you do not like the plastic look, you do get a front and back cover in the box which will give your device a carbon fibre look instead. The fact that you get this in the box, as well as a screen protector, was a smart move – adding more value to the purchase.
Boasting a 6.2-inch HD + Super FullView display, the resolution while not top shelf is great. It is clear and bright and offers an eye care option for night owls who like to read before bed. With 5-inch being the new entry-level standard Tecno Mobile goes over and above to provide excellent viewing experience on a budget device giving you display size comparable to the Samsung S9+, Huawei P20 Pro and iPhone XR.
Unfortunately, at this price point, you must expect some concessions in device features. The only real drawbacks I found were in the devices lack of waterproof rating and slightly outdated micro USB charging point (so long fast charge capabilities). However, the device does boast a 3750mAh battery, so, you can expect a full day’s battery power. With the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio jack, you also get the flexibility to use your headset of choice.
Set Up was simple, easy and fast. The Fingerprint Sensor (placed perfectly on the back) and Face Unlock setups were just as quick and straightforward and response times on these security features are lightning fast!
The Camon 11 offers a Quad-Core processor coupled with 3GB RAM. I was expecting a fair amount of lag from a device at this price point, but I was wrong. My user experience was, overall, smooth and uninterrupted. Yes, it tends to be a tad slower when operating more than one app/webpage simultaneously, but only slightly – and let’s remember the price point again!
At 32GB onboard memory, you can insert a memory card should you require more.
The Tecno Mobile Camon 11 offers Dual SIM capability offering the flexibility of choice whether local or travelling abroad.
And better yet – this Dual SIM device offers dedicated space for a memory card (no need to choose between two SIMs OR one SIM one memory card). The Camon 11 comes with Android 8 out the box but presumably will be upgradable to Android Pie.
A lot has gone into the development of the camera. I was pleased with the performance in general. The Camon 11 comes with a Dual 13MP+2MP rear camera and 16MP AI Selfie camera.
The Rear camera performed well overall although the panorama shots will take some practice. Featuring a range of modes including Auto Scene Detection and Bokeh the Camon 11 images were clear and impressive. The camera did struggle in low light, but the activation of the flash sorted that out quickly.
In terms of your Selfie camera, the AI backed into this was also impressive. Taking a selfie with HDR activated and with the front flash provided exceptional detail – I dare say better than looking in a mirror with the naked eye. Baring in mind the cost of the Camon 11 – taking advantage of all the available tech for a selfie is worth it!
Beauty mode offers a range of options from Kardashian type editing to a simple touch up – anything you want. Again, the flash and HDR provide detail if taking pics in low light settings. One small issue was the portrait shot. I tried numerous positioning, but the bokeh never seemed entirely on point. I am guessing this will take a little practice to get just right. The toggle also lagged slightly between modes but nothing that can’t be overlooked.
MY FINAL SAY
Selling at a price point well below most of its competitors Tecno seems to be giving the consumers what they want – a decent budget phone with little compromise.
The budget arena is an up-and-coming battleground, and Tecno has taken this seriously with the Camon 11. I would highly recommend this device should you be looking at an affordable phone with great features.
Written By: Lesa J.