I really liked the camera on the Spark 3 PRO. At its price point, it took good photos – both in low, and bright light. And it also took pretty stable videos. It was on my list of best phones under 15k for quite some while. And I am confident even now that people who have it appreciate the cameras. You can read my review here.
The Spark 4 continues from where the Spark 3 Pro left. I mean, it is basically a slightly improved Spark 3 Pro. With the Spark 4, there’s now
- A Larger battery – Spark 3 PRO came with a 3500mAh battery. Spark 4 comes with a 4000mAh battery
- A 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
Since this is a camera review, I won’t touch on the other changes. Those you can read in the full review here.
The Spark 4 comes with three lenses: A 13MP shooter, a 2MP shooter, and a VGA lens. There’s little explanation as to what the last two lenses do. I can’t confidently point out what they’re meant for. And TECNO hasn’t offered any details on this.
The camera app doesn’t help much on this. The usual icons showing main lens, zoom lens, and wide angle lens aren’t there. So one can think they’re always using one lens – since you can’t switch. But from my own testing, which is simple – covering each lens – I’ve noticed that the main lens is the centre one in the vertical alignment, and that when you cover the lens below it you get a message that it is covered even though the camera still continues to function.
Which means a couple of things:
- The extra lenses are actually useful.
- They’re either for depth sensing, and low light detection, or both. Or for some other stuff
- TECNO needs to make it more clear for people to understand what they’re getting.
- The Camera App needs to explain the extra lenses somewhere within the app.
So, to clear up things from the First Impressions article: Yes, the extra lenses appear to have some functionality. And I’m guessing both low-light, and depth-sensing. But they’re not very useful, either since the single 13MP lens can do everything without them, or since the software is designed to ignore them in case they have issues. I hope that long statement makes sense.
Anyways, enough talk. What do I think about the Spark 4 cameras?
- They’re good. For their price point, they’re actually pretty good cameras. I’ve always said Transsion makes good cameras for their budget phones.
- The software needs work. Not the Camera UI, rather the algorithms at play in the background. Especially on the final processed photo. I believe the lenses are pretty good, and you will witness this even in the viewfinder where what you’re about to capture looks so exciting, but once pic is taken, and you view it after being processed, you notice the loss in quality. We’re living in a time when photography is about the algorithms more than it is about the physical lenses, and Transsion needs to do something with all their phones.
- Better processors. The Spark 4 packs a Helio A22 which is a great budget phone processor. However, it is designed for dual camera setups, not triple camera setups. Perhaps this explains why the very top lens appears not to do anything, I don’t know. But a better processor, would have very different picture outputs.
Here are pictures taken by the Spark 4 in different conditions. Click on them to expand, and share your thoughts on what you think about them.
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|