TECNO Spark 9 Pro Review: Better Than Expected

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TECNO Spark 9 Pro Review

TECNO Spark 9 Pro is TECNO’s latest smartphone in the affordable Spark 9 series for this year. We’ve been using it as our daily driver for a while now since its launch late last month.

We’ve unboxed it for our hands-on review and even checked out how its cameras perform and this is our in-depth review.

For quick catchup, here’s what you get in the box:


  • the device
  • 18W power brick and Type-C charging cable
  • a set of earphones
  • Sim ejector tool
  • a plastic case
  • a screen protector

DESIGN

For its new phones, TECNO streamlined the design process for the Camon 19 series(full reviews coming soon but watch our first impressions review here) and the Spark 9 series as they both feature the Twin Camera design.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro on the left and TECNO Camon 19 on the right
TECNO Spark 9 Pro on the left and TECNO Camon 19 on the right

The difference is that the Spark 9 series gets a two-tone design with a glossy top half and matte bottom half.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro 50MP main camera setup

Our unit comes in Quantum black. Other options include Burano Blue, Holy White, and Hacker Storm.

Apart from the glossy finish at the top that attracts fingerprints, the bottom is matte and I used my unit without the included case as the phone is too beautiful to hide.

You’ll also see the new TECNO motto – Stop At Nothing etched at the bottom too. It’s a more minimalistic logo compared to the one featured on the Spark 8P so it doesn’t ruin the whole look of the back.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro back

The phone is pretty light too and kinda compact which I love.

The display sits at 6.6″ full resolution(1080p). It misses at having a high refresh rate as it’s capped at standard 60Hz which I’m okay with. In my opinion, a high-resolution display with a standard refresh rate is better than a low-resolution screen with smooth scrolling.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro Screen
TECNO Spark 9 Pro Screen

The display here is ideal for content. Be it reading, browsing the web, scrolling social media, binge-watching shows and movies and editing photos.

You get a slot for the nano-sim card(dual) and a dedicated slot for an external microSD card. There’s a side-mounted fingerprint reader and volume rockers on the right.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro Buttons

At the bottom are the type-C charging port, microphone, headphone jack and speaker grille.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro Bottom Ports

Overall, the TECNO Spark 9 Pro has a good feel to it. I liked the design borrowed from the TECNO Camon 19 series. I like this choice.

PERFORMANCE

Under the hood is a Helio G85 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of board storage. You also get up to 3GB of virtual RAM thanks to HiOS Memory fusion feature.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro ships with Android 12 and HiOS 8.6 straight out of the box.

What is on offer with the TECNO Spark 9 Pro is more than enough for most users. It can handle whatever you throw at it – from multitasking and the occasional bouts of light to moderate gaming.

Asphalt 9, Ninja Arashi 2, Grim Valour, Dead Trigger, Linn Path of Orchards, and Critical Ops all played with no issues.

Heavier games like PUBG Mobile and Apex Legends stutter a bit when on high graphics so you’ll need to lower down your settings for smooth gameplay.

I was just happy that most of the time, I was getting dependable performance for my daily tasks and I’m a heavy user.

BATTERY LIFE

TECNO ships the Spark 9 Pro with a 5000mAh battery. During my time with it, the phone never failed to get me through the day and some more alternating between heavy and moderate use respectively.

You won’t have battery anxiety with the TECNO Spark 9 Pro as it has adequate endurance and I was getting between 8 and a half and 7 and a half hours of screen-on time. I was ending the day with between 20 and 25% of charge.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro has a Type-C charging port and it supports 18W fast charging which is an upgrade from 10W.

To juice up from 2% to 83%, you’ll need to set aside an hour and 22 minutes.

CAMERAS

The cameras on the TECNO Spark 9 Pro are surprisingly good – there’s a dedicated review for how they perform and you can check it out here.

For optics, we get a 50MP triple camera array that includes a 2MP depth sensor and VGA camera. Same layout as its predecessor.

TECNO upgraded its selfie camera from 8MP to a 32MP front-facing camera. You are definitely getting your money’s worth and more from the selfie camera and main camera when it comes to smartphone photography.

TECNO is focusing its photography prowess on the just-launched camera-centric Camon 19 series and that good magic rubbed off on their entry-level Spark 9 Pro.

TECNO Spark 9 Pro Camera Review: Surprisingly Good

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

TECNO Spark 9 Pro is available at TECNO official retail stores for Ksh 20,899 and e-commerce sites like Jumia.

Its siblings, the TECNO Spark 9 and Spark 9T go for Ksh 15, 599 and Ksh 17,199 respectively.

TECNO Spark Your Dream

TECNO is also running Spark Your Dream campaign powered by the Spark 9 series. The activity is targeting youth between the ages of 18 and above. Through this campaign, TECNO will support the dreams of 3 people who will be carefully selected and vetted by judges.


The support will be in form of cash and a 6-month mentorship program.

The campaign is led by award-winning, recording and performing artist, humanitarian and entrepreneur Octopizzo who is the brand ambassador for the Spark 9 series.


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