The recently launched Tecno CX and CX Air does a lot of things right; beautiful metallic design, beautiful 2.5D glass, well light photos thanks to a total of 6 LED flashes, boots with the latest Android 7.0 OS and much more. However, there are some areas it could have done better to make it an overall excellent camera phone. The purpose of this article is to give positive criticism to the good people at Tecno, some of the aspects laid out here can be sorted out via software updates, others can be introduced in the Plus version of the phone in case they unveil one in future.
Better dynamic range
I had the privilege of going hands on with the Tecno CX at the launch event and I took some pictures with it. The pictures were really well lit rivalling flagship phones like Samsung Galaxy S7 and the iPhones. But the issue was that only the foreground was discernible. The background was overblown, the exposure was too high that all the details in the background came out white especially if there is a lot of light coming from behind you when taking a selfie. I thought it was an isolated case but I later saw it in a video advert for the phone as you can see below. If you want to take a selfie and want to capture an object behind you (like a monument or something) under bright sunlight, it won’t be straight forward task, you will need to get creative. Luckily, this is an issue that can be fixed via software update. Reducing the exposure levels might help too if only the phone had manual mode which brings us to issue number 2.
Lack of Professional/ Manual mode
The issue discussed in the first point would be easily solvable by tweaking the settings in manual mode. Nowadays, we have phones coming with manual mode for both back and front camera like the Moto Z we recently reviewed.
Tecno CX being a camera oriented phone would really benefit from manual mode. It’s a pity that all that hardware potential cannot be fully tapped at the moment. Humans can sometimes configure camera settings for a certain light condition better than the algorithms of auto mode. We hope the company is working future update that will introduce manual/ professional mode.
Optical image stabilisation (OIS)
The Tecno CX doesn’t come with OIS, this technology enables one to record shake-free videos and blur free photos. While taking selfies with the Tecno CX, I realised that if you move your hand while pressing the capture button, the whole photo will be still and crisp but the hand that was moved slightly will come out really blurry. The phone has very fast shutter speed which would mean that blurs would be less frequent but they still occurred. OIS might help with that to some extent, but software algorithms also need to be updated to fix the blur issue. The company should introduce OIS in the Plus version of the phone but in the meantime, they can simply use software tricks to come up with stable results like Sony does with SteadyShot on its Xperia line.
More RAM for better split screen multitasking
Tecno CX comes with the latest version of Android, the 7.0 Nougat version, we applaud the company for that. Not many affordable phones come with this new OS. The most attractive feature of Android 7.0 Nougat is the split screen multitasking, it lets you run two apps at the same time. Unfortunately, such a feature needs sufficient RAM to operate fluidly and silky smooth. More RAM will also enable cool camera features such as using the front and the rear camera at the same time. Using both cameras simultaneously make sure that even the person taking shots is fixed in the final picture and much more. Unfortunately, the CX only comes with 2GB RAM, there is no option for 3GB RAM. We hope they implement it in the Plus version.
Upgraded processor to enable 4K and also slo-mo video recording
4K started to become a standard in video recording since last year, slo-mo is 2017’s new trend with cameras hitting up to 1000fps. Of course we wouldn’t expect such high rates at an affordable phone but there are 240fps iterations being done on mid-range phones. Also, Tecno has recycled the same processor, Mediatek 6753, since the launch of Tecno Phantom 5. The CX still has that processor and we think an upgrade is long overdue. Hopefully the Plus version will come with a Mediatek Helio series CPU or a Snapdragon 625 which are much more powerful and battery friendly than the CX processor. Moreover the Helio series and the Snapdragon 625 have been used on devices which are cheaper than the CX such as the Xiaomi Redmi series.