In the last few years, the smartphone world has evolved dramatically, largely for the better. In the past, premium design and cutting-edge technology were only available to those who could afford flagship brands like Samsung and Apple. There is now a slew of affordable choices that punch well beyond their weight.
Brands like Infinix, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Tecno have carved out a nice little niche for themselves by offering quality designs in affordable phones.
Tecno has taken significant steps and is currently Africa’s most popular mobile brand. With the latest launch of the Spark 8 model, it’s easy to understand why the brand has made significant advances in Africa.
We’re still seeing alternatives for the typical customer as the competition for budget and mid-budget smartphones heats up. While this is fantastic, it adds to the difficulties faced by customers who are unable to choose between these options. The Tecno Spark 8 was released alongside the Tecno Spark 8 Pro and 8P as part of the series.
Tecno is among the best-selling smartphones in Nigeria. The brand has made a name for itself in the budget market. The Tecno Spark 8 series was created with youngsters in mind at an affordable price. We take a peek at what it has to offer with its advertised state-of-the-art hardware.
Tecno Spark 8 price in Nigeria & availability
The Tecno Spark 7 is already available for sale in Tecno’s stores and retail shops across Nigeria. It is priced at N50,000.
Tecno Spark 8: Design
When we first get the Tecno Spark 8 out of the box, it doesn’t feel all that premium from what we saw on Tecno’s official advert. When the screen is turned off, most smartphones have a similar appearance and it is very difficult to tell the model until you flip it over. Here, the most striking design is the large square bump on the left-back that houses the camera module. To be frank, the design is not all that appealing because it is way too large and only a small part actually housed the camera. The worse of the design is the fingerprint sensor that is also housed in the square bump.
However, the glossy finish gives it a distinct appearance and feel, despite the fact that it has a plastic built. This glossy finish is very eye-catching but is prone to fingerprint smudging.
Like I clearly mentioned above, the fingerprint sensor is located at the upper center of the back of the phone. In a long time, I haven’t seen one placed in such a position. Fingerprint sensors are now integrated into the power button in most budget phones, with the top-of-the-line models including an under-the-screen capability. The two camera lenses are on the top left part of the camera island. The remaining area is dedicated to the Spark and AI text.
The power button is located in the center of the right-hand side edge, with the volume rocker just above it. With the exception of the little hole to remove the SIM tray, the left-hand side is empty. On the top, there’s nothing at all. The lower end, on the other hand, contains the 3.5mm headphone hole, speaker grills, and port for micro USB 2.0. The micro USB 2.0 has baffled me, which will be hard to come by in 2021. Although a charger is provided in the package.
Overall, it’s very well designed. Despite its big battery, it is not heavy and has a very attractive back cover.
Tecno Spark 8: Display
There are several smartphones with screens larger than 6 inches in the budget market today. With its 6.52″ screen, the Tecno Spark 8 maintains this trend for budget devices. It features an IPS LCD display with a screen-to-body ratio of 81.8 percent, which isn’t awful.
The display features a 720 x 1600 pixels resolution and a pixel density of 269ppi. This is lower than comparable budget smartphones, putting it at a disadvantage. On the other hand, I’ve always maintained that on a 6″ screen, you won’t see much of a difference between 720p and 1080p displays. It all depends on the content you’re viewing, as well as the brightness settings and other factors.
When comparing it to other IPS LCD panels, there’s really little difference after a few side-by-side comparisons. It is, however, no match for OLED panels, which are typically seen in high-end smartphones.
Watching HD content on the smartphone is still extremely enjoyable. A few high-resolution nature films give excellent contrast and consistent colors. When compared to a flagship OLED panel, the imagery is slightly less brilliant, yet it still performs admirably.
It’s simple to see the content even in direct sunshine, and I had no problems with it. Overall, given the 720p display, this is a respectable performance.
The back camera on the Tecno Spark 8 is made up of two lenses. The main camera is 16 MP with an f/1.8 aperture and autofocus. The secondary camera is a QVGA AI sensor.
You will shoot regular images in good lighting with the Tecno Spark 8. They’ll have enough detail and the right colors. However, do not expect such good results in more complex situations. AI portrait, AI beauty, short videos, AR effects, Video bokeh, and slow-mo video are all available in the camera settings, which is fascinating. You can record videos with a maximum resolution of [email protected] on the Tecno Spark 8.
Photos shoot in good lighting are often sharp, but good lighting necessitates a lot of light. Unless you’re shooting stills, photos shoot indoors tend to be soft, making it difficult to capture moving items.
The front camera is a single 8 MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. Its capabilities aren’t really amazing. The colors are rather faint, and the detail is poor. It is, nevertheless, sufficient for video calls. We recommend using HDR when taking selfies.
Software & UI
The Tecno Spark 8 is powered by Android 11 (Go Edition) with a HIOS 7.6 customized Android interface on board. Additional functionality and bloatware or unnecessary applications have been added to the UI.
Fast access to apps, gesture navigation, Dark theme, and some pre-installed apps, and more are included in the bloatware of which I personally don’t like.
You can uninstall the pre-installed apps if you don’t like them; however, certain apps cannot be uninstalled. When you do multitask or add more software, the performance is decent at first, but not so much later. And one important thing, ads, ads, ads, more ads will annoy you if you are not used to it.
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Performance & Battery
The Mediatek Helio P22 (12 nm) octa-core in the Spark 8 is clocked at 2 GHz. It has 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage that can be expanded with a microSD card.
The Chipset is very old; the MediaTek Helio P65 offers slightly better performance. It may be adequate for light tasks, but don’t expect it to perform smoothly; you may find phones in this price range that perform better.
If you value gaming, you should ignore this phone because it delivers average performance. Games that demand more of the chipset (GPU specifically) will not run on high settings, but rather on low to moderate settings.
With simple functions, such as surfing the net, watching videos on youtube, social media, and casual gaming, the phone performs commendably. Because it is driven by a low-end chipset, don’t expect exceptional gaming results, particularly in high-end games like PUBG.
The phone is fuelled by a large 5,000 mAh battery, which is good for a day’s worth of backup. This includes watching videos, using Social media such as Facebook or Instagram, web browsing, phone calls, among other things. The phone, however, does not support fast charging. It comes with a 10W charger which takes about two hours to completely recharge. Another drawback is the lack of fast charging support.
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|Announced Date||2nd September 2021|
|Release Date||23rd November 2021|
|Dimensions||164.8 x 76.1 x 9.2 mm|
|Display Size & Type||6.2 inches IPS LCD|
20:9 aspect ratio
|Screen Resolution||720 x 1600 pixels|
|Pixel Density||269 PPI|
|Software||Android 11 (Go edition), HIOS 7.6|
|Chipset||Mediatek Helio P22 (12 nm)|
Supports [email protected] video recording
Supports [email protected] video recording
|3.5mm Headphone Jack||Yes|
|Network||2G, 3G, 4G|
|Connectivity||GSM, GPS, WiFi 4 , BT 5.0,|
Ambient Light Sensor
|Battery||-Non-Removable Li-Ion 5000 mAh|
-USB: micro USB 2.0
-Fast battery charging: No
-Wireless Charging: No
-Power Share: No
|Colors||Turquoise Cyan, Atlantic Blue, Iris Purple|
|Price||About ~ N55,000 – N60,000|
*Pls Note that the price of this device may change with time.
The TECNO Spark 8 delivers a lot at N55,000. It boasts a huge display, a large battery, and a decent camera, which checks all of the boxes that a good value-for-money Android phone should have these days.
The one area where we believe it may be outperformed by similarly priced competitors is performance since the chipset’s snap is simply not there. It’s unknown how things will alter over time, but the margins in this sector are fine, as we’ve already indicated.
The TECNO, on the other hand, should not be pushed to the sidelines, and with a number of Chinese players making an appearance in the Nigerian budget market, it is an alternative that wise phone owners should consider. It’s important to pay attention to future releases when they’re announced.
Tecno’s Spark 8 is a fantastic mix of what it learnt from past Spark generations and what the market desires, despite minor concerns with its camera and battery charging time. Tecno can yet reduce the price to make it more competitive in the market and enable other consumers meet their budgets.