The Tecno Camon 20 Premier 5G is a striking smartphone I won’t lie. Big on looks, big on features, and big on storage. The back is Lychee pattern leather with a soft, rubber feel to it which reminds me of the leather-backed LG G4 I once had back in 2015.
It has 2 absolutely massive rear camera rings, an 8 LED rear flash, and laser autofocus all sitting on a ceramic polygon island polished to a mirror finish. Striking looks all around but I feel like the regular Camon 20 wins style points over the Camon 20 Premier with its more pronounced Camon Puzzle Deconstructionist design. The pattern is there on the Premier but it’s just not as majestic.
The hardware is pretty good
As for the hardware, you have a 50MP main camera and a 108MP ultrawide on the back. This is also the first Tecno Camon to ditch the microSD card slot which makes sense considering the Camon 20 Premier 5G comes with half a terabyte of internal storage. The display is a very good-looking AMOLED panel supporting up to 120Hz refresh rate and AOD.
Oh, and the bezels all around are thinner than on the Camon 20 but what they did is they made the top and bottom bezels thicker than the side bezels. It ruins the magic of a completely uniform bezel all around but for a good reason. The bottom is where the AMOLED display circuitry is located so it needs some room to fold behind the display and the top bezel is crammed with sensors, the earpiece, and a selfie flash.
As was with the Camon 20, Tecno packed a heap of software features that I covered extensively in the Camon 20 review that you can check out here. But they did reserve a few special ones for the Camon 20 Premier.
Software and features
Wifi 6 tethering!
This is the first smartphone I have reviewed whose wifi hotspot or wifi tethering connection is Wifi 6 standard. Most smartphones can only go as high as 5GHz dual-band Wifi or Wifi 5. What this means is that the Camon 20 Premier’s hotspot will deliver a more stable connection to all connected devices.
Flagship level vibrations
The haptic vibration on the Camon 20 Premier 5G is far much better than that on any other Tecno I have used. It’s a very pleasant experience. The vibrations are tight and agile and really do a pleasing job with the experience of the phone whether it’s typing, gaming, or matching your ringtone.
Hello stereo speakers
Both the Camon 20 and Camon 20 Premier have stereo speakers but the quality of sound from them is quite different. The Premier is just producing a richer and fuller sound experience that is much closer to sounding like flagships from other brands.
Top class display
The display supports HDR10 which offers more realistic visuals in video and photos and better clarity of the dark areas in a video that has bright and dark scenes. On top of that it supports up to 120Hz refresh rate as well as 3 steps of smoothness. 60, 90, and 120Hz, and the option of automatically switching between the 3 to give the best balance of user experience and battery life.
Smart Sim switching
Both the Camon 20 and Camon 20 Premier have smart dual sim, a feature where it will always choose the sim card with the best network at any given time for data. This feature only works if the 2 sim cards installed belong to different service providers for obvious reasons. For individuals looking for maximum availability, this is a great feature, especially in Zimbabwe where any network operator’s service can just disappear for any reason. You just have to have enough pocket change to load up data on both lines. Also, the Premier supports 5G and it works out of the box on Econet in Zimbabwe.
Tecno has not had the best of reputations when it comes to Android version updates. However, with the Camon 20 series, they are promising that it will be upgraded to Android 14. We do not have a timeline yet but we will surely keep an eye out for that.
Let’s look at performance. It’s got 8GB of RAM that can be expanded to 16GB via Memory Fusion, 512GB of internal storage that you cannot expand with an SD card and a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 CPU. It’s a solid performer all around really. Medium gaming is a breeze, navigating the UI is both fluid and snappy thanks to that high refresh rate. It’s a really solid performer even when you decide to push it a bit.
|CPU||Mediatek Dimensity 1200
|Display||6.67″ 2400×1080 pixels
120Hz refresh rate
|Rear Camera||50MP main camera
108MP Ultra Wide
4K video recording
Sensor shift stabilization
|Storage||8GB RAM+8GB MemoryFusion
2G, 3G, 4G, 5G
45W Fast Charge
37% power drain after 3 hour endurance test
|Price||US$350 – US$400|
The battery performance was quite impressive. The chipset in the Premier is much more powerful than the one in the Camon 20 but the difference in results between the 2 after the endurance test was just 3%. There was something interesting that I observed during the test.
More performance, more power drain
After an hour of YouTube, the Camon 20 was down to 94% battery vs 98% on the Premier. After an hour of video recording, they switched positions with the Camon 20 dropping to 76% and the Premier to 73%. Then after an hour of gaming, the Camon 20 ended up at 66% battery and the Premier at 63%. So for GPU-intensive tasks, the Camon 20 is easier on the battery than the Premier due to the GPU in the Premier being a bit more powerful. But it’s a small price to pay for a much better user experience.
|Task||Tecno Camon 20||Tecno Camon 20 Premier 5G|
|YouTube||100% – 94%||100% – 98%|
|Video Recording||94% – 76%||98% – 73%|
|Gaming||76% – 66%||73% – 63%|
And even though the Camon 20 Premier fell a bit short, it still has a proper 2-day battery. In fact, it was my primary smartphone for photos and videos at a wedding I attended recently and it survived a full day of photography and internet tethering with about 35% battery left to spare at the end of the day. So yeah it’s got a phenomenal battery. And when it comes to charging it’s up to 45W on the Premier 5G with the fast charger included in the box.
Cameras are brilliant
The cameras are also very good, better than the ones on the Camon 20. There is a 50MP main camera similar to the one on the Phantom X and a 108MP ultrawide. The 50MP sensor is a quality sensor and you can see this in just how much less noise and processing that is present in the images. If you zoom into the areas of an image with a shadow, it still stays clear with really good detail.
It also does add more vibrance to images than what is actually in the scene but it is not as aggressive as is on the Camon 20. It’s just right. I also appreciated how snappy the shutter is. As soon as you press the shutter button, the photo is taken and sent to post-processing. Something I did notice is if you take too many consecutive images, post-processing will prevent you from taking any new photos until the images already queued are processed.
Ultrawide’s edges are a bit off
The ultrawide may be 108MP but the sensor is not the same quality as the one on the main sensor. As a result, you do start to see some noise in the shadows of images and a bit of oversharpening. But what I felt was its biggest weakness was the level of distortion in the corners of the images. This fisheye sort of distortion is very common in wide-angle cameras but in varying degrees. On the Camon 20 Premier, it just felt like it is leaning a bit more toward the extreme.
Pro mode works magic at night
The best way to get the most out of the camera is in Pro mode. Especially when it comes to low light and night photography. In auto mode or even night mode, I was noticing a purple hue on the edges of the images taken in low-light scenes which was largely introduced by the camera ramping up the ISO. However putting the camera in pro mode, dropping the ISO really low, and compensating for that with a longer exposure produces phenomenal night shots.
Granted these are pro tips for enthusiast smartphone photographers and so the general user will really prefer the phone and its processing to do all the heavy lifting for them. But if you want more and don’t mind expending the extra effort to get it, the Camon 20 Premier will pay you back for the effort.
4K video gets the phone toasty
The only weak point that was glaring for me was temperature management when filming in 4K. So you can only film in 4K continuously for 10 minutes as that is what the phone will allow you. But added to that, it does get quite hot when filming in 4K, and on a hot, sunny afternoon, I could barely get past 6 minutes before the camera app was closed by software to cool the phone.
It’s the cheapest 512GB smartphone you can buy
The Camon 20 Premier 5G will be retailing between US$350 and US$400 which as far as I am aware makes it the cheapest phone you can buy with 512GB of internal storage. As a package, it is very compelling. An HDR-certified AMOLED display, a set of very good cameras, a soft and durable finish on the back, very impressive battery performance, and another eye-catching design. You can also purchase Tecno devices on Pindula on credit for your convenience and if you buy one with cash they will deliver to your doorstep. Click here to shop for a Camon 20 or any other Tecno or Itel of your choice.