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Tecno Spark 2 Review: Tecno’s amazing Android Go entry-level smartphone

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Tecno Spark 2 Review: Tecno’s amazing Android Go entry-level smartphone


Tecno Spark 2 Review: Tecno Mobile unveiled the Tecno Spark 2 a couple of weeks ago. The Tecno Spark 2 as I have mentioned in all the articles I did before and after the device was launched is the second device in the Spark series which the company introduced back in 2017.

I already did the unboxing article for you which you can check here. Together with my friend Dickson from Tech-ish, we also did a short video to give our first thoughts for our 24Bit podcast. Check the video below (and remember to also click the subscribe button)

One thing is for sure though that compared to the previous Spark, Tecno made some great improvements to this new Spark. For example, the bezel-less display is quite impressive including the screen quality. You also get a fingerprint scanner at the back and also Tecno decided to add a facial recognition which works really well. I need to also remind you that the Tecno Spark 2 is an Android Go edition which is basically a stripped down version of Android designed to run on entry-level smartphones.

So I have been using the Tecno Spark 2 since it was launched. I got a black review unit thanks to our friends at Tecno Mobile. In this article, I will be telling you about what I liked and some other things I discovered while using the device, including its overall performance. Would I be willing to spend my money on it? Well, here is my Tecno Spark 2 review, let’s find out. 

Design, build and display

I like the overall design of the Tecno Spark 2 compared to the previous Spark. It’s like Tecno completely rebranded this series. The sleek unibody and curved antenna lines look really good. Tecno says the Spark 2 is one of the world’s thinnest smartphone measuring just 5.7mm in thickness. Well, they could be right but that’s a story for another day.

The 18.9 screen aspect ratio also gives the Tecno Spark 2 really premium look. For a 2018 device it looks like Tecno didn’t want to be left behind, I mean every smartphone manufacturer is now adopting the 18.9 aspect ratio. We have even seen it on recent Oppo devices as well as the recently unveiled Infinix Hot S3.

The 6.0-inch full HD display is also quite impressive and Tecno also decided to add 2.5D gorilla glass to protect the phone from shattering should you accidentally drop it down. With this, you enjoy an immersive display.  

The device is made of plastic which, well should not really worry you because Tecno has added a nice case to protect the device. The overall design, build and display is good, I mean you shouldn’t expect much for a device that will cost you less than 12,000 bob.

Specs, performance, and battery

We have covered the specs in a separate article which you can check here. I also need to mention that the device comes in two variants -one with 1GB RAM, 16GB ROM which is the I have and another variant of 2GB, 16GB ROM and both support an expandable storage of up to 128GB with a microSD card. Compared to the previous Spark devices which came with a  1.3GHz and 1.5GHz Octa-core MediaTek, processors for the Spark and Spark plus respectively, Tecno decided to make some improvements to the Spark 2 performance, giving it a Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and a MediaTek MT6580 chipset, Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition with HiOS 3.3.

The performance is fine but I had a problem when adding heavy applications to basically test the performance of the device. At some point, it kept crashing and automatically closing the apps. I am thinking this could be due to Tecno’s HiOS which is heavy skin for Android GO edition. But remember, only the heavy apps kept on crashing but the general performance of the phone was just fine, not lags or anything. I actually loved it.

Google’s Android 8.1 (Go edition) on the Tecno Spark 2 ensures a smooth performance as well. Android Oreo Go Edition, according to Google is ‘’a new experience doe smartphones with 1GB of RAM or less,’’ and is fine-tuned for devices with specific hardware configurations. The pre-installed Go apps like Google Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, and Gmail Go are all smaller in size and consume less data as well as space. This explains why the overall performance of the Tecno Spark 2 is quite good.  

The Tecno Spark 2 also is powered by a 3500mAh non-removable battery and charging it from 0-100 percent might take you around two hours. I find two hours to be too long.  Again, this battery capacity is an improvement from its predecessor. If you’re an average user, the juice could take you an entire day on a single charge.

Cameras

The Tecno Spark 2 features an 8MP and 13MP front and rear camera respectively both supported by LED flashlights for low light photography. I must admit the cameras do a good job, the images produced are quite detailed. I was actually surprised by the image quality considering that the Tecno Spark 2 is an entry-level device.

The 13MP comes with f/2.0 aperture, letting in more light which in turn enables you to take stunning photos. You also get other camera features like autofocus, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, and HDR. The 8MP selfie camera, on the other hand, has f/2.0. I also need to mention that the rear camera does not support portrait mode.

Check some of the photos I took with the Tecno Spark 2 below: More photos are available on our Instagram page. 

 

Fingerprint scanner and Face unlock

The fingerprint scanner located on the back of the Tecno Spark 2 which you can use to unlock your phone. The fingerprint scanner can also be used to authorize purchases and event access apps. I never experienced problems using it, it was fast and very responsive throughout my entire Tecno Spart 2 review and experience.

Adding a Face unlock feature to a mid-range device like the Spark 2 was also plus for Tecno. You can use it to unlock the phone’s lock screen although you might have problems doing it in darkness. You, however, have ‘’Face fill light’’ feature that sorts this. What this feature does is basically brighten the face counter when using Face unlock in dark environments.

Conclusion, Pricing, and Availability: Would I buy the Tecno Spark 2?

Tecno Spark 2 in Red

The Tecno Spark 2 is a great device. The performance is good apart from what I mentioned about having HiOS which is heavy skin on Android Go which caused some apps to crash. But again, this does not affect the performance. Having Android Go also solves some of the problems you would expect like lags and much more. 

The device is retailing at Ksh. 11,299, fair price if you ask me. The cameras are good and if you have used the previous Spark and thinking of upgrading to the latest Spark, you can definitely check it out.

It is available in black and red colors and the red one actually looks really nice and as I mentioned earlier we got a black Tecno Spark 2 review unit. 

Well, that’s all for now. Have anything you want to add to this Tecno Spark 2 review? Drop us a comment in the comments section below.

BUY THE TECNO SPARK 2 ON JUMIA HERE

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Kanali is a tech editor and founder of TechTrendsKE. For product reviews, pitches, story ideas, guest posts or sponsored content, drop me an E-Mail at nickcanali@gmail.com or call +254 727 503 198.

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