Gadgets

Tecno Spark 4 Air - the smartphone we deserve


Tecno Mobile brought to Russia two newuniversal and not expensive smartphones - Spark 4 and Spark 4 Air. We already managed to get acquainted with one of these smartphones and make a small review. Despite the fact that the company entered the Russian market back in 2018, it is still perceived as exotic. It is also noteworthy that before developing and releasing these smartphones, the company spent a long time researching on what users most would like. Let's see what came of it.


Specifications Spark 4 Air:
- Screen: 6.1 ’’ IPS HD + 1560 * 720. Aspect ratio 19.5: 9
- Processor: MediaTek Helio A22, 4 cores at 2 GHz
- Memory: 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal + MicroSD up to 256 GB (separate slot)
- Networks: WiFi 2.4 GHz, 2G, 3G, 4G Band 3.7.20 Dual LTE, VoLTE, VoWiFi
- Else: GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Micro-USB, OTG, 3.5 Jack, fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth 5.0, FM radio
- Slots for SIM cards: 2 pcs.
- Camera: Dual AI 13 MP AF, dual flash / 5 MP FF microflash
- Operating system: Android 9.0 HiOS v.5.5
- Battery: 3000 mAh
- Dimensions: 156.1 * 75 * 9.2 mm, 175 grams.

Equipment

The smartphone comes in a bright and large boxon the front part of which the smartphone itself is depicted and one gets the feeling that inside lies exactly the same size gadget, pulling all 8 inches of the diagonal. On the smartphone screen there is a transportation protective film, on which football players of the English professional football club Manchester City flaunt. I don’t know how many fans of this club there are in Russia and how many of them visit our site, but this is hardly the target audience of the smartphone.

For a fairly cheap smartphone, the equipmentSpark 4 Air is very rich - a screen protector, a headset, a 1.2 A charger, a MicroUSB cable and a transparent plastic case with a matte finish.

Appearance

The smartphone received a plastic case with 2.5D screen with a rounding effect. The front part is protected by Asahi Glass. In the upper part of the screen there is a camera in the form of a drop-shaped cut-out, a speaker, a large LED that acts as a flash when photographing and is also a light indicator of events. The volume and on / off buttons are classically located on the right side, a microphone, Micro USB and a 3.5mm headphone jack are on the bottom.


Under the back removable cover there are 2 slotsfor Nano SIM-format SIM cards, a slot for MicroSD memory cards and a removable battery with a capacity of 3000 mAh. There are also 2 cameras on the back side of the smartphone, as the manufacturer himself calls them - AI Dual Camera, a dual LED flash, a fingerprint scanner, which is deep enough and very “grope”, and the main speaker. The speaker location is unsuccessful, because most of the sound will not sound towards the ears of the owner of the smartphone. And if you put the smartphone on something soft - a bed or clothes, then the speaker is significantly muffled.

Screen

As noted above - Tecno Spark 4 Airreceived a 6.1 - inch screen with a 2.5D effect and a drop-shaped cutout. The aspect ratio is 19.5: 9 with a resolution of 1560 * 720 pixels. The touchpad recognizes up to 5 simultaneous touches. The screen is built on IPS technology, but the brightness and color are set in such a way that it no longer recalls AMOLED. Everything looks very colorful and juicy. The brightness level will definitely please fans of reading in the dark with minimal backlight. The maximum brightness is enough to comfortably use your smartphone outdoors in sunlight.


For those who don’t like the teardropOn the screen, the manufacturer provided for the software to hide the top line. The notification line continues to be used, it simply repaints completely in black. Applications and games will no longer be able to occupy this area.

Performance
The heart of the smartphone has become a 12 nanometer chipMadiatek Helio A22, which received 4 Cortex-A53 cores with a frequency of 2 GHz. For graphics meets the single-core accelerator PowerVR GE8320. As for the support of cellular networks, the A22 is equipped with an LTE Cat.7 modem and supports download speeds of up to 300 Mbps and download speeds of up to 150 Mbps. As it should be for the entry-level SoC, A22 supports working with two SIM-cards, and with VoLTE in both networks.

The chipset supports MediaTek antenna technologyTAS 2.0 and the latest communication standards: eMBMS, HUPE, Band 71 and IMS. It is also worth noting the dedicated coprocessor responsible for the wireless modules. There is support for 4 satellite navigation systems (GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo), Bluetooth 5.


In the Antutu performance test, the smartphone scoredjust over 70,000 parrots. There is enough performance for the comfortable operation of the smartphone, there are no brakes in the interface. Games also work and work well. Noticeable “brakes” appear in games like PUBG.

The operating system has a specialgame mode, which, according to the manufacturer, optimizes resolution, frame rate, performance and other parameters that will allow you to enjoy popular mobile games without heating and increasing power consumption.

I did not notice any fundamental and tangible difference in performance, but there is practically no heating of the processor.

Camera

“Dual camera with artificial intelligence 13 + 0.08MP allows you to get clear pictures in any shooting scenarios, even in difficult lighting conditions. With AI HDR functions, bokeh and panorama, users of TECNO Spark 4 can enjoy colorful and rich frames on automatic settings. ”- as stated by Tecno, but this is not entirely true. In fact, you still need to remember that this is a budget smartphone and you should not expect miracles from it. In the daytime and in good sunny weather, he takes pictures not badly, but at night everything is rather sad. The detail falls, the smartphone tries to overexpose the frame, and the artificial intelligence technology is only able to blur the remaining details of the frame. Disable this "intelligence" can not.

The front camera has a resolution of 5MP andfixed focus. With good lighting or using the front flash, not bad frames are obtained. Also in the video call mode, face filters are available.

The camera application can automatically detectshooting mode and switch to optimal settings. A huge selection of templates is available in the AR-shooting mode (overlays of various animations / decorations), most of which are dedicated to the Manchester City football club.

Autonomy
Unlike his brother, the lite versionSpark 4 Air received a lightweight 3000 mAh battery. You always want more, but this battery, in combination with a not very demanding processor, shows not bad results.


Benchmark PC Mark counted exactly 10 hours of autonomy.

Playing 720p video on YouTube via WiFi (a SIM card is also available and works on a 4G network), it drains the battery to a full charge in 10 hours 52 minutes.


If you use a smartphone to a minimum,for calls, but at the same time always be on the network via WiFi or 4G - the smartphone is able to stretch for a week (with the total time of the on screen within one and a half hours).

Memory
The smartphone came to the Russian market with only 2 GBRAM, while in India it is sold with 3 GB. This is extremely small especially considering Android 9, which is constantly trying to unload everything from memory. Didn’t be greedy except with the built-in memory - 32GB of which 24.5GB is available to the user. Of course, this is not much, but for a smartphone such a price segment is already good.


For those who have little memory, you can expand it with a MicroSD memory card up to 256GB. The slot for memory cards is separate, you do not have to sacrifice one of the SIM cards.

The smartphone is running Android 9.0 with HiOS 5.5.2 shell. The shell is very beautiful with many settings and built-in applications. The latter is more likely minus and very bold. The hour was spent only to delete everything that can be removed. From oddities, a ban was found on stopping and disconnecting applications from the Corner. There are also built-in applications for optimizing the charge, catching “pests” devouring the battery and trackers of free space on the built-in storage, which every day offer to remove something “unnecessary” and even the built-in antivirus.

Of the liked and perhaps the only thingwhich I would leave and even install on another smartphone is a dynamic lock screen wallpaper. The smartphone itself periodically downloads new wallpapers and decorates them with interesting sayings. Something similar to the Windows 10 welcome screen.


It is possible to download and install themes on the shell, which consist of wallpapers and modified application icons. And a great section with wallpapers, which is constantly updated with fresh pictures.

The built-in launcher also supportscustomization, where you can change the size of the icons, the grid of the desktop and enable support for handwritten gestures that can be programmed to run any application, or some other action.

Minuses
- 2GB RAM
- lack of support for WiFi 5 GHz
- old type of connector - Mirco USB
- a huge amount of preinstalled software
- lack of NFC

pros
- good autonomy
- price
- branded shell
- screen


Smartphone sales started on November 15 at a price6990 rubles. For this price, we get a bright smartphone with a colorful screen, a fresh version of Android and decent performance, which is enough even for games. It’s only a pity that when transporting to Russia, 1GB of RAM was “lost” somewhere.