TECNO unveiled the Camon 19 series in late June this year and we have used both of them extensively since then. The new phones include a Camon 19Camon 19 Pro and Camon 19 Pro 5G.

TECNO Camon 19 series succeed the TECNO Camon 18 Series from last year and feature new upgrades.

We’ve taken the TECNO Camon 19 Pro through its paces including a first look review and a dedicated camera performance review.


In this midrange battle, we pit the TECNO Camon 19 Pro against the OPPO A96 and the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G.

DESIGN

OPPO A96, Samsung Galaxy A33 and TECNO Camon 19 Pro are nicely designed smartphones. We have a colour gradient back on the OPPO A96. The other two have matte-like finishes although the A33’s back is slightly rubberized.

OPPO A96 VS TECNO Camon 19 Pro VS Samsung Galaxy A33 5G back design
OPPO A96 VS TECNO Camon 19 Pro VS Samsung Galaxy A33 5G back design

OPPO A96 has a rectangular camera island while the A33 has a camera module outwards, with the edges blending smoothly into the back cover.

OPPO A96 has a rectangular camera island while the A33 has a camera module outwards, with the edges blending smoothly into the back cover.

OPPO A96 comes in Sunset Blue(our unit) and Starry Black while the A33 comes in Awesome Black, Awesome White and Awesome Blue which is our unit.

Camon 19 Pro comes in Eco Black and Polar Blue.

Camon 19 Pro has 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 Pro weighs in at 2014 grams while the A33 weighs 186grams and A96 weighs 191 grams.

Both Camon 19 and OPPO A96 have side-mounted fingerprint readers while the Samsung A33 has an optical in-display fingerprint sensor.

Samsung also one-ups the two with its IP67 certification against dust and water.

Coming to the front is a 6.7.8-inch 1080p LCD display for the Camon 19. It rocks a 120Hz refresh rate with a pixel density of 395 and a peak brightness of 500 nits. OPPO A96 ships with a 6.59-inch 1080p LCD screen. It has a 90hz refresh rate with a pixel density of 401 and a peak brightness of 600 nits.

Galaxy A33 comes with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen. It has a 90Hz refresh rate with a pixel density of 411 and a peak brightness of 728 nits.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G vs TECNO Camon 19 Pro vs OPPO A96

Interrupting the screens are punch-hole cutouts for the selfie cameras with OPPO’s positioned on the left while Tecno placement is at the centre. Samsung opts for a U-shaped notch for the A33.

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G u-notch vs OPPO A96 left punch-hole vs TECNO Camon 19 Pro centre punch-hole
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G u-notch vs OPPO A96 left punch-hole vs TECNO Camon 19 Pro centre punch-hole

TECNO’s 120Hz screen is amazing when it comes to gaming and scrolling while Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen is bright and a better choice for consuming multimedia content.

All of them have Widevine L1 certification. Although Netflix isn’t available for the Camon 19 Pro on the Play Store. It’s unknown why Netflix blacklists some devices.

All of them have stereo speakers as the earpiece doubles up as a speaker for when you’re watching content.

TECNO Camon 19 Pro is comparably louder than the Galaxy A33 5G.

It’s also worth noting that the A33 doesn’t ship with a headphone jack. It also doesn’t have earphones packed in the box.

OPPO A96(top), TECNO Camon 19 Pro(middle) and Samasung Galaxy A33 5G(bottom)
OPPO A96(top), TECNO Camon 19 Pro(middle) and Samsung Galaxy A33 5G(bottom)

It’s nice to mention that the Camon 19 Pro 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.

Overall, the Camon 19 Pro is uniquely designed but the A33 having IP67-rated ingress protection treatment gives it an edge.

PERFORMANCE

OPPO A96 comes with Snapdragon 680 processor and Adreno 610 GPU. You also have 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. You can expand the RAM provided by up to 5GB through RAM Expansion.

Samsung Galaxy A33 ships with its in-house processor – Exynos 1280 paired with Mali-G68 GPU. This chipset comes with an integrated 5G modem. You also get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. RAM Plus feature gets you an additional 6GB.

TECNO Camon 19 Pro rocks a Helio G96 chipset coupled with Mali-G57 MC2 GPU. Camon 19 Pro also has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of memory. You also get to expand your RAM virtually by up to 5GB.

It’s worth noting that you can expand the storage options with external microSD. The A33 has a hybrid slot while the rest have dedicated slots.

While the two sport Android 12, OPPO A57 comes running Android 11 out of the box. HiOS 8.6, One UI 4.1 and ColorOS 11 power the Camon 19 Pro, Galaxy A33 and OPPO A57 respectively.

That hardware and software combination for all three makes them really powerful phones.

Synthetic benchmarks(Geekbench) put the Camon 19 Pro and the Galaxy A33 head to head. A33 ranks higher at 731 and 1748 for single core and multicore performance respectively while Camon 19 Pro comes second at 512 and 1738 for single core and multicore performance respectively.

OPPO closes the race at 382 and 1550 for single core and multicore performance respectively.

This gets reflected in real-world performance too.

All of them will handle daily tasks with no effort. When you start taxing them is when differences emerge. Camon 19 pro handles graphic intense games really well as you get to play at their maximum frame rates. Games like Ninja Arashi, Asphalt 9, and Alto’s Odyssey, Shadow Fight 3, Apex legends play at 120fps while OPPO A96 and Galaxy A33 play at 90fps.

So if you’re looking for a gaming phone, the Camon 19 Pro should be your top pick. TECNO’s premier midrange smartphone takes the crown for its horsepower in terms of performance.

CAMERAS

So how do the three compare when it comes to photography and videography?

OPPO A96(bottom), TECNO Camon 19 Pro(middle) and Samasung Galaxy A33 5G(top) main cameras
OPPO A96(bottom), TECNO Camon 19 Pro(middle) and Samasung Galaxy A33 5G(top) main cameras

OPPO A96 opts for a dual setup consisting of a 50MP main sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. The A33 sports a quad camera setup that includes a 48MP main with OIS, an 8MP ultrawide, a 5MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor.

Camon 19 Pro brings with triple camera setup rocking a 64MP main camera with OIS, a 50MP portrait lens with 2 times optical zoom and a 2MP depth camera.

For selfies, we have a 16MP, a 13MP and a 32MP front-facing camera for the A96, A33 and the Camon 19 Pro respectively.

TECNO Camon 19 Pro bottom VS Samsung Galaxy A33 5G middle vs OPPO A96 selfe cameras
TECNO Camon 19 Pro bottom VS Samsung Galaxy A33 5G middle vs OPPO A96 selfe cameras

For video, OPPO is capped at 1080p 30fps for both front and main cameras. The A33 has 4K 30fps max resolution for both the main and selfie cameras. Camon 19 Pro is maxed at 2K max for both the selfie camera and the main camera.

Let’s start with selfies and portraits. OPPO A96 overall takes better daytime and nighttime selfies and portraits are more colourful when compared to its rivals. They boast of proper exposure and background blur worth sharing on social media. Camon 19 Pro selfies and portraits come in muted colours.

Regular photos come with mixed results for all of them. In some shots, TECNO takes more contrasty photos and more accurate colours. Samsung handles exposure really well for its shots.

For portraits taken with the main camera, Camon 19 Pro takes better shots with the 2X Zoom but the colours are muted while Samsung takes care of exposure on its portraits. But I loved bokeh shots taken by the A96.

When the sun sets, TECNO Camon 19 Pro takes the reigns with its better-looking lowlight shots.

When we switch up to the front-facing cameras, OPPO redeems itself as mentioned earlier with my preference for portraits and selfies that have colours that pop ready for sharing on social media.

Night portraits with the main camera get handled better with the Camon 19 Pro.

For video, Samsung leads the race with its more versatility as it can shoot 4K for both front and main cameras. 1080p stabilized video is relatively better with the A33 in comparison with the Camon 19 Pro.

Preferences will depend on your priorities.

BATTERIES

All three phones come with 5000mAh batteries so you expect really great battery life with each pick. Charging speeds is where we part ways with the Camon 19 Prosharing the first place with 33W fast charging while Samsung has 25W.

It’s worth noting that Samsung doesn’t include their charging brick in the box. You just get a Type-A to Type-C charging cable.

Camon 19 Pro takes 1 hour to go empty to 96%. A33 takes 1 hour to go from empty to 45% while the A96 takes the same time to reach 90%.

WARRANTY

The CAMON 19 Pro comes with 24 Months + 1-month Extended Warranty giving the customer peace of mind. 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.

Samsung A33 has a 24-month warranty.  OPPO also offers a 24-month warranty for the A96.

VERDICT

Overall, the three smartphones put up a good fight. They exchange punches when it comes to design, performance and cameras. Camon 19 Pro’s unique design goes toe to toe with the Galaxy A33 IP67 certification. Its Super AMOLED screen has to fend off silky smooth 120Hz display on the Camon 19 Pro.

When it comes to performance, Camon 19 Pro and Galaxy A33 go head to head but games play better at their max frame rates with TECNO’s midrange smartphone. Both phones are also slated to get Android 13 update later this year. It will all boil down to which user interface you prefer between Samsung’s One UI 4.1 and TECNO’s HiOS 8.6.

When it comes to photography, OPPO’s A96 held its head high against the camera-centric Camon 19 Pro and the Galaxy A33. It’s a good phone for selfies and portraits both daytime and night. The A33 is good for video thanks to its 4K versatility. Camon 19 Pro handles portraits from the main camera really well. And this includes lowlight scenarios too.

When it comes to charging, Camon 19 Pro takes the lead even though they both share 33W fast charging with OPPO A96. Samsung supports 25W but then doesn’t pack a fast charger in the box.


Overall, Camon 19 Pro ties in with the Galaxy A33 with a few features that give each a step ahead depending on your preference. OPPO A96 closes the race.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

TECNO Camon 19 Pro starts selling from Ksh 34,799 while Samsung Galaxy A33 5G goes for Ksh 35,495 and the OPPO A96 goes for Ksh 35,499. You can get the three at any of the company’s respective retail stores and also on e-commerce sites like Jumia.


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