Reasonable price offers more options

Spark 5 user-friendly and punches above its weight

Spark 5
Spark 5

In an era where it’s become normal to pay thousands of rand for gadgets, it’s refreshing to find some at a reasonable price while they offer even more options than the usual suspects.

One such device is the Tecno Spark 5, which surprisingly punches above its weight and could give some popular names a run literally for their money.

I had the privilege of using the Spark 5 for the past two weeks, and it’s been a wowing experience for someone accustomed to the exclusive use of Apple devices for nearly a decade.

The Spark 5 is easy to navigate, fully equipped with a six-inch touch screen. But there’s more. Features which have become a luxury for bigger brands’ top-of-the-range models come at no cost with the Spark 5.

For instance, the face recognition and fingerprint functionality to unlock the device, which both enhance the security and safety of the device, are standard.

What I found extremely user-friendly was the FM radio already installed. Whereas I’m used to having to go to the app store in my current device to download a radio app which comes with annoying ads, the Spark 5 offers a radio app that allows you to record programmes.

You don’t have to wait for radio stations to send podcast links in case you miss a particular programme. I could merely go to “start recording” and listen to the programme at my own convenience. Retrieving it later is even easier, as the Spark 5’s “file manager” moves you straight to “recent documents”. And space should not be an issue as it has 32 gig storage capacity.

The device, which runs on Android, has five built-in cameras which produce high-quality pictures. In particular I preferred the beauty mode, which ensured pics were crisp and clearer.

Other supposed “luxuries” include a light detector, with the Spark 5 able to automatically adjust to night mode at the slightest hint of a room becoming dark.

The battery life is also impressive, lasting up to two days from my experience. The manufacturer claims “344 hours of standby time, 16 hours of calling, eight hours of camera work, or 14 hours of continuous video playback” on battery life. Not once did my battery run out, although admittedly with new devices expectations are that they function optimally anyway.

Inside the Spark 5 box, you find a screen protector, phone cover, wired headphones and HiPods (wireless, Bluetooth headphones), features which could cost you an arm and a leg elsewhere.

Undoubtedly, the most impressive aspect of the Spark 5 is the price. It costs R2,999, and can be found at select Vodacom 4U stores, Cellucity, Game, Foschini and Totalsports stores among others. But as with all new products, the Spark 5’s real test will be in its longevity.

Will that impressive battery life still be there in two years’ time? Can it stand constant use without freezing? Of course, two weeks’ usage cannot provide all the answers. But it’s worth a try in this time when you need a device that does everything at an acceptable budget.

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