I’ve pretty much had the newly announced TECNO Camon 15 Premier, which is the top dog in the Camon series in 2020 for about a month now and there are a whole lot of things I’d love to say about this device.

First off, the Camon 15 is the 2020’s iteration of the Camon series which comes in the 4 variants, the Camon 15, the Camon 15 Pro, the Camon 15 Premier, and the Camon 15 Air. Basically, the Premier and Pro should have sort of the same specs asides the 64 and 48MP main lens differences. While the regular Camon 15 has 4GB of RAM, 5000mAH battery, and a 48 MP main sensor, the Premier and Pro variants, on the other hand, have 6GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage, 4000mAH battery, the P35 processor as seen on the Phantom 9 and a 64MP/48MP sensor respectively for these devices. I’ll definitely touch on the camera in the camera section below as this is going to be a very much detailed review.

But before we continue with this review, I made a video review on our Youtube Channel which watch below. If you wouldn’t go the video route, then go ahead reading this review.

Unboxing

The first thing I noticed when I got the TECNO Camon 15 Premier was that it has a large box that is similar in size to the Camon 12 from last year, with the regular free data inscriptions, but this time in an all crazy blue accent. Taking the box apart reveals the usual inner envelope for items such as

  • the SIM ejector tool,
  • a 13-month warranty sticker
  • silicon case for protecting your smartphone.
  • The smartphone itself
  • 10W charger
  • a micro USB 2.0 cable for data transfer and
  • an earphone with a 3.5mm jack plug.

These are basically all items you get to find in the box from the Camon 15 Premier, the regular accessories we are used to so far.

Design

Now, let talk about the ports and buttons on this smartphone. There’s a pop-up camera at the top of the Camon 15 Premier, I had to let you guys know that first 🙂 . The right side has the volume rockers alongside the power button while the left side has the dual nano-SIM tray with a dedicated micro SD card expansion slot. Down at the bottom are the speaker grill, a Micro USB 2.0 port which I never did expect here as the Camon series is actually long overdue for a Type C connector. The mouthpiece opening and a 3.5mm jack port for wired audio connection are other things you’d also find at the bottom.

While still taking a glance through the design here, you get to see the 6.6inch HD display without any notch or cutout for the camera and that’s because we have a 32 MP pop-up camera to the top-right corner of this smartphone, just as I mentioned earlier. The ambient light sensor and the earpiece opening are also tucked at the top. While you flip the Camon 15 Premier to the back, you also see a Quad flash and a quad-camera setup, a biometric fingerprint sensor and the TECNO branding at the bottom of this nice looking rear design.

The color choice this year are pretty cool and you can get this smartphone in either the Ice Jadeite or the Opal White color. The color I have here is called the Opal White 

For overall design, heft and feel, it feels comfortable to hold and that’s even with the silicon case attached to this smartphone. Now, I’m not actually a case person, but without the TPU case, you get this camera bulge at the rear which gets the Camon 15 Premier rocking on flat surfaces. The case doesn’t totally eliminate that bulge, but it does go a long way to flattening that bulge.

Display

The display on the Camon 15 Premier is a major upgrade from what we got to see last year in this series. You get a 6.6″ IPS LCD panel with a resolution that is a little over Full HD coming in at 1080×2340, obviously an improvement from the 720p we got from the Camon 12 and 12 pro. The Pixel Per Inch density is at 394, screen to body ratio here is about 84% and you get this tall form factor just like most other devices in this space, 19.5×9 aspect ratio.

The specs above mean that streaming Youtube content would be capped at 1080p, which is obviously full HD and that’s a good thing. In terms of the quality of the display, especially for an LCD panel, there is nothing really to complain about, and more so, you get an immersive experience while consuming media on this smartphone all thanks to the front-facing camera being tucked out clean at the top here.

Additional Features

One additional feature I got to see this year from HiOS (which is the skin TECNO devices all run on) even though I’ve not really been a fan of the skin is the Dark mode. With HiOS 6.0.1, you are ushered into the skin with dark mode just like the big brands in the league have introduced on their devices long time ago. This is clearly a step in the right direction. 

Other features include the smart panel from the corner, which lets you add shortcuts to your frequently used apps. You can also have that turned off from the settings if that’s not your thing.

There is the micro intelligence settings also with lots of features ranging from tapping on the display to wake it up, flipping the phone to mute it on a call and taking a screenshot by swiping 3 fingers on the display of the Camon 15 Premier. There are a whole lot of features in the micro intelligence center here.

Microphone/Sound Quality

The micro is clearly crisp and picks up sound clearly and this true when you are on phone calls or trying to use the “record” app on the Camon 15 Premier. In the video review, which is above, I made a mic record test where you can have a listen of how it sounds.

The speaker is really loud. I compared it with the Samsung Galaxy A71 and they are pretty much at the same loudness level. Although you could notice a little slice in bass, it gets the job done. You can also have a listen to know how it sounds from the video review above. My only issue with smartphones having a single down-firing speaker, and that’s not just TECNO alone, other phones I’ve reviewed lately, ranging from the Samsung Galaxy A71, the Galaxy A51, Xiaomi devices and a whole bunch of midrange devices is that it could easily be blocked out while using the phone, but then, that’s what you get for the price you pay.

Performance

Now let’s discuss performance and specs on this device. The Camon 15 Premier features a P35 processor, same as that seen on the Phantom 9 from last year and my unit here has a 128GB of internal storage, 6GB of RAM, it runs on Android 10 and it basically performs pretty well for day to day use.

I mean there wasn’t any noticeable lag for media consumption, surfing the web and basic tasks as used on this smartphone of use. Playing games like PUBG, Call of Duty in my use didn’t really have those stutters when your graphics is switched to Low and Medium (PUBG had a maximum setting of Medium). Games were playable here, but there’s a noticeable warm-up after an extended period of play using the Camon 15 Premier.

Battery

Battery life here is decent as you get a 4000mAH battery paired with a Helio p35 processor, obviously a processor that caters for long-lasting battery life on smartphones and I quickly ran into a pattern here with the TECNO Camon 15 Premier’s battery going down from a 100% to about 15% after every day’s use.

To charge up this device, I always did that over the night and it took roughly 3 hours to get it to a 100% form 0% using the 10 Watt charger included in the box. So, don’t get your hopes up here, you won’t be getting a fast charger this time.

Camera

The Camon series has always been known for the cameras, and this year, TECNO decided to bring it on with huge numbers. There is a quad-camera setup at the rear with a 64MP main sensor, a 5MP ultra-wide lens which also doubles as the Macro lens, a 2MP depth sensor and a QVGA lens which helps for the low-light shots.

While in the camera app, you get to see the AI standard mode, beauty, bokeh, super night for those night shots, AI, panorama and the video modes. The regular camera mode at 1x produces photos with resolution summing to 16MP, meaning you actually have a 16MP sensor on this smartphone and the 64MP count is actually pieced together in post as far as I know.

I compared photos coming off the regular 16MP mode and the 64MP mode, asides the difference in photo size and resolution, I think the AI does a good job at giving us crips images from the 64MP mode. If for one thing, the photos are sharp and what you can expect from this level of smartphone, but for the ultra-wide lens, it tends to give lower quality images, washed out as compared to the main lens. And for that reason, I’d prefer taking 3 steps back for a wider shot to using the ultra-wide here. And speaking of preferring the main lens here, I would also take photos using the main lens and crop in to get the effect I’d have gotten with the macro lens on this device. Below are photos from the Camon 15 Premier in this gallery below.

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For the front camera, you get a 32MP in that pop-up and there’s a cool animation when you launch the front-facing camera (that can also be seen in the video review). The camera also has the anti-fall detection protection that retracts this module when the phone is being dropped. As far as photos go here, they are pretty much ok if you know how to go about taking photos in well-lit conditions. The key to getting the best out of the TECNO Camon 15 Premier’s front-facing 32MP camera is having decent lighting.

Video on both the front and the rear cameras are capped at 1080p, which is full HD and there is no form of stabilization whatsoever.

Price

The TECNO Camon 15 Premiere, which is the top end of the Camon series this year retails for N95,000 which is an equivalent of $240. Now, this comes at a price a little higher than what the TECNO Phantom 9 was sold for in 2019.

Verdict

So, it’s time to get that final verdict on the TECNO Camon 15 Premier. With the Pop Up camera here, the gradient thingy that goes on at the back, I mean this design is pretty sick if you ask me (like pretty beautiful), the clean and beautiful LCD panel with no notch to obstruct media consumption, it is a beautifully designed device, especially from the brand but in terms of the camera quality and the processing power, it is passable at best.

Although it can handle the basic day-to-day activities you throw at it, and with the processor in here (the Helio P35 chipset), you have a nice battery consumption management. I feel the device is something that can be improved upon in subsequent iterations of the Camon series. For now, if you already own the TECNO Phantom 9, I’m not sure why you should upgrade to this, otherwise, if you are coming from the Camon 12, this is a marginal step in the right direction.

What do you think about this review of the TECNO Camon 15 Premier? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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