The Tecno Spark 5 Review

Announced in May 2020 alongside its follow up the Tecno Spark 5 Air, the TECNO SPARK 5 is a bargain smartphone targeted at the budget smartphone shopper.

Out of the box, the Tecno Spark 5 runs android 10, with no security updates. An Octa-core Mediatek Helio A22 Chipset with a clock speed of 2.0 GHz powers this device. Coupled to that is 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. At the front is a 6.6 inch HD 720p IPS panel with a punch hole for the 8MP f/2.0 selfie camera. This phone has all the makings of a nicely made budget smartphone but is worth the consideration. Read on to find out.

Tecno Spark 5 – Design

The Tecno Spark 5 has a lustrous design and a very aerodynamic feel to it, so the best word to describe it overall would be sleek. It comes in four eye-catching color options, including: Ice Jadeite, Spark Orange, Vacation Blue, and Misty Grey.

At the top left corner of the smartphone, a punch-hole houses the front camera. It is a definite upgrade from the usual teardrop styled display, and it looks good too. The side bezels are relatively thin, with the top bezel housing a dual selfie flash that can be used as a notification LED or a flashlight. You can combine this front flash with the rear flash when taking pictures to create an effect that Tecno calls the 3D flash. This is still in Beta, so the results might not be as impressive as you expect.

The Tecno spark 5 has no frame per se as its rear panel envelops everything that is not screen. The whole piece Is made of thick and sturdy plastic, but Tecno has applied a different finish on the back and the sides, so you can feel where the ‘frame’ ends, and the back begins. In summary, its build and feel are not the best out there, but it’s quite admirable for its asking price.

The Tecno Spark 5 ships with a thin plastic screen protector and this should suffice for a month or two. But for extra protection, you should probably get a proper 3D replacement screen guard.

Tecno Spark 5 – Camera quality

The Tecno Spark 5 comes with a quad-camera setup at the back that includes a 13MP primary sensor, a 2MP depth sensor, 2MP macro lens, and lastly a QVGA (‘Quarter Video Graphics Array’) lens. For selfies, there is an 8MP shooter at the front.

Th Spark 5 ships with an AI Camera 3.0 image processing module. It does a good job of modifying images to produce well-exposed shots during the day as well as during the night. And according to Tecno, this new camera algorithm can improve a picture’s sharpness by 14%.

Portrait shots are colorful, feature a fair amount of detail, and a very noticeable bokeh effect. That’s thanks to the AI engine running the camera software. In low light situations, the Tecno Spark 5 Camera also performs well. That said, the 2MP macro lens is a bit of a let off. Although Marco shots appear well rounded, there’s a significant dearth of detail, which, as you might have guessed, is vital in macro photography.

The Tecno Spark 5 AI detection algorithm is limited to only ten scenarios. On the plus side, its image processing does not over enhance image colors to produce that uneasy and ‘unnatural’ image type every smartphone user s familiar with. The overall color reproduction is quite good.

While taking selfies, the Tecno Spark 5’s HDR mode produces bluer skies that look good, but it also increases the tendency for skin tone distortion.

Tecno Spark 5 – Video performance

The Tecno Smart 5 can also shoot Full HD videos at 1080p using both the front and the rear cameras. On the first impression, the quality is just about right with enough details and exposure and sound color reproduction. However, the voice recording isn’t too loud.

Tecno Spark 5 – Port configuration

The top edge of the Tecno spark 5 is seamlessly smooth, and you’ll find the ports you seek at the bottom – the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB charging port with no support for fast charging.

Tecno Spark 5 –  Speaker system

The downward-firing speakers are found alongside a single microphone opening at the bottom of the phone. Worthy to note that this is a single mono speaker setup as opposed to a dual stereo system.

In the usual Tecno fashion, the volume and power rockers are found at the right edge of the phone, while the left side houses the Sim card tray, with slots for dual micro sims and an external MicroSD.

Tecno Spark 5 – Display quality

The Tecno Smart 5 features a “larger than life” 6.6-inch 720 x 1600p HD display with an aspect ratio of 20:9. This all works out to deliver a pixel density of approx. 266 PPI. These are budget smartphone numbers, so image quality on the Tecno Smart 5 is okay and nothing else.

Tecno Spark 5 – Pricing and availability

At the time of this publication, the Tecno Spark 5, Tecno Spark 5 Air, and the Tecno Spark 5 PRO are all available for purchase at stores everywhere offline and online. The Tecno Spark 6 is, however, still in the works.

  • The Spark 5 2GB RAM/32GB costs ₦ 53,000
  • The Spark 5 Air 2GB RAM/32GB costs ₦ 51,500
  • The Tecno Spark 5 Pro is priced at about ₦ 60,000

Tecno Smart 5 – Battery performance

The battery department is one aspect where the Tecno Spark 5 doesn’t disappoint. It comes with a Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery without support for fast charging. On average, it takes around 3 hours for the 10W charger juice it up from 0 to 100%.

When tested with moderate battery consuming apps, it took about 38 hours to run down the Tecno Smart 5’s battery to 0%. Upon heavy use, the battery life reduced to about 20 hours, but that’s still pretty decent for a budget smartphone.

Tecno Smart 5 – Specs and Performance. 

The Tecno Spark 5 comes loaded with a 2GB that pairs nicely to 32GB of internal storage. That’s usually enough for regular smartphone usage, but if you amp up the ante and dabble in some serious bit of multitasking – say split screening – you’re probably going to encounter issues.

Unlike most other budget phones for this year, the Tecno Spark 5 still houses the MediaTek Helio P22 chipset released way back in 2017. If you do get this device, expect lag when you go heavy lifting with performance-intensive games like PUBG. That’s not to cast the Tecno Spark 5 away in any case. For the price, the performance is still fluid and considerably better than previous smartphones of the Tecno Spark line up.

Tecno Smart 5 – Benchmark tests

On the Antutu benchmark, the Tecno Spark 5 scored 96634, which is a little behind the Pro Version’s 99047, and way behind the Tecno Spark 6, which is expected to ship with a MediaTek Helio P35 chipset benchmarked at 100230.

Tecno Spark 5 – HIOS skin

The HIOS 6.0 Android 10 skin onboard the Tecno Spark 5 also comes with a whole lot of features that improve phone performance and usability. They include:

  • A dark theme that makes the phone more comfortable to use at night time
  • Floating notifications
  • Hands-off gaming
  • New gestures, including the V-gesture that allows you to answer a call without touching your phone, and which is also supposed to help save some battery power.

Tecno Spark 5 – Extra features

This Tecno Spark 5 also comes with the standard set of extra features you’d expect from a budget smartphone. You get proximity sensors, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. It also has the DTS audio processing feature, which improves the audio from speakers and when connected to headphones.

Final notes

Tecno Spark 5 is a good looking smartphone that offers good battery life, an average performance as well as decent camera results. If you want more value for your money, however, you should check out the TECNO Spark 5 Pro or the Tecno Spark 6 for a little extra cash.