TECNO Spark 10 4G/5G review – Bang for the buck smartphones?

This entry-level smartphone lineup from TECNO is gorgeous and well worth it?! Although it has good features and fair pricing, would it satisfy the ravings of entry-level smartphone enthusiasts?

When it comes to the best price–to-specs ratio, there’s nothing better than TECNO. Their smartphones have exciting features with a price tag you won’t find in any mainstream brand– it’s easy to see why TECNO dominates the Asian and African markets as of this moment.

UNBOXING

We already have articles for the unboxing of both of the smartphones, embedded below:

TECNO Spark 10 5G
TECNO Spark 10

Now let us take a quick look at their specs!

With outstanding design and display, the TECNO Spark 10 series sparkles like the Spark 9 series from the previous year. By reviewing both smartphones at once, we can kill two birds with one stone.😌

With the unboxing done, next are the smartphones!😌👀

DESIGN

First off, the TECNO Spark 10 5G. Its design is vastly different compared to the whole series itself. It looks like it was borrowed from past designs such as the Camon 18 Premier and the recent Camon 19 Pro Mondrian Edition with the UV glass, which changes colors when the sun shines on it, or if directly exposed to UV light.

It’s no color-changing back, but we sense a robust art-nouveau inspiration behind it and commend it by creating a fun-looking smartphone. When looked at at different positions, the cube design emits a shimmer of gold. Anchoring on its baby blue colorway, the Cubism style etchings compliments the whole personality of the phone itself. 

A subtle TECNO Spark 5G etching can also be seen at the back from an angle; the overall feel is similar to frosted, smudge-proof glass. The section around the camera bump, however, is not so much. The camera islands look very refreshing and modern – it’s like looking at a Huawei flagship phone from this year (think of the P60), with all of this style and swagger for a fraction of the price. 

Another thing to note here are the camera islands that will earn a couple of looks. We are mesmerized by how beautiful the smartphone is. Upon first usage, we noticed that the TECNO Spark 10 5G got some heft; despite having an all-plastic build, the large 5,000mAh battery was mainly behind the weight. 

There are no buttons or speakers on its left and top corners except for the SIM tray, which accepts a SIM card and a dedicated microSD slot. The right corner, in contrast, includes the power/fingerprint button and the volume rockers. Its single speaker, charging port, microphone, and headphone jack are at the bottom.

Now unto the TECNO Spark 10. First and foremost, we are treated to a back design that oozes style, elegance, and refinement. 

Despite only having a plastic back, it feels like glass but doesn’t react as one with the streaks and issues because of its tasteful frosted finish. It feels fantastic, and the camera bumps directly inspired by the Big Apple also look refreshing. 

This recreation feels like a faithful rendition rather than just copying for the sake of, well… copying. Three big bumps match the Spark 10’s ambitions and prove that you can copy a design while simultaneously making a whole new identity.

Same as the Spark 10 Pro 5G, the left side houses the two SIM trays and a dedicated slot for microSD slot– TLDR: We think we should see more of what the TECNO Spark 10 offers in more devices. The right side has the volume rockers and power button, doubling as a fingerprint scanner. The top portion is a desolate landscape, while the bottom is like a lush forest filled with flora and fauna: an earphone jack, a Type-C port, and a single down-firing speaker.

DISPLAY

With regards to its display, the TECNO Spark 10 5G has a very crisp 6.6-inch display that’s 720p. However, upon closer inspection, this doesn’t look like a 720p panel, which is impressive.

TECNO needed to cut corners somehow and decided to go for the water drop notch route plus a reasonably prominent chin – and that’s understandable. On the bright side, there’s a pre-installed thin screen protector for added protection, and that’s always a win in our book. 

We also thought that the earpiece on top of the selfie camera (which sits flush inside the screen bezel) functions as a secondary speaker, but that’s not the case.

The colors are vibrant, full of contrast, and pull no punches. This is a perfect display despite its 720p resolution. 

Meanwhile, TECNO Spark 10’s display is a 6.6-inch, 720p display with a fluid 90Hz refresh rate, a step up over the past models.

Again, as with the Spark 10 5G, the panel used on this phone doesn’t look like a 720p display because of its vibrance and responsiveness. Watching videos, doing social media here, and even playing games will surely be a delight. 

We won’t even bother commenting on its waterdrop notch and sizable chin because again… cost-cutting is the name of the game here. The compromises are understandable.

Even though the bezels are not that thin, that tech is still reserved for mid-rangers and flagships of the year, so we have to wait a couple of years before this becomes a reality to budget phone consumers. Aside from that, we live in the past with all those crazy big bezels with funky configurations, so we’re sure you can survive this sort of ‘first-world dilemmas’ like complaining about the screen-to-body ratio. 

CAMERA QUALITY

As both smartphones have identical back camera configurations, we shall compare the photography quality of both. The quality might have varied with different chipsets. First is the TECNO Spark 10 5G.

As we can see here with our model, Kaezel, the selfie pictures are quite dark even if she is against the light. The colors are somewhat muted and her hair looks decent but the details are not good.

If there is adequate light, portrait photographs are actually really good. The quality declines as light levels drop. The subject is accurately captured by the AI, as is the surrounding area. We believe that the smartphone’s chipset was really effective.

If there is adequate lighting, the smartphone works well for taking pictures outside. It captures details well and has beautiful colors, but the quality is not as good while shooting inside. The TECNO Spark 10 5G is still a respectable smartphone with a decent camera despite this though.

The identical back camera arrangement is present in the TECNO Spark 10, but it has a weaker CPU, so we’ll see.

Oof. The less light it is available, the noisier the selfie camera’s images become. We advised utilizing the selfie camera in well-lit areas because dim lighting makes it impossible to take high-quality selfies. The TECNO Spark 10 5G takes far better selfies than this.

Well, the details are decent but some colors are extremely washed when there is no sunlight, as seen with this plant on the right side. Well, for a budget smartphone, the quality detail of its captures is just barely enough.

So, to start, given its mediocre CPU, there is no night mode. Yet, the Spark 10 5G’s picture quality is comparable, EXCEPT in low light situations, as can be seen in the HORRIBLE photo of Venom shot in such a situation.

PERFORMANCE (GAMING + BATTERY)

First will be the TECNO Spark 10 5G.

It clearly surpasses its brothers with a whooping score of 360718! It runs 3D games quite well because of its Dimensity 700 processor and Mali-G57 MC2 GPU, however, its GPU is not strong enough to run demanding 3D games. With a low graphics level, it can play these games pretty well, but that is all it is.

Now, for the TECNO Spark 10.

A pitiful score of 137052…well, the smartphone is just equipped with a Helio G37 and a PowerVR GE8320 GPU, which is only adequate for a few simple tasks and not particularly powerful for multitasking and 3D rendering. On this smartphone, even the AnTuTu benchmark tests perform very slowly. Please refrain from using this smartphone to play 3D games.

SOUND

As for TECNO Spark 10 5G’s speaker, despite not having a stereo setup, the phone is decently loud, but it may vary from media to media. 

We always prefer dual speakers over a single firing one– but hey, this is a budget phone, an excellent budget phone. 

Using complimentary earphones is a different situation: it’s pretty good despite looking cheap. We believe that the Hi-Res Audio works wonders here. A modern Quad-DAC reminiscent of LG? We’re down for that.

Meanwhile, the TECNO Spark 10’s speaker has almost the same quality as the TECNO Spark 10 5G. Decently loud, a compromise because of the budget.

Using complementary earphones will elevate the experience.

USER EXPERIENCE

Both smartphones come pre-installed with TECNO’s HiOS V12(The Spark 10 5G has HiOS V12.6) and Android 13. Although it has a modern, clean appearance, there is bloatware. Before utilizing the phone, bloatware should definitely be removed. Also, both displays run at 90 Hz, which undoubtedly aided in the UI’s seamless operation.

TECNO Spark 10 5G UI

When exploring its UI, the TECNO Spark 10 5G hardly ever stutters. For it, the Dimensity 700 is fantastic. The smartphone feels great to use because it typically sports the Spark 10 lineup’s more powerful CPU.

TECNO Spark 10 UI

Yet, the TECNO Spark 10 stutters when it is overloaded with alerts and while other programs are active. Due to its relatively subpar Helio G37 CPU, even with 8GB of RAM, it still does not feel nice to use. Just be sure to get rid of any bloatware and leave your smartphone’s UI clear of clutter.

What we like:

  • Rear camera quality
  • Type-C support
  • 5000 mAh Battery with 18W Flash Charger
  • The smartphones’ design
  • The 90Hz display
  • The smartphones have a headphone jack

What we don’t like:

  • Some Bloatware
  • Lackluster selfie picture quality especially with the TECNO Spark 10
  • No stabilization in the video
  • Mediocre sound recording
  • Lackluster chipset performance for the Spark 10

Conclusion:

The smartphones’ designs are exquisite and beautiful. The performance of its cameras are decent but for a smartphone on a budget, it could have been better.

The Spark 10 5G’s SOC is cool, reliable, and energy-efficient, but 3D gaming or multitasking is a problem because its GPU is also a bit weak. The software still needs refining and we advise users to get rid of some bloatware. The 5000 mAh battery has excellent standby durations, and an 18W charger can charge it quickly enough. 

The SOC of Spark 10 is on the weak side. Due to its low cost, it is a compromise, yet it is capable of modest usage and some chores for a daily driver. Its battery has a 5000 mAh capacity, the same as the 5G version, and the 18W charger can charge it rather quickly.

The addition of a case and earphones in the box is also a huge plus. That said, both of the smartphones are not ideal smartphones for gamers but it’s still a great option for those who use their smartphones casually.

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