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TECNO CAMON 19, 19 Pro Hands-on, Quick Review Philippines: New Mid-range Leaders?

by Duey Guison  August 9, 2022

Initial verdict: Both the TECNO Camon 19 and 19 Pro are very promising offerings in the Philippines for its all-new ISOCELL GWB main camera and sleek design, though we wish they came with 5G-ready processors.

Pros

  • All-new camera system
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Only 4G
  • Limited to 2K video recording

 

TECNO Camon 19 Philippines specs

  • Helio G85 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 6.8-inch Full HD+ IPS Display
  • 64-megapixel f/1.7 ISOCELL GWB main camera with PDAF, 2-megapixel depth sensor, 2-megapixel AI Camera; LED flash
  • 16-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera
  • LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • 18W fast charging
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 12, HiOS 8.6

 

TECNO Camon 19 Pro Philippines Specs

  • Helio G96 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 6.8-inch Full HD+ IPS Display, 120hz refresh rate
  • 64-megapixel f/1.6 ISOCELL GWB main camera with PDAF and OIS, 50-megapixel portrait camera f/1.9 with 2x optical zoom, 2-megapixel depth sensor; LED flash
  • 32-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera
  • LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • 33W fast charging
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 12, HiOS 8.6

TECNO is bringing over two of its Camon 19 phones to the Philippines with the vanilla and Pro model, adding to its already burgeoning product line. Ahead of its official launch in the Philippines, we got to check out both phones and see what it has to offer in a competitive and saturated mid-range market.

Design

Both the vanilla CAMON 19 and Pro model have near-identical designs with twin circular camera bumps in the back, a flat polycarbonate back panel, and large punch-hole displays. The CAMON 19 Pro has a special Piet Mondrian edition that changes colors when exposed to UV light.

Despite having roughly the same size, the CAMON 19 Pro is thinner than its vanilla sibling because of its flat edges. Save for that particular difference (and the special colorway for the Pro), both have the same button and port layout: volume rocker and power button/fingerprint scanner on the right side, SIM card tray on the left side, and USB-C port, headphone jack, and loudspeaker at the bottom.

 

Display

Both the vanilla and Pro models appear to be identical with their displays, as they both use a 6.8-inch IPS panel with a centrally-placed punch hole for the selfie shooter. The only difference is the refresh rate, as the Pro model gets 120hz. That aside, both displays are vibrant and have a good brightness range–both phones are very usable under broad daylight.

We have yet to check the other features of their displays (ie. Widevine support), so we will get back on that in our full review.

Cameras

The main star of the show for both phones is the main camera, where they use a 64-megapixel ISOCELL GWB sensor. This new sensor was specifically developed for TECNO by Samsung and uses an RGBW array that is said to improve low-light sensitivity by as much as 1.7x. The Pro model adds OIS and a G+P (glass+plastic) lens design for clearer images, along with a 50-megapixel portrait camera with 2x optical zoom.

We took a few photos with the CAMON 19 Pro at dusk, and it seems that the hype behind the new TECNO sensor holds up, at least from what we can see during our short time with both phones. We’ll do more tests with the cameras–including their performance with video recording, once we get to use both phones for a longer period.

When it comes to selfies, the vanilla model has a 16-megapixel shooter, while the Pro model comes with a higher-resolution 32-megapixel sensor.

 

Internals, Battery, Software

Both phones use MediaTek’s Helio G-series processors: G85 for the CAMON 19, and G96 for the CAMON 19 Pro. The vanilla model comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, while the Pro model comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.

While we find lots of promise for its main camera, we wished that TECNO equipped both models with 5G-ready processors for future-proofing. There’s a 5G version of the CAMON 19 Pro, though TECNO Philippines told us that this model will launch at a later date.

Both phones come with a 5000mAh battery inside. The Pro model gets 33w wired charging, while the vanilla model has 18w wired charging. They also get Android 12-based HiOS 8.6 out of the box, and we noticed that they have less bloatware compared to other TECNO phones we have tested previously.

Wrap up and initial conclusions

TECNO aims to be competitive in the mid-range segment by using an all-new sensor on both the CAMON 19 and 19 Pro, and their main camera does show a lot of promise as a camera-centric phone in the Philippines. Paired with a sleek and modern design, and TECNO might have a winner for the mid-range segment–as long as they give it a good price.

We should know more about their official pricing and availability at their official launch in Okada on August 12.

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