Tecno Spark 3: Impressions

2 months ago, Tecno started selling the Spark 3 Pro, its latest smartphone in the budget Spark series.

Missing in action at the time was the regular variant, the Tecno Spark 3.

Though announced on the same day as its Pro sibling, the Tecno Spark 3 wasn’t scheduled to go on sale until a month later, on April 25th.

The Tecno Spark 3 has since gone on sale locally and herein are experiences from my encounter with it and usage over the last 2 or so weeks.

Unboxing

Impressions

  • The notch lives on but by now you are already used to seeing it, right? As is the case with most devices, if it is a bother, you can simply use the software to hide it from the settings app.
  • One of the things that one notices immediately about the Tecno Spark 3 is how similar the software experience is not only to its Pro sibling but also to other Tecno devices. Heck, there’s even a hint of the same elements we have seen recently in Infinix’s XOS. Like the so-called smart panel, for instance.
  • Unfortunately, there’s not much else about the software that stands out. In short, it just works and where that is not true, it’s because of the annoyances that one learns to live with along the way when it comes to Tecno’s HiOS overlay. The same annoying nudges to get “instant” apps, unending reminders of power-intensive applications and news content no one signed up for. Don’t get me started on the several pre-installed applications that didn’t add much value in terms of my overall user experience.
  • While inferior to the Spark 3 Pro on paper, the standard variant does the most to match its sibling’s design using an out and out plastic construction complete with a removable back cover. That plastic build even extends to the frame. What will draw you to the device, though, is that very smooth back that looks and feels like glass.
  • The removable back cover is just for the ability to slot in SIMs and a microSD card as the battery unit is sealed.
  • As can be seen in the video above, the Tecno Spark 3 arrives with a clear case that is included in its retail packaging. That case fits very well and the glossy strip that runs from the camera slot all the way down looks very good.
  • The camera holds up its end of the bargain with sufficient lighting and struggles in low-light settings. Even then, one can still come up with some “ok” shots.
  • While I didn’t get the Tecno Spark 3 to do some heavy lifting, I found its performance to meet my expectations throughout the time I have been using it.
  • Not demanding much from it may also have had some impact on the battery as it lasted me a whole day and there was still some little juice left. That there’s no fast charging means that one has to spare about 2 hours for the device to charge fully.
  • The Tecno Spark 3’s biggest pro is that it costs just under Kshs 11,000 and manages to get basics such as battery life, design and display right.
  • That it does not have 4G LTE network connectivity is its biggest con so that is something to keep in mind if eyeing the device. That, alone, is probably worth saving up the Kshs 1,700 more that one needs to get its Pro sibling instead.

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Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at] androidkenya.com