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TECNO Spark 10 5G Review: A Consideration for the Long Haul

What you need to know more about

  • Moving on to the camera, the Spark 10 5G matches the 10 Pro in this department, as they both feature the same hardware—a 50MP primary lens that handles most of the imaging tasks.
  • The Spark 10 5G isn’t the highest-spec’d model in the series, despite being the latest addition to the lineup and the only one supporting 5G.

TECNO, a smartphone brand steadily expanding its presence in South Africa, primarily focuses on the entry-level to mid-range segment. Many of their devices, including the Spark 10 Pro, have made their way to our review desk.

The Spark 10 Pro impressed us in most aspects, but its lack of 5G support left us hesitant to fully recommend it, especially considering TECNO’s plans to introduce a 5G model to our market. Now, with the arrival of the TECNO Spark 10 5G in South Africa, we’ve spent the past few weeks reviewing it. Our goal is to determine whether the addition of 5G support significantly enhances its appeal compared to the 10 Pro and how it compares to other similarly priced devices in the market.

The Spark 10 5G isn’t the highest-spec’d model in the series, despite being the latest addition to the lineup and the only one supporting 5G. It actually falls in the middle range, surpassing its siblings in just one significant aspect—the processor—a MediaTek Dimensity 6020 chipset.

Compared to the other Spark 10 devices available in South Africa, the 10 Pro holds the top position in most areas.

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Nevertheless, the Spark 10 5G still offers impressive features for a mid-range phone. It boasts a sizable and vibrant 6.6″ display, a substantial 5,000mAh battery that easily lasts for at least two days in our testing, and the same 50MP primary camera setup as the Pro, which we found to be a reliable all-around option. We’ll delve into each of these elements in more detail shortly.

In terms of design, the Spark 10 5G doesn’t deviate from the usual aesthetics found in its price range (R5,499). However, it does offer a unique touch with its rear cover sporting a distinctive layered block design known as META (distinct from the Facebook variant).

Our review unit comes in the attractive META Black colorway, which appears more like a gunmetal navy shade to our eyes. Additionally, it includes a standard clear plastic cover to safeguard the phone while allowing you to showcase the aforementioned pattern.

Now, let’s focus on the aspects that truly matter – performance.

In terms of real-world usage, the Spark 10 5G performs admirably. Apps launch swiftly, and switching between them is seamless, with no noticeable slowdowns.

In benchmark tests, the phone achieved a single-core score of 712 and a multi-core score of 1,984 on GeekBench (version 6.0). For comparison, these scores are superior to those of the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G, which we tested last year.

The Spark 10 series introduces an interesting feature called extended or virtual RAM. This system allows users to allocate a small portion of their storage and integrate it into the device’s RAM. On the Spark 10 5G, users can add up to 4GB of extended RAM to complement the native 4GB of RAM on the device.

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We put the extended RAM feature to the test, and in our experience, the difference in performance wasn’t particularly noticeable, even during tasks that are processor-intensive. We even re-ran our benchmarks and observed only a marginal increase of between 5 and 12 points in the GeekBench tests.

It’s unclear whether this feature is intended to provide occasional performance boosts, but for now, it doesn’t seem to offer any significant advantages to the device’s immediate performance.

Moving on to the camera, the Spark 10 5G matches the 10 Pro in this department, as they both feature the same hardware—a 50MP primary lens that handles most of the imaging tasks. TECNO has incorporated AI to assist in image capture, swiftly adjusting settings such as ISO and white balance to offer a convenient point-and-shoot experience with the Spark 10 5G.

For those seeking highly detailed images, activating the 50MP mode is necessary. This mode captures more nuanced details but also results in larger file sizes ranging from 8MB to 20MB, depending on the subject. Therefore, it’s advisable to use this feature only if you have a microSD card for additional storage, as these high-resolution images can quickly consume space.

Overall, the camera performance of the Spark 10 5G is commendable in everyday use.

In conclusion, priced at R5,499, the TECNO Spark 10 5G offers great value for its segment of the mobile market. Its inclusion of 5G also sets it apart from devices from other brands, with Samsung and OPPO being the only competitors supporting this broadband standard in a similar price range.

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Regarding whether it’s the wisest choice within the Spark 10 series, we would say yes. The 5G support adds a level of future-proofing that the 10 Pro lacks. While the Spark 10 5G may fall short in terms of screen size, resolution, and RAM compared to the 10 Pro, it more than makes up for it in other aspects, making it a strong competitor.

Therefore, if we were to recommend any new phones from TECNO, it would be their first 5G-capable device to hit the local market.

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