The South African smartphone market is about to be shaken up with the local launch of TECNO’s CAMON 12 smartphone.

This smartphone offers great value compared to other devices around its R2,999 price range – including 4GB RAM, a 16MP selfie camera with a dual flash, and a triple-lens rear camera system.

“According to IDC, TRANSSION ranked 4th in global mobile phone shipments in 2019. TECNO Mobile devices have been well received on the continent since we shifted our market entirely to African in 2008,” said Arif Chowdhury, Vice President of TRANSSION Holdings.

“It only makes sense for South Africa as the most progressive country in Africa to also enjoy the same benefits as the rest of the continent.”

TECNO provided us with a review unit of its new TECNO CAMON 12 smartphone, and we were extremely impressed with the device.


TECNO’s CAMON 12 has an impressive triple-lens rear camera system that takes fantastic photographs.

The primary lens focuses on AI scene detection and HDR, and uses AI optimisation to match a variety of popular shooting scenarios.

The secondary lens offers 120-degree super wide-angle shots, as well as a 2cm extreme macro photography functionality.

The final lens allows for the implementation of an AI-powered Bokeh effect– blurring out the background to make the subject of the photograph pop.

The front camera is fantastic, allowing for excellent selfies to be taken using impressive technologies and mosaic algorithm.

Two micro slit flashes are built into the screen to ensure they take up minimal space. These flashes ensure that selfies in low light situations are of a significantly better quality than would otherwise be the case.

Other features that are included as part of the selfie camera include AI Video Beauty (which removes the need for makeup), new AR stickers technologies, and Animojis that capture 47 facial muscle movements.

Perhaps most impressive, however, is how TECNO’s photography software is designed specifically with the African user in mind.

TECNO devices to take advantage of facial recognition and detection software that has been tailored to the faces of African users, resulting in superior selfies for these customers.

It is able to do this because TECNO operates primarily in Africa – unlike many of its competitors.

“In the endeavour to deliver a premium product to our African market, TECNO Mobile takes its cameras under a rigorous test of a variety of lighting conditions that are synonymous with the African environment to ensure that all our devices produce the quality that illustrates our unmatched colour detection technology,” said Arif Chowdhury, Vice President of TRANSSION Holdings.


The TECNO CAMON 12 sports a 6.52-inch AMOLED Crystal Dot Notch display that offers fantastic visual quality to users thanks to its high colour gamut screen – it even offers an impressive 100,000:1 contrast ratio.

This makes it a great device to consume content – whether you are surfing through Facebook, or watching movies on your devices.

The front camera is housed within a tiny teardrop notch, meaning that you don’t have a large, wide notch that shrinks your display area.

The CAMON 12 also has an attractive gradient design, giving the smartphone the feel of a premium device that would cost many times the actual price of the CAMON 12.

A 90% edge-to-edge display ratio is further proof that the CAMON 12 has been built with premium design trends and principles in mind, and it also offers both facial and fingerprint recognition for improved security – which are also premium smartphone features.

The facial recognition technology – Face ID 2.0 – is improved upon the previous version. One key improvement is that if your eyes are closed – if you are sleeping, for example – your face cannot be used to unlock your device. The Face ID software has had a general privacy upgrade, too.

Specifications and pricing

The CAMON 12 has impressive specifications, standing out from its competitors in the market.

It sports 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, while the battery has an impressive capacity of 4,000mAh.

It also runs Android 9 Pie and sports a powerful 2.0GHz Octa-core processor.

These performance improvements result in App startup rates being increased by 50%, said TECNO, while game fluency is increased by 25%.

This makes the CAMON 12 a great smartphone for those who want to play mobile games smoothly without forking out ridiculous amounts of money.

The TECNO CAMON 12 has a recommended retail price of R2,999 and will be available from Takealot, Loot, Mr Price, and Hi-online.

Specifications and photos of the TECNO CAMON 12 can be viewed below.

OS Android 9 Pie
Display 6.52-inch HD+
Processor MT6762 2.0GHz Octa-core
Storage 64GB
Rear camera 16MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera 16MP
Cellular LTE
Battery 4,000mAh