I finally got my hands on the Tecno Spark 8P and for an entry-level device, Tecno has outdone themselves here. Out of the box I was really impressed by the textured finished because some device manufacturers are leaning more and more into the glossy fingerprint attracting casings. Tecno didn’t get full marks in this category because the camera bump has a glossy finish but it is pretty easy to avoid touching it.
Before we go any further, it is important to stress that the Spark 8P is still in the realm of cheap smartphones. The 64GB version starts at US$155.00 while the 128Gb version is going for about US$185.00. So if you are expecting face-melting performance and display this is sadly not that kind of device.
However, what the device itself packs for the price point is pretty impressive.
This phone might be an entry-level device but I have to hand it to Tecno for constantly improving the design and to some degree the build quality. It doesn’t feel like the flimsy devices of yesteryear. It is solid and well put together.
The Tecno Spark 8P has, in my opinion, an ergonomic button layout. You have the volume controls on the right side of the device with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner just below them. It has a dual sim tray (on the left side) with an SD card slot that has a gasket. The addition of the gasket might have been Tecno’s way of maybe giving the device some water resistance but I wouldn’t try taking for a dip anytime soon.
At the bottom of the device the Tecno Spark 8P has a micro USB port, a mono speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone.
– 6.6-inch screen
– there are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB variants
– 4 GB of RAM across all the board
– a Mediatek MT6769V Helio G70 Processor running HiOS v7.6 (based on Android 11)
– 50 MP Main, 2MP Potrait and AI Lens triple rear camera module
– A 8MP selfie cam (with a flash LED for both rear and front-facing cameras)
– a 5000mAh battery
The Spark 8P did well when it came to operations in its weight class. If you want to surf the web, watch videos on YouTube you won’t have too much of an issue. For the time that I had the device, there weren’t very few hiccups when it came to simple tasks. YouTube video playback was pleasant enough fon the 1080 x 2408 pixels, 400 ppi density.
Gaming-wise, it will only be able to handle the heavy titles in very conservative settings. But for the run of the mill games, it does alright.
The battery in the Spark 8 performed well, because in the endurance test it stood up decently to video playback and gaming. I lost around 20% of battery alternating between gaming and watching videos on YouTube for half an hour or so.
Software and UI
HiOS version ran smoothly enough, I was surprised by the stretching animation when I tried to go beyond the limits of the menu, it was a nice touch. And even with animations set at the out of the box specifications, there was no lag when scrolling.
The only instance I remember encountering lag was when I was closing a number of apps that were running, the phone stuttered a little as I swiped but it wasn’t too dramatic. The only gripe I had was with the preloaded applications sending tonnes of notifications. It got a little overwhelming and the content was strange, to say the least…
If you are going to buy a Spark 8P I recommend you turn off the notifications or uninstall the preloaded apps altogether.
The Spark 8P rear camera module is essentially just one camera with the other two just aiding things along. And I can say that it was not meant for low light. Image quality is alright for what the device is and passable for social media and the likes.
For what you are getting, the Tecno Spark 8P is a really competent device. It isn’t a device that was designed to handle heavy gaming and a number of operations. In my opinion, it more suited to being a basic function daily driver.