Tecno recently updated its camera-centric series of phones, releasing the Tecno Camon 12, with its usual 3 variants. One of the variants is the Tecno Camon 12 Air the more affordable variant, or as other OEMs would call it, the ‘lite’ version. It comes with the new screen design, a new triple camera set up and a battery to much all that power, while at the same time keeping the cost under the 15000 budget phone price range. Here’s what we get.
Display and design of the Tecno Camon 12 Air
The Tecno Camon 12 Air is truly a beautiful device. All the 2020 design features and elements can be seen in the overall phone factor. It comes with a 6.55inch IPS LCD with a punch-out camera design that’s aligned to the left top corner of the screen. This has become one of the most popular implementations of the selfie camera as this the least intrusive. The bezels are thin and the chin is significantly reduced as compared to earlier models. The phone is a plastic build, both frame and back where a vertical triple camera module awaits. It also sports the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner which runs alongside face unlock biometrics. We keep the 3.5mm jack but unfortunately still no USB-C.
Performance and storage
The Tecno Camon 12 Air comes with the Mediatek MT6762 P22 chipset, which is good news considering other variants in this particular price segment is carrying the weaker MT6761 A22 chipset instead. The CPU is a quadcore 2.0 GHz Cortex A53 accompanied by a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. Memory options include 3/4GB for RAM and 32/64GB for internal mass storage, in addition to dedicated expandable microSD memory. The phone is fast and light, impressing with what feels like midrange performance, despite it being a budget phone. It might struggle with graphics and intensive apps, but average use is a breeze.
The Tecno Camon 12 Air is centered around the camera and therefore this is where it should shine. It carries a triple camera setup, starting off with a 16mp wide primary camera, a 5mp ultrawide camera, and a 2mp depth sensor. The photos are substantially good, very usable, especially in good lighting. Of course in low light e don’t expect that much with lots of noise and lack of balance. It can shoot some HD video at 30fps, with HDR too. The front-facing camera is an 8mp shooter, delivering decent selfies and HD video.
The Tecno Camon 12 Air comes well prepared in terms of power. It has the 4000mah non-removable Li-Po battery, which has widely become the standard for a 2020 phone. It can easily take one through the day with juice to spare, even for the power user. For the basic user, that’s easily 2 days. Shame that we still don’t get any form of fast charging or USB-C connectivity this late into that particular charging revolution. We are therefore stuck with standard 10W charging that takes anything between 2-3 hours to fill up.
The Tecno Camon 12 Air comes with HIOS 5.5, based off Android 9 Pie straight out of the box. Truth be told, HIOS takes a lot of getting used to. It loaded from the jump with tonnes of bloatware, from preinstalled apps to system themes that run numerous ad services, irrespective of what app one is using. There are multiple duplicate apps and system apps that don’t add absolutely any value to the UI. Of course, they have added toggles to turn most of this mess off, but it beats the logic of why they had it in the first place. Nonetheless, it is still a smooth UI experience.
The Tecno Camon 12 Air, and other Tecno devices in general, provide great value propositions, especially in terms of price. But you either get used to their annoying software or teach yourself to tame that extremely irritating UI software-wise. It is not an optimal device definitely, but it still has features that would easily win you over.
Tecno Camon 12 Air Specifications
|2G||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2|
|3G||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100|
|4G||LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800), 28(700)|
|Dimensions||166mm x 75.8mm x 8.2mm|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM)|
|Size||6.55 inches (83.6% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Type||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, with 16M colors|
|Resolution||720 x 1548 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio, (269PPI)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass|
|Operating System||Android 9.0 (Pie); HIOS 5.0.2|
|Chipset||Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22 (12nm)|
|Processor||Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53|
|Micro SD Slot||Yes, up to 256GB - dedicated slot|
|Back||Triple: 16MP, PDAF + 8MP + 2MP, depth sensor|
|Features||Quad-LED flash, panorama, HDR, 1080p@30fps|
|Front||Single: 8MP, f/1.8|
|Alert types||Vibration, ringtones|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,WiFi Direct, hotspot|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS|
|COLORS||Dawn Blue, Dark Jade, Sky Cyan|