TECNO Camon C9 Review: Big Eye In Front

The only TECNO Camon C9 Review that you need to read is here. This is TECNO’s latest shot at the cameraphone stakes. We are talking about two 13 megapixel cameras – one at the back and another in front. The rear one has an accompanying LED flash. The front-facing one has a soft flash light to assist it in low light situations.

TECNO Camon C9 Review - in hand

TECNO Camon C9 Review for Non-techie People

Pros
– Solid, tastefully designed body
– Bright, sharp display
– Very good rear camera
– Very Good battery life
– very good performance
– Works with both Smile 4G and Ntel 4G networks

Cons
– Average network signal reception
– Front-facing camera is good, but falls below expectations

TECNO Camon C9 Review: Design

The Camon C9 unit we have here at Mobility Arena is the sandstone black one. If you want our opinion, sandstone black is the best colour you want to pick when it comes to this and other TECNO smartphones. The C9 feels solidly built. Pick it up and you will immediately feel the heft. The curved back reinforces that feeling too.

TECNO Camon C9 box open rear

With regards to buttons and ports, the usual suspects are all there – 3.5mm audio port at the top, microUSB port at the bottom, volume and power buttons on the right side. And there is a hardware camera shutter button thrown in too in the bottom right corner.

TECNO camon C9 Photos camera button

The TECNO logo is tastefully imprinted at the back just below the camera lens and LED flash. The nice sandstone textured back cover is removable and opens up to give you access to two micro SIM slots and one microSD card slot. You don’t have to trade a SIM card for a memory card.

TECNO Camon C9 Review: Software

The Camon C9 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HiOS, TECNO’s new custom user interface, on top. HiOS is light and fluid. It has also been refined since its first coming on the Boom J8 and all issues we experienced with it then are non-existent here on the Camon C9..

Setup your Gmail account to get your Google email, calendar, and contacts synchronising. Everything works just fine.

TECNO Camon C9 Review: Network Reception And 4G Compatibility

In our TECNO Camon C9 4G tests, the Camon C9 worked with both Smile and Ntel 4G networks. In both cases, when we set the Camon C9 to 4G/3G/2G (auto) mode in network settings, it did not latch on to either network. As such, be sure to select 4G only as network mode in your phone settings.

TECNO Camon C9 Review: Music

The pre-installed music app, Boom Player, is quite good. Having gone through a few iterations, it now allows discovery of music videos too. Which is cool. Boom Player has all the standard features you would expect from a music app, plus it lets you find music and videos by African artistes conveniently. It also notifies you of new music when they are available.

TECNO Camon C9 boom player

With regards audio reproduction, the built-in mono loudspeaker is located at the back of the phone but it is sufficiently loud. Audio quality of the loudspeaker is good too, but not outstanding.

TECNO Camon C9 Review: Cameras and Photography

The TECNO Camon C9 sports a 13 megapixel camera just like its flagship sibling, the TECNO Phantom 5. However, this is not the Phantom 5. The camera is good but does not deliver as good as the 5. If you want a TECNO that takes outstanding photographs, you know where to look.

Selfie Time!
camon c9 front-facing camera
TECNO markets the Camon C9 for its selfie capabilities. And that lens is big. It is also positioned centrally at the top of the display.

In our selfie test, while the photographs we got were good, they didn’t wow. We were expecting photo quality that would be close to what the rear camera produces.

Considering how poor front-facing cameras on phones have been, the above selfies from the Camon C9’s front-facing camera are not bad. But they just do not excite me after all the hype. Can we make that drastic change happen in the next iteration of the Camon series, TECNO?

TECNO Camon C9 Review: Iris Scanner

The Camon C9 has an iris scanner built in. That huge 13 megapixel front-facing camera has to be put to more use than just taking selfies. I have used iris recognition on other phones, but the implementation on the Camon C9 is the coolest ever.

TECNO Camon C9 iris scanner

Remember those high tech movies where secret service officers or high ranking military brass get access to restricted areas via iris recognition? This is the closest to what obtains in those movies. There’s an animated sequence accompanied by a cool, geeky sound. It works, but so far, it hasn’t been able to recognise my eyes with my glasses on. The iris scanner on the Lumia 950 recognises me with my glasses on. For now, with the Camon C9 I have to act real cool and pull of my glasses in a very boss-like way and lift the phone to my face to unlock it. Cool. Not always convenient.

TECNO Camon C9 Review: Performance

To be honest, we were disappointed to see a 1.3 GHz processor again. However, in use, the octa-core processor and 2G of RAM, as well as a Mali-T720 graphics processor to assist it with heavy graphics lifting all performed well to produce smooth usage in everyday tasks, as well as some more demanding tasks, without issues. However, being a mid-ranger, it is far from top performance. But then, you have to pay more than the N50,000 that the Camon C9 costs for a smartphone with top performance.

We put up the Camon C9 to the usual benchmark tests and came out with the following results:

  • AnTuTu: 38,767
  • GeekBench 3: 630 Single-Core; 2,949 Multi-Core
  • Quadrant: 22,291

TECNO Camon C9 Review: Battery

The TECNO Camon C9 impressed us with battery life too. We regularly got a full work day of use when connected to a WiFi network and slightly lower endurance if using a 3G network. When using 4G, we still got close to a full work day on it, having to top it off just once during the day.

TECNO C9 Review: Conclusions

The TECNO Camon C9 is a very good phone. It is very solidly built and is pleasant to the eye. The rear camera is very good. But while the front-facing camera is good as front-facing cameras go, it fails to live up to expectations. The Camon C9 will sell well and be popular despite this failing, because the complete package is real value for money.

Now that you are through with this TECNO Camon C9 review, don’t forget to check out the full TECNO Camon C9 specifications and Camon C9 photo gallery.

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13 comments

  1. “It is beautiful and it lives up to the marketing hype.”
    Haba, Mr. Mo, how can you still claim the Camon C9 lives up to the marketing hype after the selfies you took turn out just average?
    Yet TECNO’s marketing hype for the phone is ‘The selfie game changer’.
    Yes, the phone is beautiful, performs well and has good battery life but no, it doesn’t live up to the marketing hype.

    1. Baoku,

      That was a horrible mix-up there. Let me explain. I used the same template that I used for the Boom J8 review – and I forgot to edit the conclusion. Horrible oversight on my part. I have rectified the conclusion now.

      Thanks for pointing this out. It sucks that I let such a huge mix-up of this sort go live. My apologies to everyone.

  2. There’s nothing really special about the camon C9 . the only useful difference with the C8 I can see is a 13mp front cameras. I was expecting a 4000MAH battery and a full light front flash.

  3. Good review, but there is need to get More techy (if u knw wat i mean). What about the T-band? any idea wen the review will be out?
    Am a bit disappointed that the C9 doesn’t have an Active noise cancellation mic. and any idea on how much rate the video records? Tecno didn’t specify. So we dnt knw if it records at full HD or smaller. The anti lost on the T-band is crap. Unlike other smart bands iv used. Someone can tak ur phone n disconnect d Bluetooth and u wont even notice, u can be busy pressing the T-band button while ur fone is on a bus to anoda part of town.

    1. Dear,
      I am realy disappointed with WIFI of Canon 9. it doesn’t connect. Even if connected it will be off immediately? What is the solution? I need immediate answer.

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