Tecno Spark 5 – Is there still a Spark?

The Tecno Spark series is Tecno’s entry level smartphone and it’s target demographic is young people on a serious budget. The Spark 5 sports two variants this year; The Spark 5 which comes in at N49,000 ($110) and the Spark 5 Air at N47,000 ($105).

Similarities

Both phones feature a 6.6inch display. It’s an IPS LCD display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and it’s capped at a resolution of 720p. Both variants are running on Android 10 with Tecnos HiOS 6.0 over android, Although the Spark 5 Air is on Android Go Edition. Both come with a large 5000mah battery and sports the same design language. Both come with 2Gigs of RAM and 32GB internal storage, both record videos in 1080p@30fps on the front and rear cameras, both sport dual nano sim slots with an SD card slot for expansion as the case may be.

Both variants use the MediaTek 6761 (Helio A22) processor clocked an Octa-core processor at 2.0GHz and a PowerVR GE 8320 GPU

Ports and button placements are the same on both variants. Power and volume buttons to the right, sim tray to the left, external speaker grilles, micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone port at the bottom and fingerprint reader at the back of the device. There’s a flash in the rear camera module and a notification led to the left of the earpiece.

Differences

The differences between the Spark 5 and Spark 5 Air include the selfie cameras, both sport an 8MP camera, albeit a punch hole in the spark 5 and a water drop notch in the spark 5 Air. The display size on the spark 5 comes in at 6.6 inches, while it’s 7 inches on the Air.

You have a triple camera setup on the Spark 5 consisting of 13MP f1.8 main, a 2MP macro and a 2MP depth sensing camera. On the Air however, we have two rear cameras, a 13MP f1.8 main (same as on the Spark 5) and a QVGA camera.

In the box

For the unboxing experience, you get a quite colorful two tone box with the specs of the device found at the bottom of the box. Opening the box, you get the usuals, the Spark 5, a 13 month warranty card, an included TPU case which is always welcome, a micro USB to USB A cable, a 10 watt charger, a pair of earphones and a sim ejector pin.

Display and Build

One of the first thing you notice when you pick up the Spark 5 is it’s weight, it’s quite prominent, thanks to the included 5000mah battery. This weight also give the device a reassuring feel in hand. The Spark 5 has a plastic shell and it’s got this nice looking pattern on the back.

The 6.6 inch HD+ display on the spark 5 is average at best. Its resolution is 720p, it’s looks good and colors seem vibrant and saturated on it. However it’s not the brightest 720p lcd display I’ve seen. This display tops its brightness at 480nits and Using it in direct sunlight may require some squinting to see properly. Videos however look decent and will be capped at 720p.  

Cameras

Seeing that this device is targeted at young folks, I immediately tried out the camera as this is one of the main features this phones demographic would eagerly want to know about. From initial impressions, the 13MP camera rear shooter on the spark 5 actually surpassed my expectations. It performed well in a room with little lighting, the picture actually turned out good. In direct sunlight or areas with lots of light, you’d get good photos with a steady hand. The photos I took were mostly good although there were some with lots of noise in them.

The selfie shots we’re also okay. Lots of graininess and over-exposure, but what did you expect really from a phone at this price point.

Honestly I didn’t think the cameras on the Spark 5 would perform as well as it did. For a N49,000 budget phone, the cameras performed decently. I would score them 6 out of 10 and that’s quite high coming from me.

Battery

The 5000mah battery paired with that 720p screen should give you at least a day of heavy use with some juice to spare.

Software

Looking at the software, the spark 5 is running on Android 10 with HiOS 6.0 over android, it looks clean but doesn’t feel fluid, I’ve noticed intermittent stutters around the os and I think it’s no thanks to the processor on this one. The bloatwares are still here and I’m weary them. This just needs to stop guys. Away with the bloatware

You have system wide darkmode thanks to android 10 and you’ve also got gesture navigation although I noticed it wasn’t as smooth as I’d like.

Overall the software feels good and finished and testifies to the fact that Tecno keeps improving on its software regularly.

Conclusion

The Tecno Spark series has sold a lot of these devices in the past, in 2017 alone the spark series averaged at 120,000 devices sold per day.

Tecno seems to have mastered the art of giving people what they want, A good looking functional smartphone, with a big screen and at a price they can afford.

The Tecno Spark 5 checks all these boxes and I think Tecno may just have another winner In the Spark 5 and Spark 5 Air. My review unit is the Ice Jadeite but there are other colors including Spark Orange, Vacation blue and Misty grey

What are your thoiughts on the Tecno Spark 5? Let’s discuss in the comment section

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