Three years ago, Tecno Mobile made its debut in South Africa. And since it’s been filling a space in the lower-to-mid-range market. The Tecno Spark 10 5G does precisely that but brings a few welcome premium features like 5G, long battery life, a 90Hz display and dual-SIM capability.
The Tecno Spark 10 5G is no doubt a contender for those seeking an entry point into the world of 5G. Introduced in April 2023 in India, it’s a phone that doesn’t promise extravagance but aims to deliver practicality. And it’s almost the perfect device for South Africa.
Design and display
You’ll struggle to find a more premium-looking device in the R5,000 – R6,000 price range. The Spark 10 features a modern design that catches the eye on the back panel; think of recent Huawei and Honor design styles. The back features two large camera modules that house one lens and two flashes, which I’ll get to later.
The 6.6-inch IPS LCD with a 90Hz refresh rate surprised me a bit. It’s fairly bright, and displays HD content beautifully. You could argue that, like many Chinese mid-rangers, the display is somewhat oversaturated. But you can easily change that in the display settings. You also get a 90Hz refresh rate, which is impressive for this price range.
It’s important to note that the brightness might not be the best, and pixel-pickers may not love the 720p resolution, but both are a trade-off for its affordability. I also decided to ignite the chin on this one because of this.
Unlike many devices in its price range, the Tecno Spark 10 5G is powered by a newer MediaTek Dimensity 6020 chipset.
It offers an octa-core CPU that can clock up to 2.2GHz, and a Mali-G57 MC2 GPU that handles everyday tasks relatively well. I did find myself waiting longer than I’d like for simple tasks like booting or launching demanding apps. But overall the experience isn’t terrible.
What’s noteworthy is its 5G capability. RAM options include 4GB and 8GB, with storage ranging from 64GB to 256GB, supplemented by a microSD card slot for additional space. And don’t forget the Dual-SIM functionality.
The camera setup on the Tecno Spark 10 5G is functional for its price point. The 50MP primary sensor captures shots with decent dynamic range and colours.
However, there’s room for improvement in capturing details, especially in low-light conditions.
The 8MP front camera delivers satisfactory selfies, making it a decent option for social media updates. Video recording capabilities max out at 1080p@30FPS, suitable for normal home-video style recording.
Battery and other features
The smartphone houses a monster 5,000mAh battery which is one of my favourite features. If you’re packing a phone this size, it should have the chops to last more than a day. And the Spark 10 did this with ease.
Even when pushed relatively hard with multiple apps running and video streaming at top brightness for a few hours, we only managed to knock off 10% from the battery.
Of course, you can expect intensive tasks like gaming to demand more frequent charging, but the included 18W wired fast charger helps.
You also get a fingerprint sensor housed in the power button on the side. In my experience, it’s not extremely trustworthy, but it’s nice to have the option.
Out-of-the-box you’ll have to contend with some bloatware and uninstall a long list of unnecessary apps. This is more of an inconvenience, thanks to the HiOS skin.
You also get the basics: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 3.5mm headphone jack – another welcome addition in this case.
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. email@example.com