For Tecno, the journey to becoming Africa’s leading mobile phone brand has included understanding the continent’s unique needs, which more often than not are not met by renowned global brands, and providing solutions in the form of devices that fit those unique needs. The results, as everybody can see today, have been impressive. The African mobile phone user has responded positively to Tecno’s (and its sister brands) products.
Tecno will be hoping that the same is the case for its latest smartphone duo, the Tecno Camon 11 and Camon 11 Pro.
Coming months after the Camon X and Camon X Pro and on the backdrop of a decision by the Chinese brand to sidestep its flagship Phantom series this year in favour of the more affordable fan-favourite Camon lineup, the new devices have a mountain of expectations to meet and tastes to satisfy.
Given their feature set, though, the stage is set for a grueling battle between the Pro model and the competition in the market led by Huawei’s Y9 2019 smartphone which has hogged all our attention for the last one month.
From my early interaction with the Camon 11 Pro, the device, just like its sibling with a shorter name, brings with it several tweaks to Tecno’s custom software overlay, HiOS, that allows users to customize the fingerprint sensor to perform such things as call-recording as well as allowing the same users to configure specific app actions like launches to specific fingers on their hands. Huh?
It is worth noting that bar the differences in the cameras and the memory, the two (Camon 11 and Camon 11 Pro) are just one and the same thing in almost all aspects and features.
The Camon 11’s 6.2-inch display becomes the Camon series’ biggest ever, increasing from the 6-inch and 5.5-inch panels on the Camon X and Camon CX before it. That increase allows it to increase its screen-to-body ratio by 2.2 percentage points to stand at an impressive 87.5%. Of course, no mention of smartphone displays in 2018 is complete without a mention of the inevitable: the notch. There’s one. However, just as is the case with the Huawei Y9 2019, it can be hidden from the settings app and the display area extended by hiding the Android system navigation buttons on the bottom.
Of course, the biggest difference between the Camon X and Camon X Pro released earlier in the year, besides the looks and size, is in the addition of Artificial Intelligence smarts, a common feature among respectable mid-range devices we have so far availed in the local market from other Chinese device makers – Xiaomi, Huawei and Oppo.
In addition to the AI smarts, which run from the camera to the entire software experience, the two devices also include iPhone-style Augmented Reality (AR) emoji, animoji, as well as face unlock.
Since Tecno’s Camon series is known for its cameras, the Camon 11 and Camon 11 Pro, of course, do not disappoint in that department. The duo pack dual cameras with quad flash at the back and single sensors on the front, where Tecno appears to have concentrated all its energies. Will the efforts pay off? We’ll get to know soon when we, hopefully, have the Camon 11 Pro in for review.
In what is likely a first, the two devices not only come with ready access to Jamii Telecommunication’s Faiba 4G network, buyers of either device get to enjoy free 25GB data for the first month.
The Camon 11 and Camon 11 Pro are expected to retail at Kshs 15,000 and 24,000 respectively when they go on sale on November 26th when the pre-order period, which is currently ongoing in various stores across the country (for the Pro), ends. That pricing puts both devices directly within firing range of both Huawei and Xiaomi while also making things a bit murky for Oppo. As was the case with the Huawei Y9 2019, select Telkom Kenya retail outlets will stock the Camon 11.