Tecno has recently announced Tecno Camon i Twin in India at a price tag of Rs 11,499. The smartphone comes in Midnight Black and Champagne Gold colour variants and is available for purchase only via offline stores across the country.
Tecno Camon i Twin comes loaded with Full View Display and dual rear cameras setup, i.e the two features which are considered to be a standard feature in most of the budget smartphones available in the market today. So, the big question is does it have enough to compete with the already existing popular smartphone players like Asus and Xiaomi who have already established themselves in the market in this price range?
Design and Display
Starting with the design, the Tecno Camon i Twin goes with the today’s design trends, featuring a 6-inch Full View HD+ display with the screen resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels. The 18:9 aspect ratio makes the phone narrower and slightly taller than usual.
To overview, the device top has a front camera with LED flash, earpiece and sensors. Due to on-screen navigation controls, the chin area is kept clean at the bottom. At the back, we have dual rear cameras with the quad LED flash and a circular fingerprint sensor at the centre. Below it, there is Tecno branding as well at the back. On the bottom, we have a micro USB port, 3.5 mm headphone jack and a single speaker grill. The right side features power on/off and volume rocker buttons which are well within the reach while on the left, we have the dual-SIM slot along with a dedicated space for a microSD card to allow you to use two SIM and a micro-SD card at the same time.
During our testing of the device, we found Tecno Camon i Twin build quality good. The phone has a plastic body with a metallic finish at the rear and has rounded sides and edges that makes it easy to hold. Though, the back of the device picks up fingerprints quite easily. It also has a fingerprint sensor at the back which works seamlessly and is easy to reach. The phone is only 161 grams in weight making it quite light and comfortable to hold in hands.
The display has good viewing angles and we found the colours quite punchy, vibrant and colourful during the testing. The brightness level is also good with a good outdoor visibility. In our usage, we found out that the display is easy to view even under direct sunlight and readability in bright sunlight was not an issue. While I like the colours and the brightness on the Camon i Twin, I feel that it would have been better if the company would have given a Full HD+ resolution instead of HD+ at this price range.
Hardware and Software
On the hardware front, the device is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 clocked at a 1.GHz processor which is not the best chipset around at this price point. On board, there’s 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage and a dedicated microSD card slot that can expand memory up to 128GB.
As far as performance is concerned, we didn’t find any flaws in the day to day experience. All the simple apps like Chrome, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Youtube opened quite easily without showing any signs of stutters. The phone manages to run smoothly and playing light-weight games without any problem. But it is not meant to handle graphics intensive games like PUBG Mobile or Asphalt. So, if you are a heavy game user, you might have to reconsider this one. But during our usage period, we found the performance of Camon i Twin generally quite smooth and can be said of decent quality at this price point. Though it would have been better if the company would’ve offered a better Snapdragon processor still, we can say that the performance is not bad either.
Apart from fingerprint scanner, the Camon i Twin also comes with face unlock security feature named ‘Face ID’. The Face Unlock is highly responsive with no noticeable lags for the device. One noteworthy point here is that we were able to unlock the smartphone even with our eyes closed, which doesn’t make it very secure. Usually, while registering for the face unlock in a device, it requires you to keep your eyes open while keep looking at the phone.
On the software front, the phone runs on the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system with Tecno’s custom UI called HiOS 3.2.0 on top. It features an app drawer where all the apps whether preloaded or downloaded are sorted in alphanumeric order. The characters drawer are on the right side in vertical order which eases the process of quickly finding a particular app. When an app is installed, the OS will suggest you create a folder for the shortcut on the home screen. Further, it also groups the similar types of apps in the same folder. Like, e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra are all grouped in one Shopping folder which individually you can also place on Home screen.
HiOS also supports gestures which allow you to do a three-finger swipe to take a screenshot. It has a Quick Start feature in which you can draw certain alphabets to launch specific apps when the screen is off. For example, when you write C, the camera opens, writing. M opens music for you, and writing W, will take you directly to WhatsApp, all this when the phone is in locked mode.
The HiOS comes with a Theme app, a Carlcare Service app, and a Phone Master app that lets you free up RAM to boost performance. Other preinstalled apps include PHX Browser, Face ID, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Weather and more. Sadly only a few pre-loaded apps like Facebook and Whatsapp can be deleted while some apps like PHX Browser and weather cannot be uninstalled but can be disabled. Overall, the software is quite clean with some limited bloatware, the UI is fast and easy to use.
Like most budget smartphones today, this one too comes with dual rear camera setup. The device has a 13-megapixel primary with f/2.0 aperture and 2-megapixel secondary sensor with the quad LED flash and 5P lens. There is a 13-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calling. Both cameras can record 1080p videos. The camera UI is pretty simple and has video, photo, beauty, panorama and portrait modes to choose from. Apart from that, there also filters a quick toggle for HDR, flash and a square photo toggle.
Rear Camera Sample – Close Up Shot
The Portrait Mode lets you take photos with Bokeh Effect by blurring out the background and highlighting the subject in the image. The front camera comes loaded with f/2.0 aperture, LED flash and AI Beauty mode.
Rear Camera Sample – Outside, Low Light Shot
During our testing period, we found out that the rear camera takes some decent photos in broad daylight. There was a good colour reproduction of images clicked and we found outdoor shots also satisfactory. However, when pictures were taken in low-light, they appear to be grainy with some noise, which is to be expected in a smartphone in this price category. It takes a while to focus to click in low light condition and for a perfect shot, we have to keep a steady hand.
Rear Camera Sample – Outside Shot
The front camera also shoots decent selfies. The bokeh shot also comes good too adding additional blur to the background, which is present for the front and rear camera. Video quality at 1080p is decent but there’s no video stabilisation. It results in a shaky video when shooting while moving. Overall, it delivers decent camera performance.
Battery and Connectivity
Another plus point which boosts the Tecno Camon i Twin after the camera is its massive 4000mAh battery. In our testing period, the smartphone lasts for more than a day with normal usage (nearly 1.5 days). Our usage included net surfing, music streaming, using social media apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, and watching movies and taking calls. In our experience, the battery gets up charged fully in around 2.5 hours from zero to 100 per cent with its wall charger.
For connectivity, the Camon i Twin supports dual sim, 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm audio jack, GPS + GLONASS, and micro USB port. The options are pretty much standard these days. As for the sensors are concerned, it has G Sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity, Ambient light sensor. It measures 160.4 x 76.3 x8.5mm.