TECNO Camon 18 Premier is finally here. This is the bigger sibling in the TECNO Camon 18 series which launched late last month. The series includes the regular TECNO Camon 18 which we have already reviewed – go read that if you haven’t already.
While you wait for our in-depth review, here’s our first look review of the TECNO Camon 18 Premier.
But before we continue, you should know that the Camon 18 series is TECNO’s midrange lineup and as the Phantom series became a sub-brand, the Camon series might be the company’s flagship and as such it has properly claimed the throne with features that outrank the Phantom X.
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
TECNO Camon 18 Premier looks gorgeous in Vast Sky and it feels premium with the matte touch especially the back.
The top left is the highlight of the phone and is the camera bump that houses the 64MP triple setup that also includes a 12MP OIS gimbal ultrawide lens plus an 8MP periscope telephoto lens that has 5X optical zoom and up to 60X digital zoom.
At the front is where the TECNO Camon 18 Premier stars – we have a 6.7″ Dot-in FullHD+ AMOLED Display with 120Hz refresh rate.
The screen is smooth, bright(550nits), sharp, contrasty and super colourful especially when consuming multimedia content or scrolling Instagram.
The viewing angles are surprisingly solid and very responsive to the touch and make for a unique experience.
Also, the TECNO Camon 18 Premier has an Always-on display that you can customize.
There’s a tiny disruption in the top centre with the punch hole cutout that houses the 32MP selfie camera.
There is the volume rocker buttons and the power button that has the inbuilt fingerprint sensor.
With just one touch, you quickly wake up the phone and also unlock the phone in an elegant and intuitive way.
We have a 3.5mm audio jack, a Sim card slot, bottom-firing speaker, microphone(there’s another one at the top) and USB-C port.
The bottom facing speakers and the earpiece create a nice stereo experience.
Overall, I like the pleasant heft the Camon 18 Premier has without feeling heavy.
Here’s the Polar Night version.
Software and Performance
TECNO Camon 18 Premier runs on Android 11 and HiOS 8. We have Helio G96 processor, Mali G57 GPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB onboard storage which you can expand thanks to the microSD slot.
These specs are incredible. The whole combo gives you a really fast experience. This phone didn’t even stutter over the past two days I’ve had with the TECNO Camon 18 Premier and it shouldn’t.
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.
I’m a heavy multitasker – switching between editing docs, checking email, streaming, gaming, taking video and the phone didn’t even lag a bit.
Games play great including graphics-heavy mobile games like PUBG and Genshin Impact. I can’t wait to waste hours playing on this phone in the coming days.
As stated before we have a 64MP triple setup at the back with features like a hardware depth engine for dual-camera bokeh captures, a Camera Control Unit (CCU) and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) and Rolling Shutter Compensation (RSC) technologies combined with TECNO’s AI Vision Optimization Solution (TAIVOS) to create smoother, sharper and clearer photos and videos.
For selfies, we have a 32MP front-facing camera.
There’s SuperNight mode(for both selfies and regular nighttime shots), Time Lapse, Slow Motion, Film Mode with customizable video templates with themes surrounding travel, sport, party, performance, street, family and more. These templates come together with a variety of transitions, camera movements and music choices in the Film mode.
I’ll be playing around with these features in the coming days so stay tuned for a full camera tour.
TECNO Camon 18 Premier ships with a 4750mAh battery that supports 33W fast Type-C charging.
I was pulling between 8 and 9 hours of screen-on-time with the 120Hz refresh rate on, mobile data and Bluetooth on and ending the day with 6% just in time to get in bed. That’s a lot of stamina and we’ll see if it hold up long term.
It should pull a day and another half for those who go with the auto-switch refresh option.
Charging is pretty fast.
9 minutes goes from 1% to 21%, 14 minutes from 1% to 48%, 30 minutes from 1% to 75%. I hour of charging will get you from empty to 97%.
This is pretty impressive.
Pricing and Availability
TECNO Camon 18 Premier starts selling from Ksh 39,099 at its retail stores countrywide and partner e-commerce platforms.
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.