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One of the best Android phones of 2024 just launched, but you’ll never see one in person

Published Apr 2nd, 2024 2:06PM EDT
Tecno Camon 30 Pro 5G phone.
Image: Tecno

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The Camon 30 Premier 5G was one of the unexpected highlights of MWC 2024, a flagship smartphone from Chinese vendor Tecno. The company unveiled the massive camera upgrade on the Camon 30 Premier without actually announcing the smartphone itself.

I said at the time that the Camon 30 Premier might be the best possible rival to challenge the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, which was also announced at the show. That’s how impressive the camera demos were.

Fast-forward to early April and Tecno is ready to launch three of the four phones that are part of the Camon 30 Series. The Camon 30, Camon 30 5G, and Camon 30 Pro 5G are coming in early April. Then the Camon 30 Premier 5G will be released later this month.

While these handsets will start shipping to buyers in a few weeks, there’s bad news for most Android fans who would consider buying one of the four handsets. The Camon 30 Series will not be widely available, so you’ll probably never actually see one in person.

Buying a Camon 30 will be a hassle

The three Camon 30 phones that Tecno launched on Tuesday will start selling in Africa initially. More markets will follow. After that, the Camon 30 Premier 5G will hit stores in a few weeks. Other markets will get the phones in the coming months, but the US will not be part of the rollout.

Pricing details have not been revealed for any of the four handsets, as they’ll vary depending on the region. Tecno operates in more than 70 regions, with a focus on emerging markets.

Still, the Camon 30 phones are interesting additions to this year’s lineup of new Android devices, even if you can’t easily get one. What’s particularly interesting is the continued focus on photography from Tecno.

Mobile photography is in focus

The Camon 30 Pro 5G isn’t exactly the Premier model Tenco teased at MWC. But it should feature an interesting camera setup.

We’re looking at a main 50-megapixel Sony IMX890 1/1.56″ sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS), F/1.88 aperture, and 1.0μm pixel size. The sensor will support “industry-leading pixel fusion technology,” and improve low-light photography.

Tecno Camon 30 5G: Camera specs.
Tecno Camon 30 5G: Camera specs. Image source: Tecno

The second camera is a 50-megapixel wide-angle and macro lens that supports shooting subjects as close as 2.5 cm.

On the front, a 50-megapixel eye-tracking autofocus front camera supports 4K60fps video recording. The Camon 30 5G and the Camon 30 also feature the same front-facing camera hardware but lack the same selfie video performance.

Camon 30 specs

But a phone isn’t just a camera. You’ll want it to offer dependable performance, and the specs sheet of the Camon 30 Pro suggests that’s going to be the case. The phone features a 6.78-inch 144Hz AMOLED display, MediaTek Dimensity 8200 Ultimate 5G chip, 24GB of RAM (of which 12GB is extended memory), 512GB flash storage, a 9-layer “gaming-grade” cooling system, and a 5,000 mAh battery.

That massive battery supports 70W charging that will get you from 0 to 50% in just 16 minutes. Tecno says the battery is good for 1,600 charge cycles and will maintain over 80% battery health for at least four years.

Tecno Camon 30 Series: Main specs.
Tecno Camon 30 Series: Main specs. Image source: Tecno

The cheaper Camon 30 5G and Camon 30 will run on Dimensity 7020 5G and Helio G99 chips, sharing most of the Camon 30 Pro 5G specs. The 9-layer cooling system isn’t available on the entry model.

The Camon 30 Series phones will be available in various colors, including Alps Snowy Silver, Iceland Basaltic Dark, Uyuni Salt White, Emerald Lake Green, and Sahara Sand Brown. Some will feature “the industry-first suede Tech-Art leather” backs, while others will rock glass. As for the overall size, the Camon 30 Pro 5G weighs 189g and it’s just 7.7mm thick (excluding the camera bump).

What about AI features?

Finally, the Camon 30 Series wouldn’t be true 2024 Android phones without talk of genAI features. Tecno says in its announcement the Camon 30 Series phones will support various AI-powered features. Social Turbo is the marketing name for one such functionality. It should work in third-party video calling apps, allowing users to change their voice and backgrounds, and apply beauty filters.

An AI Erase feature will let you remove unwanted objects from photos, which is the new norm for Android photography.

A person using Social Turbo AI features on the Tecno Camon 30 5G.
A person using Social Turbo AI features on the Tecno Camon 30 5G. Image source: Tecno

Another highlight of the Camon 30 Series is support for Universal Tone. Tecno says the feature is the most advanced AI-powered multi-skin tone imaging technology.

The Camon 30 Pro 5G features an exclusive AI trick, the “industry’s first built-in AIGC Portrait function.” What that means is that you’ll be able to generate all sorts of portrait shots that match various occasions or social media needs with the help of AI. Yes, these aren’t real photos but AI-generated content trained on the user’s selfies.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.