This is the third year of TECNO’s Camon series. The C8 was the first of the series, followed by the C9 gang (which included the smaller C7). And in 2017, TECNO has thrown in the CX. X stands for 10, by the way. Of course, you knew that already. Anyway, our TECNO Camon CX Review is ready. Settle down and enjoy the ride.
TECNO Camon CX Review: Quick Pros And Cons
Before we dive into the full review, here are the key pros and cons of the Camon CX, so you have an idea of what to expect.
|Super slim, handy body||No way to turn off the heads-up notifications by HiOS|
|Solid design and metallic build||Navigation buttons at the bottom of the display take up usable space|
|Runs Android 7.0 out of the box|
|Both selfie and rear cameras are really good|
|USB-OTG for using flash drives and other USB accessories|
TECNO Camon CX Review: Hardware/Design
Hands-dowmn, the CAmon CX is a beautiful smartphone. It looks good. Its metallic body feels good. And the very slim profile is a huge plus. TECNO keeps improving in the hardware design space. In addition to the looks, the CX is lightweight.
While it is a dual SIM phone, the CX has a dedicated micro-SD card slot as well, so you do not have to choose between a memory card and a second SIM. The distinctive way that TECNO places the big selfie camera in a central location above the display is nice.
The 5.5 inch display is sharp and bright. It has 2.5D glass on it, which gives it a very nice, refined feel as well. Screen legibility is fair, but when outside in bright sunlight, you have to crank up the display’s brightness at least up to 50%.
TECNO Camon CX Review: Software
This is the first Android 7 Nougat smartphone we are reviewing here at Mobility Arena. The Camon CX is bang up-to-date in terms of software. Well, it is Android 7.0, to be specific and there are devices in the market already running 7.1, but that’s us being finnicky.
Of course, TECNO has its HiOS user interface running on top of Nougat here. Version 2.0 is what is built into the CX. The software interface is smooth and works as it should. There are many extra functionality that HiOS brings to the table. There’s the more extensive drop-down menu giving you quick access to several features. There are screenshot, ultra power, Hi Manager, Boomplay, Freezer, Hi Cloud, and Hi Theme, among others.
We do not like that there is no way to disable the heads-up notifications without turning off all notifications entirely. The ability to blacklist pesky numbers for both calls and SMS is certainly a good feature built into HiOS.
One other niggle we have is how the navigation buttons at the bottom of the display take up usable space on the screen. Not a biggie. It is probably just us.
Android 7’s split screen feature works well on the CX. The display is broken into two sections, one above the other, and you can use apps in both at the same time. No need to switch between apps. We are sure that it would be a much more beautiful experience on a bigger screen. But it is here and works well should you really need to use it.
TECNO Camon CX Review: Network, Telephony
The Camon CX is a dual band GSM phone, meaning it doesn’t support all GSM networks around the world. There is support for 3G and 4G LTE too. TECNO, along with Infinix, are two mobile brands you can depend on to support all 4G LTE networks in the country. The CX does not disappoint. The two brands also make it possible for users to peg their phones to 4G only. Again, the CX lives up to that reputation.
If you are interested in using the CX for voice calls in the United States, note that it is a dual band phone. It does not support the two bands used by US GSM networks and so will not work there.
Network reception is good and in-call audio is good as well. Sometimes, one has to move the phone a bit while held to the ear in order to get the best position. This is because the earpiece is a thin horizontal piece at the very top edge of the phone (see photo above). The selfie camera occupies the position where most other phones have their earpiece.
Overall, call quality isn’t fantastic. Sometimes, we struggle to keep conversations going without having to ask the person at the other end to repeat one statement or the other. On a scale of horrible to fantastic, we would rate call quality on the CX as straddling the fence between fair and good.
TECNO Camon CX Review: Photography
The TECNO Camon CX has a 16 megapixel rear camera with ring flash. TECNO has been extremely vocal about the quality of the Camon CX camera, even pitting it against the iPhone 7’s camera. There is no better way to sort this out than to pitch it against the Lumia 950, which is still acclaimed as one the best camera phones around today (if not the best).
LUMIA 950 Comparison Shots Indors, Lights on
Have a look: the Camon CX photos are above, while the Lumia 950’s shots are below.
LUMIA 950 Comparison Shots Indoors, Lights off:
In terms of colour reproduction and image resolution, the Camon CX camera is amazing, easily matching what the Lumia camera king offers. Where it falls short is in capturing the scene and lighting of the background, something that the Lumia handles much better.
TECNO has put a 16 megapixel, wide angle front camera with Dual LED flash on the CX. Again, we pitched it against the Lumia 950.
LUMIA 950 Comparison Selfie Shots Indors, Lights on:
In the pictures above, you can see that the Camon CX selfie camera produces better resolution, not surprisingly. However, the Lumia still squeezes more light out of the scene.
TECNO Camon CX Review: Multitasking/Performance
Performance on the CX is good and very much in line with what is expected of a smartphone with its specifications. Being such a highly-featured phone, it would have performed even better if it had 3 GB of RAM instead to improve app loading times.
We ran a couple of benchmark tests and came out with the following results:
- AnTuTu: 43820
- Geekbench 4: 468 Single-Core / 1319 Multi-Core
The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner works fine for locking the device, locking apps, answering calls and taking photographs.
TECNO Camon CX Review: Connections
The Camon CX offers Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The USB connectivity includes USB-OTG, which lets you use flash drives and other USB accessories with the phone. You will need a USB adapter or a dual flash drive.
In sharing mobile internet access via wireless hotspot, we ran into an issue though. A Windows 7 laptop we have does not see the Camon CX hotspot at all. Every other device does – Windows 8 and 10 laptops, Lumia, Android smartphones and tablets. Even another Windows 7 laptop had no such issues. We renamed the hotspot and restarted both devices, but made no progress.
We are unable to determine whether this is an issue from the CX or from Windows 7. Further testing proved that the issue was with the laptop, being an older, basic model.
TECNO Camon CX Battery Review
The 3200 mAh battery does a commendable job. Perhaps it is the power management capabilities of ANdroid Nougat or TECNO optimised the phone well, it doesn’t matter. The CX battery provides a full working day of power supply. Sometimes, it still hasn’t run out as at 9pm. Exact battery life will depend on each individual’s usage patterns, but you can be rest assured that the TECNO Camon CX won’t have you carrying a charger around.
Quick charge 2.0 here is good as well., delivering up to 50% charge from zero in 30 minutes.
TECNO Camon CX Review: Final Words
In our books, the Camon CX is a winner. It is a solid improvement over last year’s Camon C9. We are looking at a beautiful package that includes two great cameras, solid battery life and up-to-date software, all bundled in a slim, lightweight metal shell. It delivers on the claims that TECNO has made.
In addition to the standard 13 month warranty, TECNO offers to replace your screen if it cracks within 3 months of purchase. Not bad at all. I know someone who is always breaking her phone screens like that. I should copy her.
If you have been considering buying one, we have no issues recommending that you do. Mobility Arena Rating: 8.9/10.