Tecno Spark 10 Pro review: Budget Camera phone, Budget results

Priced at ₦170,000, the Tecno Spark 10 Pro might benefit from a future software update.

Tecno Spark 10 Pro review: Budget Camera phone, Budget results
Image Credit: TECNO

In April 2023, Tecno launched the Spark 10 series across several African markets, including Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya. Building upon the success of previous Spark lines, particularly the well-received Spark 20 and 30, these new devices promise affordability and a well-rounded user experience.

The Spark 10 series arrives in three distinct variations: the baseline Spark 10, Spark 10C, and the top-of-the-line model; Spark 10 Pro. Offered in Starry Black or Pearl White, the Spark 10 Pro stands out with its premium design, promising specs, and a hefty 5000mAh battery. 

But how well do these features translate to real-world use? This review dives deep into exploring whether the Spark 10 Pro lives up to its billing as a budget-friendly camera powerhouse.

Tecno Spark 10 Pro: Key Specs

  • Processor: Mediatek Helio G88 (12nm): Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6x1.8 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G52 MC2.
  • Memory: 8 GB  
  • Display: 6.80" IPS LCD, 90Hz, 1080x2460px resolution, 20.5:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
  • Weight: 206g
  • Operating System: Android 13, HIOS 12.6.
  • Camera: Primary Camera: 50 MPix f/​1.6, PDAF; Depth: 2MP, dual LED-flash, Videos @1080p/​30fps (Camera 1); 2.0MP, depth of field (Camera 2)
  • Secondary Camera: 32 MPix flash
  • Battery: 5000 mAh Lithium-Ion, 18W wired
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; FM radio; 3.5mm jack.
  • Price: ₦170,000 / $113

Tecno Spark 10 Pro Unboxed

The retail box of the Tecno Spark 10 Pro punches above its weight in terms of included accessories. Despite being a budget phone, the box boasts an 18W charger, USB cable, soft protective case, pre-applied screen protector, 3.5mm headset with microphone, and even an FM antenna – ideal for those who still enjoy listening to the radio. 

Spark 10 Pro Review: Design

The Tecno Spark 10 Pro boasts a stylish design with a dual-glass build and a matte finish. It has a comfortable grip despite the material and is aesthetically pleasing. The large 6.8-inch IPS LCD screen offers a 1080p resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate.

While the rear design appears similar to the iPhone 14 Pro/Max, it's mostly aesthetic. The three large camera circles house a 50MP main camera, a depth sensor, and a dual-LED flash, with the latter two potentially being for show.

Overall, the Spark 10 Pro delivers a premium look and feel within its price range, but some functionalities like the potential fake depth sensor may not live up to the initial impression.

Tecno Spark 10 Pro Design

Tecno Spark 10 Pro: Display

In terms of display, the Tecno Spark 10 Pro sports a large 6.8-inch display with a decent Full HD resolution. Although smooth scrolling and vibrant colours are achieved with a 90Hz refresh rate and IPS LCD technology, viewing angles and colour accuracy are slightly less impressive compared to AMOLED displays. 

Outdoor visibility can be a challenge due to limited brightness adjustments and an automatic mode that doesn't always adapt effectively. 

On the positive side, the phone offers Widevine L1 DRM certification, enabling 1080p streaming for various entertainment apps.

Spark 10 Pro Display | Gadgetbytenepal

Tecno Spark 10 Pro Review: Camera

The Tecno Spark 10 Pro's website advertises a triple camera system, but the official specs only confirm two. This confusion extends to the actual functionality: there's just one rear camera for everyday photos, with a secondary camera solely for creating depth effects in portraits. There's no wide-angle or macro lens as advertised.

Despite the marketing missteps, the main camera captures decent photos that could benefit from a touch more brightness and detail. Low-light photos offer a good atmosphere but lose dynamic range in darker areas. Video recording goes up to 1440p at 30fps with good quality, but lacks stabilisation and 60fps options.

The front-facing camera takes 8MP photos by default, which is acceptable for the price range. However, skin tones and colour accuracy could be better. A 32MP mode exists but simply upscales the 8MP image.

Notably absent in the Spark 10 Pro phone are the wide-angle and macro lenses, which are increasingly common in this price range. There's only a single rear camera for actual photos, with a second camera solely for depth effects. Users report that Night Mode also appear to require further development, and the AI lens seems to have minimal impact on low-light performance.

Front Camera of the Tecno Spark 10 Pro | Gadgetbytenepal
Split-view images captured on Tecno Spark 10 Pro. From top left to right-bottom: Daylight shot, 2x Zoom; Low-light, Main Camera; Night Mode, Main Camera; 50MP, Main Camera | Gsmarena

TECNO Spark 10 Pro Review: Software

The Tecno Spark 10 Pro runs on Android 13 with Tecno's HiOS 12.6 on top. While HiOS has a reputation for bloatware, this version is a welcome improvement with fewer bloat and ads. You can even disable or delete most pre-installed apps, giving you more control over your phone. Security options include fingerprint and face recognition, both with customisation options. 

Note that: A December 2023 software update reportedly improved camera quality for some users but introduced overheating issues, particularly during gaming. Other users have experienced frame rate drops, lag, and a new audio/video playback issue. These issues might be minimal if you're a casual user. However, for heavy gaming or users who prioritise consistent performance, it's advisable to potentially wait for further updates to address these concerns.

Home Screen, App drawer, Task switcher on the Tecno Spark 10 Pro

The phone offers a standard home screen interface with an app drawer and a customisable "Zero Screen" for news, weather, and app usage information. Tecno has also included a long-standing selection of advanced features carried forward from older models. This includes the Game mode with settings, statistics, and parental controls, as well as a Smart panel with convenient slide-from-the-side shortcuts.

However, the multimedia experience is slightly marred by the single bottom-firing speaker. While loudness is average, the audio quality is poor, lacking in bass and mids.

Game mode, Special function menu, Smart Panel | Gsmarena

TECNO Spark 10 Pro: Performance

The Tecno Spark 10 Pro uses a MediaTek Helio G88 processor, which is capable but not top-of-the-line. It delivers decent overall performance for everyday tasks like social media browsing. However, the eMMC 5.1 storage is slower than UFS storage found in some competitors, resulting in longer loading times.

For gaming, the Spark 10 Pro can handle lightweight titles like Temple Run, Mobile Legend and Candy Crush but struggles with more demanding games. To play intensive games like FC 24 or COD mobile, it is recommended to dial down the frame rate to 30 fps to ensure better thermal management.

The phone's saving grace is its impressive battery life. The 5,000mAh battery can last up to 2 days on a single charge with moderate use, and benchmark tests even achieved an endurance rating of 131 hours. There's a trade-off, though: the charging speed is relatively slow at 18W. Regarding the December 2023 software update, it reportedly introduced battery drain for some users. If you're a casual user, these issues might be minimal. Therefore, consider waiting for newer update releases before updating your Spark 10 Pro.

Reasons to Buy

  • Eye-catching Design
  • Decent Battery Life
  • Satisfactory Camera Capabilities
  • Expandable Storage options
  • NFC functionality

Things to Consider

  • Middling Performance
  • Inconsistent screen brightness concerns
  • Slow charging
  • Subpar Audio

TECNO Spark 10 Pro Review: Our Verdict

The Tecno Spark 10 Pro is a good option for first-time smartphone users or those seeking affordability. It offers a stylish design, good screen, decent camera, long battery life, and expandable storage. However, consider these drawbacks: underwhelming speaker, slow charging, and inconsistent screen brightness.

If you prioritise performance or camera quality, explore alternatives like the Realme C55 (faster charging, better photos) and the Tecno Spark 20 Pro successor. You can also consider the Redmi Note 12 4G (better screen, extra camera, faster charging), or Poco M5s (faster storage, more cameras) at slightly increased prices. If you’re a Tecno loyalist and you want a better camera option, the Tecno Spark 20 Pro successor is a great option.

Overall, the Tecno Spark 10 Pro is a decent budget option with some compromises. We rate it 3.0 out of 5 stars.

Pricing and Availability

The Tecno Spark 10 Pro is attractively priced, starting from ₦170,000 ($113) and is available globally with a wide reach across Africa. You can find it in Tecno showrooms, authorised retailers, and e-commerce platforms like Jumia and Konga. 

For those in Nigeria, the 128 GB version is available at an even more enticing price of ₦150,000 ($100).

Please note that prices may vary slightly depending on the chosen storage configuration and local market conditions.

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