The under 24K smartphone segment in Kenya is pretty competitive. We got our hands on the recently launched TECNO Camon 19 and it went in a triple threat match with OPPO A57 and Samsung Galaxy A23 in our comparison review.
When it comes to design, the Camon 19 has a more boxy design rocking the Star Diamond Twin-Camera design. Both the OPPO A57 and the Camon 19 have a matte-like finish which attracts fewer fingerprint smudges compared to the A23.
Camon 19 features a stunning design of two billion ‘shining diamonds’ back cover that sets its design apart from any other phone in its category. The diamond-like coating of 200 million crystals provides a premium texture and avoids fingerprint smudges.
Camon 19 comes in three colours including Eco Black, Sea Salt White, and Digital Green. OPPO A57 comes in Glowing Black and Glowing Green colours while the Samsung Galaxy A23 comes in Light Blue, Black and White.
OPPO A57 comes in weighing at 187grams while the Camon 19 and the Galaxy A23 weigh in at 198 grams and 195 grams respectively.
Coming to the front Camon 19 has a 6.78-inch LCD screen Full HD+ resolution at 1080 by 2460 pixels with 395 ppi density. OPPO A57 has a 6.56-inch 720p screen with 269 ppi while the A23 has a 6.6-inch LCD screen with 1080 by 2408 pixel resolution at 400ppi.
TECNO Camon 19 boasts of having the slimmest bezels at 0.98mm.
All of them ship with excellent screens. OPPO opts for a brighter profile while Samsung and TECNO is more contrasty. Samsung wins as its has slightly more pixel density and the 90Hz refresh rate gives it an upper hand over the rest.
You’ll enjoy consuming multimedia content on the three but the high refresh rate means that with the A23 scrolling will be buttery smooth and fast animations when gaming.
It’s worth noting that the Camon 19 series has already scooped several awards including the iF Design Award 2022 in the product and telecommunication categories for its product design and the MUSE Design Award for Product Design Silver award for its exceptional craftsmanship.
TECNO Camon 19 Pro ships with a 64MP main camera that the company calls Bright Night Camera aimed for better lowlight photography. The lens is the World’s first RGB+W lens with the white pixel accepting any wavelength of light to increase the sensitivity and brightness of the sensor.
It’s accompanied by a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP AI camera. It’s worth noting that the TECNO Camon 19 lacks OIS(Optical image stabilization) that its big brother has.
Samsung Galaxy A23 rocks a 50MP main camera with OIS and a 5MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro and a 2MP depth camera.
OPPO A57 has a dual setup that includes a 13MP main and 2MP depth.
For selfies, the Camon 19 has a 16MP front-facing camera housed in a centre punch-hole while the A23 and the A57 both have an 8MP camera hosted in the waterdrop notch.
Apart from the lack of OIS, the Camon 19 packs heavy already.
We took them out for a shoot-out to see how they performed in real life.
We took them out for a shoot-out to see how they performed in real life.
In terms of selfies, they both take nice shots. Samsung opts for a natural flatter look while OPPO and TECNO bump saturation a little bit. Selfies pop out more on the Camon 19 ready to be shared on social media.
This also works out for portraits too. However, Samsung and OPPO do a better job with background blur as you can still see background objects with this mode on the Camon 19. Samsung does so well with dynamic range for its portraits. The other two rivals overexpose their backgrounds.
All three are nice shooters when it comes to regular photos. After taking multiple shots with the three, the canon 19 comes out on top its photos are more detailed, more contrasty, and with excellent dynamic range. They are more colourful with presentable saturation.
I was thoroughly impressed by the Camon 19’s performance thanks to TECNO’s AI Scene Recognition. The company says that its AI can recognise 18 kinds of scenes with a new multi-dimensional hybrid portrait scene. The training data set has over 1 million photos increasing the recognition accuracy.
All this is to say that the TECNO Camon 19 takes relatively better photos compared to its rivals.
Video recording is capped at 2K for the TECNO Camon 19 while the A57 and the A23 record at 1080p 30fps.
Lowlight and nighttime shots is where the differences continue presenting themselves.
I preferred shots by the TECNO Camon 19 as the same colour profile for its photos trickle down to low-light shots.
Compared to the others, the TECNO Camon 19 took better nighttime photos and selfies too. The A23 comes second while the OPPO A57 suffers a lot.
The 16MP front-facing camera uses 4-in-1 technology to make photos more bright in low-light environments.
Selfie portraits still suffer from the background separation just like daytime portraits which is something TECNO can work on.
Regular portraits turned out really well with the Camon 19 in lowlight scenarios as you’ll see below. the A23 comes close and the A57 struggles even with night mode enabled.
Overall, Camon 19 takes the crown when it comes to photography both in ideal and challenging situations.
Talking of performance, here’s what the three have under the hood.
Camon 19 has a MediaTek Helio G85 processor paired with Mali-G52 GPU. You also get 4G of RAM and 128Gb of storage. With MemFusion tech, you also get up to 3Gb of virtual RAM. Samsung Galaxy A23 has Snapdragon 680 chipset paired with Adreno 610 GPU. You get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. With Samsung’s RAM Plus feature, you get an additional 4GB of virtual RAM. OPPO A57 ships with Helio G35 chipset paired with Power VR GE8320. It also comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. OPPO also includes RAM Expansion to up to 4GB.
All of them ship with Android 12 with the HiOS 8.6, One UI 4.1 and ColorOS 12 for the Camon 19, A23 and A57 respectively.
All of them are scheduled for Android 13 when it launches later this year. TECNO says that the Camon 19 will also get the upgrade late this year or early next year.
Both Camon 19 and the Galaxy A23 are steady performers when it comes to multitasking and gaming. OPPO A57 has a less powerful processor and struggles when you heavily tax it.
The A23 lacks more storage than its closest rival, the Camon 19, but leads in performance. It has a nicer interface and the 90Hz refresh rate makes using the phone more enjoyable especially when gaming and just for general use. That combo makes interacting with the phone a relatively better experience.
When it comes to batteries – all three ship with 5000mAh batteries. So you get all-day battery life and some more if you switch between light and moderate use. The difference is how they juice up when you run low. They all feature Type-C charging ports and also support fast charging with 18W, 25W and 33W for the Camon 19, A23 and A57 respectively. This means to get to 90% charge, they take 1 hour, 1 hour and 28 minutes and 1 hour and 43 minutes for the A57, A23 and the Camon 19 respectively.
By now you should have made your choice depending on your needs. Camon 19 takes the cake when it comes to photography while the A23 redeems itself with its performance. OPPO A57 comes a close third.
PRICING, AVAILABILITY AND WARRANTY
In terms of warranty, the Camon 19 comes with 24 Months + 1-month Extended Warranty while the Galaxy A23 has a 24month warranty. TECNO adds that the warranty provides free repair service during this period for failures caused by product quality. You also get 13 Months of Basic Warranty Service, 90 Days of Broken Screen Protection and VIP service.
TECNO Camon 19 starts selling from Ksh 23,499 while Samsung Galaxy A23 goes for Ksh 22,499 and the OPPO A57 goes for Ksh 22,300. You can get the three at any of the company’s respective retail stores and also on e-commerce sites like Jumia.