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Over the last couple of days, I have been putting the TECNO Camon 15 Premier through its paces, having played with and reviewed the regular 15 a fortnight or so ago. At the risk of sounding too repetitive, the 15 Premier model leads the trio, which is also represented by the ‘entry-level-ish’ Camon 15 Air. It is also worth noting that this is the first time TECNO has replaced the Pro name with a Premier moniker, which could mean a lot of things besides the handheld being the superior choice. At least for Camons.

Now, what do I have to say about the 15 Premier, or so, you ask. Well, quite a lot, actually, but I have cut my thoughts into a couple of paragraphs to let you know what the extra thousands get you here, and if the extra money is worth it. I will also tell you where the phone makes a few missteps so that TECNO tries to address them in the next release.

With those remarks out of the way, let’s jump right in.


A hand-clap

Praises are a good thing, and I am going to detail plenty here. The Camon 15 Premier is a big phone, is tightly put together, and does not seem to lax on general craftsmanship. There is nothing to dislike on the outside, which is a good thing.

One thing to note is that the device on the heavy side at 203 grams – but that is a small price to pay for the massive 4000 mAh sealed battery, as well as a motorized mechanism for the pop-up 32 MP selfie snapper.

DisplayIPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
6.53"
1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~395 ppi density)
OSAndroid 10.0; HIOS 6.0
Memory128 GB internal
Support for microSD cards
RAM6 GB
Main cameraQuad system with 64 MP sensor (wide)
5 MP (utrawide)
2 MP (depth)
QVGA
Selfie32 MP
Motorized popup
Battery4000 mAh
No fast charging tech mentioned
Features+Bluetooth 5.0
+FM radio
-No USB Type C this time around
ColoursIce Jadeite, Opal White
ChipMediatek MT6765V/W Helio P35 (12nm)
GPUPowerVR GE8320
PriceKES 27,000

The 6.53” panel is an LCD screen. It runs at FullHD+ (1080 by 2340 pixels) – making the only member of the Camon 15 line with this kind of resolution. Examining the Camon 15 Review, you would notice that I had a few gripes with its HD+ display. It does not look terrific and is quite dim, especially when viewed from outdoors.

The Premier fixes this by bumping up the resolution and brightness. It is also a high-quality screen, although you need to play with the colours as the default ones are warm, almost to the brown side of things.

Furthermore, a high-quality screen makes the images you have snapped look better. It is also equipped with Gorilla Glass 3, and when a gorilla protects your phone, then your mind should be at peace.

Generally speaking, I am delighted about the display, and I am looking forward to a time when FHD+ screens will be standard for all Camon releases.

The second thing I would like to talk about is battery size and performance. I know we have become accustomed to large cells from TECNO, but at 4000 mAh, it is smaller than the 4500 mAh cell in the normal Camon 15. The size is still more than enough. You will get a full day of use, and frugal users can stretch the juicer to the following day. However, the cell does not top up as fast as I would want it to, especially for a KES 27K phone, but more about that in a minute.

I want to talk about the Camera experience, and it is mostly the same as the Camon 15’s, with a few points on top. First, the main sensor is a 64 MP in place of 48 MP in its immediate brother. The ultrawide gets bumped to 5 MP. There is a 2 MP depth sensor for portrait shots. Secondly, the front shooter maxes out at 32 MP, and it is hidden in a pop-up mechanism. All cameras perform admirably for the price, even better than the Camon 15. They launch faster, snap image faster (even 64 MP samples are processed immediately).

Wide-angle shots are not very good in terms of quality, and it is something you will notice immediately. However, you can ignore them and snap normal images instead (by default, it takes 16 MP samples) and call the wide-angle lens when you really need it.

Selfies, as expected, and excellent. There is nothing I can add to that because it is that good. Just don’t use the beauty mode feature.

The other thing I need to raise is this section is speed. The spec sheet about tells you that the phone is powered by an MTK Helio P35 chipsets. It has eight cores, four of them spinning at 2.35 GHz (Cortex-A53), while the last four run at 1.8 GHz (Cortex-A53). These are good numbers, and simply mean your device will perform satisfactorily with minimum to zero hiccups. Graphics are handled by a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. The system keeps apps and processes running at the background using a healthy six gigs of RAM.

All your media files should have plenty of room using the phone’s 128 GB of onboard storage.

Finally, the pop-up front camera means that the screen is uninterrupted. No notches, nothing. The outcome is an immersive experience, and I wish more pop-up screens were around because the experience is outstanding. It would make you see how notches have so much going for them, and not in a good way.

Annoyances

There aren’t many:

  • There is no USB C on site. In 2020, for KES 27,000. This is simply unforgivable.
  • HiOS is an ad mess, and customers who will pay this much money will feel shortchanged if they don’t have an option to deactivate them. Of course, a third-party home replacement app would do the trick – but why should you do that?
  • I wish the phone was slightly lighter because I have come to love the compactness of smartphones in a world where 6.9” screens are ‘normal.’
  • The packaged earphones are bad. Get yourself a decent pair.
  • Can we have fast-charging, please?

Exit


There are a lot of things to love about the TECNO Camon 15 Premier. By all means, it nails the basics, although it asks a little too much for them. However, TECNO is a loved brand in Kenya, and there are a lot of people who would be served excellently by the handheld. Not everyone would be happy about it because of the listed annoyances. Can TECNO fix them? Obviously – I mean, there are sub-25K phones that ship with USB Type-C, have zero intrusive ads, and support fast-charging. If you can live with the detailed shortcomings, then there are a lot of features that you will genuinely enjoy.

The TECNO Camon 15 Premier is available on multiple online stores, including Jumia.

PICTURE GALLERY

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