The TECNO Camon 15 series is the company’s latest in the Camon series which from the start have been camera-centred devices. This time TECNO has gone big with the Cameras on these devices bringing huge numbers, and in the process skipping other numbers in the naming scheme. So we went from Camon 12 to Camon 15 with no explanation.
Both phones have quad-camera setups. And both have 6.55-inch displays. However, that’s where the similarities on paper end. Here are the main differences between these two devices:
- Main Cameras: 64MP on Premier vs 48MP on Normal
- Selfie Cameras: 32MP pop-up on Premier vs 16MP punch-hole on Normal
- Battery: 5000mAh on Normal vs 4000mAh on Premier
- Charging speed: 10W on Normal vs 18W on Premier
- RAM and Storage: 4/64GB on Normal vs 6/128GB on Premier
- Processors: Helio P22 on Normal vs Helio P35 on Premier
- Display resolution: HD on Normal vs Full HD on Premier
- Price: 18,000 for Normal vs 27,000 for Premier
Punch-hole vs Pop-up:
The Camon 15 Premier features a pop-up selfie camera. Of course one of the main benefits of a pop-up camera is that you get a full display with nothing distracting your view, top to bottom. The bezels on the device are quite small, except for the chin that’s quite chunky. Another benefit of the pop-up is the assured privacy that the front camera isn’t snooping on you.
For the Camon 15 normal, you get a punch-hole camera on the left of the screen. The design, of course, is loved by many people. It doesn’t distract you from anything on the display while using the device.
I like the Camon 15 more because it has a thinner and less heavy body frame compared to the Camon 15 Premier. The thicker Camon 15 Premier, I believe could be as a result of the company fixing the sliding mechanism for the pop-up camera under the quad rear camera setup.
Rear Setup Design:
The square-like design of the normal Camon 15 is pretty good. It doesn’t use up much space, and though it resembles the design language from most of the 2019 devices we’ve seen, it fits and looks pretty good for me.
The long design of the Camon 15 Premier’s design is thicker and uses up a significant amount of the back of the phone. You’ll notice even the fingerprint scanner is much lower on the device than it is on the normal Camon 15. This makes it harder to reach it, but this isn’t a deal-breaker.
Everyone is currently in a new Megapixels race. And inasmuch as this means we’ll probably see really good camera lenses become available on budget devices, sadly it also means some companies force themselves to do the most even when it is practically unreasonable.
The Camon 15 normal version ships with a main 48MP lens, as described by TECNO. However, taking a look at the specs from a couple of apps that show device specs, you see that the lens registers as 12MP. No app registers the extra lenses TECNO has included, and I couldn’t find a way from TECNO’s UI both in settings and in the camera app to check the specs, or properly use the extra lenses.
The same is the case with the Camon 15 Premier. It ships with a 64MP main lens, as TECNO states. However, the app Droid INFO and other spec checking apps show a 16MP lens. These apps also fail to properly identify the extra lenses on the device. Also, like the Camon 15, the Premier doesn’t have in the UI both under settings and under the camera app, a way for users to see what the extra lenses are or what they do.
I tried the app on other 48MP cameras in the market, and as you will see with the Huawei Y7p screenshot later on in this post, it seems TECNO isn’t being very clear on these devices lenses. Other phones actually show the advertised Megapixels, plus the extra lenses.
Extra Lenses Race:
The Camon 15 has a setup of 48MP main lens plus three extra lenses that are 2MP+2MP+QVGA lenses. There’s not a single place on the device where you get to actually use the extra lenses, or see them in action. You cannot take ultra-wides, there’s no place where when you block them you find that pictures aren’t being taken, and even portraits seem to work without the extra lenses.
With the Camon 15 Premier, there’s a 64MP+5MP+2MP+QVGA setup. The 5MP lens is an ultrawide lens, and you can actually in the camera app take ultra-wide shots. The 2MP lens is listed as a depth sensor, and though you don’t see it in action, you can believe this given the 5MP lens works. The QVGA lens, on the other hand, is unspecified, and I have no idea what it does. However, the apps still don’t recognise these extra lenses.
I know extra lenses are the in-thing now. But please make sure the extra lenses are actually doing something, and are actually helpful. The 5MP ultra-wide on the Premier doesn’t take actually ultrawide pics as you’d see with other ultrawide lenses. Also, the quality shift from the said 64MP lens to the 5MP lens is so big, you’d rather not take ultra-wides.
I still maintain what I said in the Camon 15 Unboxing:
The Quad camera setup is weird because TECNO hasn’t been clear on what the 3 extra lenses do. Yes, there’s the 48MP main lens, but I cannot state what the other 3 lenses do. Of course, I know one lens is a dedicated low light lens for helping with night shots, but I cannot tell which one. Checking in software, there’s nothing to show which lens is which, or what each lens does. This isn’t a good thing, because as a buyer I’d want a clear explanation on what each lens’ purpose is. I hope the company comes out clear on what the extra lenses do before the phones hit the stores.
I would like to see Transsion explain all the lenses on their devices. If for example, you take a look at Xiaomi’s or Huawei’s devices, all the extra lenses are accounted for, and you see them in action while using the device. The camera apps in these respective devices allow you to switch between the lenses unlike with TECNO’s. Here’s the Huawei Y7p camera info from the Droid INFO app. See, each camera lens is recognised by the app. Also, each lens is accessible from the phone’s camera app.
Differences in the devices’ cameras?
The Camon 15’s ’48MP’ lens and the Camon 15 Premier’s ’64MP’ lens don’t produce that big of a difference in pictures for me. They’re actually 12MP and 16MP lenses, and even if you take the full extrapolated pictures, you don’t get any gains in detail, only larger size pictures. In my use, there are actually instances where the Camon 15’s pictures looked much better for me. But here are some things you can expect:
- Good pictures in good lighting conditions – once it gets dark things don’t look good. Dramatic scenes with high light in certain parts of the scene need proper adjusting and pointing to focus to ensure things stay in focus, and other parts of the shot remain visible.
- Close up photos remain really good, really punchy, and quite accurate. If you’re into taking closeups, you’ll love the cameras.
- Portrait Mode can take good photos sometimes, especially when the subject isn’t very close to the camera. Other times, you’ll notice the edges looking weird.
- Selfies are good – and the presence of flash makes selfies better in low light.
- Landscape shots can be good but they need patience since some shake makes them blurry, and just pointing and shooting will lead to some parts of the shot being under-exposed. The HDR takes a long time to kick in when taking landscapes.
What TECNO should fix:
- Just be clear on the Megapixel count of the lenses used.
- Be clear on what the extra lenses do – No need to have them for aesthetics when they do nothing.
- The camera UI is already really good – Just rename and remove unnecessary stuff like AI camera.
- Make HDR better, faster, and more accurate especially with dramatic shots
- Improve on the processing of images to ensure processed images don’t lose details
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