Phones under the sub-15k bracket do not usually provide much performance for gaming. But there are a few exceptions, take Tecno Spark 8C as an example. The budget phone from Tecno packs a Unisoc T606, yes a Unisoc SoC. I was a bit reluctant about its gaming performance but I changed my mind after the usage. In this Tecno Spark 8C review article, I’ll be talking about my overall experience about the performance, display, camera, and UI of the smartphone.
Tecno Spark 8C Specifications:
- Display: 6.6″ LCD panel, HD+ (720 x 1612 pixels)
- Processor: Unisoc T606, 12nm
- Memory: 3GB RAM, 64GB storage
- Software: Android 11 Go with HiOS 7.6
- Rear Camera: 13MP + QVGA sensor
- Front Camera: 8MP (Waterdrop Notch)
- Security: Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, Face Unlock
- Battery: 5000mAh
- Colors: Turquoise, Magnet Black, Iris Purple, Diamond Gray
- Price in Nepal: NPR 14,990
Tecno Spark 8C Review:
Following the budget language design, the Spark 8C boasts a plastic body, a plastic frame, and a glass front. Talking of the looks, I used the Turquoise color variant and it looks okay. But I’m not really fond of the “Stop At Nothing” print on the back. Still, looks are subjective and I can’t say much as it’s a budget smartphone.
Moving to the display, the screen also supports a 90Hz refresh rate. If you are coming from a 60Hz display, you’ll notice a slight difference on this phone. The 90Hz feels smooth while scrolling on the UI but the case is not the same on social media apps. The experience was not that fluid and you’ll have to wait for some duration to get the 90Hz feel. After all, the UI and chipset are meant for a budget experience, so not many complaints here.
During my usage period, I mostly used Youtube and the content-watching experience was decent on the 6.6-inch HD+ screen. The display is not too vibrant but it gets the job done for the budget, I must say. The viewing angles are good and I didn’t find color shifting at all.
Cellular Reception and VoLTE
The smartphone supports a 4G network and VoLTE (Voice Over LTE). As soon as I swapped my NTC SIM on this phone, it showed the VoLTE signal. Taking calls on VoLTE felt crisp and loud. On top of that, you can also do 4G video calling without turning on the cellular data connection.
Let’s come to the USP of this guy. Under the hood, the Spark 8C gets a Unisoc T606 SoC based on a 12nm fabrication process. The T606 is surprisingly good for gaming, yes you heard it right. This Octa-core processor can handle PUBG at a High + High frame rate. But people would usually play on Low graphics and I did the same. The Low + high frame rate gameplay was decent for the price on PUBG.
A more optimized title like Call of Duty Mobile’s Multiplayer (MP) mode is enjoyable on this guy. I wouldn’t term it a super smooth experience but other devices in the sub-15k range will not cater to a similar experience. So, I would like to give Tecno some credit here where it’s due. Other less demanding games like Subway Surfers, Temple Run, and Hill Climb racing run without any hiccups.
UI Experience and Performance
The phone runs on HiOS 7.6 built on top of Android 11 Go Edition. As aforementioned, the gaming performance was ‘Yay’ but the UI here is kinda not there. The UI experience feels off for me with its bloatware apps and unnecessary app recommendations. There is an option to hide the recommendation thankfully. But sadly, you cannot uninstall all bloatware apps. Hence, the UI still doesn’t feel that polished and it resembles much of a cheap phone’s software.
Talking of customizations, HiOS provides you with plenty. You can clone and freeze the apps, apply some cool themes, quick gestures, and much more. So, for those fond of customizations, Tecno Spark 8C offers you almost everything. But someone like me prefers a cleaner and polished UI.
Other than that, there are no major hiccups or lags on the UI. Also, I got small software updates from Tecno regarding bug fixes and optimization which is quite appreciable. And you can virtually expand the RAM up to 3GB.
Let’s get into the camera now. The phone technically houses a dual camera setup, led by a 13MP primary lens and a QVGA secondary unit. But the latter one doesn’t seem to do much here. Hence, the 13MP is the sole one doing its job which is fair to say.
Under broad daylight, outputs from the Tecno Spark 8C look average most of the time. I must admit, the 13MP unit here doesn’t produce satisfactory images. The outputs lack sharpness and pictures are generally on the softer side.
The portrait images from the Tecno Spark 8C look okay for the price. The edge detection is fine. Overall, the results are pretty decent.
With daylight imageries not being that decent, I found the Spark 8C’s low-light images to be the same. To note, Tecno has not provided a dedicated night mode here. And the outputs are just below average.
The 8MP front camera surprisingly provides decent selfies. It tries to keep the skin tone accurate with a respectable amount of detail in the outputs. Portrait shots are also very fine. You also get a front flash for low-light selfies.
The smartphone can capture videos at a max 1080p resolution at 30fps. I found the videos to be just basic and average, nothing to be fond of, to be precise. The front camera on the other hand does a good job for video calls though.
This guy packs a 5000mAh battery with no fast charging support. The battery is long-lasting with more than a day of backup in light usage. Under medium usage with social media, content watching, and a bit of gaming, Tecno Spark 8C is good to go for a day. But I wished it came with a Type-C port and fast charging support. The 10W charger it ships with takes almost 3 hours to fill up the cell from 0-100%.
Tecno Spark 8C Review Conclusion:
To summarize, The Unisoc T606 is a capable SoC for handling moderate games smoothly. So, Tecno Spark 8C provides very good performance for gaming in a budget segment. However, I wouldn’t say the same about the UI and camera. The UI has tons of customization options, but it just doesn’t seem polished and clean. And the camera performance is also just basic and needs improvements.
The display is decent for the price and it catered to my content-watching needs. The mono speaker is loud for indoor usage too. Another thing to mention is its fingerprint scanner on the rear side which is snappy enough.
So, for whom is the Tecno Spark 8C? If you are primarily looking for some gaming under 15K, you can give it consideration. But do note that, the UI and camera are not that great. Apart from that, there is not much to complain about.
Tecno Spark 8C Review: Pros and Cons
- Decent Gaming for the price
- Good battery life
- Customizations of HiOS
- Decent Selfies
- Bloatware and Unnecessary Apps Recommendations
- Average Back Camera Performance