The TECNO Camon 12 has graced our office for testing. The device makes an appearance at this time of the year as the successor of the popular Camon 11 series that was released a couple of months ago. The 12 has also been replenished with a couple of exciting features that I am actually glad are here. The screen is larger and more beautiful whilst keeping the HD+ resolution, the notch is now a tear-drop type in place of the wide, airport-sized cutout in the Camon 11. There are tighter tolerances in the manner the Camon 12 is packaged too. It feels better to me, and handling is a win here bearing its large footprint. Ergonomics are also improved by its sheer weight, which is manageable and not as heavy as the likes of Huawei Y9 Prime 2019.
Still a Camon
This is still a Camon device, which means TECNO is selling the phone at an affordable price tag for people on the lookout for an excellent camera with pocket computing capabilities. For the most part, the camera delivers, having been augmented on the hardware side. Specifically, there are three lenses at the back that will ensure you capture wide-angle and portrait shots with ease. I have not put the triple camera system to its paces but will do and give you a detailed overview of its performance. Of course, I am very positive about its deliverables because previous Camon phones have done a good job in this regard – and they can only get better.
By the way, the front shooter is an impressive 16 MP, although the Pro model has an even better 32 MP module. The 12 Air, which we are reasonably certain will not make it to our borders, has an 8 MP tucked under the display like the Samsung Galaxy S10. Quite impressive for folks for want an all-display device.
HiOS running the show
TECNO’s proprietary skin is named HiOS, and has been around for an extended period to not be a familiar interface in our hands and TECNO fans. It works very well, has tens of features, and is quite fast. While the Pro version ships with v5.5 of the skin, the standard Camon 12’s v5.0.2 is functional and may be updated to its latest version in the future.
I am not going to examine HiOS features in this piece (I have already reviewed it in the past) but will pick its most interesting perks in the final review. However, it is worth noting that whatever made it unattractive in the past is still here: ads. They are on your app drawer and lock screen, but that is a minor annoyance you can get rid of by downloading a third-party home screen replacement app. I have also made several complaints about the ads in the past and will continue to do so until we see some development (FYI, other manufacturers do the same thing, but they at least users the power to consent to seeing targeted content).
Of course, TECNO is also equipping the system with a lot of apps, some of which may not be useful to you. These can be deactivated or uninstalled, which is a big plus to me.
Oh, this HiOS is on top of Android 9 Pie.
Plenty of space and RAM
For this first time, the basic Camon 12 ships with 64 GB of memory and 4 GB of RAM. This is an excellent move because apps have been getting bigger, and for folks who do not like SD cards like yours truly, a sizeable media-hoarding room is a bonus for them.
More RAM means the Camon 12 can keep many apps in memory for improved performance. I am testing app management and multitasking as of this writing, make sure you come back for a report whenever the review goes live.
There is no in-screen fingerprint reader for this model as is the case with the Pro, and its larger sibling, the Phantom 9. The rear-mounted one is nice, and I like it because it is plenty quick.
The Camon 12 series does not have USB Type C for charging and data transfers. This is a feature we expect will grace the Camon 13 series just to remain relevant with modern standards.
We would have loved a 1080p panel this time around or even for the Pro model. Nevertheless, 720+ is still remarkable at this price point.
Lastly, I wish TECNO could bundle nicer earphones for the Camon 12. The included ones look nice but do not sound very good.
I like the overall Camon 12 package. It delivers on its promises, which are mostly based on camera prowess. We also get to play with more memory and RAM, and the display is large (6.52 inches) to enjoy media content.
Although some of you will find HiOS ads a little intrusive, you can get another launcher to get rid of them. These options can then hone your experience as you go out of your way to snap beautiful shots of the world around you with the triple camera system.
We will be right back with more information in the coming week.
Early photo gallery