Smartphone review: TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Several features really seem to matter to younger-generation smartphone users. This list of must-haves include a large, clear display; a powerful camera for capturing daily life; a front-facing selfie camera that delivers high-quality images; a long-lasting battery, so the phone doesn’t just power-down when you least need it to; and overall performance that doesn’t lag. The new Spark 7 Pro from TECNO ticks all of these boxes.
Research has shown that users born after 1996 (also known as Gen Z) are primarily consuming content in the form of videos, games, and via streaming services, which is why a large screen is so important. At times viewing content on their phones even trumps watching TV, so making it a more ‘cinematic experience’ was important to the designers of the Spark 7 Pro. The 6.6-inch screen with its 90 Hz refresh rate really seems to accomplish that.
In South Africa, Gen Z is represented by some 27.5 million people, and these users are one of the key markets TECNO is targeting with the Spark 7 Pro.
Launched in South Africa back in September this year, the phone boasts several traits that make it a good option for those who aren’t wanting to spend too much, but who also expect a lot from their device.
First off, the 5 000 mAh battery is powerful, lasting more than a day with solid use. Rather incredibly, perhaps, is the fact that it’ll last up to 14 days on stand-by mode, without needing a recharge. If you’re of the slightly older generation, that harks back to the days of the indestructible 3310.
When it comes to storage space, the Spark 7 Pro comes in three variants – a 128+4 GB, a 64+6 GB, and a 64+4 GB – any of which will cope well with the demands we typically place on our devices. I’m specifically referring to having adequate space for a large amount of photo and video files, and being confident that these won’t compromise the overall processing speed of the phone. These large storage capacities should make the dreaded ‘Storage almost full’ message a thing of the past.
But the camera, or cameras in this case, is where this mid-level smartphone really excels. A trio of lenses on the back with ‘quad flash’ cater to a wide range of photography needs. The 48 megapixel ‘triple camera’ makes use of AI technology to brighten darker environments, while the option of a shallow depth of field ensures emphasis is placed more on your subject when snapping portraits. The Super Night Mode will allow you to take pics of your friends more easily when you’re out late together, or, if you’re strolling around the streets of Paris at night, you’ll be able to capture the essence of the Eiffel Tower in low-light conditions. Rather cleverly, ‘Smile Snapshot’ AI Portrait technology ensures the shutter drops at just the right instant.
If vlogging’s your thing, the video bokeh mode places your subject as the centre of attention, subtly blurring the background yet dynamically keeping focus where it needs to be. Then, capture video at up to a whopping 240 frames per second (fps) – this results in slow-motion footage that appears wonderfully smooth.
The abilities of this device can be attributed to the 2.0 GHz Octa-core processor with its 950 MHz dedicated graphics unit, hardware that delivers seamless animations, apps that load quicker, and sharper photos and video.
Dual SIM slots allow you to operate two numbers on one device, useful if you’re someone who needs a work cell and a private cell, but don’t want the hassle of lugging two phones around.
The TECNO Spark 7 Pro is a slim, attractive device with an edge-to-edge screen that will appeal to most. Mindful of the fact that this isn’t a smartphone that will break the bank, I feel the only minor negative is the plastic body, that could be vulnerable to dropping. But let’s be honest, which cell phones aren’t?
With its fingerprint scanner, slim design, attractive range of colour options, Android 11 operating system (configured as HiOS7.5 in this device), and features that punch above its price-point, this looks to be a solid contender in a highly competitive category of smartphones.