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Tecno Camon 12 Air First Impressions: The Good, The Bad, And The X Factor
Tecno Mobiles, a brand from Transsion Holdings has unveiled a new Camon series budget smartphone in the Indian market. Priced at Rs. 9,999, Tecno Camon 12 Air is the first handset in the sub 10K price segment with a punch-hole display. The smartphone will be available in the offline market across India.
Tecno Camon 12 Air sports a 6.55-inch HD+ display and offers a triple-lens rear camera setup. The smartphone is powered by MediaTek P22 chipset and is backed by a big 4,000mAh battery unit. Let's find out more about the smartphone in the following first impressions.
Vibrant Punch-Hole Display For Full-Screen Experience
Tecno Camon 12 Air sports a 6.55-inches HD+ display. The screen has a punch-hole at the extreme left corner that houses an 8MP selfie camera. This makes the Camon 12 Air the first handset with a punch-hole screen in the sub 10K price segment. The IPS LCD screen offers a 20:9 aspect ratio and has thin bezels on all four sides, which enables 90.3％ screen to body display ratio. This makes the Camon 12 Air a good multimedia streaming device for budget smartphone buyers.
The screen is quite vibrant but lacks a good touch response. The budget handsets from brands such as Xiaomi, Nokia, Motorola, OPPO, Realme and Samsung offer screens with better touch sensitivity. The display on the Camon 12 Air offers 720 X 1600p resolution and as gets fairly bright. The company claims that the HD+ screen can touch peak brightness levels of 500 nits. For a smartphone priced at Rs. 9,999, this is a pretty impressive peak brightness level.
Triple-Lens Camera Setup
Tecno Camon 12 Air features a triple-lens rear camera setup. The camera hardware comprises of a 16MP primary lens working on a decently-sized f/1.8 aperture, 2MP depth-sensor and a 5MP wide-angle lens with 120° field-of-view. The wide-angle lens can also shoot macros with 2.5cm close-up distance. The triple-lens camera setup is paired with a quad-LED flashlight. For selfies, the Tecno Camon 12 Air offers an 8MP AI selfie camera that features 6-level 3D beauty mode. The front-facing camera can also create a software-driven bokeh effect.
The image quality seemed pretty decent for the price-point; however, the camera captures slightly bluish colour tones. The depth-sensor managed to create a decent bokeh. The 8MP selfie sensor captures sharp pictures but detailing is not very good. We will evaluate the camera performance in detail in the comprehensive review of the smartphone. The wide-angle lens is by far the best feature about the triple-lens camera setup on this budget handset. It can give some decent wide-angle and macro shots.
Dedicated microSD Card Slot
Like the company's previous Camon series devices, the new budget handset also features a dedicated microSD card slot. You won't have to compromise on connectivity over storage as you can use two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card at the same on the Camon 12 Air.
Big 4,000mAh Battery Unit And Decent Hardware
The Camon 12 Air is powered by a big 4,000mAh battery unit. The handset ships with a 10W power adaptor in the box. With an HD+ display and a big 4,000mAh battery unit, we expect the Camon 12 Air to offer a long-lasting battery life. The company claims that the handset can offer 12 hours of video playback or 8 hours of gaming on a full charge.
As far as the hardware is concerned, the Camon 12 Air is powered by the Helio P22 Octa-core chip paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. The internal storage can be expanded to up to 256GB via microSD card. The MTK P22 is a decent SoC for the budget handsets. It supports a variety of AI applications and use cases and can easily handle low to high-end tasks.
The on-paper specs and the initial impressions of the camera hardware seem pretty capable on this budget handset. However, the company's in-house HiOS software layer seems pretty cluttered. It's loaded with several unwanted bloatware and does not come across as intuitive as other custom Android skins. For instance, the MIUI 10, Vivo's FunTouch OS and Realme's ColorOS are far better third-party Android skins than the HiOS.
Moreover, the Camon 12 Air offers a very poor and dated haptic feedback, which hampers the overall user-experience of the handset. Besides, the Camon 12 Air comes in a glossy finish which makes it a fingerprint magnet and also quite slippery. The company ships a transparent case in the box which is recommended for a good grip and also to protect the handset from unwanted smudges.
The X Factor
The vibrant punch-hole display in the sub 10K price segment is undoubtedly the ‘X-factor' of the Tecno Camon 12 Air. Moreover, the triple-lens camera setup with a 120-degree wide-angle lens is also a good addition at this price-point. The wide-angle lens can also capture decent macros.
Should You Buy The Tecno Camon 12 Air?
The Tecno Camon 12 Air is a good budget option if you spend too much time in streaming videos on your handset. The full-screen display combined with a dedicated microSD card and a big battery makes it a decent budget option; however, there are better handsets available in the market.
If you are willing to spend a sum of Rs.10,000, you can also check out the recently launched Vivo U10, Xiaomi Redmi 8, Realme 5, Samsung Galaxy M30, Redmi Note 7S, etc. Some of these handsets are available online. We would recommend you not to restrict yourself just to the offline market as the e-commerce websites offer some really good handsets in the budget price segment.