TECNO managed to bump up the specs and features to its new Spark device but do they improve on performance and everything else – we find out.
In the Box
Here’s what you get inside the box:
- the device
- power brick and USB cable
- a set of earphones
- a screen protector
- warranty, user guide information booklets
- Sim ejector tool
- a plastic case
The TECNO Spark 5 rocks a colour-gradient back that is sure going to attract a lot of attention whenever you pop it out of your pocket to pick a call, snap a photo or check the latest tweets.
The beautiful back hosts the fingerprint sensor and the camera bump that features four cameras – a 13 MP main camera, a 2MP macro sensor, a 2MP depth sensor and a fourth AI lens together with a quad-LED flash.
On the front is a 6.6″ LCD dot notch display that features a punch-hole 8MP selfie camera. On the top bezel are the dual-LED flash and a speaker grill. The flash also functions as a notification light and it’s no so subtle especially when you’re charging.
At the bottom is the speaker grill, headphone jack, a microphone and a microUSB port.
The left side is the slot for your dual Sim cards and an external microSD card. On the right are the volume rockers and a power button. TECNO spiced things up a bit by adding a little orange to the power button.
On the inside, we get a Mediatek’s Helio A22 processor and PowerVR GE8300 GPU that runs the phone coupled with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. You can expand using an external MicroSD card.
It’s disappointing that TECNO decided to go with this configuration. They could’ve at least increased the RAM and use a relatively faster processor. It’s worth noting this is the same setup as the TECNO Spark 4 and the TECNO Spark 3. If you have either of these phones, there’s no need to upgrade – especially the latter. I loved the TECNO Spark 3 Pro.
During the few days I’ve been playing with the phone I’ve had RAM intense pass close randomly when opened up – Spotify would play and then close abruptly.
You can’t multitask on this phone. You can only switch between three apps at the MOST without them refreshing.
Low graphic games play well here – You can throw Ninja Arashi and play with no fuss but when you go heavy with games like Asphalt, you’ll experience lags in between gameplay.
HiOS hasn’t been my favourite custom UI thanks to bloatware and the annoying ads.
The screen though not the best has kept up. It gets bright indoors but when you go outside to chill, it starts to struggle. You’ll have to increase the brightness to use the screen be it watching videos or browsing the web and scrolling social media.
The phone comes with a gigantic 5000mAh battery. The battery has held its own, giving me close to two days on light use and one full day on heavy usage.
This battery makes the phone become super heavy – its literally the heaviest phone I’ve had in a while. I would advise against using it in bed late at night – if it falls on you during your midnight Netflix binge sessions, you’ll feel the pain.
The battery gets charged through a MicroUSB port and is slow. You have to give it a good three hours to get a full charge. I know most of us are at home right now but I don’t want to be plugged at an extension or socket all day.
TECNO, its’s high time you bring fast USB-C charging to your devices.
I saved the best for last – the camera performance. It’s a mixed bag in here – there’s a lot of hits and misses. The cameras struggle with exposure and when you’re patient enough, you can get decent shots. Some shots come out with their colours a little bit unsaturated. Bokeh and portrait shots are not the best – you’ll see the struggle with edge detection on some shots.
Here are some samples:
Click on the photos to expand
Notice how the red colour of my t-shirt is inconsistent in the last shot.
People got into quarantine baking, I went into quarantine farming – we’re not the same!
Here are more shots
Pricing and Availability
The TECNO Spark 5 starts selling from Ksh 13,999 and is available countrywide.
Stay tuned for our full review where we go in-depth and see if the TECNO Spark 5 is worth buying and gauge the value it brings against other devices in this price point.