A lot of people can’t go out and buy phones that are 100s of dollars. This is where companies like Xiaomi and Tecno shine, by offering excellent budget smartphones. Xiaomi has been in the smartphone game for a long while now, while Tecno is a relatively new company.
This is a comparison between two of the most popular phones from Xiaomi and Tecno, the Redmi Note 9 and the Tecno Camon 16. Let’s see if a newcomer like Tecno can take on a smartphone manufacturing giant like Xiaomi.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro vs Tecno Camon 16
Design & Build
Both the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 and the Tecno Camon 16 phones are similarly priced and so unsurprising they look and feel similar. Both devices have plastic backs and they look similar both on the front and the back.
On the front, you’ll find a hole punch selfie camera and a fairly thick chin on both smartphones. This makes them look identical at first glance. The only big difference from the front is the design and placement of the volume rocker, and power button.
On Redmi Note 9, you will get a single button for the volume rocker beneath which you’ll find the power button. On the Camon 16, there are separate physical buttons for volume up and down along with a separate power button below them. I prefer the Camon 16 in this regard as the buttons are also lower making it better to use especially when single-handed. Separate buttons are also aesthetically better and easy to distinguish.
When you flip both the phones, you will be easily able to distinguish between the two, yet they look similar. Both phones use a boxy camera cutout at the top of the phone. The Redmi Note 9 employs a black rectangular cutout that houses the fingerprint sensor under the camera. On the other hand, the Camon 16 uses a square black camera island, the fingerprint sensor which is not a part of the camera island is below it.
The Redmi Note 9 shows off the ‘Redmi’ branding horizontally at the bottom of the phone, while the Tecno Camon 16 uses a vertical ‘Tecno Camon’ branding. Both phones also use a slightly gradient color finish and I like the color finish on both phones.
Overall, I would say that when it comes to design both phones are equal in terms of looks and quality. I like the gradient color scheme on the back, I don’t like either phone’s camera island/bump. And on the front, they both look almost identical. Both phones feel built well for the price too, so I have no complaints about each.
While the display layout and design are the same for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 and the Tecno Camon 16, they both use a very different class of displays and perform in different classes too. I feel like this where most people will notice a big difference between the phones. And might even make or break the deal for most people.
Xiaomi uses a 6.53-inch display that outputs at 2340 x 1080 pixels. This makes it a sharp display. It is also equally impressive when it comes to the brightness and color reproduction given the price. The colors are vivid, bright, and the display has a nice dynamic range too. It is great for videos and movies thanks to the small punch hole for the selfie camera.
Now you might be thinking since both phones look the same from the front, there should be very little setting them apart when it comes to the displays, but no. The display on the Camon 16 is considerably worse as it’s a 6.8-inch screen with just an HD class display. This means it outputs at only 1640 x 720 pixels, making it noticeably less sharp. While the color reproduction and dynamic range are fine, the display can seem pixelated, especially when playing videos.
Tecno should have gone with a FullHD class display as no phone close to this price should use an HD display. To make things worse, the Camon 16 has a bigger screen, making it even less sharp than if it used a 6.53-inch display like Xiaomi.
I would never recommend the Camon 16 over the Redmi Note 9 unless it can beat the Redmi Note 9 like quite some margin in the other categories. Displays are an important factor when it comes to phones as you will be looking at them almost every time you use the phone. I hope Camon comes with better displays in their future models.
Performance for a phone is primarily determined by the processor it uses and the RAM available for it. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 uses a Mediatek G85 processor (SOC) coupled with 4 GBs of RAM. In comparison, the Tecno Camon 16 is equipped with a Mediatek G70 SOC along with 4 GBs of RAM.
You might be mistaken that the Redmi Note 9 will perform better than the Camon 16 because the G85 is a bigger number than the G70. The G85 is a slower processor than the G70. And the G70 is a gaming processor from Mediatek, which handily beats the G85 in games and graphical applications.
The Camon 16 is the better performer of the two and if you are someone that’s looking to play games, then the Camon 16 will perform much better, smoother, and provide higher details compared to the Redmi Note 9.
The Camon 16’s screen which has been a disadvantage and the Achilles heel in this comparison, actually helps when it comes to performance. Because of the lower resolution, games are very smooth and can run at high graphical settings too. So, Camon after all had a trick up its sleeve going with a lower resolution screen.
If performance is something very important to you, especially graphical performance, then you should choose the Camon 16 over the Redmi Note 9. The Camon 16 is a gamer’s delight in this price category, making it very attractive to the average consumer and mobile gamer.
Cameras on low-midrange smartphones are not the most exciting part of the phones and they don’t sway much when it comes to choosing the phone for the average consumer. But regardless, I have tested these two devices, and here are my thoughts.
On the back, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 comes with a quad-camera set up with a 48 MP primary wide sensor, an 8 MP ultrawide sensor, a 2 MP macro, and a 2 MP depth sensor. Xiaomi has been a phone manufacturer for quite some time now, so camera quality is better than most brands in the price range.
The Redmi Note 9 can take some excellent shots in daylight with very good detail and colors. It struggles at night time but so will any phone in this price range. The Note 9 excels the most in the ultrawide category. The macro and depth sensors are very mediocre like most phones in this price range. In conclusion, I am pleased with the rear cameras on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9.
The Redmi Note 9 comes with a 13 MP selfie camera which does its job of taking good selfies. My complaint here is that the post-processing is too high and so the selfies lack facial detail.
The Tecno Camon 16 uses a quad-camera setup too at the back but comes with different sensor sizes. The Camon 16 is equipped with a 64 MP primary wide sensor, along with an ultrawide, a macro, and a depth sensor, all of them capture 2 MP pictures. The main sensor like the Note 9 takes detailed and clear shots when there’s a lot of light but struggles under artificial light or at night. The ultrawide, macro, and depth sensors all are mediocre at taking pictures, making them useless most times.
The Camon 16 ships with a 16 MP wide selfie camera, this enables it to take better selfies and fit in more information in the picture. The 16 MP wide selfie lens produces images that have more facial detail than the Note 9 but the colors are a little washed out.
All things considered, I would choose the Note 9 if you are someone who takes a lot of photos with your rear cameras, while the Camon 16 excels at selfies.
Both the phones in comparison come with almost the same battery capacity, with the Redmi Note 9 slightly edging the Camon 16 by 20 mAh. Redmi Note 9 comes with a 5,020 mAh battery while the Camon 16 comes with a 5,000 mAh battery.
This translates into similar battery life for both, 16 hours for the Camon 16, and 15 hours for the Note 9 in our video loop test. Xiaomi did have a higher drop when gaming compared to the Camon 16, while the opposite was true for everyday tasks with the Camon 16.
Overall, you won’t be disappointed in the battery life with either phone.
Spec Comparison Table
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 9||Tecno Camon 16|
|Display||6.53-inch IPS LCD 2340 x 1080 pixels||6.8-inch IPS LCD 1640 X 720 pixels|
|Processor||Mediatek G85||Mediatek G70|
|RAM||4 GB||4 GB|
|Storage||64 GB||64 GB|
|Battery||5,020 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Camera||48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide)8 MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide)2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), AF2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)||64 MP, 26mm (wide)2 MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide)2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot5.0, A2DP, LEYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEOFM radio, built-in antennaUSB Type-C 2.0||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot5.0, A2DP, LEYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEOFM radiomicro-USB 2.0, USB On-The-Go|
|Sound||Loudspeaker, 3.5mm Headphone Jack||Loudspeaker, 3.5mm Headphone Jack|
|Security||Fingerprint, Face Unlock||Fingerprint, Face Unlock|
|Software||Android 10 based HIOS 7.0||Android 10 based MIUI 12|
With both phones costing roughly around $150, given the choice, I would choose the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 as it is the more complete package in my opinion. The Note 9 falls short of the Camon 16 when it comes to selfies, gaming performance, and battery life, but it loses only by a small margin.
On the other hand, the Camon 16 has an HD display which shouldn’t even be a thing in this price range, and it loses to the Note 9 when it comes to rear cameras. But in the end, I would say both are good phones and choose the one depending on your use case. I feel that both smartphones will do well and both will have a customer base.
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