Over the past few years, smartphones with “premium” features have clobbered our pocketbooks and looked to capitalize on the latest trends in “new for the sake of newness” in ways I’ve not been particularly pumped about.
With the Tecno Spark 7 Pro, it feels to me that Tecno has returned from a brief stint of wild indulgence in over-the-top flashy features – back, here, to a place where the company’s delivered a smartphone that’s solid for all the right reasons.
What are these right reasons
Over the past few Tecno smartphone releases, the company’s participated in some of the most visually obvious trends in hardware. They moved their front-facing camera to a notch. They’ve teased and moved their front-facing camera to a pop-up mechanism. They moved their front-facing camera to a circular cut-out in the display.
It has also been rumoured that Tecno has joked about removing their 3.5mm standard headphone jack, and they participated in the significantly curved front display panel glass trend. They’ve released phones with display aspect ratios that were very, very tall (or long, however you want to look at it). They’ve gone ahead and implemented some of the most spectacular spectrum-of-colors backside panels for their phones – including this one.
Nothing was so wrong with these devices that I considered them unworthy of their prices. Tecno is very good at creating smartphones that I’d be hard-pressed to recommend against. As such, it’s exciting to see, with the Spark 7 Pro, that they’ve delivered an experience that’s done away with all of my most nit-picking gripes about the most recent several generations of devices and have sticked to basics.
Display and Performance
Gone are the unnecessary flashy features like curved glass and pop-up cameras. Here for the betterment of the experience are the best additions to the line: 90Hz image refresh rate, a flat display panel, and a punch-hole front-facing camera design.
This device has a 6.6-inch LCD display with 720 x 1600 pixels (that’s 206PPI). The display has a 20:9 aspect ratio as well as a glass front.
There’s a pane of plastic on the back along with a very wild, yet soothing, shade of spruce green. There’s also an Alps Blue version that was made available at launch. The edges of the device, buttons, switch, and accents are all in the same body colour.
Under the hood you’ll find a Mediatek Helio G80 processor with a LTE modem as well as a Mali-G52 MC2 GPU.
At the rear is a Fingerprint Sensor that works exceedingly well, at least as well as previously released Tecno devices. This isn’t always true of in-display fingerprint sensors – some don’t fare very well if they’ve not been implemented well – this is one of the best rear mounted fingerprint sensors we’ve tested.
There’s a ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, flicker-detect sensor, and several sensors inside.
With the Tecno Spark 7 Pro you’ve got a smartphone that’s as solid as any Samsung phone, without the overzealous push of company-branded software. Tecno doesn’t seem to be pushing nearly as hard as either Samsung or Apple to get you, their patron, locked in to their brand ecosystem.
The “purest” Android experience remains Google’s own, with their Pixel smartphone lineup. But even Google’s gone a bit off when it comes to attempting to lock their users in – a bit more than they’ve always been with Gmail and Google Photos and whatnot…
Tecno doesn’t seem to be pushing as hard as Google, Apple, Huawei and Samsung to be a do-everything company that grows with your dependence on their services. Tecno might well be the future of the non-subscription smartphone market if the industry continues down the path it’s on right this minute.
Tecno Spark 7 Pro was released in April of 2021 with Android 11 and Hi OS 7 right out the gate.
The speakers on this device aren’t forward-facing, but they do the trick and we’ve got haptic vibration to boot. Vibration on this device seems to be the same quality it was on previous Tecno devices – more than good enough.
The camera array on the Tecno Spark 17 Pro looks extravagant, but doesn’t really provide any sort of features that are going to blow your socks off or… let you see through semitransparent materials… The camera will, however, allow you to capture some impressive bits of media during the day.
There’s a 48-megapixel main camera on the back of the Spark 7 Pro. There are also two additional cameras, of which their specifications are unknown to us and the greater web.
Each of the various lenses has produced fine – if not great – results in our tests with the device. While we would, for example, love to have as high-definition as possible for macro photography, this device does the trick for hobbyist captures, for sure.
The battery in the Tecno Spark 7 Pro 8T is 5000mAh in capacity, and it is non-removable.
Because of various battery life-aimed optimizations present in this device, I’ve had an easy time of testing the phone’s maximum battery life – while using the phone for my average, everyday activities. That’d include checking email several times a day, social networking apps more times than I’d care to admit, and the reading of the tech news in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night.
While this device does have an LCD panel, and does run at 90Hz image refresh rate, it’s surprisingly conservative when it comes to battery drain. If I turn the brightness up to max and do nothing but play video games non-stop, this phone still delivers hours of wireless play.
The Tecno Spark 7 Pro is a masterpiece of a smartphone. It persists in delivering the positive features found in the last several Tecno smartphones at the same time as it does away with the few negative elements present in those same devices. If you’re looking for a new smartphone that’s more than just the basics, but won’t annihilate your wallet, this is a suitable candidate.
The Tecno Spark 7 Pro price is set at R2999 with 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.
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