Tecno Camon 18 Premier may not be a flagship, but it sure looks like one, and the design is a standout for a couple of reasons.
First, it's a dual-glass build with AGC-made flat glass sheets on both sides. The rear panel has this cool silky matte finish, which may be allowing fingerprints to thrive, but it is also pleasant on touch and premium-looking when clean.
The camera rectangle is also flat and made of glass, while the frame is slightly curved and made of plastic. Some budget cuts had to be made, and in most cases, the frame and the chassis take the hit.
So, the Camon 18 Premiere is good-looking and well-built, and we noticed another area with great attention to the detail where mid-ranges often fail - symmetry. See, one of the first things we spotted is the perfectly centered front camera within the screen's punch-hole. While we rarely criticize this, knowing it's all about budget constraints, it's still something that often rubs us the wrong way.
Another place where symmetry is often absent on budget phones - the cutouts for ports and speaker(s) around the frame. The Camon 18 Premiere has a perfectly centered audio jack, mouthpiece, USB port and speaker holes at the bottom, and we are happy that Tecno made the extra effort.
One thing that would have made the Camon 18 Premier build top-notch is some sort of ingress protection. Alas, there is no such thing on the Premier, not even splash resistance or water-repellent coating.
Let's inspect the sides of the phone now and see what's obvious and what - not.
The 6.7-inch AMOLED screen is at the front - it has extended 1080p resolution, supports dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, and has a punch-hole for the new 32MP selfie shooter. As we mentioned, the camera is perfectly centered in the said hole.
The earpiece is above the screen, but what you cannot see is the LED flash next to it. It's quite thin yet powerful enough to make a difference at night.
The back of the phone is indeed silky smooth and has a smaller and subtle Tecno Camon insignia. The camera island is not that flashy, on the contrary - it looks stylish and not that intrusive. It contains the 64MP primary camera, the 12MP ultrawide shooter, and last is the periscopic lens of the 8MP snapper for 5x optical magnification. A four-LED flash is also around.
The frame is made of plastic, slightly curved, and is all glossy. In fact, it is the largest fingerprint magnet on the phone despite the prone to smudges rear panel. It is far from grippy, too, and is probably the only part of the Camon 18 Premier that we don't like as much.
The tri-card slot is alone on the left, while the volume rocker and the power/lock key are on the right.
The surface of the lock key is also your fingerprint scanner - always-on, fast and accurate as usual.
The top of the Camon 18 Premier has a lonely secondary microphone. It is used for stereo recording in videos but not for noise canceling when in a call.
Finally, the bottom houses the 3.5mm jack, the primary microphone, the USB-C port and the single speaker.
The Tecno Camon 18 Premier measures 163.8 x 75.9 x 8.2 mm and weighs 200 grams - that's about 7mm shorter and 1mm thinner than the Tecno 16 Premier. It is also 10g lighter.
At the end of the day, we did love our time spent with the Tecno Camon 18 Premier. It is a phone of solid build and no-nonsense design. The dual-tempered glass is always good to have, and the only omission we noted is the lack of any sort of ingress protection. The plastic frame could have been better with matt finish, like the back, but we cannot have it all, can we?
Overall, we think people will like the Camon 18 Premier, and if handling issues are present, the supplied case should solve most, if not all of them.