Following the success of its SPARK 7 series in 2021, premium smartphone brand TECNO Mobile, has launched its brand-new SPARK 8C in South Africa.

Aimed at the younger market segment and designed with the young consumers’ diverse creative needs in mind, TECNO SPARK 8C offers a comprehensive set of features that will have immersive visual experience, smooth performance and more excitingly, bigger memory (Read the official Press Release here).

UNBOXING

Upon opening the box, I received the following items:

  • TECNO SPARK 8C
  • Brochure
  • TECNO Ear Buds
  • TECNO USB stick
  • TECNO Power bank

You can view the unboxing video here.

In the box I found the following items:

  • TECNO SPARK 8C Turquoise Cyan
  • Transparent soft silicon case
  • 5mm audio headset
  • Wall charger
  • USB cable
  • SIM ejector pin

I just love the fact the TECNO Brand supplies a cellphone cover for all their phones, so you can protect your phone from the outset.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Operating System: Android v11, HiOS v7.6.0
  • Memory: 128GB+4GB
  • Supported Networks: 2G/3G/4G
  • Dimensions: 164.57x76x8.95mm
  • Display: 16.66cm (6.6”) HD+ Dot Notch Screen
  • Resolution: 720×1612
  • Camera:
    • 8MP Front Camera with Flash
    • 13MP AI Dual Rear Camera with Dual Flash
  • Connectivity: GPS, WiFi, BT, FM, OTG
  • Sensor: G-Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor
  • Battery Capacity: 5000mAh(typ)
  • Sim Card: Dual SIM open
  • Processor: 1.6GHz Octa Core
  • Charging: 10W
  • External Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB

EXTERNAL FEATURES

Design and Display

The TECNO SPARK 8C comes in different colors such as Magnet Black, Iris Purple, Diamond Grey and Turquoise Cyan (which I received). I really love the colour as it helps you stand out from the crowd.

It has a trendy design with an A-class curved surface which lends to a more comfortable grip when holding the phone. The front of the phone has a 16.66cm glass waterdrop display with a colour IPS LCD screen which is IPX2 splash resistant. It has a refresh rate of 90Hz and a touch sampling rate of 180Hz for a smoother scrolling and visual experience.

The front also has an 8MP Selfie Camera with LED Front Flash and FaceID support. You can create amazing selfies with the different effects and filters.

On the sides, you will find the power and volume buttons as well as the Dual nano-SIM slot.

At the bottom you will find the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, micro-USB charging port and speaker. I did find the sound to be a little soft and one dimensional, however, I must admit I am used to a smartphone with stereo speakers.

The back of the phone is where things get interesting! The back panel has vertical grooves and the TECNO SPARK Branding and “STOP AT NOTHING” embossed text on it. This really stood out for me. I think it is brilliant from a marketing point of view, as it indoctrinates the smartphone user to the Brands ethos.

The rear camera consists of a 13MP AI Dual Lens with Dual-LED Flash, featuring F1.8 Aperture, Samsung Image Sensor, AI Beauty, AI Portrait, HDR, AI Scene Detection, Smile Shot, Filters, 4X Zoom, Continuous Shot, Panorama, AR Shot, Documents, Time-lapse, Slow Motion, Google Lens and Dual Flashlight. Video Resolution at 1080p@30fps. Unfortunately, the phone does not offer 4K video recording.

I found the camera to be decent with the quality of the photos acceptable.

The back of the phone also has an Anti-oil Smart Fingerprint Sensor for your data security.

INTERNAL FEATURES

User Interface and Software

TECNO SPARK 8C runs HiOS v7.6.0 on Android v11 and has many useful features (refer to special features below). What I do find a little cumbersome is the numerous app notifications and ads once you have completed setting the phone up. However, you can delete some of the applications that you don’t need and also disable the notifications. It is best to take some time and set up the phone to your specific needs.

The app tray is organised alphabetically and you can see the A,B,C on the right side of the screen. The home screen offers motivational quotes, which I love!

Special Features:

  • Soplay 2.0 Music Mixer: For Creating your own music even without internet
  • Memory Fusion
  • Smile Capture
  • HDR Mode
  • Bokeh Effect
  • Super Boost: For Optimized Performance even after prolonged use
  • HiParty App: For playing the same music with synchronization on up to 6 devices
  • DTS Sound and High-Resolution Audio Support

Performance

There is one particular feature that really impressed me and stood out from any of the other phones that I have reviewed, and that is the Memory Fusion Technology that comes with the TECNO SPARK 8C. With Memory Fusion, the RAM on your Spark 8C can be expanded by as much as 100%! How amazing is that!

What is Memory Fusion?
Memory Fusion Technology was designed to make use of unused read-only memory (ROM) and channel them for RAM operations. With Memory Fusion, for example, a typical 8GB + 128GB smartphone can be optimized with an enlarged onboard RAM of up to 13GB + 128GB. By allocating more storage to RAM, the Memory Fusion Technology enhances a device’s multi-tasking capacity, allows for seamless switching between applications that are running concurrently in the background (Up to 45% improvement in launching apps and up to 15 apps support in background), and stabilizes the phone’s systems for more optimal, efficient, and sustainable performance and longer battery life.

When you compare the TECNO SPARK 8C to a phone without Memory Fusion, you will notice that the technology allows for an increased number of active applications running in the background, a faster warm reboot process, and a quicker load time for frequently and recently used applications.

One can conveniently locate and toggle the Memory Fusion setting on TECNO’s user-friendly interface before selecting a preferred expansion capacity. Expansion of RAM storage capacity varies across different models. TECNO’s Memory Fusion Technology allows expansion of up to 5GB . Memory Fusion allows expansion of up to 3GB on the Spark 8C.

Once you have set up your device and you find that Memory Fusion is not available, (you can check this in your Settings under Storage. There should be a Memory Fusion option), there are two OTA (Over the Air) update versions – v.032 & v.034, you will need to download and install.

*Your device should notify you if there are new updates; however, you can also manually check updates in “System Update” located in your System Settings. The memory fusion function comes with the v.034 update, hence you would need to first download and install v.032, after which update v.034 will be available for download/install.

Battery

The Tecno SPARK 8C is powered by a Non-removable Li-Po 5000mAh battery and comes with a 10W charger, which is unfortunately, not fast charging, so don’t try with a fast charger. When fully charged, and testing the phone throughout the day, the battery lasted almost 2 days. The battery offers up to 89 days long standby, 23 hours Video playback or 53 hours Calling or 137 hours music playback, Sleep mode optimization, Ultra Battery saver mode for extreme backup.

CONCLUSION

The TECNO SPARK retails at R3 299.00 and is among one of the most affordable budget smartphones to feature Memory Fusion Technology, which is a huge advantage when it comes to performance. At this price range and with all the features that normally comes with mid-range devices, it is possibly one of the better budget smartphones on the market.

About TECNO
TECNO is a premium smartphone and AIoT devices brand from TRANSSION Holdings. With “Stop At Nothing” as its brand essence, TECNO is committed to unlocking the best contemporary technologies for progressive individuals across global emerging markets, giving them elegantly designed intelligent products that inspires consumers to uncover a world of possibilities. TECNO understands the needs of consumers from different markets and provides them with localized innovations and design breakthroughs demonstrated through their mastery of serving consumers who are “young at heart” and never stops pursuing excellence. TECNO’s portfolio spans across smartphones, tablets, smart wearables and AIoT devices made for consumers in over 70 emerging markets world-wide. TECNO is also the Official Partner of Manchester City, Premier League Champions 2020-21. For more information, please visit: www.tecno-mobile.com.