A couple of years ago, TECNO was just a small, humble brand that aimed to deliver devices with decent specs at an affordable price.
They managed to dominate African and Asian markets in their first few years, before finally opening their very first physical store in the Philippines.
Fast forward to today, and their CAMON Series which focuses on everything photography, has released the 20th iteration (technically) with flagship killer-level specs that you wouldn’t believe are being offered at such an alluring price point.
What does the TECNO CAMON 20 Pro 5G have in store for us? Is this the new standard for all upcoming mid-range devices? Will it live up to Marques Brownlee’s “mid-rangers are getting better and better phones are getting cheaper” quote? Let’s all find out here. But first, check out the specs for this phone right here: https://unboxdiaries.com/phones/tecno-camon-20-pro-5g/
Unboxing, contents and design
Looking at the box, it has the same art style as the previous CAMON Series packaging. But for now, a calming blue colorway is there in exchange for gray. Opening the box, the phone is on top, front, and center, while the goodies are separated with a plastic tray.
Inside, there’s a 33W charging brick, a charging cord (Type-A to Type-C), and a pair of earphones. There’s also the paperwork, warranty card, and a sim ejector tool. What is surprising here is the inclusion of a hard case with a frosted finish, one similar to those offered by Spigen, for extra protection. The sides, however, are still made from jelly case-type material.
Moving on with the phone itself, the CAMON 20 Pro 5G has a very boxy appearance, treading into iPhone-esque design language territory. It has a vegan-leather back with geometric lines forming zoid-like shapes. The texture feels very satisfying to hold, smudges are non-existent within this device. It feels like holding a playmat that we all played when we were kids.
The camera bump design carried on from the POVA Series but this is bigger, more pronounced, and more exquisite to look at, thanks to its halo-like Quad-LED flash, accented with the 64 MP main sensor and dual 2 MP ones (the other 2 MP camera sits on the center of the flash).
The “RGBW 64 MP OIS” text is tastefully placed inside the camera island because it isn’t distracting at all. So is the TECNO CAMON 5G logo concealed within the Dark Welkin colorway TECNO is calling?
There’s also a Serenity Blue variant which is a better color according to our graphic designer. The frame is made from a kind of metal, possibly aluminum. The left side houses the SIM tray that can hold two cards at the same time or one SIM card and microSD slot which is always welcome on top of the 256 GB onboard storage.
On the right side, the volume rockers and power buttons can be found. The top part has a speaker and microphone, while the bottom section is occupied with a 3.5mm headphone jack, another microphone, and the second down-firing speaker.
Serenity Blue colorway
The display is a 6.67-inch, 1080p AMOLED screen with a speedy 120Hz refresh rate. The single 32 MP selfie camera is housed inside a punch-hole cutout, and there’s a pre-applied screen protector as well. The overall bezel symmetry is aesthetically pleasing to anyone who desires to own a phone with the maximum screen real estate they were dreaming of (and for less price).
When testing its brightness, it delivered great contrast and sunlight detraction when used outdoors (we don’t have the equipment to measure its maximum nits), it is safe to say that the TECNO CAMON 20 Pro 5G is very usable in outdoor scenarios.
Playing YouTube videos is also a delight to see. It can play up to 2160p 60fps and it also has HDR support. The colors are true-to-life and bursting with detail. Audio quality is rich, detailed, and cinematic – perfect for watching Netflix as well since it has Widevine L1 support. There’s a slight viewing angle issue, however, but it is minimal and doesn’t hurt the experience altogether.
Battery and charging speed
The TECNO CAMON 20 Pro 5G has a 5,000mAh battery that supports 33W charging. Based on our tests, it charged from 0% to 100% in around 62 minutes using the provided charger.
Battery life on the other hand, is very efficient. With the MediaTek Dimensity 8050 processor inside made on a 6-nanometer process, we managed to squeeze in a full-day’s worth of usage, ranging from Facebook, picture-taking, heavy gaming (for two hours), watching two movies and playing music via Spotify left us with 9% by 7 pm.
Gaming, software, and benchmark scores
Gaming-wise, this is the best sub-15K pesos range smartphone money can buy here in the country, even more, affordable than last year’s darling, the POCO X4 GT. Thanks to the beefy Dimensity 8050 that clocks in at 3.0GHz, gaming isn’t a problem here at all.
Call of Duty – 60fps, Very High Graphics/Max Refresh Rate (Battle Royale). Very smooth and with little to non-existent frame drops and lag. Heating isn’t an issue as well, after two battle royales and one multiplayer session, the phone is warm, but not that “alarming” warm we usually encounter when a phone enters throttling stage.
Mobile Legends – Ultra/Ultra 120fps. There’s no questioning the TECNO CAMON 20 Pro 5G’s gaming prowess in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. All graphical and refresh rate settings are unlocked, giving you the best possible gameplay experience that rivals most flagship offerings today. The touch sampling rate is also lightning-fast, securing more accurate, quick-time combos to get the victory.
Genshin Impact – Maximum settings 60fps. miHoyo’s flagship game can run here with minimal issues like frame capping and stutters occasionally but nothing too drastic to turn it into a real concern. Even with many elements crowding the screen, the CAMON 20 Pro 5G held its ground and is a bonafide gaming device because of how well it performed in those three games we tested.
The phone runs on TECNO’s proprietary HiOS 13 based on Android 13, and we must say, it is quite an improvement versus past iterations. The home screen is cleaner, the app drawer is much more refined, and there are no bloatwares to be found (finally), other than TECNO’s own apps to give it distinction.
There’s a multi-window mode that you can use to open two apps at once (one full screen, one picture-in-picture) to kickstart your multitasking needs. There’s also the classic Memory Fusion function that can extend the overall RAM of your device up to 8 GB (16 GB in total) if you want it.
There are also the mainstays such as Smart Panel, Social Turbo, Kids Mode, Game Mode, App Twin which lets you install a copy of an app, Video Assistant, Micro intelligence, and the Peek Proof feature which eliminates the usage of privacy screen glasses.
On AnTuTu version 10.0.1, the TECNO CAMON 20 Pro 5G scored an impressive 704,950 points which places it in the ranks of flagship killer devices. Ten-point multi-touch is also confirmed here.
Camera and video quality
The TECNO CAMON 20 Pro 5G sports a 64 + 2 + 2 MP rear setup with a single 32 MP selfie sensor. For a series dedicated to photography, are there improvements in this aspect?
The camera app is clean and features some functions such as Slow Motion, Video, AI CAM, Portrait, Super Night Mode, Time-lapse, and Dual Video which lets you record from both the rear and front cam at the same time; Sky Shop that enhances any sky photos or footage with a set of yes…fake skies. Aurora borealis in the PH sky? Yes, please.
There are Documents as well, which are handy for capturing paperwork, AR shots, Pro Mode, Panorama, and Super Macro.
Portrait mode is great, it’s able to capture decent selfies and rear shots, but with minimal but noticeable noise. Blur crop isn’t the best as well, as it struggles to separate the subject to achieve a cleaner blurring effect. The beautification mode is on by default, so make sure to check if you want the extra oomph or not.
When it comes to the AI CAM, photos are noticeably better and with more pronounced colors. The color profile here is leaning towards a true-to-life palette rather than night-to-day tuning.
Super Night Mode is decent as well, but inconsistent. We managed to capture nice night shots but for the better half of our camera shoot, it gets noisy and poor in detecting lighting accurately. After some tweaking, we managed to capture well-lit photos with the help of the bright Quad-LED flash.
Macro is alright, nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done for the most part.
Video recording tops at around 4K@30fps on the rear and 1080p@30fps at the front. In daytime footage, the quality is above average, and with the help of OIS (optical image stabilization), it managed to keep shakiness and interference at bay in favor of cleaner, better video footage.
Night video capturing is the same story however, noise and fair light detection are noticeable. Yes, it’s not the best you are probably hoping for. But for its price point, this is one of the better cameras out there.
What we like about this device
- AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate
- Expandable memory with 3.5mm headphone jack
- Top-notch battery life
- HDR support, Widevine L1 certification
- Minimal screen bezels
- Full-bodied stereo speaker sound
- Beautiful design with vegan leather back
- Free hard case and earphones
- Cleaner HiOS 13 software with few bloatwares
What we dislike about this device
- Cameras required a bit of tweaking to unlock its full potential
- A higher charging rate could be preferable
Overall, the TECNO CAMON 20 Pro 5G is a solid flagship-killer smartphone with a price of a mid-ranger from a company that currently dominates the entry-level market here in the Philippines. The camera might be finicky for some, but once you get the hang of it, it transforms into a fully-fledged daily driver that we expect to top our list by the end of the year.
Overall rating: 4.5 – Super Sulit