Tecno Spark 5, your entry level smartphone for 2020


Two weeks ago TECNO announced the availability of Tecno Spark 5 in the Kenyan market, a phone retailing for Kshs 14,000. Over at Jumia, you can find the phone for shs 13,400, and with that you shall have saved shs 600 that you can use to thank yourself for working hard. So, if you decide to buy this entry level smartphone, what is it have you set yourself for?

For starters, the device is pretty decent at its price point. It features a plastic build but with aesthetic feel. Generally speaking, it is a phone you wouldn’t feel ashamed staring at whenever you want to avoid staring at someone – you know, that thing shy people usually do to avoid eye contact.

Onto that phone there are five cameras, four at the back and one in front. The back cameras work as one; composed of a 13 MP sensor that has the f/1.8 wide lens. To help this main camera, TECNO has added a 2 MP sensor with a macro lens, another 2 MP for depth blurring the background) and finally a QVGA sensor that I have no idea what it does. To help these cameras work in unison and at the same time provide professional like quality images, TECNO has imbued the camera with an upgraded AI 3.0 algorithm and AI Scene Detection. Then TECNO thought it wise to give each lens its own flash light, that’s why there is a four point flash system adjacent to the lined up lenses. See image below.

The front camera also benefits from the AI 3.0 algorithm and AI Scene Detection, and it too has a flashlight. Together with its 8 MP sensor, the AI powered front camera will definitely deliver photos that even if you have to add filters, they’ll present you to Instagram viewers as someone worth emulating.

Internally the phone comes with 32GB storage – suggesting that you shouldn’t aim at saving way too many photos or videos, neither should you download apps that you do not use regularly. To help run those Apps is a memory of 2GB, again suggesting that you should probably be running one app at a time. TECNO Spark series have been known to be phones that freeze whenever so sadly this one hasn’t been powered to get rid of the freezing issues.

Powering the device is a Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 (12 nm) processor, which is made of  2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 8 core processing units – something that you’d typically find in mid range devices in today’s smartphone world. Although the RAM suggests you shouldn’t multitask with the device, the processor tells us that you should not shy away from playing your favorite games – but one app at time remember, games or no games.

Running the entire software on the device is Android 10, which is a big plus for an entry level smartphone. But TECNO had just to spoil the beautiful Android 10 with their HIOS 6.1, which not only comes with a lot of bug apps (you should uninstall or disable all of them), but also ruins your day with unwanted adds as I once described here. As explained in that article, the other first thing you should do is to change that Launcher to something like Microsoft Launcher.

Then there is the battery. It is huge. If you have used those 4000mAh batteries that never seem to drain, Spark 5 has a whooping 5000mAh battery. Given the fact that you will probably shy away from multitasking, or playing games endlessly, and also given that the screen of the phone is a paltry 720p instead of the typical 1080p and above that we become accustomed to, don’t be surprised if the phone goes for three or four days before needing a recharge. If there was that one reason why you should cough 14K for an entry level device, then the battery power house is the one.


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