The Chinese brand of mobile electronics TECNO has been on the market since 2018, but it has only recently begun to flicker actively in the information field. And although the company produces gadgets in the mid-budget segment, the emphasis in presentations is on the capabilities of cameras. But since the photo capabilities of inexpensive gadgets are often not their strongest side, it was doubly interesting for me to test the Tecno Camon 17P. In this review, I’ll tell you how well the smartphone takes pictures and a couple of other points that pleasantly surprised me with the new product.
Tecno Camon 17P: Specifications
- Operating System: HiOS based on Android 11.
- Display: IPS, 6.8 inches, 60 Hz, resolution 2460 × 1080 pixels, brightness 500 nits.
- Processor: MediaTek Helio G85 (2 GHz), graphics Mali-G52 MC2.
- RAM: 6 GB.
- Internal memory: 128 GB.
- Main camera: 64 MP (f / 1.79) + 8 MP (camera with artificial intelligence) + 2 MP (f / 2.4, macro) + 2 MP (f / 2.4, depth sensor).
- Front camera: 16 MP.
- Battery: 5000 mAh, support for 18W fast charging.
- Protection: side fingerprint scanner, face unlock.
- Dimensions: 168.67 x 76.44 x 8.82 mm.
- Weight: 200 g.
Due to the rather standard set of smartphones, demonstrating the contents of the boxes has become a very predictable and boring thing. But, in the case of the Camon 17P, the set impressed me pleasantly. In addition to a few paper documentation. I found a transparent silicone case, a compact 18 W power supply with a wire, and a separate protective film. Its dimensions are slightly smaller than the screen of a smartphone itself, and, as I understand it, there is no oleophobic coating. The only pity is that the manufacturer did not pre-stick it at the factory.
The box was unpacked; now, you can go to the smartphone itself. The first thing that caught my eye was the rather large dimensions of the gadget and an elongated display with a non-standard aspect ratio of 20.5: 9. Once devices with a screen diagonal of 6.8 inches were considered a tablet, it is now common for smartphones. This has both advantages in convenient consumption of information and disadvantages due to the inability to operate with one hand, such as typing on a keyboard.
The IPS matrix has good color reproduction with correct white color, minimal shade distortion in case of deviation, and a high density of 395 PPI. The maximum brightness of 500 nits in automatic mode was more than enough for me in bright sunlight.
The back of the smartphone is also remarkable. The matte finish of the plastic cover retained its original appearance after a week of active use without a case. The camera block of four modules attracts the eye with pleasant golden tints in the light. And in the lower-left corner, like a cherry on a cake, there is an original rendition of the brand’s logo. The inscription is unusual not only for its three-dimensional pattern with slight texturing but also for its emphasis on the photo capabilities of the device. This is unambiguously hinted at by the execution of the letter “O” in the form of lens diaphragm blades.
The physical controls on the side frame are organically arranged. At the bottom, all the connectors are concentrated: Type-C for charging with OTG support and a 3.5mm jack, and next to it is a small hole for the microphone and a speaker grid. There is a triple SIM-card tray on the left side with the possibility of expanding the internal storage. There are separate volume buttons and a fingerprint scanner built into the power button on the right side.
Unlocking works instantly, and the scanner reads your finger accurately.
Performance and software
The Camon 17P has a MediaTek Helio G85 workhorse clocked at 2 GHz. There is 6 GB of RAM for multitasking and 128 GB for storing user files, which is not bad. Speaking of parallel work in several applications: in the horizontal orientation, the wide diagonal of the display allows you to use the split-screen and comfortably consume information.
Benchmark tests have shown a solid result for a mid-budget device. However, I was pleasantly impressed by the frequency graph in the CPU Throttling Test app. For 45 minutes, the processor did not drop performance from its maximum power below 16%. This guarantees the stable operation of the device under continuous load. Moreover, it was 203 thousand GIPS at its peak, which is even more than competitors on the Snapdragon 720G.
TECNO’s proprietary shell called HiOS reminded me of a mixture of pure Android and Huawei’s EMUI. It is not oversaturated with customization options. At the same time, it is very responsive, fast, and has a minimum threshold of entry. True, the moment that upset me a little is the lack of the ability to establish control using gestures.
The built-in equalizer, marked in the settings as “Dirac Technology,” changes the sound volume through the main speaker. The difference I could only catch in the “Music” mode, which slightly increases the volume, entails noise.
The Social Turbo menu item in the settings gives you flexible interaction with the WhatsApp messenger. Some functions are completely exclusive to this gadget. For example, voice change during a call, “Video Makeup” and “WhatsApp” mode, allows only this application to use mobile traffic.
I believe that the latter use case is more suitable for either young children or elderly relatives, in order to avoid possible unnecessary expenses on mobile Internet.
A separate section is devoted to controlling interaction with the gadget, namely, on the fight against gambling addiction. Here you can set the timer manually or turn on the built-in limit for 2 or 4 hours of play per day.
The integration of Google Lens into the built-in gallery makes it easy to interact with your smartphone. By pressing one button, you can scan an image, recognize text on it, translate it or find similar images on the Internet without leaving the Gallery application.
A capacious 5000 mAh battery, coupled with an energy-efficient processor, gives an amazing result of autonomy. The smartphone lasted 24 hours and 15 minutes in the battery test, getting into the top five. The gadget also retains its charge perfectly in real conditions of use, giving about two days of work.
The included 18W fast charging power supply fully replenishes your smartphone’s battery in 2.5 hours.
Interestingly, the operating system has a default safe charging function. It protects the battery from wear and tears during long periods of inactivity by 100%, turning off the power supply when the upper limit is reached.
There are only two active modules in the quad-camera – the main sensor is 64 megapixels (f / 1.79) and a macro with a resolution of 2 megapixels (f / 2.4). The shots are very detailed and with the correct shade of white. True, I didn’t really like the work of the algorithms and the built-in HDR: the sky turns out to be overly saturated and unrealistic. Otherwise, without using HDR, the photo will have strong overexposure and loss of information in these areas.
Night mode works in much the same way as HDR during the day. The algorithms are good at lightening dark areas while greatly increasing the saturation of the image. And if during the day this option seemed less natural, then in low light conditions, such a picture looks more attractive.
The macro module has a fixed focal length, which makes it difficult to place an object in the field of focus of the lens. So I had to take several pictures in the hope that some would be sharp. Otherwise, two megapixels are not enough for the camera to see fine details in the photo.
In addition to a 2 Mp depth sensor, the quad linkage has an 8 Mp sensor with artificial intelligence. The manufacturer assures that it is he who allows you to achieve the correct definition of the scene. However, as well as without using it, the device coped well with difficult shooting conditions.
The front camera takes good detailed shots. Additional features: portrait mode, HDR, and all kinds of beauty effects with a choice of angle of artificial lighting, skin smoothing, and facelift.
At the moment of taking a selfie, the camera makes imitation of eye autofocus, as it happens in expensive professional cameras.
Tecno pleasantly surprised me because the Camon 17P smartphone turned out to be a very balanced device. It has many distinctive features of the flagship: a high-quality wide display, a smooth shell with many interesting chips, and good quality photos for the small price tag of the gadget of $230. The energy-efficient processor did a great job of day-to-day tasks, and I didn’t find freezes or interface jams. The work of the camera pleased us with fast shooting in daytime conditions. A pleasant bonus will be long-term autonomy due to a capacious battery and the presence of contactless payment.
- original design;
- pleasant ergonomics and non-marking body;
- wide display with good picture clarity and correct color reproduction;
- good photo quality for the main module and front camera;
- smoothness of the interface and speed of work;
- triple tray for SIM-cards and memory cards;
- fast and accurate fingerprint scanner on the power button;
- long battery life;
- availability of NFC.
- aggressive HDR in photos;
- the macro module lacks clarity.
- no gesture control;
- no manual settings in the stock camera.