Right on que, Tecno released the Tecno Spark 5 into the Kenyan market in Mid-May following the release of the Spark 4 in October 2019 and so on and so forth moving backwards. This being a really affordable phone, the Spark series which came to being in 2007 has continued to provide customers with good features and therefore good value for money.
The Tecno Spark 5 in particular retails at Ksh13,999/-. I’ll never stop noting in my reviews that for the features that most Tecno phones have, their prices are good. Transsion will never be blamed for not playing its part in mobile inclusivity or mobile phone penetration. After all, we are at an age when a mobile phone is no longer considered a luxury but a necessity.
Design and what’s in the box
The handsets this time round came in beautiful gradient designs, and the one I’ve been using is a blue green at the bottom, that graduates and meshes nicely into a really dark gray. The other colours that the phone came in were Spark orange, vacation blue and misty gray. I love the blue green the most and I’m glad that the Nairobi office was kind enough to send me that.
In the box are the usual necessities starting of course with the phone itself, a free screen protector, a free optional plastic protective cover for the back, beautiful earphones that do not hurt the ears no matter how long they stay, charger and a USB cable. It also has the warranty card for one year plus one month.
This time round I’m finding the phones slightly heavier than before but as I noted in the Camon 5 Premier review, that is not really something I’m particularly bothered about. It is not like the phone is an unmanageable because of the weight so we’re good to go.
The Tecno Spark 5 has a 5000mAh battery which I’ve found quite sufficient for a day’s use. The only time that I’m having to charge the phone at some point mid-day is now that we’re staying home and social distancing. So as much as I could as well use a laptop, I find myself doing most of my work on phone. So yes, the battery will take you throughout the day on normal use.
The battery is non removable as they all seem to be these days, and at start-up the phone has a clear warning about trying to forcibly remove the battery. It will damage the battery. At the very next step there also instructions on how to restart the phone, which is to long press the power key for 8 seconds.
Prior to the Spark 5, I’ve been using the Tecno Camon 15 Premier which has a massive storage capacity of 128GB. So I was a bit spoiled for space and did not think twice filling it up with videos to watch on the go. The Spark 5 has an internal storage of 32GB and even though that is still quite a bit, I do find myself keeping on taking mental notes that I’ve scaled down in terms of capacity and I need to be a little bit careful about downloading every video I come across. But 32GB is not bad at all.
I promised myself that I’d forget the Tecno Camon 15 Premier camera any time I’m reviewing a phone of less specs but here we are. While the Camon 15 Premier has a 64MP main back camera, the Spark 5 has a 13MP main, 2MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor. So really it would not be a fair comparison.
Then again the Spark 5 is a whole half price of the Camon Premier so to be fair, there is the cost factor to consider. And its not that 13MP is shabby for every-day photography. The back camera is 8MP and the cameras have additional features and settings like Artificial Intelligence, beauty mode which lets you make your skin flawless before even taking photo, Bokeh, and AR mode which has some really hilarious pre-installed filters.
In conclusion, the Spark 5 looks quite premium and the price of 13,999/- actually comes as a surprise. It is a phone I would go for if I had this budget and because of the weight which some people say makes it easier to drop, I’d be extra vigilant. Especially because someone once dropped one of my Spark phones I can’t remember which one and the front splintered and there’s nothing I find more irritating than using a cracked screen. But personally I’ve never dropped a phone.