Tecno Camon 16 Review: A Power Beast

The Tecno Camon 16 is one of those phones you’re going to be proud to have when you get to own it. The phone comes packed with a really good battery, great cameras, and a really fast processor.

camon 16 glass back

It’s the almost perfect phone you can get in 2021. The only thing I can say I’m not too happy about this phone is its screen.

We’ll talk more about that later on.

I got this device a few days before Christmas in 2020, and I got a free 10,000mAh power bank by Tecno (thanks Tecno!)

powerbank 2
powerbank 1

We’ll talk more about the power bank later on, but I’m sure the images above are good enough to see the good looking battery booster.

So, here’s my full review for the Tecno Camon 16 after weeks of constant usage.

What’s in the Box

I was a bit surprised that the phone did not come with a glass screen protector in the box, I really don’t know why.

So, if you don’t find one either, don’t get too worried about that.

Here are the things you’re going to find in the box of the Camon 16.

camon 16 whats in the
  • The phone
  • A silicon case
  • The charger
  • A USB cord
  • A pair of regular earphones
  • SIM ejector tool
  • The 13-month warranty slip

These are things you’ll usually find in most phone boxes.

The Design

The Camon 16 has a really sleek design. The glass finishing on the back was the first thing I saw when I removed the phone from its box.

The way light reflected from it just made me fall in love with the device. I’m hoping it will be the same for you.

I got a purist blue model. If I could, I’d have gotten the black model but it appears, a lot of people rushed it.

I’m still happy with the device anyway.

I’m not really certain what kind of glass is used here, I was hoping it was Gorilla Glass 3, but after doing some research all I got was “a glass-like finish”.

I’ve been impressed by it so far, though.

It hasn’t gotten a scratch since I got it. Yes of course I try to avoid scratches, but ideally, it should have gotten one by now because its silicon case has this huge hole that should have left a mark already.

But with great power comes great responsibility, your responsibility here will be the constant cleaning of the glass back because it is a huge fingerprint magnet.

If you don’t plan to use the silicon case, then you’ll have to carry a handkerchief or tissue around just to make sure you can clean it from time to time.

Besides that, I don’t see anything wrong here, the glass finishing on the back can be an aspect of the phone you’re going to stare at and get lost in.

So, let’s talk about placements, you get the square with a rounded-edged shaped camera on the back. It protrudes a bit, but with the silicone case on the phone, you won’t have trouble using the phone on a flat surface.

camon 16 back

The fingerprint scanner is right under the rear camera, it’s easy to reach.

The selfie camera is placed on the top left side of the screen. More on camera features later.

camon 16 front

On the right side, you get the power and volume buttons.

camon 16 right 1

The left side is where you’ll find the SIM and SD card tray.

camon 16 left

The bottom of the phone is where you’re going to find all the openings. You get the microphone, the headphone jack, the USB port, and the speaker.

camon 16 bottom

There’s nothing on the top of the phone, however, it’s really flat that I sometimes rub it because it’s that smooth.

Without the case on, the sides feel a bit sharp, not sharp enough to cut you, but sharp enough to feel premium.

It also feels solid when held, compared to the Camon 12, the Camon 16 feels heavier, especially with its case on.

Overall, I don’t have anything to complain about when it comes to the design. I don’t believe this is a waterproof device and I don’t expect it to be either.

The Screen

Yes, I remember saying I wasn’t too proud of the screen. Well, one of the reasons is that usage outdoors under the sun makes it a little difficult.

The screen is just not bright enough.

However, you can use your own shadow to view the screen when it’s too sunny outside.

Besides that, I also don’t like it because if you look at it from a certain angle (especially from the left or right side), you can see a lot of lines going across it.

Yes, they are just pixels required by the phone since it’s just a 720p screen.

It’s not a terrible screen though, it’s tall enough and good for movie watching, video streaming as well as gaming.

And compared to most of the phones I’ve used before (like the Camon 12), the Camon 16’s screen is whiter (or colder, in other words).

Overall usage is really nice; the screen feels very smooth as you swipe it with your fingers.

camon 16 gaming call of duty 2

I was hoping Gorilla Glass 3 was playing a part here, but I’m not really certain about that. But it does feel very smooth and I doubt it’s going to be getting any scratches.

If that doesn’t scream Gorilla Glass, then I don’t know what to say besides, some really good glasses are coming up now.

Now, you don’t get that high refresh rate here, but I don’t have a lot of complaints.

If you must know, it’s a 720 x 1640 screen. It’s sharper than most budget phones, but not as sharp as a 1080p screen for sure.

I will say this though if you enjoy phones that have a dark mode, the Camon 16 is one of the phones I can recommend for that.

When you activate it, all the apps on your phone that can work with dark mode will work with it, some apps that I didn’t even know had a dark mode got dark and I was like “wow”.

What I’m going to say is, if you’re really picky about screens and just want the best out of them, then I’ll kindly ask you to look elsewhere.

But if you’re okay with most screens, then the screen on the Camon 16 is going to really impress you.

Cameras

If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you’ll know that I don’t usually like talking about cameras, I don’t even get phones because of their cameras, because I hardly take pictures.

However, the cameras on the Camon 16 are really good.

When I first tried it out, I wasn’t really impressed, it was until I tried the phone’s Super Night mode that I knew I was using a really good phone.

With Super Night mode, the phone takes a few seconds to use all the light it can find in a room, that the human eye can’t really see, before taking pictures.

Super Night mode works with the rear camera and the selfie camera.

When I also found out I could shoot slow-motion videos with the phone, that was the icing on the cake for me.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself, I should tell you about the cameras and their megapixels.

The Selfie camera is a single 16 Megapixel camera.

The rear camera has four lenses, the 48 Megapixel lens, the 2 Megapixel Macro lens for taking close-range pictures, a 2 Megapixel Depth Sensor, and a 2 Megapixel lens that I believe helps out when you take Super Night photos.

There, I said it, megapixels.

Alright, although you get a 48 Megapixel lens, by default, it shoots 12MP photos, you’ll have to toggle the switch if you want to use the whole 48MP.

And while taking photos with 48MP, you’ll have to make sure the phone stays as still as possible, don’t worry though, it only takes a second to take a picture.

I tried them both and yes, you do get a lot more detail with the 48MP lens, but in most cases, you don’t need it.

While you get a lot of features like panorama, beauty mode, Bokeh (or portrait), AR, etc. I’m only going to focus on slow motion and Super Night.

But just so you know, you can check out samples of the cameras by clicking here to download or view the pictures and videos from my Google Drive account.

Putting the pictures here will make them lose a lot of quality, and I want you all to know what you’re getting if you plan to get the device.

Slow Motion

With the rear camera, you can take slow-motion videos in two modes, 120fps and 240fps.

With the 120fps mode selected, your shots are going to be 4 times slower than normal. This is the mode you’re going to using most of the time because it is more reliable. I’ll explain what I mean by that in a bit.

After shooting the video, you can adjust the part you want to slow down or speed up.

From my experience so far, if you watch the video using a third-party video player, it’s going to be slow all through.

With the 240fps mode, the video is going to be 8 times slower than normal. However, you can only record for 10 seconds.

With the 120fps mode selected, you can shoot for as long as your memory can handle, which is quite a lot. More on memory later.

Back to the 240fps mode, the phone is going to decide when the slow-motion starts, so you may miss the perfect shot if you decide to use it.

The best advice I can give is, use the 120fps mode and slow down the video even more with a free video editing app or software.

I’ve made some video samples with the 120fps mode, you can click here to see them.

Super Night

I’ve already talked about this a little, the phone takes a few pictures in under 5 seconds just to capture a lot of light.

You’ll have to keep the phone as still as possible, and also make sure the subject stays still else you’re going to end up with a ghost-like looking picture.

So, click here to see some samples using the Super Night mode.

Performance

Although I’ve had a few issues with performance, I got to find out it was because of Android 10, not the Camon 16.

For example, my clipboard app doesn’t work in the background, my music player doesn’t respond to the earphone’s button (I haven’t tested this with Bluetooth headphones), but those are just minor issues.

So, if you’re having these kinds of issues, best stick with the music player that comes with the phone and put all your blame on Android 10.

The real issue with the Camon 16 is the number of unnecessary apps you’ll find on the phone.

Lots of games and apps that you just don’t need. Good thing the ones you can’t uninstall can be disabled.

But just so you know, if you ever reset the phone, they’re going to come back.

Anyways, we now have the “bad aspects” out of the way… well, most of them. Let’s talk a bit about the good.

The phone performs well, I have played games like PUBG Lite and Call of Duty Mobile. I had to uninstall PUBG anyway because I suck at it.

camon 16 gaming call of duty

Besides being an averagely good gaming phone, you can carry out a whole lot of activities and not experience speed issues.

Now, you’re getting just 4GB RAM on this phone. That sounds terrible, especially if you’re a specs kind of person.

From my use of the device so far, most of the pre-installed apps don’t close, even if you haven’t used them after a while.

But most apps you download yourself will get closed after a while of being inactive.

The thing is, if you want to multitask for a long time, then I’ll suggest getting the Premier version. It’s got 8GB RAM.

Nevertheless, you get 128GB internal storage on the Camon 16. I’ve seen a lot of websites saying it’s 64GB.

I’m not sure if there’s a 64GB version, but the one I own is 128GB, so that’s that.

The phone has a dedicated SD card slot, so you can expand storage if 128GB isn’t enough for you. I have no idea what the limit is when it comes to the SD card you can use, if I had to guess, I’d say 256GB.

Overall, when it comes to performance, the Camon 16 checks almost every box. It is fast, a good gaming phone, good for social media, and just about anything a modern phone is capable of doing.

Battery

One of the most fantastic aspects of the Camon 16 is its 5,000mAh battery. Owning a phone like this in a country where electricity is still a huge problem is a big deal.

I go a whole day with the device and still end with around 50% to 48% of battery life.

Now of course the battery is going to die faster when you’re gaming (and even faster if it is an online game). I only play games when there’s electricity or when I expect it to be available.

However, charging the phone with its 10W charger is so fast.

You can get the phone charged to 100% within 2 hours if you use its charger. You’ll know it’s charging fast when you get the bolt icons close to the battery icon.

And the good part about the device is that it has a safe battery charging mode. This way, when the phone gets to 100%, the charger is automatically disconnected.

Not physically (I mean, we’re not talking about magic), electricity just stops going to the battery at this point. So be rest assured you can sleep well knowing your battery isn’t getting slowly damaged.

The Camon 16 has what you need if you’re a heavy user; a big battery, and fast charging support.

The Power Bank

As stated earlier, I got the 10,000mAh power bank for free when I got this phone. It is a really good one with 2 USB ports so you can charge 2 devices.

powerbank 3
powerbank 4

It can also be charged with a Micro USB charger or a Type-C charger.

The power bank takes some time to charge (it’s a 10,000mAh beast so that’s not surprising), but it does support fast charging as well.

It charges the Camon 16 with fast charging too. It’s just like you’re charging with the normal 10W charger.

I’m not sure if you’ll get the power bank if you decide to buy this device, but if you get a chance, don’t hesitate.

Other things I was offered were a Bluetooth speaker, a pair of regular earphones, a Bluetooth earphone, and… I don’t remember the rest.

Other Features

A few things I haven’t talked about will be mentioned here. I won’t be going too deep though.

4G: The Camon 16 supports 4G, however, it will automatically switch to 3G if you’re in an area without 4G support.

Fingerprint Scanner: The fingerprint scanner on the Camon 16 is quite fast and accurate. It is placed behind the phone. From my usage so far, the speed of the scanner depends on the app you’re using.

If you’re using a slow app that requires the fingerprint scanner, it will be slow, vice versa.

The Speaker: Although not as loud as I’d like, it is a pretty decent speaker. The best part is, it is placed in the right place (literally too).

I don’t usually block it when I’m gaming or watching videos on the phone.

You can improve the sound by tweaking the settings to improve your overall audio experience (both speaker and headphones).

Price

I got the Camon 16 for 76,000 Naira. Technically, I would have been happier with the price if the phone had 6GB RAM.

camon 16 receipt

However, its beautiful design and camera features are keeping my mouth from complaining so much.

Who is the Camon 16 For?

The Camon 16 is for anyone who wants to own a modern device. Most young people would appreciate the features the phone comes with, compared to older citizens.

Conclusion

Well, that is all I can say about the Camon 16, in my opinion, this is a really good device. I’ll eventually share some of my tips and tricks for the device.

If you have any questions about the device, don’t hesitate to ask. Catch me on YouTube so you’ll get to know when I put up new videos.

Tecno Camon 16 Ratings

76,000
4.25

Build

4.3/5

Performance

4.0/5

Camera

4.4/5

Battery

4.5/5

Extras

4.0/5

Pros

  • 4G Support
  • Headophone Jack
  • Fast Charging
  • Big Battery

Cons

  • Apps don't stay active in the background
  • Music players not responsive to headphone jack

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