Tecno is a brand that serves developing markets and typically focuses on value-for-money devices. These phones are not just about getting the most bang for your buck, however, instead they are tailored to the specific likes and dislikes of several key markets.
The Tecno Camon 17 Pro is one of the most advanced phones it had built to date, though it’s not quite on the level of the Camon 16 Premiere, which we reviewed last year. Both are in the top price segment of Tecno’s line-up with the 17 Pro priced at NGN 125,000 in Nigeria (that converts to $305 or €250).
The good news is that you get a complete package for your money – there’s a 25W fast charger, a USB A-to-C cable, a protective case and even a wired headset. Tecno doesn’t just assume you already have those things at home or that you’re willing to spend extra on them.
While the Camon 17 Pro is fairly capable in all areas (considering its price segment), the main focus is on the cameras. The main unit on the back has a 64MP sensor and it is joined by an 8MP ultrawide cam.
The front camera is even more interesting as it features a 48MP sensor for high-quality selfies. The sensor can do pixel binning, but there’s also a dual-LED flash embedded in the top bezel, so nighttime photo and videos should be excellent. The phone comes with a simple video editor that offers pre-made transitions, background music and other elements necessary to put together a fun compilation of your videos.
The Camon 17 Pro has a large 6.8” display, which makes the phone itself quite big. Still, that’s a plus if this is your only/primary digital device. It’s a good panel too, an IPS LCD with 500 nits of brightness. And it has a 90Hz refresh rate, which adds a bit of premium feel.
The Helio G95 chipset has a fairly decent GPU, though it doesn’t have enough oomph for 90 fps gaming (at least not at full resolution). The chip is comparable to the Snapdragon 720G in terms of performance. And you get Android 11 (HIOS 7.6) out of the box, which isn’t always the case – we can point to some 5G phones that launched with Android 10.
Tecno was pretty generous with the memory – the phone has 8GB of RAM, which is plenty for multitasking. And there is 256GB of built-in storage, so you can install plenty of games. There’s a dedicated microSD slot too, so you can add even more storage if you somehow run out of room.
The final feature that makes the phone feel more premium than its siblings is the 25W fast charger included in the box. The 5,000 mAh battery could have been bigger, though, especially considering the price of the device.
The Tecno Camon 17 Pro finds itself in the most hotly-contested smartphone segments. Can it achieve broader appeal than the 16 Premier did or does it rely on local knowledge of its key markets? That’s what we’ll try to answer in the upcoming review.