With the Spark 2, TECNO have done something many companies fail to do with low-end smartphones: create something exciting to look at, exciting to hold. It is something that we have come to expect from Transsion with their Infinix and TECNO brands. For a small asking, they usually have these good looking devices that many people who may not know would price a little bit on the higher side.
It is a 1GB RAM device with 16GB internal storage, and non-exciting 1.3Ghz Quad-core processor, with a 13MP rear camera, plus an 8MP front camera. There’s also a big 3500mAh battery. These specs may not stand out (except for the cameras) at this price point.
Last years’ TECNO Spark featured similar specs at almost the same asking price. And they had an issue for everyone who bought one: performance was really bad. Phone hanged a lot and there was generally a frustrating user experience. I guess that’s why TECNO decided to go with Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition with the second gen Spark.
Android Go is not a new OS. It is just better optimised for 1GB RAM or less devices to make sure performance is smoothened. That’s why with the TECNO Spark 2 you’ll find Go Apps like Google Go, Google Assistant Go, GMAIL Go, Maps Go, YouTube Go and Files Go which are very light apps designed to make your smartphone run smoothly even if the specs are not up there.
The thing however that TECNO took to the next level was the design of the new Spark phone. Yes last years models looked really good, but this year, they’re even better. One, the phone is lighter. Two, the display is much better and brighter even though resolution is 720p. And three, which is perhaps what makes this the most beautiful Android Go Smartphone is that the bezels are further reduced and there’s an 18:9 screen.
The phone straight up looks like the new Camon devices from TECNO. Which is a good thing, as one can totally get a Spark 2 and pretend it is a Camon.
Inside the box you get the usual stuff plus a free cover that I really love. The cover is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also adds grip to the plastic phone while giving it protection from falls and scratches to the back. The front has a pre-applied screen protector, but I’d advice you get a glass one as this paper-plastic one won’t really do it when device falls.
The 8MP front camera comes with dual LED flash lights for brighter selfies. While the rear 13MP comes with three LEDs.
The front camera takes good pics. And it should, since it is used for Face Unlock. Which makes the Spark 2 probably the most affordable device in the market with Face Unlock.
In matters security, the fingerprint scanner is not the fastest, but it is accurate and will handle things well from unlocking phone, unlocking apps, receiving phone calls pretty well.
What I’ve really loved from the couple of days I’ve had it is that the battery life is amazingly good. Yes it is a 720p 6 inch panel on a low powered device. So battery life should naturally be amazing. But the standby time is also really good. Left it at 86% since it is a secondary device, not my main device. Picked it up 48hrs later and battery is 85%. It has remained on WiFi with all the notifications from the lite apps there.
What I have not like is YouTube Go that requires me to use my phone number, and hasn’t carried over my watch history so as to offer good recommendations. So I downloaded normal YouTube app. What you’ll notice is that you can download normal apps from Play Store. But for the best experience with no lags, the lite or Go apps are recommended and already installed.
What is missing:
- 4G/LTE support
- App Drawer