Update: Read full review – https://tech-ish.com/2019/04/10/spark-3-pro-review/
There’s no way to approach such an article without saying that this is a different move by the company. We are used to a Spark and a Spark Plus. This time the company decided to go with PRO instead of PLUS. And maybe for good reasons. So let me make this easier for those who don’t want to read a lot of words: if you want a great looking device (this phone looks so good) with great battery life, 4G support (yep remember Infinix Hot 7 doesn’t have 4G), good performance with great battery life (Helio A22!), Android Pie, and good value for your money, TECNO have given you a great option with the Spark 3 Pro.
It costs Ksh. 12,499 and is obviously a jab at Huawei’s Y6 Prime 2019. Only that unlike the Hot 7, this jab actually hits the target. How? Well, it packs the same exact features as the Y6 Prime – with a slightly bigger battery – and to woo more people, it costs a little less compared to the Y6 which costs Ksh. 13,499.
What you get:
If you buy the phone early, you may get a free gift hamper. With the gift hamper included, these are everything you get inside the boxes:
- Charger 5V 1.2A
- Micro-USB Cable
- A nice backcover
- Earphones, SIM ejector tool
- Water bottle
- Blue Manchester City Nylon Bag
- Premium Tempered Glass protector
TECNO Spark 3 PRO Specifications and Price in Kenya
|Platform||Operating System||Android 9.0 Pie with HiOS Skin|
|Memory||RAM||2GB – Both PRO and Normal|
|Internal||32GB – PRO
16GB – Normal (launches April 25th)
|Network||SIM||Dual SIM Support|
|Support||2G, 3G, 4G/LTE|
|Cameras||Main||13MP+2MP Dual AI Cameras with Quad Flash|
|Front||8MP with Flash|
|Features||Rear Fingerprint Scanner, Face Unlock|
|Price||RRP KES 12,499 (Buy from Jumia)|
- No longer Android Go – With the Spark 2, you were sort of limited with 1GB RAM, the new Spark 3 Pro and normal Spark 3 both have 2GB RAM. Which means you get the full Android experience.
- New design – This new design is soooo good. Looks like the Camon 11. I have the black version that has sort of glitters that shine in bright light. It looks normally black in low light.
- Dual Cameras with AI – I’ve actually tested that both the rear cameras work. When I block the extra lens it notifies me that the lens is covered, something the HOT 7 doesn’t. Also, the AI works, sort of. Because pointing it at different items doesn’t show much except HDR, or an icon of someone running, or the portrait icon when you point it at someone.
- Android 9 Pie – Which introduces a couple of new things including a new navigation system and new volume controls.
- Notch – You can hide the notch in settings. You can even choose to hide it on certain apps while leaving it present in certain apps. Good thing is unlike with the Hot 7, it doesn’t affect things like Instagram and WhatsApp stories. Bad thing is it is a notch that looks weird, and limits space for notification icons.
Things I already like:
- Helio A22 – I loved this processor on the Redmi 6A, then on the Lava Z81, then on the Y6 Prime 2019, and I am happy TECNO chose to use it over whatever Infinix went with on the Hot 7. It is great with battery life. It offers average performance given it is a low end chipset. But it is way better than any other chipset one can get for low end devices currently.
- Display – I have said this many times with TECNO and Infinix phones, Transsion nailed it with whoever supplies their displays. They’re bright, sharp and really nice.
- Cameras – Both front and rear cameras are good. Yes, they seem to be better than the Y6 Prime cameras. If you want a comparison, tell me.
- Battery life – This is to be expected with the Helio A22 plus the fact that the battery here is 3500mAh, a good size. All other phones I’ve mentioned above that use this chip have smaller batteries than this device.
Things I don’t like:
- Bloatware – When you get any new TECNO device before signing in to Google, go to settings and uninstall or disable any apps you’re not familiar with or don’t know about. Remove them. Disable them. Get rid of them.
- Adverts – After getting rid of all bloatware, sign in. Go to Play Store and install a new launcher like Nova or CPL. Go back to Settings and set it as your default launcher. Then go to App settings and restrict every possible thing you can restrict for HiOS launcher. Disable its notifications. Disable its access to internet. And all other permissions. And that way you won’t see any ads.
- Charging Speed – At 12k I would love to see at least 5V 2A charging. I keep wondering why companies haven’t moved to USB type-C. Why the illusion that this is a feature for high end phones?
I found it particularly peculiar that the phone ships with something called Kika Keyboard. I am very skeptical of things I don’t know, and especially when it is a keyboard which can collect so much data about you. I hope this company takes our complaints about ads and bloatware seriously because there’s no reason to bundle these additions no one asked for in 2019.
I will be using this as my main phone for the next few days before I share a full review with you guys. Tell me what you really want to know so I can add that in the article. Which phones do you want me to compare it with?