TECNO SPARK 10 Pro: Fun camera for fans on a budget
Despite not being around in Bangladesh as long as other smartphone brands, TECNO is known by fans as a reliable provider of affordable smartphones - churning out budget models that cater to a majority of the local user base. Last year, they released the POVA 4 series in Bangladesh, which included three new smartphones ranging from prices between Tk. 18k to 27k. Their latest release, TECNO SPARK 10 Pro, caters to the budget market once again, this time focusing mostly on the camera performance.
First thing first, this phone is great to look at. Its back design is very similar to that of the iPhone 13 Pro, with the three cameras set up in the same order and style as the beloved Apple smartphones. The glass back panel has a 'starry' design and feels smooth to the touch, which adds a lot to the phone's overall aesthetics. Despite a somewhat large 6.8-inch display, the phone is relatively lightweight and is easy to hold in one hand. The 90Hz refresh rate coupled with a default 1080x2460 screen resolution means you can certainly use this phone to watch videos on the go.
TECNO SPARK 10 Pro runs on the Helio G88 processor, which is good enough to run most Play Store games without a notable drop in performance. TECNO POVA Neo 2, which is around the same budget range, has a comparable Helio G85 gaming processor but a 7,000 mAh battery over SPARK 10 Pro's 5,000 mAh battery. Of course, with SPARK 10 Pro, you are getting a whopping 50 MP main + 30 MP selfie camera instead of POVA Neo 2's dual 16 MP main + 8 MP selfie. It goes without saying that TECNO went all out with the camera in this latest release.
On to this phone's most coveted feature: the camera. Even considering its price range, TECNO SPARK 10 Pro comes loaded with impressive camera specs and a variety of unique features. Its aforementioned 50 MP rear and 32 MP front camera come equipped with some cool AI features which make photography a fun pastime with this phone.
When you load up the camera app, the default option will be the 'AI cam' mode, where the phone will identify the scenery in real-time and automatically adjust settings to ensure a crisp, high-quality shot. For example, if you are aiming the camera at a computer screen with writings on it, the camera will recognise the scenery as 'Text' and adjust the lighting to make the text easier to read. Interestingly, when taking photos of a mango tree, the camera labelled the photo as 'Plant' - though it didn't do the same when taking photos of other trees and small flowers.
If there's a lot of scattered light in the shot, the camera will turn on the HDR backlight feature, which will make the resulting photo more focused on the key object and reduce noise in the background. If the camera spots darkness, it will automatically switch to 'Night mode' to capture dazzling shots in low light, even giving you the option to switch to the 'Super Night' camera option, where the camera will add filters to add more life to your night shots.
The 50 MP photo option can be manually turned on and off when you use the AI cam function. Of course, the 50 MP photos are of much higher resolution and file size compared to the non-50 MP ones. For example, a portrait taken in the 50 MP mode was 6144x8192 res with 9.13 MB size, whereas the same shot with 50 MP mode turned off was 3048x4064 res with 2.98 MB size. However, without looking at the details, it can be difficult to pinpoint at first glance which photo is 50 MP and which isn't.
The same things can be said about the phone's front camera. Being 32 MP instead of 50 MP obviously means lesser resolution in photos, but otherwise, you get to play around with the same features as the rear camera - with options like AI colour enhancement, automatic backlight and focus, and photography modes such as beauty, portrait and 'Super Night' available both front and back.
During our limited scope of using TECNO SPARK 10 Pro, most of our time went to testing the phone's fun camera. Its performance and battery life, as far as comparable budget smartphones go, are certainly good but not at the peak of the market. While higher-budget smartphones can provide better camera features, fans on a budget will certainly appreciate the affordability of an AI-based camera phone like the TECNO SPARK 10 Pro. The version we used for this review was the 128 GB memory + 16 GB RAM (with 8 GB extendable RAM) version, which is currently priced at Tk. 17,990/-.