Tecno Camon 18 Premier review

GSMArena Team, 23 November 2021.

Android 11 with HiOS 8

The Camon 18 Premier boots Android 11 with a layer of Tecno's in-house HiOS on top (v.8.0). We were less than thrilled with the company's aggressive advertising policies and pre-installed bloatware when we reviewed the Camon 16 Premier. Still, the Premier is different - the approach is toned-down and lightweight on bloat, and we do appreciate it.

Tecno Camon 18 Premier review

That's not to say there isn't a whole bunch of pre-installed apps and utilities, and an in-house gallery and video player, and an app store - no, these are all still here. That app store still pushes a ton of notifications, nudging you to install this or that app or game.

Hi Browser - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review AI Gallery - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review AI Gallery - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Phone Master - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review AHA Games - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Palm Store - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review
Hi Browser • AI Gallery • AI Gallery • Phone Master • AHA Games • Palm Store

If some of the third-party apps are bothering you with various notifications - you can disable those - either from within the annoying app or from the Notification settings.

Getting into the Camon 18 Premier is business as usual, with both fingerprint and face recognition available (you can even opt for the front flash help if you are in a dark area). You can have the fingerprint reader unlock with just a tap, or require a press as well, and you can do that for the face recognition as well.

Biometrics and security - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Biometrics and security - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Biometrics and security - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Biometrics and security - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Biometrics and security - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Biometrics and security - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review
Biometrics and security

Always-on screen is available, and there are plenty of cool themes. It's not an always-on display, though - it shows up for 10 seconds only when you pick up the phone, get it out from the pocket, or tap the screen.

Always-on display - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Always-on display - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Always-on display - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review
Always-on display

The lockscreen has a single shortcut in the bottom right to access the camera. Once you're past that, you arrive at a standard homescreen interface. The leftmost pane, called Zero screen, holds cards with suggested news, weather and quotes widgets and an app usage widget. You can disable the Zero screen in the 'Desktop settings'. There's an app drawer by default which you can access from the old-school A-Z orange icon at the bottom or with an upward swipe from the bottom.

Lockscreen - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Homescreen - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Zero screen - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Folder view - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review App drawer - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Task switcher - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review
Lockscreen • Homescreen • Zero screen • Folder view • App drawer • Task switcher

Themes are available as part of HiOS, and there is a dedicated Theme store for this purpose.

Hi Theme - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Hi Theme - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Hi Theme - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Hi Theme - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review
Hi Theme

All the custom bits found on the Camon 17 Pro and 16 Premier are also here on the 18 Premier. That includes the Game mode with all the settings statistics and parental controls. There is also a Smart panel with slide-from-the-side shortcuts.

Tecno Camon 18 Premier review

Social Turbo toolset is rather interesting (a WhatsApp enhancer of sorts) - it can change your voice, enhance your face during video calls, record your WhatsApp calls, and allow you to read messages without marking them as Read.

The CarIcare aftersales assistance utility is also onboard, and you can fire it anytime if you encounter problems with your phone.

If you want even more details about the HiOS, you can learn more in the software section of the Camon 16 Premier review.

Special function menu - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Game mode - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Social Turbo - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review CarIcare - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Smart Panel - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review Smart Panel - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review
Special function menu • Game mode • Social Turbo • CarIcare • Smart Panel

Performance and benchmarks

The Tecno Camon 18 Premier runs on the Helio G96 chipset by MediaTek. It is fabricated on the 12nm FinFET manufacturing process from TSMC, just like the previous G9x chips.

The Helio G96 has the same octa-core CPU as the Helio G90, G90T (Camon 16 Premier) and G95 (Camon 17 Pro) - it packs two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores ticking at 2.05GHz and six energy-efficient Corext-A55 cores working at 2.0GHz.

But the Helio G96 chip features a new GPU from the Valhalla generation by ARM - the Mali-G57. Unlike the previous G9x chips, here we have a dual-core configuration instead of a quad-core, so we expect some drop in the theoretical performance compared to the previous versions. What's new, though, is the support for a 120Hz refresh rate. It's a whole other thing if it will be able to reach 120fps in games (spoiler alert - no).

Finally, the Tecno Camon 18 Premier is available in one configuration with 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB UFS storage.

We ran the usual benchmarks, and the scores are in.

Tecno Camon 18 Premier review

The CPU benchmarks are alright - the processor is quite capable of handling whatever you throw at it.

GeekBench 5 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Realme GT Master
    2917
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    2801
  • Poco X3 Pro
    2574
  • Poco X3 GT
    2310
  • Realme 8i
    1886
  • OnePlus Nord CE 5G
    1812
  • Infinix Note 11 Pro
    1800
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
    1780
  • Tecno Camon 18 Premier
    1758
  • Realme 8 Pro
    1678
  • TECNO Camon 16 Premier
    1672
  • Tecno Phantom X
    1670
  • Tecno Camon 17 Pro
    1668
  • Infinix Note 10 Pro
    1644
  • Samsung Galaxy A32
    1277

GeekBench 5 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Realme GT Master
    785
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    771
  • Poco X3 Pro
    735
  • Poco X3 GT
    693
  • OnePlus Nord CE 5G
    641
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
    569
  • Realme 8 Pro
    566
  • Realme 8i
    539
  • TECNO Camon 16 Premier
    532
  • Infinix Note 11 Pro
    520
  • Tecno Camon 18 Premier
    514
  • Tecno Phantom X
    512
  • Tecno Camon 17 Pro
    511
  • Infinix Note 10 Pro
    510
  • Samsung Galaxy A32
    361

The offscreen performance of the new GPU is passable, though indeed inferior to the Helio G95's and G90T's (in the previous Tecno Camon phones).

GFX Manhattan ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Poco X3 GT
    68
  • Poco X3 Pro
    67
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    49
  • Realme GT Master
    46
  • Realme 8 Pro
    31
  • OnePlus Nord CE 5G
    30
  • Tecno Camon 17 Pro
    28
  • Infinix Note 10 Pro
    28
  • Tecno Phantom X
    28
  • TECNO Camon 16 Premier
    26
  • Realme 8i
    22
  • Tecno Camon 18 Premier
    21
  • Infinix Note 11 Pro
    20
  • Samsung Galaxy A32
    13

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Poco X3 Pro
    38
  • Poco X3 GT
    38
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    28
  • Realme GT Master
    27
  • Tecno Camon 17 Pro
    17
  • Infinix Note 10 Pro
    17
  • Tecno Phantom X
    17
  • OnePlus Nord CE 5G
    17
  • Realme 8 Pro
    16
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
    16
  • TECNO Camon 16 Premier
    15
  • Tecno Camon 18 Premier
    12
  • Realme 8i
    11
  • Infinix Note 11 Pro
    11
  • Samsung Galaxy A32
    8.1

3DMark Wild Life Vulkan 1.1 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • Poco X3 GT
    3991
  • Poco X3 Pro
    3401
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    2491
  • Realme GT Master
    2481
  • Infinix Note 10 Pro
    1506
  • Tecno Phantom X
    1501
  • Tecno Camon 17 Pro
    1498
  • Tecno Camon 18 Premier
    1105
  • OnePlus Nord CE 5G
    1103
  • Realme 8i
    1102
  • Infinix Note 11 Pro
    1100
  • Realme 8 Pro
    1051
  • Samsung Galaxy A32
    686

Finally, AnTuTu suggests the performance of the new Camon 18 Premier is in the ballpark of the previous Camon modes.

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Poco X3 GT
    506800
  • Poco X3 Pro
    453223
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    429675
  • OnePlus Nord CE 5G
    318672
  • Infinix Note 10 Pro
    310342
  • Tecno Camon 17 Pro
    309107
  • Tecno Phantom X
    309055
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
    295442
  • Tecno Camon 18 Premier
    293517
  • Realme 8i
    293507
  • Infinix Note 11 Pro
    290797
  • Realme 8 Pro
    286666
  • TECNO Camon 16 Premier
    283847
  • Samsung Galaxy A32
    174332

AnTuTu 9

Higher is better

  • Poco X3 GT
    578505
  • Realme GT Master
    529263
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    506432
  • OnePlus Nord CE 5G
    391770
  • Infinix Note 10 Pro
    365490
  • Tecno Camon 18 Premier
    346389
  • Infinix Note 11 Pro
    343527
  • Realme 8i
    308544

Finally, we ran the two stress tests we always do - CPU Throttle and 3D Mark Wild Life.

The Camon 18 Premier did very well on the CPU Throttle test by keeping nearly 70% of its maximum performance during an hour of 100% CPU usage. Then it scored 99.5% stability on the 3D Mark Stress Test - an excellent result. These numbers mean the phone offers top-notch stability and long-lasting peak performance. It may get warm when using 100% of its resources but never hot. And that's why it gets an excellent mark for sustained performance.

CPU stress test - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review GPU stress test - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review GPU stress test - Tecno Camon 18 Premier review
CPU stress test • GPU stress test

It's quite apparent the Tecno Camon 18 Premier is far from a powerhouse; it's not even close to the best in the mid-range. It's not a slouch, though, and we can confirm this after spending a week with it. We've played plenty of games with good 3D graphics and a smooth frame rate stutter-free. The OS ran great at 120fps, multi-tasking is good, and demanding office apps. Sure, we cannot have the best gaming experience, but everything else was just fine.

Reader comments

  • Socrates
  • 05 Aug 2022
  • Nue

My Tecno camon 18 premier is not able to merge calls or make conference calls. Please I need urgent support

  • Socrates
  • 04 Aug 2022
  • Nue

My Tecno camon 18 premier is not able to merge calls or make conference calls. Please I need urgent support

  • Kaka John Jay
  • 15 Jun 2022
  • 0wq

Sure, tecno camon 18premier is the best phone but its battery need to be upgraded to 5000 Amh or 6000 and it will be much better coz 4750 is much low