TECNO, together with the sibling company, Infinix, this year have had very many launches. They’re back on their one-year two-cycles where in one year they refresh one lineup twice. Whether or not it is working for them business-wise, we don’t know, and honestly don’t care as consumers. What we know is that we’ve never had such a vast array of smartphones to choose from. The two companies have literally saturated the market with their budget devices.
In April, I published my review of the TECNO Spark 3 PRO. Which I called one of the best budget devices then. We all know that a couple of days after the Spark 3 PRO review, Samsung brought in the 2019 A-Series. And they’ve been some of the most sought after phones this year. Whilst the TECNO Spark 3 PRO remains a really good device (and I still believe it is the best in its price range – KES. 12k), the Samsung series really changed perception of the Samsung brand by bringing in very good devices at good prices. I believe this could be the reason Transsion has been out and about with two launch cycles.
With the Spark 4 Series, we are not getting a PRO version. There’s two models:
- Spark 4
- Spark 4 Air
I don’t know the reason TECNO decided to not have a PRO model. But I understand why the normal Spark 4 isn’t called PRO. It has the same specs as the Spark 3 PRO. Basically, it is the same phone.
You’re getting the following specs, at a RRP of KES. 11,999.
TECNO Spark 4 Specifications:
|Dimensions & weight||Height: 165.28 mm|
Thickness: 8.2 mm
|Display||6.52-inch, IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1600 x 720 pixels resolution|
|Front Camera||8MP with Flash|
|RAM||2/3/4GB RAM (2GB model in Kenya)|
|Memory||32GB internal storage (expandable via microSD card)|
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie with HiOS Skin|
|Network||2G, 3G, 4G/LTE|
|Connectivity||2.4G Wi-Fi, microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack|
|Colour options||Royal Purple, Vacation Blue, Misty Grey, Energetic Orange|
|Others||Rear Fingerprint Scanner, Face Unlock, Micro USB|
Transsion has had one design with the second cycle of phones. They all look the same. Whether you’re getting a Phantom 9, a Camon 12 Series phone, an Infinix HOT 8 device, or even the Infinix S4 from earlier in the year. It can be very confusing to differentiate just from face value between most of the phones they’ve launched this year. And that now includes the Spark 4.
The tiny notch on the front is still here. The look at the back is still the same, and the vertical arrangement of the cameras, the fingerprint placement, and the TECNO branding at the bottom is still the same.
I think the best way to differentiate the new devices is to look at their colours. That’s if you’re good with colours. Because each of them is somewhat a different variation of the colour blue.
Spark 4 vs Spark 3 PRO?
Like I already said, there’s not much that’s different between the Spark 4 and the Spark 3 PRO. Here’s what’s new with the Spark 4:
- Larger battery – Spark 3 PRO came with a 3500mAh battery. Spark 4 comes with a 4000mAh battery
- Larger display – Spark 3 PRO has a 6.2 inch display. Spark 4 comes with a 6.52 inch display. Yes, it is a big phone.
- Triple cameras – Spark 3 PRO had 2 rear cameras. Spark 4 has 3 rear cameras.
- Faiba Support – Spark 3 PRO didn’t support Faiba. The Spark 4 does support Faiba 4G VoLTE.
- Both however keep the same Processor and same GPU
What I’ve noticed over this one week of use, is something I said with the Spark 3 PRO. TECNO has a way with cameras on these budget devices. I don’t know what the extra lenses in this phone are doing but I know the main 13MP camera can take some good shots.
I will have an article dedicated to the camera soon so as to show some of the pictures I’ve taken with the device. This will come before the full review. Remember though, the Spark 4 isn’t a camera-centered device. If you want what TECNO advertises as camera phones, go check out the Camon 12 Series.
Value for Money?
It is already obvious TECNO isn’t launching the Spark 4 as a replacement for the Spark 3 PRO. Nope. This is like a minor continuation to the series. People with the original Spark, or the Spark 2 are the ones who should upgrade to the Spark 4, or the Spark 4 Air for that matter.
If you have the Spark 3 PRO, don’t think of upgrading to the Spark 4. Why? The battery on the Spark 3 PRO was already great. The performance hasn’t changed. It is still the same phone, just a different design.
In terms of value for money, yes this is value for money. Though if you think of it, you can get the Infinix HOT 8 with the same specs, and a larger battery for KES. 10,999. So, the choice is yours.
Wait for the reviews of both the Spark 4, and the HOT 8 because they’re dropping very soon. I have had this feeling I am reviewing one phone over and over this year, with just different names.