Tecno’s new Spark series device is here.
I have been using it for a week now and I have made a few observations in that time.
Before we go there, here’s what you get in the box of the Tecno Spark 5 if you are considering getting it:
One of the things that struck me at first, upon unboxing the Tecno Spark 5, is that its a little heavy – and that is a good thing. My first takeaway from the Spark 4, last year, was how light it was. This year, amends have been made and I still like it. It adds some heft which makes handling the device easier. Huh, who would’ve thought?
The device’s design has also changed – a lot – from what we saw in the fourth generation Spark devices.
There’s the obvious move from the “Dot Notch” design to the “Dot-In” design when it comes to the display, for instance. The former is Tecno-speak for a waterdrop/teardrop-style notch and the latter is Tecno’s reference to a “punch hole” in the display to accommodate the 8-megapixel front-facing camera. I am not sure which one I prefer but they all work fine. Of course, the punch hole is more in line with 2020 expectations now that Tecno is preserving the pop-ups for the more pricey devices it’s offering.
At the back of the device, two things stand out. The first one is the device’s colour which now takes a gradient turn. This is not the first time we are seeing Tecno do this but, if the Spark 4 we had in for review last year is anything to go by, it’s a welcome change on the Spark series.
The second one is the four camera sensors. With a 13-megapixel main shooter flanked by 3 other unspecified lenses, they all make up for a new look of the device’s back, very different from what we had on the Spark 4 and much in line with what we have so far seen from the Chinse brand.
Interesting, the camera bump is actually not so pronounced. The device doesn’t wobble on the table, for instance, like, say, the Camon 15 does. Impressive.
The other thing to note immediately follows from the unboxing above. That charging cable has to go somewhere… To the microUSB port. This shouldn’t be a big deal for many but if we are to nitpick, it is one of those things…
Where it really matters the most to some of us, the performance, Tecno has interestingly kept things pretty much the same as they were last year. The memory is the same, the storage space available is the same… Heck, even the chipset used is from the same family. Does that mean we can expect the same level of performance as we did on the Spark 4?
From my one-week usage of the device, that is hard to tell. With Tecno making some changes to its custom overlay, HiOS, and, of course, the advantages of Android 10, any shortcomings of the hardware that is largely unchanged over the course of just over half a year, are countered.
Of course, as can be expected, a bigger battery unit means even longer battery life. That is the case on the Spark 5 right now. I have been averaging over 8 hours of screen-on-time for at least a day and a half of my typical phone usage – lots of social media use on and off Wi-Fi (because, Kenya Power) and a few phone calls.