Head-to-head: Tecno Camon 18 Premier vs Samsung Galaxy A52

Samsung’s Galaxy A52 is not new to us. The device has been around since March, when it was unveiled and, goes for about Kshs 40,000, which varies depending on the variant of the device that you go for.

The Tecno Camon 18 Premier that we are pitting it against on the other hand? It’s as new as new comes having been in the market for only a few months, since its launch back in October. It is going for around the same price as the Samsung Galaxy A52 and, in many aspects, targets the same customer base that has that much money to spend on a device.

Sure, Samsung has its own fans who will be willing to spend as much as Kshs 40,000 on one of its mid-range offerings but can Tecno continue its trend of taking the mat off Samsung’s feet continent-wide in the lower segments of the market with the Camon 18 Premier in the mid-level market?

That is the question we hope the head-to-head specs comparison below, and the notes that follow provide answers to.

Tecno Camon 18 PremierSamsung Galaxy A52
Dimensions and weight163.8 x 75.85 x 8.15 mm159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4mm
189g
Display6.7-inch Dot-in (2400 x 1080 pixels) LCD6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED
Infinity-O Display (1080 x 2400), 407ppi
90Hz refresh rate
CameraSelfie camera: 32MP
Main camera: 64MP triple camera with Quad LED flash
Rear Sensor: 64MP (main) + 12MP (wide-angle) + 5MP (macro) + 5MP (depth)
Front Sensor: 32MP
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G96Snapdragon 720G
Memory8GB RAM, 256GB onboard storage (expandable via microSD)4, 6 or 8GB RAM, 128 or 256 GB onboard storage (expandable via microSD upto 1 terabyte)
Operating SystemHiOS 8 based on Android 11One UI 3.1 based on Android 11
Battery4,750mAh 4,500mAh
Network3G, 4G3G, 4G (there's a 5G variant)
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB Type-CSame
Colour optionsVast Sky, othersAwesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Violet, Awesome Blue
OthersFingerprint sensor (on the side)Fingerprint sensor (under display)
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Software

Some things you note when pitting these two devices are their respective histories. Being a Samsung device, the Galaxy A52, out of the box, runs on Samsung’s One UI overlay. The Tecno Camon 18 Premier, on the other hand, is powered by Tecno’s HiOS. The freshest version of HiOS, 8. They are both just nice wraps of the Android 11 that runs underneath.

They are both colourful and share their maker’s own visions of their usability. For instance, where Samsung has Bixby, Tecno now has Ella, its own voice digital assistant.

Whether there will be updates for the devices is not a question for the Samsung, as Samsung has committed to providing at least 3 operating system updates to its devices across the board. Going by past experience and it being the hero device of what is now Tecno’s hero smartphone lineup – since its previous flagship smartphone brand, Phantom, is now its own sub-brand – we can expect that software support for the Camon 18 Premier will see it upgraded to Android 12, at the very least.

As far as things go, both devices should be able to have equal appeal to users when it comes to their software upgradeability.

Things tend to be skewed towards Samsung’s offering when we look at what both device makers do with the software. Transsion Group brands are known for the intrusive nature of some of the add-ons on their devices and that isn’t so different with the Camon 18 Premier, despite it having the best software experience we’ve ever had on a Tecno smartphone thanks to the cleanliness of HiOS 8.

Design

I find that both devices are solid and comparable when it comes to their overall build quality. The Tecno Camon 18 Premier is very well built and would hold a candle to pretty much every premium device out there. The Galaxy A52? Well, Samsung went all out there.

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Even scores.

Display

Here, not only does the difference show up in the sizes – even though marginal – it also shows up in the display tech at play. The Camon 18 Premier has an LCD panel whereas the Galaxy A52 has the same Super AMOLED panels that its maker is very well known for.

The Tecno edges a little ahead when we factor in that size – 6.7-inches for it against the Samsung’s 6.5-inch – and makes even bigger strides when we account for its high refresh rate. Sure, Samsung did put a 90Hz refresh rate panel but Tecno is doing 120Hz. In this case, more is always better. We can argue about there not being many applications that take advantage of this but we can’t argue against the buttery smoothness of 120Hz when you’re scrolling on that device!

Battery

The batteries, as you can see from the above spec-sheet, should be almost the same capacity-wise but it is how they are charged that brings out all the difference. Tecno has bundled a 33W fast charger in the retail packaging of the Camon 18 Premier. Samsung, on the other hand, only includes a 15W charger in the box and leaves room for those interested in accelerated charging to spend a few extra coins on a 25W charger that it’s built its devices to support.

Even though the Galaxy A52 does offer 5G, the variant that has it costs more and strays from the price band that makes the device a worthy Camon 18 Premier.

Which one would you go for?

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at] androidkenya.com