Tecno’s Spark series is on its 5th iteration this year with the Spark 5 Pro being the most recent one to land in Kenya. The phone is available in stores for Ksh 14,000. This is the same price the standard Tecno Spark 5 has been available for ever since it was unveiled in the country a few months back.
The Tecno Spark 5 Pro is not that different from the standard Spark 5, they have many similarities but you get a few upgrades on the Pro series at practically the same price. I am not sure how Tecno managed to keep the price the same. If you have been considering getting the standard Spark 5, your best bet is the Pro version at this point.
I have been using the Tecno Spark 5 Pro for a little over a week and in this review I will be sharing my thoughts on it. I was not a huge fan of the Tecno Spark 5 when I reviewed it a few months ago as I felt it was just too basic to be considered. It did not have any major upgrades compared to the Spark 4 and at that point I felt that getting the Spark 4, which was cheaper, was a better option.
With the Tecno Spark 5 Pro, I was curious to see if it is worth getting or if you should just skip it too.
Design and Build Quality
As for the design and build quality, we are getting what we had on the Spark 5. The build is great, it feels sturdy and very comfortable to hold and is not slippery. The curved edges add to the overall comfort when carrying the phone. As usual, the back is made of plastic but does not feel cheap.
This phone is huge but can still be used with just one hand, at least I could. The power button on the right of the phone also doubles up as the Google Assistant button when long pressed. If you use Google Assistant regularly, you will appreciate this.
In summary, we are getting the same great build quality and design we had on the standard Spark 5. The phone is well built and quite impressive for its price.
On the Tecno Spark 5 Pro, we are getting the same 6.6-inch display with a 720p resolution that we had on the standard Spark 5.
At the top left corner of the display is the punch hole dot that houses the front facing camera. This means that we do not have the notch that we have gotten used to seeing at the center of the display. There is nothing much to say about the punch hole, it is there and you will notice it from time to time but it is not too intrusive.
The display itself is quite good for a 720p one. Using it outdoors under direct sunlight is not a problem at all. You can still make out what is on the display but this is not the ideal way to use any display. I just wanted to point out that it can be used if you are in such a situation.
Performance and Software
Here is where we start seeing some differences when compared to the standard Spark 5. The Tecno Spark 5 Pro is powered by the upgraded MediaTek Helio A25 processor compared to the A22 processor we had in the standard Spark 5. You get some performance improvements that can help with the smooth running of the phone but nothing major.
The Spark 5 Pro that I got has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage space. There is a variant with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of space. Either variant is better than the 2GB RAM we had on the standard Spark 5. With the extra RAM, multitasking is a much better experience.
Overall performance is quite commendable. The phone handles tasks without any problems and I even managed to play a few games on it without it slowing down. You are not getting Tecno Camon level performance here but still pretty good for a phone within its price.
The software experience is a mixed bag. I love how Tecno’s custom UI, HiOS, has evolved over the years, it feels mature now and the additional features it comes with make it worth using. On the other hand, I am not a fan of the many pop up notifications and ads it comes with. I mean, you are paying money to buy this phone and to be bombarded with ads after that kills the whole vibe. Yes, you can avoid the ads by installing a third party launcher but then again, why do you have to be forced to do that. This is really bad and Tecno should just stop.
The Spark 5 Pro is not a camera-centric phone and you will not be buying this phone for its great cameras as it does not have those. The phone still has good cameras that can take decent shots but nothing out of the ordinary. The cameras perform really well when outdoors and the lighting is good. Here the colours do pop a bit and you get decent shots.
The selfie camera is also good. It does a pretty good just and was better than what I expected. The selfies you get will be good enough if you have good lighting or are outdoors.
This is one of the best things on the Spark 5 Pro. The 5,000 mAh battery guarantees at least 2 days or even more. This is not a very powerful phone and the display is not of high resolution so the battery will be sufficient enough for most people.
There is no fast charging support here so expect it to take time to fully charge this battery.
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