If you’re looking for a decent smartphone to ease your tight budget, then we at ASTIG.PH are happy to share with you there’s a device for you! Introducing the TECNO Spark 7 Pro, a mid-range smartphone with a 6.6-inch display and a 48MP triple cameras.

Priced at Php6,990, this phone is a supercharged version of the TECNO Spark 7 that came out earlier this year.

Head over to the TechKuya channel on YouTube for our TECNO Spark 7 Pro video review, or read on for our full take on this device.

Handheld front - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Handheld front – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

Build quality, display

The TECNO Spark 7 Pro is a sturdy phone with a polycarbonate rear panel. It’s a bit hefty, but that’s because it has a 6.6-inch screen and a 5,000 mAh battery. We have an IPS LCD HD display panel with a native resolution of 720×1600 pixels running at 90Hz.

We feel it lacks brightness and uniformity, but it is big and super smooth thanks to the high refresh rate.

Dot-in notch, 8MP selfie camera - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Dot-in notch, 8MP selfie camera – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

It’s quite immersive thanks to that “punch hole” notch which TECNO calls the “dot-in display”. Until recently, we don’t normally see this kind of notch at this price range, so we’re glad to find it in a sub-7,000 peso phone.

There’s also a pre-installed screen protector to keep the screen safe from the wear and tear of daily use.

Speaking of which, the polycarbonate back has a matte finish and feels sturdy enough to survive casual scuffs and scratches, but there’s a free jelly case in the box for extra protection. It’s different from what we usually see from TECNO – the case comes embossed with the word “Dream” in a beautiful font, giving it an ornate, animated look.

Back with Dream jelly case - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Back with Dream jelly case – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

The back of the jelly case a textured surface which perfectly aligns with the design of the triple camera module. It’s really chic and trendy and like nothing we’ve seen from TECNO before.

Herein lies our predicament: the Spark 7 Pro is already quite hefty and bulky without the case, but it looks so much better with the “Dream” jelly case on!

48MP triple cameras - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
48MP triple cameras – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

Unlocking the phone using the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner can be challenging because of the phone’s size. It’s too high up the back, right beside the 48MP triple camera module, so unlocking it feels awkward and unnatural.

A side-mounted solution like what we have on the TECNO Camon 17P would have been preferable for phones this big.

Dual SIM and expansion tray - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Dual SIM and expansion tray – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

Dedicated dual SIM and micro SD expansion slots are available for those who need it, along with a 3.5mm audio jack. It even comes with a free wired headset! It may be a headset, but that’s one less accessory to worry about.

Headsets are really important at this price point because of the types of users that the TECNO Spark 7 Pro caters to: the not-so-techies will appreciate it, and we applaud the product team for being attuned to their target market’s needs.

Headset - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Headset – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

Performance

TECNO Spark 7 Pro runs on the Android 11 operating system out of the box with TECNO’s HiOS 7.5  to deliver a richer, fuller user experience.

YouTube - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
YouTube – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

Under the hood is the MediaTek Helio G80 chipset with 4GB of memory and 128GB of storage.  The Helio G80 is a tried and tested chipset found in countless smartphones over the last year. It was released early 2020 and has since been replaced by the slightly more capable Helio G87.

128GB should be good news for anyone looking for a budget phone: that’s quite a generous amount of storage for the price.

Performance is decent for a mid-range phone. More importantly, the 90Hz high refresh rate screen contributes to a much smoother user experience.

Chin - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Chin – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

Comparatively speaking, the Speak 7 Pro ranks well despite its modest specs. We were surprised to find that it holds well against the more powerful TECNO Camon 17P, which runs on the much newer Helio G85 SoC with more RAM. That phone scored 4979 when we ran PassMark performance benchmarking software.

On the other hand, the TECNO Spark 7 Pro was able to fetch 4778 points on PassMark, only 2,000 points shy of the Camon 17P. It also fares well against the Snapdragon 662-powererd HUAWEI nova 8i, which scored only 4789 points despite having double the RAM at 8GB.

USB-C cable - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
USB-C cable – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

The big screen is especially awesome for media consumption, despite the resolution being limited to 720P HD. The single bottom-firing loud speakers aren’t too bad either – what it lacks in dynamic range it more than makes up for in loudness.

Mobile gaming

Mobile gamers will be happy to know that the TECNO Spark 7 Pro does well for moderate gaming. The Helio G80 platform from MediaTek is tuned especially for gaming.

Genshin Impact - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Genshin Impact – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

The Mali-G52 MC2 is a very capable GPU that punches way above its weight class, and the phone’s 720P HD screen makes it a lot easier for the system to drive higher frame rates. Sure, higher resolution will always be visually superior, but we doubt we’d get the same frame rates on a 1080P full HD display.

For example, Marvel Super War and Mobile Legends are very playable on the phone at High graphics settings. Unfortunately, Ultra mode is disabled so we can’t go any higher.

HiOS 7.5 in-game panel - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
HiOS 7.5 in-game panel – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

Graphically demanding games such as Genshin Impact and Marvel Future Revolution does run on this phone, but we got the best frame rates around Low to Medium graphics settings. We can push it all the way to the highest possible limit, but the experience is not as smooth and things quickly fall apart when there’s heavy action on the screen.

By the way, HiOS 7.6 comes with an in-game panel that lets you do things comfortably while gaming. You can browse and chat in a floating window, disable notifications, take screenshots and screen recordings, and even re-map the hardware buttons to function as additional triggers inside your game!

Power button and volume rocker - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Power button and volume rocker – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

Capturing moments with ease

Speaking of cameras, the Tecno Spark 7 Pro has a triple camera system with a 48MP main camera and two supplementary, un-labelled passive cameras. It takes decent photos during the day, and at night it has  a blindingly quad LED flash system to keep things sharp and bright.

The quality of the flash may be harsh because it’s so bright and direct, but it’s better than no light at all when taking photos in dimly-lit areas.

For selfies, there’s an 8MP sensor with a dual LED flash system mounted at the top of the screen. We’ve seen similar systems from TECNO in the past, and we’re happy to find it here on the TECNO Spark 7 Pro.

One of our favorite features is the augmented reality (AR) system, which lets you take photos and videos with AR stickers and filters similar to Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.

For videos, there’s a “Portrait Video” mode that blurs the background to mimic shallow depth of field.  We were a little underwhelmed by the lack of dynamic range and blown-out highlights, which made our videos look unnatural.

A “Pro Video Mode” with manual controls to lock in exposure and white balance would have been extremely useful here for content creation. We hope TECNO reads this and adds this feature in the future!

Hit the play button to watch our sample video!

Battery power

Powering the TECNO Spark 7 Pro is a 5000 mAh battery that charges via a more traditional Micro USB port. It doesn’t support fast charging technology, so it takes roughly three and a half hours to fully charge to 100 percent.

PSU - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
PSU – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

It may not be have the fastest charging speeds, but the battery life does remarkably well, lasting up to 2 days with moderate use at home, which mainly consists of media consumption, light gaming, and taking photos and videos for social media.

Takeaway

For anyone who’s into big screens, the 6.6-inch TECNO Spark 7 Pro offers decent performance at a price that’s easy on the wallet.

Back panel - TECNO Spark 7 Pro
Back panel – TECNO Spark 7 Pro

For less than 7,000 pesos, you get the immersive-ness of a 6.6-inch screen with a minimal notch, the smoothness of a 90Hz display with the Helio G80 chipset, and the benefit of a two-day battery life.

On the downside it’s huge and unwieldy, and we’d love to take better photos and videos – perhaps a software update could address that. A more even-looking display panel with better viewing angles is also high on our wish list for the TECNO Spark 8.

TECNO Spark 7 Pro technical specifications (Philippines)

  • Display: 6.6 inches; 720 x 1600 pixels; IPS LCD, 90Hz
  • SIM: Dual SIM (nano-SIM, dedicated slots)
  • OS Android 11; HiOS 7.5
  • Chipset (SoC): MediaTek Helio G80 (12nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2GHz max)
  • GPU: Mali-G52 MC2
  • Memory (RAM) + storage (ROM): 4GB+128GB
  • Expansion: microSDXC (dedicated slot)
  • Main camera (rear): 48MP (wide) + unspecified second and third cameras
  • Selfie camera (front): 8MP, dual LED flash
  • Connectivity: 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP aptX
  • I/O: Micro USB, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Biometrics: rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Colors: Alps Blue, Spruce Green, Neon Dream, Magnet Black
  • Price (Philippines): Php6,990 (4+128GB)