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TECNO POVA NEO Unboxing and First Impressions

TECNO POVA Neo
TECNO POVA Neo
TECNO POVA Neo out of the box.

TECNO POVA Neo is the newest gaming phone released in December of last year. The unit features big everything: malaking screen, malaking battery life, and mas sulit na deals with its pricing. Read more about the TECNO POVA Neo below.

PACKAGING

The TECNO POVA Neo comes in a box quite similar to the Infinix Zero 5G Now – iridescent (parang rainbow) ang exterior, with small geometric patterns. It’s not much, pero the packaging gives a first impression that it has a good product inside.

On the front are the “POVA” and “Neo” trademark names. Both left and right sides feature the same branding, as well as on the top. Makikita lang ang specs ng product at the bottom, where we can see the color and variant.

TECNO POVA Neo

At the rear side of the box are the additional specs – yung malaking battery, malaking “Mega” display, charging rate, at additional display info.

Na scam kami sa 120Hz TSR!!! Hahaha.

While other products would cram all the text and other info to one small area of the box, nilagay ni TECNO POVA sa pinakamalaking area. At least this phone is doing something different than its “competitors” – truly “kakaiba”.

Pagkabukas ng box, you can expect the unit, a jelly case, earphones, and a charging brick. Bihira na magsama ng earphones ang maraming brands, choosing to take advantage of newer Bluetooth versions, pero traditional pa rin ang TECNO POVA, at hindi naman masama maging traditional.

TECNO POVA Neo
TECNO POVA Neo and accessories

At first look, the TECNO POVA packaging actually looks great. We’ve come across TECNO stalls, at mukha talagang “premium” under a glass box. That is until mahawakan mo talaga yung product.

DESIGN

Sabi nga nila, good things come in small packages. Not POVA though – maganda exterior ng phone (packaging at design), pero the unit itself needs work, in terms of design, at least.

As for the color, it’s dark blue on one side washing out to a silver-blue on the other side. Hindi lang ‘to sa rea panel. The color actually continues sa frame. Although hindi unibody or uniframe ang TECNO Pova Neo, na-apply ang color to the whole unit other than the display. Interesting to note too na curved ang rear panel, kaya may konting ergonomics included.

The phone is modest – plastic back, pero textured pa rin. Meron syang diagonal lines that are supposed to help with grip, at meron din syang mala-racer stripes running from the chin up to the camera array. 

TECNO POVA Neo

We like this part of the phone dahil iwas fingerprints. So, plus points to TECNO for the smart design. 

TECNO POVA Neo
The third circle isn’t a camera. It’s a design choice.

Just next to the camera array is the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Although most phones today have side-mounted fingerprint scanner, hindi din naman mapapansin kapag nakajelly-case na. This sensor can be turned off anytime para ‘di na hassle sa mga hindi mahilig gumamit ng fingerprint scanning. 

TECNO POVA Neo
Volume rocker button and the power button on the right side

Most phones have weird placements for the volume rocker and power button, pero at least consistent in terms of ergonomics ang TECNO Pova Neo. The phone’s volume rocker buttons and power button is on the right side of the phone. The SIM tray is on the left, and the charging port (more on this later), audio jack, mic, and mono speaker grill is at the chin.

Actually, maganda ang side profile ng phone. Not saying it’s remarkable, pero at it’s price point, it checks a few boxes right.

DISPLAY

For a budget phone, the TECNO POVA Neo display measures 6.8 inches across. Most phones today average somewhere at 6.3 to 6.5 inches, kaya naman we can call TECNO POVA Neo’s display an upgrade.

TECNO POVA Neo
Sarap po manood ng anime sa phone na ‘to.

The downside lang sa display is the thick bezels. It’s not the slimmest bezels we’ve seen on any phone, and the chin takes up too much screen real estate. However, san ka pa hahanap ng phone na worth 5K?

The TECNO POVA Neo uses an IPS LCD display. Meron syang max brightness of 480 nits, pero considering this is an IPS LCD display, tama lang na hindi sobrang taas ng brightness – malakas kumain ng power ang LCD.

Maraming features ang kasama sa TECNO POVA Neo to improve the display experience. Most phones today have adaptive brightness already, but for a phone that’s focused on saving power and prolonging battery life, importante ito sa TECNO POVA Neo.

TECNO POVA Neo’s display produces sharp and clear images, pero for people who’ve owned AMOLED screens at higher refresh rates, baka hindi up to standards.

TECNO POVA Neo
Danger noodle!

Even though the display resolution is only at FHD (720X1640), the phone is a decent viewing device – we’ve tested the phone by watching videos in 2K resolution. As for the animation scrolling and the refresh rate, walang nabanggit ang manufacturers. Screen refresh rate info is not available kahit sa mismong gumawa ng GPU or the Helio G25 chipset.

TECNO POVA Neo
Again, it’s 120Hz TOUCH SAMPLING RATE. Pero decent screen specs. No complaints there.

Ayos din sana ang 120Hz sa TECNO POVA Neo, but it’s not a display refresh rate. Alam namin disappointed ang makakakita ng fine print, pero in actuality, at around 5000 pesos, you get a dot-drop display, malaking 6.8” MEGA display, and several display features. Not bad for a REALLY cheap budget phone.

PERFORMANCE

To power the 6.8” FHD screen, kailangan ni TECNO POVA Neo ng malaking battery life.  Equipped with a 6000 mAh battery life, it’s enough to last the user for a whole day and meron pang left over charge for the next day. However, the 6000 mAh battery will also take a while to charge, even with the 18W fast charging battery.

TECNO POVA Neo
Charging animation is also customizable.

TECNO POVA Neo uses Android 11 with HiOS. Walang namang special sa UI, except for the custom home buttons. While yung ibang phone mag sesettle sa simple home button icons, talagang ibang experience sa HiOS. It might take a while para ma-familiarize yung phone navigation.

TECNO POVA Neo
TECNO POVA Neo’s home buttons takes some getting used to.

Wala pang 5G ang TECNO POVA Neo, but it can connect to 4G LTE networks, as well as 3G and 2G. 

With the 6000 mAh battery you might expect pwede ang reverse charging, but the TECNO POVA Neo doesn’t have that capability. It has OTG support though, so you can transfer files from the phone to, say, a PC.

GAMING

For gaming, we’ve tested the capability of the Helio G25. We know that the Helio chipset series is made for gaming, and yun naman ang priority ng TECNO phones. The TECNO POVA Neo does well pagdating sa Mobile Legends.

The phone has a dedicated game space but only if the setting is turned on. Para maaccess ang game panel, kailangan pumunta ng settings > special function > then game mode. The game mode and game assistant can be turned on.

Minsan depende rin sa settings ng mismong game, but the TECNO POVA Neo can handle high graphic settings sa Mobile Legends. Colors are saturated, kitang-kita si Helcurt kahit may SS (lol), and madali umiwas sa enemy skill shots.

TECNO POVA Neo
CODM on Low Graphics, but can handle higher frame rates.

The modest GPU can handle the animations but may times lang na may frame drops because of the heating problem – the TECNO POVA Neo doesn’t have an advanced cooling system to reduce processor overheating.

For Genshin Impact, the Helio G25 cannot handle the workload. Even sa lowest settings, mapapansin talaga ang frame drops. Playable pa rin naman if you can suffer through the frame drops, but it’s not an enjoyable experience. We recommend using the TECNO POVA Neo for games like Mobile Legends and Call of Duty Mobile.

TECNO POVA Neo
120Hz TSR isn’t good enough for gaming.

Testing Call of Duty on the TECNO POVA Neo was a breeze – walang frame drops, and hindi mahirap mag navigate, although the touch sampling rate could use an upgrade. Ang hirap mag aim dahil minsan sobra or kulang. Nevertheless, kaya pa rin ipanalo ang games with the phone with a little more practice.

Overall, the phone did well for your standard mobile games, but cannot be a reliable unit if high-fps ang requirement.

CAMERA

The phone is equipped with 13MP camera that captures clear photos. Hindi naman kagandahan ang kuha, but with the help of good lighting, all the pictures will still look great.

Here are some sample photos:

Maraming camera modes ang available, but the AI camera does a good job of adjusting settings based on subject. The REALLY bright LED (mas maliwanag pa kaysa future mo) provides ample lighting kapag gabi, so there’s no need to adjust camera settings manually. This means wala talagang Pro mode sa camera.

Just a warning though, don’t ever use the Torch Mode kung gusto mo kumuha ng night-time portraits, dahil masakit sa mata yung LED flash.

As for the front camera, we’ve never seen a phone with not one, but two, flashes! This feature is really helpful para sa mga nag online class in dim lighting environments, and we can really recommend this phone to students who just want a phone dedicated for that purpose.

TECNO POVA Neo
It’s the only phone with headlights, err, “DUAL TONE” flash. Masakit sa mata par.

Sobrang helpful ng dual flash sa front camera since not a lot of phones have good sensors, and have lower quality, but the TECNO POVA Neo’s unique dual LED flash is the best.

The phone can  record videos in 1080p at 30fps, for both the front and rear cameras. 

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

The TECNO POVA Neo is available for PHP5,999.00 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The phone is already available in outlets and partner stores nationwide. 

For the full product specs, check here.

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