The Tecno brand has grown amongst us to become one of Kenya’s common household names when it comes to smartphones, it has slowly won over many pundits like me who at first were skeptical instead preferring established brands like Samsung and Apple. Despite its popularity amongst Kenyans with a relatively low budget for smartphones, the brand is far from making sensible arguments in the top tier smartphone niche. With the release of the Tecno Spark 5, we were a little thrilled to learn the device would barely cross-over the Ksh.10,000 mark, but that doesn’t mean its immune to competition; in fact, some competitors make an even stronger case to appear on budget shopping list.
There are of course different sections of consumer budget phones. A good example is those in the Apple ecosystem who have the likes of iPhone SE 2020 placed in the budget sequel which is still way overboard when it comes to the definition of affordable at around Ksh40,000. Its therefore only fair to compare the Tecno Spark 5 with like priced competitors.
While the price places this device at the forefront for many Kenyans, there’s plenty of throttled tech inside to appease power users. In fact, after using certain devices, it’ll be impossible to find the latest Tecno Spark 5 any appealing.
What we like about the Tecno Spark 5
1. The price
With the same amount you’d need to purchase Apple’s most affordable device, you can easily get four Tecno Spark 5’s. And after putting the exchange rates into consideration plus shipping costs, you may end up with some pocket change for accessories.
2. Display size and punch-hole camera
Let me first clarify something, I’ve specifically said “display size” and not the “Display quality”. The display size is amazing and by using a punch-hole camera, the entire design spells premium even though the price says otherwise.
3. The battery
Ooh! The battery! At 5000mAh, Tecno Spark 5, has more battery juice than similarly priced alternatives like the Huawei Y7p that opts for a 4000mAh. Note the Y7P is still slightly more expensive almost touching the Ksh20,000 borderline. The Y7P has better cameras but lacks the more important Google services and instead opts for a Huawei App Gallery
What we don’t like about the Tecno Spark 5
2GB usable RAM can only make sense in the Apple ecosystem due to the heavy optimization the firm is know to implement. But in the android world, expect to encounter several hitches, too much page refresh, and a generally slow performance.
· Screen Quality
1440p has become the sweet spot for many manufacturers but Tecno decided to implement the lowest screen resolution today at 700 x 1600pixels translating to a meagre 266 pixels per inch. Expect images and text not to be as sharp as screens with more pixels. Apple’s definition of a retina screen must have at least 300 pixels per inch which Tecno Spark 5 fails big time to reach.
· Design material
The phone comes with a non-Gorilla glass and a plastic frame that’ll bend at the slightest force. We would have wished to at least come with a metal frame.