Tecno Spark 8 Review

Tecno Spark 8 camera review

The Spark 8 (KG6), is the latest of all Spark series from Tecno, and even though it has not been officially announced, or even listed on Tecno’s website yet, the device is already selling in selected stores across Africa, especially in Nigeria. If you are curious to know what the latest Spark 8 iteration has to offers, here is our unboxing and initial impression of the device.

Tecno Spark 8 Box content

Thankfully, the smallness of the box did not take away some accessories. You are getting all needed tools and accessories in the box, including wall charger, although user manual has been the only trade off from most recent Tecno phones. The of the Spark 8 contains:

  1. The Spark 8 smartphone
  2. 5V/2A wall charger
  3. Micro USB 2.0
  4. 13-months Warranty Card
  5. SIM Ejection toll and
  6. A clear TPU Silicon back cover

Our review model is the Atlantic Blue. Other color variants should be available as well, but we’ll get to know more about them when more units begins to arrive in stores, or maybe when Tecno decides to stop playing stealth mode.

Tecno Spark 8 Design and Built Quality

Ask no further, the Spark 8 is all plastic! Glass on the front, plasticky rear and plasticky frame. This is the same material that has been used on all Tecno Spark devices since inception, so no surprises.

As for the design, the front is reminiscent with the older Spark 7, and same screen size with a dewdrop notch is used. But from the sides, and turning to the rear, every other thing is mirror-like Glossy. The camera module is now stretched more than the middle-top of the phone, and it is the abode for the fingerprint scanner as well.

You are also getting a large chunk of text stamped on the right section of the phone’s rear, from the basement, almost to the top of the phone, telling you to #Stop At Nothing, which is Tecno’s new brand slogan. I had previously told you that this slogan was going to be starched on the Spark 8, now here we are.

If you can recall, the current Tecno Spark 7-series has the SPARK branding inscribed on their rear panels. There will be inscriptions on the upcoming Spark 8-series as well, but the new slogan, STOP AT NOTHING will be used instead.…Culled from a previous post on DroidAfrica

rear view of Tecno Spark 8 (1)

The rear of the Spark 8 looks appealing, no denying that, and even though I’m not a fan of the chunk lot of text on the rear, my major turn off yet is the glossy finish. Don’t get me wrong, glossy finishing is not entirely bad, it looks appealing and can grab attention in certain scenarios. But the disadvantage of this, is the fact that it can pickup finger smudges easily.

Display, Software and Hardware

Just as mentioned above, the screen on the Spark 8 is same as the one on the older vanilla Spark 7. It has a 6.52-inched panel with 720 x 1600 pixels and there is a dewdrop notch on the head as well. The panel support 60Hz refresh rate, with 269 pixels per single inch.

It is bright enough for indoor and bedtime content consumption, and color reproduction looks really good. Although I see myself relying much more on my LG V60 during outdoor usage than the Spark 8 due weaker brightness nit.

When interacting with the Spark 8, the UI preloaded is HiOS v7.6, which is based on Google Android 11 OS. HiOS 7.6 is a heavily customized user interface, and if you’ve own a any of the recently Tecno phones, then you should already be familiar with the OS. Despite the customization, it is still mostly fast and lag-free, but the old enemy of intrusive and pop-up advertisement is still plaguing the device.

Spark 8 display

Talking about fast, the CPU powering the Spark 8 is an octa-core MediaTek MT6762V/WD, a downgraded version of the original Helio P22 (MT6762). It has same setups as the Helio A25 SoC, which is modeled MT6762D, and come with 4-Cortex-A53 cores at 1.8GHz and another 4-Cortext-A53 cores at 1.5GHz. It is paired with PowerVR GE8320 GPU, along with 2GB of RAM and a larger 64GB internal storage.

Tecno Spark 8 AnTuTu and GeeKBench Test

The above are the performance score of Tecno’s Spark 8. The aim of including these scores is to help you determine either the phone performs better than what you currently have, or vice versa. So just download same apps above, test and compare the results with your current phone to determine either you should upgrade or not.

Can you play games on Spark 8?

Absolutely! Although your choice of games may be limited to simple and low graphics games. But if the Spark 8 is all you’ve got and you wish to try games like Call of Duty, or say PUBG, you can still do so, but you’d need to endure extensive loading time and a handful of lags here and there.

Tecno Spark 8 Camera review and Fingerprint

Here again, we are referencing the older Spark 7 since it has same camera hardware and software with the Spark 8. So you are getting a 16-megapixel main lens and a QVGA AI sensor on the rear, while a single 8-megapixel snapper is used on the front.

Tecno Spark 8 camera review

The main camera has F/1.8 aperture along with four LED flash, while the selfie cam has f/2.0 aperture with dual LED flash. You’ll be able to capture good images from both sided lenses, and you can record 1080p/720p/480p videos from either of the lens as well.

Even in lowlight situations, the Spark 8 still took good images and videos, especially if the shots are close-ups, thanks to the powerful 4-LED flash on the rear and the two upfront. Additionally, while one of the LED lights on the front doubles as charging indicator, it does not function as a notification indicator; they can’t even be used to aid face unlock in lowlight environments, which is a big shame.

Tecno Spark 8 camera Samples

Spark 8 Selfie camera samples

The selfie samples above are shot indoors or in a slightly lighted environment, and there weren’t disappointing at all considering the price.

Unlike previous Spark models, Tecno decided to house the fingerprint scanner of the Spark 8 within the rear camera panel. Thankfully, the sensor is accurate 8 out of 10 trials, and so is the face ID. Instead of the frontal LED lights, the display can firing more brightness to aid low face identification.

Tecno Spark 8 rear fingerprint scanner

Battery and Sound Quality

The battery segment is one of the key areas the Spark 8 loosed to Spark 7. This is because it has a 5000mAh juice, instead of the 6000mAh battery used on the older model. But even at that, the battery life on the Spark 8 is still amazing, and if mentioning numbers are of any value to you, you can count on this device for a full 2-days of moderate use. But when you run out of juice, only 10W normal charger is included.

Spark 8 10W charger

As for the sound quality, well the simple answer is disappointing! In fact, the Spark 8 has the worst loud speaker of all entry-level smartphone I’ve tried in lately. I don’t know why, but it seems Tecno fitted a speaker from the Pop 4 on the Spark 8.

It is not just enough that the device has one single loud speaker, but that speaker is economically integrated with the earpiece grill. Earpiece / loud speaker combo was the setup the company used on the POP 4, which was understandable, and even reverted back to separate speakers on the POP 5, now why Spark 8?

Tecno Spark 8 loud speaker

As far as audio quality is concerned, nothing to say here: too much Highs, little Mids, absent Lows resulting to a Pippy-metally kind of sound output. On the positive side, the earpiece or call receiver is very loud during phone calls for obvious reasons.

Review Conclusions and Alternatives

The Tecno Spark 8 still remains a good device given the price. Even though it is all round plastic, I still love the built quality. Another thing I like so much is the camera abilities of the phone, especially the level of assistance coming from the LED flashes in lowlights.

Tecno Spark 8 rear fingerprint scanner

But with the current availability of the Spark 7, it might be somehow difficult to find the right shelf to place this new Spark 8 in the market. The reason is, everything the Spark 8 can do, 7 can do it, and even do it better. For example; The design and built quality of Spark 7 seem more appealing to me; it has a larger 6000mAh battery and it can be purchased at a lesser cost.

Moreover; even though the Spark 8 is currently selling in the market, the pricing is not currently regulated properly. This is because, Tecno have not stated any official pricing yet, so the few stores having the stock, are playing monopoly on the price. For example; while the device is around N55,000 in Lagos Nigeria, I paid N58,000 to get a unit here in Abuja.

As for alternatives, the first title goes directly to the immediate predecessor, the Spark 7. Remember also that there is a Spark 7P which currently retails under N63,000 in Nigeria. But if you wish to jump overboard, Xiaomi have few Redmi-series within this price point. Samsung’s latest Galaxy A03s just arrived in Nigeria, and a handful of iTel and Infinix phones are sold within this price point as well.

Stephen Ekpa
Stephen is the Editor-in-Chief @DroidAfrica. His work on DroidAfrica is born out of pure passion for tech, especially as it relates to smartphones. When Steve is not writing tech, then he is reading tech.