“This is a big phone.” That was the first thought that crossed my mind when I first picked up the TECNO Camon 17 Pro right after opening up the box. It is one thing to know, in theory, that the display is 6.8 inches in size. Handling it makes it clear how big it really is.
TECNO’s Camon series has come a long way, and in 2021, the Camon 17 Pro is the pinnacle of it. It follows the brand’s unspoken rule of making it big and bold. TECNO has grown a reputation of a brand that is in your face, and this big guy exemplifies that. Let’s have a quick look at the key specifications.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: Quick Specs
- 6.8-inch, 1080 x 2460 pixels, 90Hz refresh rate, IPS LCD
- HiOS v7.6.0, based on Android 11
- 48 MP selfie camera
- 64 MP wide angle + 5MP ultra-wide angle + 2MP depth camera with LED light
- 5000mAh battery with 25W charging
- MediaTek Helio G95 processor
- 8 GB RAM
- 256 GB internal storage
- Dedicated microSD card slot
- USB Type-C
- 3.5 mm audio headset port.
From the above specs sheet, it is clear that TECNO Mobile went all out on this model. It isn’t just big on the outside; everything on the inside is big as well. We have a big 5000 mAh battery, big 256 GB storage, big 8 GB RAM, big megapixel numbers, and a powerful processor.
In daily usage, how do all these come together? I have had the Camon 17 Pro for a week now, and here is how I will describe it: not once did this phone disappoint me in the handling of any tasks, including gaming. Everything works as you would expect them to on a phone of this class.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: The Unboxing
In the box:
- TECNO Camon 17 Pro smartphone itself
- transparent soft silicone case
- USB-C cable
- wall fast charger
- 3.5 mm headphones
- Warranty card
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: Physical Features
The IPS LCD is crisp and sharp, thanks to the high resolution. It is also quite bright. The specs sheet says that it has 90Hz refresh rate, so I was particularly looking out for that. There is a menu in the phone settings where you can choose what you prefer – 90Hz for smoother animations, 60Hz for longer battery life, or Auto-switch to allow the phone to switch between the two depending on what task you are carrying out per time.
Since we are here to see how well the Camon 17 Pro performs, I selected 90Hz. I wanted to see how well the battery would hold up in that mode. I will fill you in on that in the battery section of this review.
But does 90Hz refresh rate make any difference in use? It does, especially when it comes to gaming. You will notice smoother animations when 90Hz is turned on. If you are a gamer and don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of naira, the 90Hz refresh rate and combination of Helio G95 chipset and 8 GB of RAM makes this a solid choice.
Anyway, we are still on physical features. There is a 3.5 mm port at the bottom, along with a microphone hole, USB Type-C port, and loudspeaker grill. The Volume buttons are on the right side of the phone, and below them is the Power button, which has a fingerprint reader built into it.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: Telephony & Multimedia
We had no trouble with telephone calls on the Camon 17 Pro. Calls were clear and loud. In-call Audio is great. We paired it up with the TECNO Buds1 stereo wireless earphones and those delivered superb audio quality during both voice calls. The persons at the other end of our calls confirmed that the audio is good too.
Music playback over the Buds1 is quite good too and produces very good bass, treble, and clarity. The buds come in a charging case.
Pairing the buds1 set was smooth and easy. Immediately we opened the charging case, the Camon 17 Pro detected the earbuds, connected, and prompted us to “use now”, and we were good to go.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: Software
HiOS is TECNO’s custom user interface for their Android phones. It has lots of nifty functionalities for mobile users, but it is right here at software that the Camon 17 Pro irks.
First, the Camon 17 Pro came with no less than 20 pre-installed apps. Many of them can be uninstalled or deleted. Some cannot be, and you have to live with them. With 256 GB internal storage and 8 GB RAM, that isn’t any cause for concern, though. They do not impact the performance of the phone in any way, as they would on a phone with lesser resources.
The bigger annoyances came from unceasing notifications and ads in the phone’s user interface, especially the drop-down menu. As long as there is an active Internet connection, those ads and notifications keep beeping and showing up.
Again, because of the top specs of the phone, these do not have any impact on performance. A MobilityArena team member simply disabled notifications on the phone totally, which got rid of most of them. There are other ways to disable these ads and notifications, if you have the time.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: Photography
Camon smartphones and photography are like 5 and 6, and the Camon 17 Pro has cameras that look impressive on paper and in real life. The camera housing at the back of the phone is a beauty and begs you to take photos. And we did. What were the results we got?
Let’s flip over to the centred punch hole at the front of the device first for some selfies.
Camon devices have been known for the special attention that TECNO pays to their selfie cameras, and this is no exception. We got superb selfies most of the time. Sometimes, we felt there was too much processing, but this is a selfie lover’s delight.
64-megapixel main camera: Here are sample photos from the rear camera.
These photos speak for themselves. The rear camera of the Camon 17 Pro takes very good photos that you can show off anywhere. In close-ups, it delivers great details. Landscape photography is particularly excellent indoors, with sharp, punchy colours.
Whether you are taking pictures with the TECNO Camon 17 Pro in the daytime or at night, we ended up with photos that were mostly outstanding.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: Performance
Camon 17 Pro is equipped with a MediaTek Helio G95 chipset, which is a top mid-range gaming chip. In addition, there is 8 GB of RAM, and then there is that generous 256 GB of internal storage. On paper, it is a performance delight. But how does it work out in real life?
One word: superb. TECNO Camon 17 Pro did not break a sweat once in the whole time we had it with us.
Simply put, the performance is excellent and fits what we were expecting considering the specs. From web browsing, to using the cameras, to switching between apps, to heavy gaming, TECNO Camon 17 Pro flies through its tasks without breaking a sweat.
We played Gods of Rome, an action game by Gameloft, among others, again and again, and the Camon 17 Pro held its ground.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: Battery Life
Camon 17 Pro has a massive 5000mAh battery and 25W fast charging. In our tests, we observe that it charges rapidly up till around 90%, which is good. That is 90% charge in roughly 1.5 hours.
TECNO Camon 17 Pro Review: Conclusion
Here we are at the end of our TECNO Camon 17 Pro review here at MobilityArena, and it is time for our conclusion.
The Camon 17 Pro is a big, bold, powerful mid-range smartphone. It is a great option for those who want good performance and solid features without spending on a flagship. You will also find yourself inundated with ads and pesky notifications all through the user interface (I am guessing that TECNO users must be used to this by now), while enjoying the big screen, powerful features, long battery life, and taking peng photos and videos to share on social media.
It is available in TECNO flagship stores and at independent retailers across Nigeria at a recommended retail price of ₦125,000.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.