Budget smartphones have gotten competitive in the past few years and now that stiff rivalry has jumped ship to the midrange segment.
It really impressed us so we decided to toss in the Samsung Galaxy A32 4G and see if it has what it takes to outshine its midrange rivals.
Both the TECNO Camon 17 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy A32 are neatly designed midrange smartphones. They have different sizes as you’ll see.
The Samsung Galaxy A32 comes in a compact size with a 6.4″ screen while the TECNO Camon 17 Pro ships with a 6.8″ screen. Both are 1080p displays with a 90Hz refresh rate.
The difference is that Samsung went with a SUPER AMOLED screen while TECNO picks an LCD display.
The Samsung Galaxy A32 display is much better for multimedia with the SUPER AMOLED screen and at 800 nits brightness – outshines the Camon 17 Pro especially outdoor with 500 nits brightness.
Still on the display, the Samsung Galaxy A32 has an Infinity-U with the notch at the top for the selfie camera while the Camon 17 Pro has a Dot-in display with the centred punch-hole selfie camera.
Coming to the bottom, both phones have headphone jack, microphone, type-C charging port and speaker grille.
When it came to audio, I preferred the TECNO Camon 17 Pro as it was louder and decent enough for outdoor listening.
On the side, we have the power button and volume rockers. Samsung Galaxy A32 is more compact and thus easy on the hand.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro went with a side-mounted fingerprint reader embedded with the power button while the Galaxy A32 had an optical under-display fingerprint reader.
The side-mounted reader worked way faster for unlocking the phone and the A32’s reader needed me to be patient for it to unlock the smartphone.
The differences continue when you switch to the back.
Samsung Galaxy A32 comes in varios colours including Awesome Black(our unit), Awesome Violet, Awesome White and Awesome Blue while Camon 17 Pro comes in Malibu Blue and California Silver.
Both are plastic backs and will be prone to smudges but yo get silicon cases provided in their respective boxes.
With the A32, Samsung decided to go non-conventional way and instead of a bump, its four cameras and led flash protrude from the back while 17 Pro has a rectangular camera island on the top left that has its four cameras and led flash.
Both are 64MP quad setups which we’ll talk about later in this review.
Each smartphone has its cons and pros and will depend on your size preference. The A32 is compact, has a better display, slow fingerprint reader. The 17 Pro has a relatively more modern design, quick fingerprint reader, but large.
Software and Performance
Samsung Galaxy A32 comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage coupled with Helio G80 chipset and Mali G52 GPU while TECNO Camon 17 Pro ships with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage together with Helio G95 processor and Mali G76 GPU.
Both phones come with expandable storage option and Android 11.
A32 comes with One UI 3.1 straight from the box while Camon 17 Pro has HiOS 7.6.
Both user interfaces have their own perks and downfalls and during my time with both devices, I enjoyed using their new UIs
However One UI 3.1 is more refined than HiOS 7.6. HiOS 7.6 still has adware from some of its bloatware apps which you can’t uninstall.
HiOS 7.6 has Phone Master which can get annoying with its popups asking you to download suggested apps.
When it comes to performance, that’s where the lines get drawn. It’s quiet obvious that TECNO Camon 17 Pro packs the top specs compared to the Galaxy A32.
Regular day to day tasks were handled pretty well by both smartphones especially with the 90Hz refresh rate that made everything smoother.
The differences start showing up when you start taxing both smartphones.
Unlike the Camon 17 Pro, the A32 begins to stutter when you begin switching between high RAM consuming apps – multitasking can be difficult.
Apps would stutter when switching between them. Games would suffer from drop in frames.
Graphics heavy games would only be played at medium settings for comfortable gameplay.
Most people would be fine with the okay performance of the A32.
As I had said in my full review of the Camon 17 Pro, you’re getting unquestionable performance on all aspects of use especially if you’re a heavy multitasker and mobile gamer.
Battery Life Performance
Both smartphones have beefy batteries at 5000mAh. Both offer really dependable battery life so you won’t have to worry about your phone dying on you when you’re out and about.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro offered me between 7 and 8 hours of screen on time while the Galaxy A32 gave me between 6 and 7 hours of screen on time.
Either pick is fine by you’d be more suited with a little more battery life with the Camon 17 Pro.
Camon 17 Pro also has another trick up its sleeve – it comes with a 25W fast type-C charging while the A32 supports 15W fast type-C charging.
It takes 50 minutes to get to 40% from empty with the A32 while the Camon 17 Pro can get you from empty to 58% in 30 minutes and 19 minutes can get you from empty to 41%.
I saved the best for last. Both smartphones have a 64MP quad setup at the back.
We have a 48MP centred punch-hole selfie camera with the Camon 17 Pro while the A32 has a 20MP selfie camera housed in the teardrop notch.
For the Camon 17 Pro, we also have an 8MP ultrawide, 2MP depth sensor and 2MP monochrome.
The A32 on the other hand, has a 5MP depth camera, 5MP macro camera and 8MP ultrawide.
You can also shoot 4K video for both selfie and regular video at 30fps. Other shooting resolutions include 1080p at 60fps and 30fps.
Other video modes include video bokeh mode(for selfie videos too), video beauty mode(for regular videos too), ultra-steady mode(capped at 1080p at 30fps), slowmotion(capped at 960fps) and Time-lapse at 1080p at 30fps.
All these modes were fun to play with especially the film templates that come in handy when sharing short videos on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram Stories, Fleets and WhatsApp Status videos.
The A32 shoots 1080p video at 30fps. You don’t have much to play around with.
Here are some photo samples from both cameras. Link to the full resolution photos will be shared here.
Selfies, Portraits, Lowlight Selfies
For selfies, I loved the A32 as its selfies popped out more in terms of colour and most people will prefer posting those on social media and sharing with friends.
Again, in terms of portraits, Galaxy A32 wins here, the colour saturation and blur tops it when compared to the Camon 17 Pro.
The tables turn when the sun goes down. The A32 struggles a bit with lowlight when it comes to selfies. Surprisingly, Camon 17 Pro takes this time to shine with its night selfies.
Regular and bokeh shots
In terms of quality, both phones take really great photos with Samsung saturating the colours while TECNO keeps it natural.
Lowlight shots and Night mode shots
When it comes to lowlight shots, TECNO continues to shine with it’s amazing night mode. I wish these results are reproduced in the phone’s daytime shots.
Generally, relatively better selfies and portraits are taken by the A32. There are mixed results with daytime shots but at night, Camon 17 Pro shines on.
Picking which camera phone to go with will depend on your preference. But there’s more to cameras especially in this tight midrange race.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro finally meets its match with the Samsung Galaxy A32 in this comparison review.
Both smartphones exchanged blows in terms of features and its amazing how far midrange smartphones have come especially in terms of what you’re getting with respect to the amount of money you’re splurging on these devices.
Pricing and Availability
Its smaller sibling, the TECNO Camon 17 goes for Ksh 19,799.
Samsung Galaxy A32 is available online and in Samsung retail stores for Ksh 25,799.
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