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All of its devices are focused on delivering affordability, but the Camon 17P is a flagship device, focusing on a more premium experience.
We spent some time with the smartphone, and here’s what we found…
When it comes to its design, the Camon 17P has these surprising bits of flair that make it one of our favourite smartphone designs of the year.
It comes with the expected bezels and flat display of the mid-range device, but fits its 6.8-display in a relatively tall and slim form factor.
Our device came with a green cover and slim golden camera housing, a unique and striking colour option. Meanwhile, the Camon name is etched into the back of the device.
This understated yet striking design gives it a more premium feel than expected. It also feels sturdy in the hand, without the cheap plastic feel of some affordable devices.
Performance and battery
The smartphone performs admirably when it comes to day-to-day tasks. The custom OS is a bit overwhelming if you’re used to a more streamlined skin, but it also gives you plenty of customisation options and the ability to tweak a multitude of settings.
The display includes a 90Hz refresh rate, which gives it a smooth feel as you scroll through various apps and menus.
When it came to playing various games and using apps, we didn’t struggle with app crashes or significant lagging. It performed as expected for a R5000 device.
Even with multiple apps copied over, the phone continued to launch apps easily without a noticeable delay.
When put through a PCMark for Android benchmark test, it scored 8335 on the Work 3.0 performance test. This puts its perfomance in the test in the range of devices like the Poco M3 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite.
In terms of its battery life, the Camon 17P really stood out. When leaving the phone on standby, it barely drained. I would frequently expect the device to have switched off only to find it with a significant amount of battery still left.
When put through the PCMark battery test, it lasted 12h 35m. This means that at 50% brightness, it was able to run through tasks and video clips with its screen constantly on for that period of time and use only 80% of its battery power.
If you’re looking for a device that delivers a long battery life, this is definitely one of them.
Tecno Camon 17P camera
The camera on the Camon 17P performs capably, especially for a device in its price range.
The smartphone’s quad main camera includes a 64MP main lens, with a 2MP bokeh lens, 2MP macro lens and an AI lens.
It’s great at picking up detail, though images do seem to come out with a warmer tone than expected. In the high res mode, the camera definitely struggles with balancing light — with brighter areas appearing a bit over-exposed.
But considering its price, it performs well, especially in the general auto AI mode with HDR enabled.
Its macro mode is also great at picking up tiny details in the right conditions — when your subject is still and the lighting is right.
I would say it is outperformed by the likes of the Redmi Note 10 Pro for its main camera, but otherwise it does great for a device at its price point.
When it comes to selfies, one of the features that Tecno highlights, you definitely get a lot more control over your snaps with this camera compared to most phones.
The beauty mode lets you customize what filters you want the phone to apply, rather than making you stick with a one-size-fits all approach.
This means if you want to turn off skin lightening in the beauty mode, you can. You can also tweak settings such as eye and chin adjustments.
While this may not seem like such a big deal if you’re not a frequent selfie user, it helps make the beauty feature more inclusive for different regions of the world. It can help users have more control over beauty filters, or let them switch the beauty feature off completely if they want to go with a filter-free option instead.
Camon 17P review verdict
The Camon 17P is another great addition to the mid-range market in South Africa.
Users have been looking for devices that balance affordability and value-for-money, and this year we’re seeing local consumers getting a lot more choice and competition.
While you have to deal with a slightly bloated OS and the main camera has challenges in certain lighting conditions, it’s a well-rounded device at a great price, with a really great design.
Feature image: Megan Ellis/Memeburn