TECNO Spark 8P had big shoes to fill as the Spark 7P was a huge step up in the Spark series. TECNO Spark 8P brings with it significant upgrades but also some downgrades as you’ll find out in this review.
The TECNO Spark 8P is a very compact and slim phone. The back has a ridged design featuring a shiny camera island that takes over almost half the top part.
The back is colour gradient and you get various options to choose from including Tahiti Gold(our unit), Turquoise Cyan, Atlantic Blue and Iris Purple.
TECNO finally brings 1080p screen to the Spark series with the 8P. The 7P has a 720p screen. Both were 6.8″.
However, the smartphone company doesn’t bring with the same 90hz refresh rate we saw with the Spark 7P.
The display on the Spark 8P is vibrant, sharp and I had no problem viewing the screen when I was out and about. A full HD screen also means you get to enjoy binge-watching high-resolution content on YouTube.
TECNO did well with the controls on the Spark 8P – the volume rockers and power button are on the right side and the phone being lightweight and smaller makes it easy to use with one hand.
The fingerprint reader is embedded in the power button and is swift and accurate and with one tap, you unlock your phone.
At the bottom, we have the headphone jack, microphone, micro-USB charging port and speaker grille.
Overall, the TECNO Spark 8P is a well-built budget smartphone.
TECNO Spark 8P is powered by Android 11 and HiOS 7.6. We have 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage under the hood. TECNO compromised and picked the Helio G35 processor over the Helio G70 of its predecessor.
HiOS 7.6 comes with a new modern layout with a minimalist visual experience and new features like Peek Proof, App Twin, Video Assistant, Improved Smart scanner with document correction, Phone cloner, among others.
Bloatware is present but they can be easily uninstalled or disabled.
Android 11 brings with it improved handling of app permissions for the camera, microphone, and location, scoped storage, and auto-reset permissions for apps you haven’t used in a while, Nearby Share, ability to pin apps in the share menu and scheduled dark mode, powerful media controls, seamless updates, Multitasking pane, improved autofill, suggested apps, biometric authentication, among a host of other useful features.
TECNO Spark 8P did well with the easy stuff – a little bit multitasking and playing light games.
When you start tasking it with graphics-heavy games like Asphalt or PUBG, you get choppy gameplay.
The TECNO Spark 8P will suffice for normal everyday smartphone needs but don’t go ham with it.
Switching between apps takes a while longer to load so you’ll have to be patient with the phone.
If you are a heavy gamer and or a multitasker, you’ll have to skip this.
TECNO Spark 8P has a 5000mAh battery with 10W charging. The battery is huge but the charging takes a little bit over 2 hours to completely juice up.
On heavy usage, you can get up to 8hours of screen-on time and on light use, you can easily pull two days on a single charge.
You won’t be reaching out for cables at the of the day as you’ll have 15% or more of charge.
The TECNO Spark 8P absolutely delivers excellent battery life.
TECNO Spark 8P features an 8MP selfie camera under the notch and a 50MP triple camera setup which includes a 2MP depth sensor and VGA camera.
Its predecessor has a 16MP triple camera setup.
There are various modes to check out including Video(maxed at 1080p), AI Cam, Slow Motion, Beauty, Portrait, UltraHD, TimeLapse, Panorama.
You’ll notice there’s no night mode which was a disappointment as the 7P had this mode to shoot in low-lit scenarios.
This doesn’t mean the Spark 8P was bad shooting after sunset but that mode would have come in handy.
Shots I took outdoors were clean and in focus with good colour reproduction and detail. The depth sensor made shooting portraits turn out well – the normal mode still gives you that natural background blur that most people will love.
Selfies and portraits came out well too.
Lowlight shots turned out grainy and soft. If you are patient enough, you can take pretty good shots too.
TECNO Spark 8P brings minor upgrades and takes some with it – we get a 1080p screen but lack high refresh rate, we get a 50MP camera setup minus a dedicated night mode and also the downgrade from Helio G70 chip to Helio G35.
The mixed bag of features makes it hard to recommend this phone especially if you are coming from the Spark 7P.
The upcoming Spark 9 needs to balance all this to give consumers reasons to upgrade.
Pricing and Availbility
TECNO Spark 8P is available at TECNO official retail stores for Ksh 17,000 and e-commerce sites like Jumia.