Tecno continues to inspire its modern consumers as they focus on the young-at-heart. Their newest addition to the Spark series is the Tecno Spark 7 Pro which is available in the Philippine market for quite some time now. It is a sub-P7,000 entry-level device that is capable of multitasking thanks to its 6GB of ram. It is also equipped with a gaming chipset, a 90hz display, and a triple camera. But having these impressive specs, can it really show a better user experience? Or is being unique just a gimmick?
- Great battery life
- Useful OS features
- Gaming Chipset
- 90Hz refresh rate
- Punch hole cutout
- 10W charging
- No macro or ultrawide
- UI design
Design and Build
The Tecno Spark 7 Pro is quite a free and unique design but being unique isn’t the best either. Some company uses existing designs that are catchy and trendy, and if it’s working, then it’s working. But Tecno is on the ambiguous side. The back of the Tecno Spark 7 Pro is parted in two finishes, 80% textured and 20% smooth–just like the Realme C25s. It has a shiny coating making it a little more on the premium side, and it has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. The smooth matte vertical line on the left-hand side continues to the topmost part and passes through the camera module.
It has a unique design but the vertical camera module is pretty long, almost half the device. It consists of a triple camera array, an LED flash, some texts, and the model name. I am bothered with the AI texts inside a circle line that does not even protrude on the surface. I feel like it’s redundant to the module’s design and maybe the bump can be shorter if removed. I mean, if the aesthetic is what Teno is aiming for in this device, they should’ve placed the model name horizontally and move other components a little more to the upper side, then cut off the excess size of the camera module. In my opinion, the design seems odd, but the bump doesn’t wobble a lot when placed on a flat surface which is a great remedy.
Around the frame, the volume rocker and the power button are located on the right-hand side. The volume down and the power button are closely spaced, making it handy when taking a screenshot using only my thumb. Up top is clean, the left side is where the sim tray is located, with a dual nano sim slot and expandable storage slot that expands up to 512GB. At the bottom are the speaker grille, MicroUSB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and microphone.
Tecno sure does love releasing large-screen smartphones, but despite its size and the use of traditional features, it still gives out good weight distribution and comfortability to the hand.
Switching to its front, with its price tag, I’m impressed that it has a punch hole cutout and also an led indicator at the top right part. The cutout is quite large but having a punch-hole instead of a dewdrop notch is a nice touch. If you’re not aware, Tecno already did this last year for Spark 5 and Spark 6.
Meanwhile, it boasts a 6.6-inch IPS LCD HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. High refresh rate display is starting to become common in the entry-level category, and this is an opportunity for people who opt for a smoother display but on a strict budget. For the price, the 720p resolution isn’t new and there are no complaints. Besides, it adds longevity to the 5000mah battery, and this also helps process graphics on a smaller scale. It also has an auto-switch refresh rate to improve battery efficiency further.
For the display quality, having a larger screen in a smaller resolution isn’t the best option. The sharpness is lesser compared to compact screens. But the quality is pretty good with true-to-life color reproduction and great contrast. So far, I haven’t encountered any touch issues, the overall UI can be improved by reducing its font size, and it has Eyecare to reduce eye fatigue. It also has a dark mode and adaptive brightness that’ll help users with all-day usage.
Now moving on to its cameras, Tecno Spark 7 Pro is equipped with a triple camera setup. Most of the work is done by the 48MP main shooter, and the other two cameras–depth and AI cam–aid the main snapper.
The 48mp main outputs good colors even with HDR mode off. With HDR turned on, images are sharp, with good color reproduction, and shadows are lifted. Highlights and exposure are balanced and details popped out. These are surely done by the AI sensor which is a nice process and capability. As for indoor photos, It still outputs good colors, but highlights tend to blow out with too much light source bouncing from the subjects.
Moving to its portrait mode, it outputs almost perfect subject to background separation, but often highlights are blown out when taking pictures outdoors. The details and sharpness of the subject are still visible, and since it still utilizes the 48MP snapper, the colors didn’t change. It still outputs good color reproduction to each sample photo as the depth sensor only aids the main camera to capture a photo with a shallower depth of field.
As for its 8MP selfie outputs true-to-life skin tone, but the background tends to have its highlights at peak white. The image quality is great, it has good colors, it is also sharp and detailed, however, if you will use it for posting on your social media accounts, you might need to tweak the highlights a bit or even the exposure to balance the overall image. Overall, skin tone color is alive and true to life means that it has nice white balance detection and acceptable color reproduction for the price. Not as sharp as the higher numbers but the overall image is still preservable even after uploading to social media.
As for its video recording, the 48MP can record videos up to [email protected], which is unique among entry-level devices. There are no available stabilization features or EIS, but it has eye focus to keep the subject in check and video bokeh and beautification. These will furthermore improve the quality of the video.
As for camera features, capturing using the native camera app is fast and responsive. It also has a built-in google lens which is a nice first step. Then it has a super night mode, beauty mode with body tweaking, short video, AR shot, and slow-motion with 120-240fps but unfortunately, it is only in 720 resolution. The device has a nice set of camera features, but the only downside is it doesn’t have a pro mode which removes the technicality and flexibility of the camera.
The Tecno Spark 7 Pro is powered by a budget gaming chipset–Mediatek Helio G80. It has a dedicated 950MHz GPU frequency that achieves more gaming power. The chipset consists of connectivity enhancement, AI camera, and HyperEngine Game Technology. However, Tecno didn’t utilize much on the chipset’s Multi-Camera Photography. This enables the device to use different lenses such as macro, ultrawide, or even telephoto. But I believe the AI and depth are better options for cutting the budget while maintaining the depth engine and camera control.
Moving on to the Benchmark scores, they are twice as fast in comparison to the previous generation of the Tecno Spark series. Multitasking is also better as the phone is paired with a larger 6GB of ram. The compromised is the 64GB of storage which is a pain for some users who play a lot of games. The fingerprint scanner works fast and is reliable, while the face unlock has lesser accuracy in detecting the face in low light. Still, with a brighter environment, it is also reliable.
As for gaming, it has decent performance for games such as PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends, Wildrift. and Call of Duty Mobile. But for gyro players, it’s a shame that you will not be getting any gyroscope compatibility in this device. It means there’s no option to use VR either. I guess you can enjoy the AR with its built-in depth sensor. It also has dual-band Wi-Fi to connect to a 5Ghz bandwidth for a more stable connection and lower delay.
As for software, it runs on Android 11 with HIOS 7.5 on top. There are ups and downs when it comes to UI and OS. The HIOS plus the 90Hz display offers a smooth experience and feels seamless but scrolling through social media causes slight interruption when loading cards as it depend on the internet connection. There are tons of features that you cannot see on most smartphones today, like Game Mode, Game Assistant panel, Social turbo, smart panel–an interface similar to the edge panel from Samsung. There are also some smart things like tap to wake functions, screen gestures, music gestures, flip-to-mute, 3-fingers screenshots, raise to ear to answer calls, screen lights when picked up, and many more.
But the only thing it’s missing or can be improved is the UI design. The app drawer has stretch animation when it reaches the end of the scroll, which is somehow gimmicky that removes responsiveness. There are a few graphical interfaces on the settings menu which compromises user-phone relationships. And I cannot seem to find further customization like the icons, and it comes with Tecno preloaded applications, bloatware, and suggestion ads on the app drawer. But this isn’t permanent as you can turn off the ads suggestions, uninstall bloatware, and disable the preloaded apps if you don’t want any of these roaming around the UI.
It also has kids mode, dark mode, the latest security patches, and ultra power-saving mode. To sum things up, using the Tecno Spark 7 Pro offers reliable day-to-day usage with ease and a UI that you can play with, not just a plain OS with limited settings. The phone does give you an option, and it doesn’t let users compromise on the User-experience.
Tecno Spark 7 Pro’s 5000mAh battery performance is remarkable. It has a day or two for its battery life on average daily usage, like streaming, gaming, and even online classes. Battery life extends up to 2-3 days for light users. The only downside is the charging time, as it only has 10W charging. It took us 3 hours to fully charge the device, which is quite a bummer. It’s better to charge overnight and start the day with a full battery. In fact, it also has built-in overcharging prevention on its battery which is a decent feature considering its price point.
So overall, Tecno Spark 7 Pro is priced at P6,990 for the 6GB ram and 64GB configuration. The price to performance ratio is great, it has a decent camera with a nice set of features, plus the display is acceptable. Even it only has HD+ resolution, Tecno Spark 7 Pro offers a 90Hz display, a larger screen, and a punch-hole cutout. The charging time and the micro-USB are the setbacks, and we need the UI design to improve in later updates. Accepting its design and flaws is the first step. We recommend this to people on a tight budget and looking for a decent smartphone.
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TECNO Spark 7 Pro specs, price, availability in the Philippines
- Display: 6.6 inches, 105.2cm2, IPS LCD, HD+ Dot-in screen, 90Hz, 720 x 1600p
- Design: Glass front, plastic frame, plastic back
- Dimension: 164.9 x 76.2 x 8.8 mm
- Chipset: MediaTek Helio G80 (12 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Mali-G52 MC2
- RAM: 4/6 GB
- Storage: 64/128 GB, eMMC 5.1, microSD slot
- Main Camera: 48MP PDAF, 2MP Bokeh lens, AI Cam, video up to [email protected]
- Selfie Camera: 8MP, Dual Front Flash, video up to [email protected]
- Connectivity & Ports: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
- Security: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer
- Features: proximity
- Battery: Li-Po 5000mAh ,10W charging
- Audio: mono speaker, with loudspeaker
- OS: HiOS 7.5, Android 11
- Colors: Magnetic Black, Alps Blue, Spruce Green
- Price: ₱6,990
- Release date: June 15, 2021 (Philippines)