TECNO Mobile’s Camon CX: Africa’s cheapest premium smartphone you don’t know about

Nairobi, Kenya played host to the launch of a brand new smartphone under the Chinese TECNO Mobile brand, presenting to the African market a fierce competitor to high-end, pricey devices with its premium quality and super low pricing.

For those in Southern Africa who may have never heard about TECNO Mobile, the company launched in 2006 with a specific focus on Africa, making smartphones, feature phones and tablets. It’s the equivalent of other Chinese mobile phone brands such as Xiaomi, Huawei and Innjoo – producing lower to higher end mobiles to compete with big names, with significantly lower price tags.

Africa is TECNO Mobile’s most popular region and the brand is currently active in 12 African countries with a market share of about 20% in each nation, enjoying its greatest success in Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Ghana.

Sales on the continent reached 25 million devices in 2015, including nine million smart phones.

Yesterday saw the launch of TECNO Mobile’s latest flagship smartphone, the Camon CX, which is billed as the top selfie camera aimed at young Africans.

The phone has a 16MP resolution both on rear and front-facing camera, as well as two front-facing flashes for a bright and clear selfie even in very low light settings, promising users the “best selfie camera in the market,” according to the company.

The cameras also have HD photo quality, produce 30% brighter photos, allow you to take 120 degree selfies, reduce photographic noise by up to 50% and can take a photo within 0.1 seconds of you pressing the camera button.

We got to test both the front and rear-facing camera ourselves and if we were to give the quality it delivers a score out of 10, we’d give it a solid nine.

All the talk about lighting and superior quality wasn’t just for kicks – it really delivers. You could even say it can seriously compete with the latest iPhone and Samsung flagship smartphone cameras.


The 5.6 mm thick Camon CX has a 5.5 inch screen and the body is made from aerospace-grade aluminum, which means it’s supposed to be really tough, but ultra lightweight. While we couldn’t put it’s durability to the test, it’s weight feels about the same as a 5 inch Innjoo or Xiaomi handset.

“We have made a conscious effort to adopt the latest technology to provide consumers with the highest quality mobile experience, something that is a top priority for TECNO Mobile,” said Stephen Ha, General Manager of TECNO Mobile.

TECNO Mobile promises customers that it will fix a shattered screen for free within three months of purchase at any of its official store.


The Camon CX carries a price tag of just $190, which in rands could buy a low to mid-range Samsung, mid-range Huawei or mid-range Xiaomi. So for anyone who isn’t very brand conscious but doesn’t want to compromise on quality, it would definitely be an option to consider.

$1 from each sale of the phone will go to towards drought relief efforts which have affected Kenya from as far back as 2014.

The big question then remains, will TECNO Mobile ever arrive in South Africa? Well, for now the closest it is to us currently is Zambia and while there are no immediate plans to expand further down south, South Africa may in future see another Chinese rival coming in for a slice of the local mobile market share cake, so keep an eye out for it.



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