TECNO Mobile CAMON 17P review: A lot of phone for the money

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To be honest, I’d never heard of TECNO Mobile before—until Cap, sorry, Chris Evans started endorsing them. The Hong Kong-based mobile phone company is focused on building feature-packed smartphones for Southeast Asia and African markets where price and value-for-money are king.

To that end, the CAMON 17P comes with the things Filipinos who are always glued to their phones will love: an impressive camera suite, good chipset, and big battery life.

The cameras consist of a 64MP ultra clear quad camera and a 16MP selfie camera. It has a 6.8-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2460) display, a Helio G85 processor with 128GB + 6GB memory, and an impressive 5000mAh battery with 18W flash charge. It runs on HiOS 7.6 based on Android 11. 

Measuring 169 by 77mm and with a thickness of 8.8mm, it feels substantial in your hand without feeling overly large in the pants pocket. The bright, huge display is clean all around with a trio of buttons on the right side for power and volume control. The resolution of 1080 x 2460 pixels gives it decent clarity.

Being a longtime Apple iOS user, I was initially reluctant to give the CAMON 17P a whirl since I found the Android OS so tedious to set up; thankfully, everything worked well and without a hitch. Flicking through apps was a non-issue as the phone had more than enough juice to play games and take photos and videos without missing a beat.

The cameras have an extensive list of options including shooting in Film mode, 15-second shorts, an AR mode, slow motion, panorama, Ultra High Definition, beauty, and AI cam.

The main lens shoots at up to 64MP, while the macro camera shoots in 2MP with a maximum aperture of f/2.4. There’s another 2MP lens with up to f/2.4 for capturing bokeh shots.

The CAMON 17P also has a quad-LED flash for low-light photography, although the images it takes at night have a bluish tone and are not really something to save in your album. Video is shot in 1080p @ 30fps, which is okay for basic videos.

For the most part, the camera produces sharp images as long as you’re not too close to the subject or if it’s not moving quickly. Even with AI Cam mode, the camera software tends to soften images rather than sharpen them for post-processing.

On the other hand, the selfie shooter is impressive, though, as it captures details that lower-spec selfie cams just can’t match.

Check out the sample photos below:

With a 5000mAh battery, this phone has excellent endurance. With the battery at 95% charge on a Wednesday, I used it to take backup photos for a photoshoot, randomly used it for social media for several days, and it still has 54% battery life on a Monday. Bonus features include a side-mounted fingerprint reader, FM radio, and a 3.5mm jack.

Speed says

At P8,490, the TECNO Mobile CAMON 17P is a lot of phone for the money. Frequent camera users and budding vloggers and TikTokers will find it’s quite a handy tool to have around. Even though it’s priced at the affordable end of the smartphone spectrum, it’s built quite well, doesn’t look or feel cheap, and has the horsepower and hardware to keep up with today’s social media-savvy user. 

Words and photos by Andy Leuterio

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