TECNO Spark 10 Pro review – Shining, shimmering, sparkling!

This entry-level smartphone lineup from TECNO is gorgeous! Although it has good features and fair pricing, would it be a good enough appetizer for the smartphone market?

TECNO is a smartphone company that had modest beginnings but rapidly established a reputation for providing inexpensive handsets for the general public with sparking features. Can they sustain their pattern? Or would this Spark 10 series signal a slump in the company?

UNBOXING

We already have an article for the smartphone’s unboxing, embedded below:

Now let us take a quick look at the smartphone’s specs!

The TECNO Spark 10 Pro vastly differs from its predecessor, the Spark 9. It has 16GB RAM, 256GB ROM, 32MP selfie camera with selfie lighting. Inside the box, it has a warranty card. USB Type-C cable and an 18 watts charger. A more detailed specs page is seen below:

With the unboxing done, next is the smartphone itself. 😌👀

DESIGN

First off is the design: It has a charismatic-looking form factor, with a triple ring camera design on the back which is very reminiscent of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but the TECNO Spark 10 Pro is much more rectangular compared to the iPhone.

While looking at the back, we should note that it’s made out of glass (a rarity for a phone less than 10K). It is also scratch-proof, making this a cut above the rest which gives it true flagship vibes all throughout its design.

On the left of its back, we have a large but elegantly designed camera area. One of the most significant changes is the camera module, which now features three circles instead of two. However, upon closer inspection, the number of lenses has been reduced by one. The circle on the right side of the module is a flash, while the small hole above it serves only as decoration.

The distinction between the matte and sand-blast texture and the beautiful camera area is an exquisite design. TECNO is focusing on the artistic presentation of this device and has undoubtedly succeeded in it.

The phone is available in two colors: Starry Black and Pearl White. The Pearl White-colored variant looks glowing and shifts hues slightly as light catches it from different angles. It’s a subtle effect, but the glossy finish of the camera island has a sparkling look – no pun intended.

The side frame is connected to the back panel and is one big flat piece of plastic: they need to cut corners somehow. There is a line to separate them as a design detail, and on the left side, we can see the SIM tray where 2 SIM cards and a microSD card fit. We see two volume buttons on the right side and the lock/power button under them; the position is okay since users can reach them easily with their thumbs.

The buttons are well made without any rattling and aren’t mushy. There are no visible bands because the smartphone’s sides and back are plastic (the signal reception is fine don’t worry). The top is clean, while the bottom is crowded with a 3.5mm audio jack, a noise-canceling microphone, and a speaker grille.

A welcomed sight is the inclusion of a Type-C port that offers faster data transfer speeds and a more modern look to the device. Excellent work here, TECNO. The smartphone is also a little bit heavy because it weighs 208 grams.

According to TECNO, there’s decent protection for the SIM tray from water or dust. It has a red rubber ring to prevent water and dust ingress, which is good. Still, I would be cautious to avoid getting the phone in touch with water.

DISPLAY

Well the smartphone has a superb design, how about for its display though?

Upon flipping the phone to show its display, the magic is gone, and all we see is somewhat reminiscent of a regular Android device. We can’t help but notice how thick the bottom bezel is once the gadget is turned on.

The smartphone’s chin is more prominent compared to other mid-rangers but the side ones are not that thick. This serves as a reminder that the phone isn’t as high-end as its solid frame and rear would have you believe.

The smartphone sports a 6.8-inch, 90Hz refresh rate IPS LCD screen which allows a decent viewing experience but the viewing angles could be better. A smoother scrolling experience is made possible by having a faster refresh rate, which reduces those annoying and frustrating periods.

These days, the basic minimum resolution is also 1080P, which makes the screen more vivid, color-accurate, and supports immersive watching, especially for high-quality films.

CAMERA QUALITY

This LED flash has three brightness levels: minimal, 2nd, and third. The 32MP selfie camera with flash is beneficial for low-light environments. We got very sharp images and the main – selling point of the smartphone is to use it for selfies. The selfie camera is almost perfect for group photos, but it must be positioned well to capture a massive group with its selfie light.

Three selfies using the selfie LED light(from left to right: minimal to third)

One thing that few smartphones have (but is typical Tecno) is the LED flash tucked into the top bezel. With three illumination levels and a 32MP sensor, this promises some impressive nighttime selfies and videos(for the selfie video, please refer to the video review above). It also has some decent AI features.

Going back to the rear camera for a moment, it has a 50MP sensor behind a bright f/1.6 lens (there’s no OIS). Due to chipset limitations, the camera is capped at 1080p video recording. The other two lenses’ specifications are unspecified.

They all support HDR/Super Night Mode/Panorama modes while having the ability to shoot 120/240fps Slow Motion videos, 2K lapse videos, and huge Panorama photos that will impress you.

Low-light photography is not recommended; the rear cameras work best in well-lit settings to produce sharp, detailed shots. As can be seen from the photographs above, the details are considerably easier to discern in an area with good lighting.

There is nothing unique about the portrait mode; it is only adequate. The main subject is barely in focus, and there are instances when the blur is rather forceful. The 50MP sensor is undoubtedly helpful in capturing details, but as the images above show, the software powering behind the rear cameras isn’t quite up to par.

We should not expect the best-looking pictures; the TECNO Camon is better suited for that role. The images are decent enough for regular captures, such as documents and online classes.

Lastly, the video’s quality suffers because it is fixed at 1080P. Also, the colors are bleached. As the phone is advertised as a selfie phone, this is to be anticipated.

PERFORMANCE (GAMING + BATTERY)

The smartphone’s processor is an Helio G88 – a 12nm chip with two Cortex-A75 cores (2.0GHz) and six A55 cores, plus a Mali-G52 MC2, a relevant upgrade over the previous G85 chip. The noticeable difference between the two chips is that this one can run FHD+ displays at 90Hz and the Spark 10 Pro makes use of that. The smartphone can reach an AnTuTu score of 251394 which is not that high but just enough for light gaming.

With regards to its gaming performance, here are the deets(please check the video review above for the gameplays):

GamesSettingsVerdict
Mobile Legends: Bang BangHigh graphics, super refresh rateOptimized, playable
Call of Duty: MobileMedium graphics, high refresh rateDecently playable
Genshin ImpactLowest graphics settings, 30 fpsBarely playable

This weight includes a 5,000mAh battery, by the way. The supplied charger outputs 18W (7.5V at 2.4A). The 3.5mm jack is next to the USB-C port on the bottom.

The phone took just over an hour to charge using the supplied adapter. You can easily last a day or two with this phone under normal use. When doing heavy tasks such as gaming, it’s still pretty solid, ranging from 5-7 hours of screen time.

The huge Li-Po 5000 battery and the software added by TECNO is an excellent combination that provides two days of light usage or one day of medium usage (no gaming). SOT is about 8-9 hours which is a top performance.

SOUND

Sadly, the Spark 10 Pro has a single down-firing speaker, barely enough for most users. The lack of stereo quality and less immersive sound quality compared to other phones with dual speakers is also highly noticeable. The loudness is alright, but not to write home about.

USER EXPERIENCE

The phone runs on HIOS 12.6, on top of Android 13. It brings all the functions and abilities ROMs have these days. We have to mention that there’s some bloatware and advertisement as we see in other similarly priced smartphones. There were no major bugs or limitations and we believe that – with a little polishing- HIOS can stand next to other skins.

The customization is rich with many features, a theme shop, and a dark mode. We can find a memory boost app, Phone Master – a general taking care app, a private app shop called Palm Store, a browser, Instant Apps – a very nice shortcut app to various games and apps that you can use without installing, a Community app for Tecno, various tools, and various other applications like music stores, data share apps, etc.

With regard to its notifications, we are constantly bombarded by information and advertisement… the good thing is that we can find Google Services and you can instantly start removing any application you don’t use/need. In 20-30 minutes the software is lighter and user friendly.

What we like:

  • 50MP camera
  • 32MP Front Camera
  • Type-C support
  • 5000 mAh Battery with 18W Flash Charger
  • OTA update on Android 13

What we don’t like:

  • Some Bloatware
  • No stabilization in video
  • Mediocre sound recording
  • Lackluster chipset performance

Conclusion:

The design is exquisite and beautiful. For those on a small budget who yet want to impress their friends and followers on social media, this is THE selfie phone. Your demands for photography for social media and other purposes may be readily met with the TECNO Spark 10 Pro. The performance of its cameras is good, but the absence of electronic image stabilization reduces the area’s overall performance.

The SoC is cool, reliable, and energy-efficient, but 3D gaming or multitasking is a problem. 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 addition of a case and earphones in the box is also a huge plus. That said, the Spark 10 Pro is not an ideal phone for gamers but it’s still a great option for those who use their smartphones casually and for selfie enthusiasts.

The smartphone’s price is as follows:

TECNO Spark 10 Pro 8+128GB₱7,699
TECNO Spark 10 Pro 8+256GB₱8,299

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