The two succeed the Camon 17 series from early this year and are the latest smartphones in the company’s midrange and camera-centric line. We got our hands on the regular Camon 18 for this quick unboxing and first impressions review. Full review and related reviews will be coming in the next few days.
Before we delve in, here’s what you get in the box:
- the device
- 33W power brick and USB-C charging cable
- a set of earphones
- Sim ejector tool
- a plastic case
- a screen protector
- warranty card
The TECNO Camon 18 retains the same design as the Camon 17 and now has a 6.8″ LCD FullHD+(1080p) display rocking 90Hz refresh rate plus the same brightness level as the Camon 18 Premier at 550 nits.
The display is crisp and vivid and you get good pictures with vivid colours even though it’s an LCD screen. The 90Hz refresh rate is always delightful when playing games, scrolling social media, going through your gallery and browsing the web.
TECNO increased the brightness to 550 nits which mean legibility won’t be an issue when you’re outdoors.
We have a 33W fast charging Type-C port at the bottom alongside a mono speaker, microphone and headphone jack.
On the right side is the fingerprint reader embedded in the power button and the volume rockers while the left side has the dual Nano-Sim card slot and the additional MicroSD slot.
The back has a colour gradient design which is beautiful when light strikes it from different angles. It has a glossy finish and is a fingerprint magnet so you’ll need to slap the TPU case provided in the box.
Our unit is the Dusk Grey colour option. You can get yours in Ceramic White and Iris Purple.
Software and Performance
TECNO Camon 18 sports Android 11 and HiOS 8.
HiOS 8 comes revamped with new designs including a new notification shade/ quick settings toggles. Swiping down from the right side of the screen pulls the quick settings panel while swiping down from the left side brings the notifications shade.
It’s efficient for quick glances.
The revamp spills over to the colours, shapes, light and motion of HiOS elements. HiOS 8 brings Cosmic Blue integration which means richly designed icons, vivid interactions and lively wallpapers. HiOS 8 also has new security and privacy protocols from Za-Hooc Security Solution 2.0 such as Peek Proof, Anti-theft Alert, Pop-up blocker, App Twins with Fingerprint, and Privacy Auth.
You also get granular control over app permission to manage what apps can access information on your device accessible with the new privacy dashboard.
AI gallery now has features like Pic Film, Video Editor, Visha Player among others.
HiOS 8 still has bloatware apps that you can uninstall or disable so they stop sending you unwarranted notifications.
under the hood, we have Helio G88 processor, Mali G52 GPU paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.
The new chips bring a marked improvement over the Camon 17 from early this year. The Camon 18 is a great multitasker. I had no problem throwing whatever app at it – from multiple chrome tabs, streaming Spotify, heavy gaming, corresponding to emails, checking social media, video calls to shooting photos and videos.
Switching between apps is no longer a hassle and you quickly get back to what you are doing effortlessly. Stay tuned for our in-depth review
The regular Camon 18 doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the Camon 18 Premier at least in the camera department but it still holds up pretty well – so we’ll do a separate review for that.
TECNO Camon 18 sports a 48MP triple camera setup that includes a 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor.
We also have a 16MP selfie camera in the centre punch-hole camera.
Modes to choose from include Super Night Mode, video bokeh mode, video beauty mode, ultra-steady mode(capped at 1080p at 30fps), slowmotion(capped at 960fps) and Time-lapse at 1080p at 30fps.
The film mode has customizable video templates(travel, sport, street, family and more) to choose from together with a variety of transitions, camera movements and music choices in the Film mode.
We’ll be testing these features in the coming days.
TECNO Camon 18 comes with a 5000mAh battery and support for 33W fast charging. That’s fast than the 25W of the TECNO Camon 17 Pro. In terms of stamina, the battery can pull a full of intense use – I had 8hrs 45 minutes of screen-on time and that’s with Bluetooth and mobile data on, shooting video and photos among other day-to-day tasks.
I’m hoping it sticks to that 8hour mark with continued use and more when I’m not on the phone a lot. I’ll report those findings in our full review.
For charging, you can go from 1% to 46% in 44 minutes and another hour and 48 minutes from empty to 96%.
Pricing and Availability
TECNO Camon 18 starts selling from Ksh 27,699 and is available in official TECNO branded retail stores countrywide and online in partner e-commerce sites like Jumia.
Stay tuned for our full reviews and related coverage coming up very soon.
Here’s a full list of TECNO’s official retail stores in the country.