TECNO Camon 16s Unboxing and First Impressions Review

For an upper budget smartphone, the TECNO Camon 16s could have done more

TECNO Camon 16s

TECNO Camon 16s is the latest smartphone in the market launched this week. The 16s is part of the Camon 16 series of smartphones launched early this year.

We have finally got our hands on the device but before we begin, here’s what you get in the box:

  • the device
  • 10W power brick and micro-USB charging cable
  • a set of earphones
  • Sim ejector tool
  • a plastic case
  • a screen protector

TECNO Camon 16s Review: Not Enough Spark

TECNO Camon 16s unboxed

TECNO Camon 16s is a gorgeous phone and the colour-gradient design is pleasing to the eye.

The two tone finish will grab attention whenever you pop it out of your pocket to pick a phone call or take a snap.

TECNO Camon 16s back

TECNO Camon 16s comes in Ice Jadeite(our unit), Blue Hawaii and Misty Grey.

Starting at the bottom is the TECNO Camon logo and you make your way up you’ll see the rear fingerprint sensor.

Next is the rectangular camera bump that houses the 48MP quad AI setup that also includes a 2MP depth sensor, 2MP macro lens and an additional AI sensor.

We also have a quad-LED flash too.

On the left side are the tactile volume rocker buttons and the power button.

The left side has the dual nano-sim card slot with an additional slot for a MicroSD card. The phone supports VoLTE including Faiba 4G network.

At the bottom, we have the headphone jack, micro-USB port, microphone and speaker grille.

The front sports a 6.6″ LCD display with a a punch-hole cutout that houses the 8MP selfie camera and has a resolution of 1600 by 720 pixels.

The top bezel has the earpiece grill which together with the bottom blaring speaker offer stereo sound.

Under the hood of the TECNO Camon 16s is a MediaTek Helio P35 processor with Power VR GE8320 GPU coupled with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of board storage which you can expand with an external microSD card. 

It’s worth noting that this a similar configuration to the TECNO Spark 5 Pro which was launched recently.

I was hoping TECNO would pick a better and relatively faster processor such as the Helio G70 to offer more value. I’m disappointed as there are much cheaper phones with better processors but we’ll see how this setup holds up longterm – so stay tuned of our full review.

Running the phone is Android 10 and HiOS v6.1.

HiOS has neat features such as Social Turbo, Game Mode and nice customization features. Bloatware and adware is still present which some of you will not like interacting with.

You are better off with a third-party launcher to make the experience a little bit homey.

There’s a smart panel that can be slid from the side of the screen to let you easily access frequently used apps and tools.

In terms of performance, average users are going to fare well except for the occasional hiccups. Heavy multitaskers will have to look elsewhere as the constant lag will frequently annoy you as you go on your daily tasks.

Stay tuned for our conclusive review.

Powering the TECNO Camon 16s is a 5000mAh battery. The battery is a beast in terms of how long it can last. So far I’ve had it last two full days on light use and I’ll have to test and see its endurance when I go all heavy on it.

Sadly, we still get 10W charging over a microUSB port. TECNO needs to step up and give us fast USB-C charging especially for this upper budget smartphone(It goes for Ksh 17,699)

In terms of optics, we get five cameras.

On the rear, we get a 48MP main camera accompanied by a 2MP depth sensor, 2MP macro lens and an additional AI sensor.

At the front is the 8MP selfie camera hosted in the cutout that interrupts the display.

TECNO Camon 16s selfie camera

Stay tuned our full review coming out in the next few days for our full assessment of the camera performance.

Looking forward

TECNO Camon 16s comes at a very strange time when its rivals have reset expectations of what a budget smartphone should be – be it on the lower end or the upper end of this market segment.

TECNO Camon 16s sits at a very weird spot as its rivals have already caught up and passed them and for the value you’re getting at its retail price, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

The major upgrade here is the new 48MP camera and nothing else – you can get cheaper 48MP cameraphones with faster processors.

TECNO could have at least upgraded the chip and have consumers consider picking the TECNO Camon 16s.

Pricing and Availability

TECNO Camon 16 starts selling from Ksh 17,699 and is available countrywide in TECNO’s official retail stores.

TECNO Camon 16s Review: Not Enough Spark


  1. The camera section looks good and the Mediatek gaming processor is quite good as well. Tecno with another good one.

  2. The selfie camera is not nice at all. A lot of people uses the selfie more than the back camera. 48mp back, 8mp front is really a joke

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