Earlier this year we reviewed the TECNO Camon 16, an exciting 6.8-incher powered by the Helio G70 chipset. TECNO continues its Philippine expansion with another big-screen mid-ranger three months later with the Camon 17 Series.

There are three models this time around with varying screen sizes and performance: The Helio G85-powered TECNO Camon 17 serves as our baseline with its 90Hz HD screen and 48MP triple rear cameras. This phone is not available in the Philippines.

TECNO Camon 16 review: Extra-large performance at an extra affordable price!

It is followed by the TECNO Camon 17P, which ups the display to 6.8 inches. Screen resolution is now up to full HD, though refresh rate is capped at the standard 60Hz. The rear camera module gets a spec bump up to 64MP. The TECNO Camon 17P retails for P8,490 in the Philippines.

Handheld front - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
Handheld front – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

At the top of the food chain we find the TECNO Camon 17 Pro, which is not only fitted with a 6.8-inch 90Hz full HD screen and 64MP quad rear cameras, it also packs a beefier Helio G95 chipset and dual loud speakers. In the Philippines, you can grab it for the price of P9,990.

TECNO Camon 17P specs highlight

  • Display: 6.8 inches; 1080 x 2460 pixels IPS LCD
  • SIM + expansion: Dual nano SIM + microSDXC (dedicated slots)
  • OS Android 11; HiOS 7.6
  • Chipset (SoC) + GPU: 2 GHz MediaTek Helio G85 (12nm) + Mali-G52 MC2
  • Memory (RAM) + storage (ROM): 6GB+128GB
  • Cameras: 64MP wide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth; 8W AI lens, 16MP selfie
  • Connectivity: 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh; 18W Flash Charge, USB Type-C
  • Price (Philippines): Php8,490 (6GB + 128GB)

Display quality and design

Aesthetics on the TECNO Camon 17P are more toned down compared to its previous generation. The rear panel sports a plain, matte finish which would have looked dated if not for the holographic TECNO logo. It would have been nice to have a textured surface like on the POVA 2 – that phone’s back panel was perfect.

TECNO Camon logo - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
TECNO Camon logo – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

Still, matte is much better than the smudge-collecting glossy finish on the previous gen.

The good thing about it is that you wouldn’t really need a case, though there’s one in the box for free. The phone is already thick and bulky as it is, thankfully the polycarbonate back doesn’t scratch or smudge easily.

Our dark unit is called Magnet Black, but the 17P is also available in Frost Silver and Spruce Green if you’re looking for something a little more exciting.

Fingerprint scanner power button and volume rocker - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
Fingerprint scanner power button and volume rocker – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

There’s a fingerprint scanner under the power button making it quick and easy to unlock the phone as soon as it leaves your pocket.

For its display, the phone rocks a 6.8-inch full HD IPS LCD panel with a native resolution of 1080×2460 pixels. Unlike the Pro variant that supports up to 90Hz high refresh rate, this uses the standard 60Hz panel.

We love how big TECNO’s displays are, but we found that they tend to struggle in terms of brightness and viewing angles, and the TECNO Camon 17P is no different.

USB-C port, audio jack, loud speaker - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
USB-C port, audio jack, loud speaker – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

It has a centered punch-hole type “Dot In” notch for the 16MP selfie camera.

Another welcome improvement is the shift to USB Type-C, which finally makes its way into the TECNO Camon series with this iteration.

Performance and entertainment

The TECNO Camon 17P runs on the Android 11 operating system with HiOS 7.6 out of the box.

Power it all under the hood is the MediaTek Helio G85 a powerful mid-range SoC (System on a Chip) designed for gaming and general use.

It’s the 4G chipset of choice for many mid-rangers released this year, and with good reason: The Helio G85 offers excellent all-around performance, and we’re happy to find it here on the TECNO Camon 17P.

Dual SIM card and expansion slots - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
Dual SIM card and expansion slots – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

TECNO is being generous with memory by giving us 6GB of RAM. We also get 128GB of storage, but if that’s not enough, there’s a dedicated expansion slot that takes a microSDXC card for extra storage.

Overall system performance is smooth, and we’re glad to see that TECNO took steps to clean the home launcher and limit the amount of advertising being shown on the UI (user interface). It is noticeably faster than the previous generation, and we’re no longer seeing any micro-stuttering while scrolling through the interface.

Synthetic benchmarks rank the phone slightly above Snapdragon 662-powered phones in terms of CPU performance, but the Helio G85 blows the competition away in 2D and 3D performance.

With a Passmark score of 4979, the Camon 17P outperforms more expensive phones in the mid-range category.

Having a bigger screen makes browsing social media and watching streaming videos more enjoyable. Also, having a bigger screen encourages you to use the phone for multimedia consumption more than phones with smaller screens.

Dot in notch - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)-2
Dot in notch – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)-2

Entertainment and social media is where the TECNO Camon 17P excels, and if you think about it, this “feature” carries over to other screen-intensive tasks such as e-learning and video calls.

By the way, in case you are a parent then you should know that HiOS 7.6 has a feature called “Kids Mode” which lets you manage and track your child’s mobile activity. Very cool!

Mobile gaming

Since we have a big screen and a MediaTek Helio G-series chipset, how can we not talk about mobile gaming?

So we installed our reference MOBA games consisting of Mobile Legends, Marvel Super War, and Wild Rift. All were playable at Medium graphics settings with frame rates ranging from 50 to 60 FPS.

We were able push it all the way to the highest / ultra settings, but it wasn’t as smooth so for competitive games, we recommend keeping things somewhere around Medium to High.

Chin - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
Chin – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

It’s entirely fine to max out the settings with non-competitive games like when you’re AFK farming in Ragnarok X, Black Desert Mobile, and similar MMOs.

For our final test, we went ahead and installed Genshin Impact. It wasn’t the smoothest gaming experience in the world, and we could feel the phone struggling whenever we went above the game’s Lowest settings.

Flatlay back - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
Flatlay back – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

It’s an incredibly challenging game to drive, so that shouldn’t deter you from getting this phone for mobile gaming. It’s still a very powerful device.

Like its predecessor, there’s an in-game control panel that comes with performance enhancement features and shortcuts to quickly do things like take a screenshot or a video recording without having to leave the game!

Camera and content creation

Cameras on the TECNO Camon 17P gets a spec bump: we now have a 64MP main shooter, up from 48MP on the TECNO Camon 16. It still uses a similar quad-camera configuration with an additional macro lens and two passive lenses for depth and AI.

64MP quad cameras - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
64MP quad cameras – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

The leap from 48MP to 64MP may not seem that big, but difference in image quality is much more pronounced. Noise is more controlled and the pictures are so much sharper, so we didn’t have to try too hard to get usable shots. Most of them were in focus.

Our only issue with the cameras were the slightly yellow tint and hazy appearance, a pattern that we’ve observed on all TECNO phones.

 

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This shows up in videos too, but we’re not too bothered by it.¬†We’re not sure if this is software related or hardware, but we hope that whoever is working on the cameras can consider improving this aspect of the phone.

16MP selfie camera - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
16MP selfie camera – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

For selfies, we have a 16MP shooter with dual LED flash. It’s a nice touch on the part of TECNO to give importance to the selfie camera, especially on a big-screen phone like the TECNO Camon 17P.

Not only is this good for content creation, but it’s nice to have that extra LED for distance learning and work where you have to participate in video calls via Zoom, Teams, and so on.

Battery life

18W power supply unit - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
18W power supply unit – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

Like its predecessor, the TECNO Camon 17P runs on a 5,000 mAh battery which can charge at up to 18W. However, screen resolution has doubled and also have a more powerful chipset, so battery life took a slight hit.

GSam Battery Monitor tells us that we have about 2 days of battery life per complete charge. Our screen on time averaged around 5 hours and 15 minutes which isn’t so bad.

Battery life monitor - TECNO Camon 17P
Battery life monitor – TECNO Camon 17P

In the real world, the phone lasts at least a day and a half on a single charge. This consists mostly of video streaming and social media, with about an hour or two of gaming.

Verdict

TECNO continues to impress with the TECNO Camon 17P: its features and improvements show that the brand is listening to its market, learning and growing with every product cycle.

They retained the strongest features on the TECNO Camon 16 such as the big screen and dedicated SIM and expansion slots. Then we have low-hanging fruits such as USB Type-C and side-mounted fingerprint scanners.

Finally, we get improvements in display resolution, cameras, and performance on both the chipset and OS level.

Handheld back - TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)
Handheld back – TECNO Camon 17P (Philippines)

Best of all, the TECNO Camon 17P is being sold for P8,490 – only P500 more than the TECNO Camon 16, which debuted in the Philippines a retail price of P7,990.

TECNO has a serious mid-range contender in their hands with the Camon 17P, and it totally deserves more attention than their celebrity endorser Chris Evans can give. We look forward to the brand’s growth this year.

TECNO Camon 17P technical specifications (Philippines)

  • Display: 6.8 inches; 1080 x 2460 pixels; IPS LCD
  • SIM: Dual SIM (nano-SIM, dedicated slots)
  • OS Android 11; HiOS 7.6
  • Chipset (SoC): MediaTek Helio G85 (12nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2GHz max)
  • GPU: Mali-G52 MC2
  • Memory (RAM) + storage (ROM): 6GB+128GB
  • Expansion: microSDXC (dedicated slot)
  • Main camera (rear): 64MP (wide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth mono) + AI lens
  • Selfie camera (front): 16MP, dual LED flash
  • Connectivity: 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP aptX
  • I/O: USB Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Biometrics: side-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh; 18W Flash Charge
  • Colors: Frost Sliver, Magnet Black, Spruce Green
  • Price (Philippines): Php8,490 (6GB + 128GB)