It is widely known that the Camon series is centred on photography and the Camon CX does not stray away from that. Bundled with a 16MP rear shooter and a 16MP selfie camera, the makers of this phone believe that the Camon CX is the phone to show off your quality selfies.
But the Camon CX isn’t just about that camera, it’s a smartphone (obviously) and has a lot of good going for it.
When it comes to the design of the CX, I must mention that it looks nothing like its predecessor, the C9. Apart from the centred front camera, everything else is new.
The CX has an aluminium unibody design that apart from being slippery, looks really good. There’s no downplaying that the Camon CX is a beautiful crafted phone.
The 2.5D glass covering the 5.5” IPS Full HD display compliments the square-ish sides and the slightly curved back.
The only downside of the design are those bezels at the top and the bottom chin, especially the bottom chin. I can’t help but wish Tecno would have gone for capacitive navigation keys as opposed to the on-screen navigation keys, to give that chin a purpose, and free up some screen space.
I have heard several comments that the CX looks a lot like an iPhone and I am inclined to agree with this, especially if you consider the placement of the back camera, the antenna lines and bottom side of the device. However, this is not a bad thing. I still insist that the Tecno Camon CX is a beautifully crafted phone.
The Camon CX runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with a skinned UI, HiOS 2.0, on top. HiOS has not changed much since it was first introduced on the Tecno Boom J8 but it’s good to see that Tecno have the latest version of Android running on the CX.
Using HiOS is not bad, aside from the square icons and lack of proper customization. However, I did install a third-party launcher because, well, it just looks much better.
I think it’s time Tecno did away with HiOS or just tone it down like they did on the Tecno L9+, I loved that software experience.
Speaking of installing apps, the Camon CX comes with 32GB internal storage and 2GB of RAM. The internal storage should be more than enough for anyone but in case you need more storage, the CX has an SD Card slot that supports up to 128GB of SD Card expansion.
The RAM is sufficient as well. Apps like WhatsApp, Twitter and your browser (not chrome) will run well. Demanding apps like Instagram, Facebook and some games might lag a bit, but not to the extent where it becomes annoying.
What might annoy you though is the fact that the Camon CX does not handle multitasking well and it closes an app as soon as you leave it. For instance, if you leave Instagram to reply to a WhatsApp message, when you get back on Instagram, it will refresh and you’ll be back at the top of your timeline.
Point to note, my review unit kept sending me a notification that my device was running slow. Surprisingly, this started happening as soon as a few minutes after I unboxed the phone. I am not sure what kind of sorcery is going on inside this phone but that notification is annoying, especially if you tap on it and it indicates that the device is already running at its optimal state.
For those who care, the device comes with Hi Manager and other tools to help you keep your device running smooth. Just like me, you probably won’t need them, but its good to know they are there.
Its 2017, we should not be talking about battery life but here we are. The Camon CX comes with a 3200mAh battery, good enough to last you throughout the day, especially if you’re mostly on Wi-Fi. For those who rely on mobile data 100%, you’ll be running for the charger much sooner than 7pm, especially if you decide to play some games or do some intense stalking on Instagram.
There’s some good news though. Charging time is impressive. The CX comes with fast charging capabilities and going from zero to 100 takes about an hour or so.
The Camon CX also includes a power saving mode, to keep your device going for longer when your battery is low.
And now, the highlight of the Tecno Camon CX. The cameras on this device are quite something, not to a PRO photographer but to the Instagram photographer.
Pictures appear clear, colourful and the dynamic range is impressive (this means that shots of the sky will appear blue and not white).
It will be easy to get a wow comment from pictures shot on the CX, especially if you know how to play around with the in-built effects.
This year, Tecno have really pushed for the front camera and honestly it does a good job. I am not that much of a selfie taker but the few times that I did I liked what I saw. For night shots, the CX has a dual front facing LED flash that is bright enough to illuminate your face but that does not mean it will not appear grainy and unpleasant. Night shots appear horrible. Period.
The front camera has a wide-angle mode, which is a pain to use since the Camon CX does not have a wide-angle camera but instead relies on the user to take a panorama-like photo and they call that “wide-angle”. *face palm*
Often, the background will appear distorted due to the movements of the hand while shooting in this mode. Just have a look:
There is also a watermark mode, that overlays some stickers on your photos. The stickers are limited and not fun at all. I wish Tecno would add more stickers or at least try something like the AR Snapchat filters, that would be cool.
I should also mention that the back camera comes with a ring flash with 4 LEDs within it. Useful for night shots, but I would not rely on them. The Camon CX does not do well in low-light.
I also fail to understand why Tecno would fail to include a manual mode, yet this is a camera phone. Tecno, food for thought.
Here are samples of the Camon CX cameras:
A few issues…
It would not be a review if I did not tell you what sucks about the Camon CX. So, my review unit has serious Wi-Fi issues. It fails to connect and the signal is weak all the time, unless I’m literally standing next to the router.
I am not sure if this is an isolated case or there are other devices that suffer from the same issues but just be on the lookout.
Buy or Not?
As much as that decision is up to you, I would still recommend buying the Tecno Camon CX. It offers a premium design, decent performance and memory, a good camera experience (especially in daylight), all bundled with a good price tag. The Tecno Camon CX gets a buy from us.