First off, iPhone X and Samsung S9, to the side. Let’s make way for the Tecno Spark 2, a midrange smartphone device with an assortment of eye-popping features in its bag of tricks. Chinese brands have won us over with their affordable and powerful devices.
Take the Spark 2 for instance. It packs an 18:9 aspect ratio, an HD+ display, Face ID, Fingerprint sensor, a monster battery and more. Many of these features are what you will find in high-end devices, so more power to Tecno. We surely need a few more Sparks in our lives and I guarantee, we will start a fire.
These affordable Tecno devices appeal to our growing markets as a snub to high-end devices the likes of iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 which have literally raptured the price ceiling, reaching unprecedented prices topping $1,000.
I honestly don’t see myself investing that much money in a smartphone at this point in time, that is unless the price of the dollar plummeted so low, it would make economic sense to do so.
Well then, let’s see what our Tecno Spark 2 has in store for us.
What’s in the box
- Power adapter
- Micro-USB cable
- User Manual
Tecno Spark 2 Specs
Announced: 2018, June
Available: 2018, June
Model: Tecno KA7
Colors: Champagne Gold/Bordeaux Red/Midnight Black/City Blue
SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
OS: HiOS v3.3.0 based on Android™ 8.1.0 (32 bit Go Edition)
Network: GSM, WCDMA, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA
Dimensions: 159.4 x 76.2 x 7.8 mm
Display: 6.0″ 18:9 HD+ 1440 x 720px capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
CPU: MediaTek MT6580 Quad-core 1.3GHz, 64bit, ARM Cortex-A7 Mali-400 MP Processor
Memory: 16GB ROM, 1GB RAM, microSD, up to 32 GB (dedicated slot)
Camera: 13M (4160 x 3120) 3-LED ring rear flash, 8M (3264 x 2448) front Camera with Dual LED Flash
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.1, WiFi Direct, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
Sensors: Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Orientation, Ambient Light, Proximity, Compass, Fingerprint, Face-ID
Battery: Non -Removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery
Build & Features first impressions
The Tecno Spark 2 has a familial resemblance to another device we have reviewed before; the Infinix Hot 6. Both ship with a polycarbonate unibody sealing in the non-removable battery. This ought to give us a clue as to the price range, which falls within the margin of UGX 400,000.
The device is slim as a chapati (measuring 159.8 x 76.8 x 8.5 mm) and very light to hold. Two ridges run along the top and bottom for purely aesthetic purposes very much like your spleen. But I will have to admit, they do lend a certain charm to a rather drab device.
You’ll get a functional fingerprint sensor at the rear, same with the 13MP camera and a tri-LED flash, as it’s ordained to be by the powers that be. Due to the protrusion of the camera, I implore you to get a jacket ASAP otherwise you risk your camera getting scratched. The device has to lie on its back after all. Two
Expect a deal-LED flash supporting the 8MP selfie camera at the front chilling with the earpiece. The Volume and Power buttons are situated on your right side. I personally love having them at opposing sides, but I can see the allure of having everything in one place. The speakers, mouthpiece and audio jack reside at the bottom beside the Micro USB port.
Software first impressions
The Tecno Spark 2 runs HiOS v3.3.0 based on Android Oreo 8.1 Go Edition. Those familiar with Tecno’s HiOS Launcher know what to expect. The icons are simply glorious. I felt no desire to re-skin my device for good reason. You can modify your Hi Theme and Wallpaper online to whatever tickles your fancy.
The device doesn’t have a menu button, opting instead for a swipe functionality to other desktops/screens to access all the installed apps. Otherwise, if you’re old-school like I am, you can re-enable this feature if you want to.
Let’s not forget that the Tecno Spark is an Android Go device. As such, the entire makeup of the device is optimised to utilise minimal hardware specs. The device ships with Android Go apps most of which are in the Google family. These comprise; Google Go, YouTube Go, Gmail Go, Assistant Go, and Maps Go. This ought to leave a smaller footprint on your device and consume less data in the process.
The Spark throws in WhatsApp for good measure. After all, that’s the first app most of us download on our devices, no? Two pieces of bloatware do make an appearance; PHX browser, which frankly has no chance where there’s Chrome also pre-installed, and Eagleee, a news site.
Face ID is a cool addition. When your device unlocks for the first time just looking at it, you will be like, “What witchcraft is this!” But yeah, there’s that going for it. The positioning of the Fingerprint sensor is so intuitive, your index finger will always find its way there. So that makes two security authentication features that are as intuitive as breathing.
Price and where to buy
Get yourself a Tecno Spark 2 at only UGX 435,000 at any Tecno Outlet countrywide. Those shouldn’t be hard to find, given the aggressive marketing. Also, expect to find some pieces floating around on online shops like Jumia. The device comes in four colors: Bordeaux Red, Midnight Black, Champagne Gold and City Blue. Happy hunting!