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REVIEW: The Tecno Camon 20 Premier Was Exquisitely Made

The Tecno Camon 20 Premier is a new phone in the Camon 20 series along with the Camon 20, Camon 20 Pro, and Camon 20 Pro (5G). Only three of these — with the Camon 20 Pro (5G) exclusive are available in Uganda. And even though the Camon 20 Pro (5) isn’t available, we get to try out the Premier since it has close in similarity.

Last week we did receive the Camon 20 Premier for hands-on review, and out of the box, the phone is impressive. The company made a couple of changes in the design and build something we thought would emerge from the Phantom series first. With the changes, this goes to show the company is keeping with the trends and getting more innovative — with the goal of customer satisfaction — which we believe they’re getting there.

The Camon 20 Premier comes at a starting price of UGX1,800,000 and if you can’t fully raise the price, you can pay in installments with TakeNow. In addition, upon purchase, it comes with 3GB of free monthly data (for 3 months) — including a 100% bonus for every bundle you load courtesy of MTN Uganda.

A quick run on the unboxing, the Camon 20 Premier comes in a well-stocked package (blue and white boxed). Inside the box you have the phone itself sitting on top, underneath you have a rubber-silicon phone case, a 45W charger, USB-C earphones, and a USB-C cable. The phone comes in two color options; Dark Welkin, and Serenity Blue — we got the Dark Welkin variant.

Design and Build

The Camon 20 Premier has been built on premium materials, and the design has been tweaked a bit.

The back comes with what the company calls a Puzzle Deconstructionist Design which is made of “Magic Skin Leather” which is soft and feels good to the touch. It is stained water, and heat resistant, including fingerprints, smudges, and abrasion. The camera bump that houses a trio-camera setup is made up of ceramic and it has a hardness that can avoid stainless steel scratches but not fingerprints and smudges.

One of the things that make the Tecno Camon 20 Premier special is the back finish. Tecno calls it a Puzzle Deconstructionist Design and it features ‘Magic Skin leather’, which is soft yet resistant to fingerprints and abrasion. PHOTO: PC Tech Magazine

The frame made from plastic contrasts nicely with the rear panel. It’s a glossy, mirrored finish (reflective coat) and it’s fully flat, which allows the phone to stand on its own and feel sturdy in the palm — even though it is a bit thicker.

We see nothing much going on the sides, we only have the volume and power buttons that appear on the right. The sim card tray (which doesn’t support a microSD) now appears at the bottom along with the USB-C port (that is meant for charging as well as your earphones), a microphone, and a single speaker grill. At the top, the company did something usual again and added a microphone (the microphone at the bottom is the main), and a speaker.

Display

The display on the phone has been improved though it doesn’t come with Corning Gorilla glass protection (I mean why). It has slim bezels which gives it more room for a larger display. And speaking of the display size, it comes with a 6.67-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of 120GHz. Being with an AMOLED panel the display is vibrant, colorful, and contrasty. In addition, it supports HDR 10 content to bring out the blacks and sharper visuals.

Tecno Camon 20 Premier – display on. PHOTO: PC Tech Magazine

The phone comes with high brightness which allows you to use this display outdoors under direct sunlight.

The phone allows you to adjust the color style temperature but we best recommend leaving the setting to default since it is good enough. It also comes with an always-on display function where your display never sleeps and you can set it (if you want/must) to show you useful information such as time, battery level, and notifications.

One feature that was highlighted is the display comes with an eye protection feature — protecting your eyes from blue light which affects your eyes from long usage of the phone.

Performance

The phone is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 8050 (a great improvement from its predecessor, by the way) chipset with peak performance and it delivers supreme performance. Having used the phone for the past couple of weeks, we experienced no lags. Launching apps and multitasking was fast, fluid, and swift — Antutu Benchmark scores also showed that the phone is fast. While some might say that the benchmark scores don’t really tell the whole picture on performance, we have to say when using the Camon 20 Premier you will indeed notice that it is fast and smooth.

The phone handled gaming well on HDR graphics and ultra frame rate (maximum frame rates for other games as well as medium graphics by default for some games that would have run on lower graphics) delivering the best gameplay — which was swift and smooth and not to forget to mention that the screen size was/is perfect for gaming.

We also credit the 8GB of RAM (that is expandable virtually using Memory Fusion Technology to an additional 8GB giving you 16GB), and onboard storage of 512GB for its great performance. The onboard storage isn’t expandable because the phone support a microSD card. We believe that the company could be gradually phasing out the use of microSD cards on its devices.

The Camon 20 Premier comes with the latest mobile OS, Android 13 (under HIOS 13) and we were informed that when Android 14 comes out, the Camon 20 Premier (including its predecessor, the Camon 19 Premier) will be among the first phones to get the upgrade.

Cameras

Yes, the cameras, are one of the phone’s highlighters. The front-facing camera which is housed in the punch-hole notch comes with a 32MP sensor and it pretty much takes good photos and videos but in good lighting conditions. In conditions where the lighting isn’t great, using flash, the photos are average. Auto HDR on the camera is turned on but default to allow you to capture well-balanced shots and videos, and when turned off it is the vice-versa — thus, it is best to leave the HDR on. The camera also has an ultra-stabilization feature that allows you to take steady videos.

As for the rear cameras, the Camon 20 Premier comes with a 50MP main camera with OIS, a 108MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP depth camera. The photos captured a decent enough — you get nice skin tones, and details. With the AI camera (if the feature of AI is turned on), it color enhances the photos — adding more saturation. Much like the front camera, it has Auto HDR on and takes stable videos with credit to its OIS feature. You can shoot videos in 4K at 30fps. Unlike the rear camera, with the front-facing camera, you can shoot videos in 2K at 30fps.

Some interesting features on the phone are; a dual mode that allows you to capture video with the front and rear camera simultaneously, sky shop which automatically replaces the sky (thanks to AI), and super macro to take really close-up photos.

Battery

The Camon 20 Premier comes with a 5,000mAh battery and should last an entire day and a half if you’re a light user, a day if you are a medium user, and you will at least charge once during the course of the day if you’re a heavyweight user. And when it comes to charging, using the 45W fast charger — charging from 0-100% (and we tried this out ourselves) took an hour and 25 minutes.

Verdict
The Camon 20 Premier is overpriced. However, the price is justified because the phone comes with more storage, its processor is powerful, the build & design quality, the display, the sound, and the battery life are good enough, 5G availability, and to mention they improved the cameras. The downside that the company should have considered is adding the Corning Gorilla glass protection. Overall, the Tecno Camon 20 Premier was exquisitely made.

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