Is brighter Spark worth ditching old model for?

AI lens and monster battery life set new Spark 7 apart

Nkareng Matshe Sports editor
Tecno Spark 7 Pro.
Tecno Spark 7 Pro.
Image: Suplied.

The pace at which technology products – in particular cellphone gadgets – are evolving is alarming, at times leaving you wondering if the new devices are really worth chasing after.

That’s the feeling I got when I laid my hands on the Tecno Spark 7 Pro, the latest device offered by the manufacturers of the Spark 5, which we reviewed in these pages about a year ago.

The latest device didn’t feel particularly different from the previous one, to be honest. In fact, if you placed the two next two each other face up, you would be at pains to point out which was the newer, as they are not dissimilar in terms of shape and size, and holes for charging port, speaker and headphones.

It’s only when put the phones face down that you notice a clear distinction: the Spark 7 Pro is minus one camera, and the manufacturer boasts about it as a “48MP (megapixel) clear triple camera to bring an immersive cinema experience to (users’) fingertips”.

“The camera is exceptional for many reasons, among them an AI lens that brightens dark environments and makes it easier for smiles to stand out. The camera is complemented by the Spark 7 Pro’s exclusive ‘Smile Snapshot’ photo function, which involves AI Portrait focusing on the face and capturing the photo when it sees a smile,” the makers added.

Whereas the picture quality indeed  seems better than in the previous model, I really couldn’t tell if the camera noticed at which point I smiled. However, the “super night mode” was most welcome in that the picture quality remained enhanced even when it was dark.

We commended the previous device’s impressive battery life and it seems to have been improved in the latest version too. Depending on usage, we observed it lasted well over two days, but the makers now say it could last up to an incredible two weeks. “Its 5000mAh battery retains phone power for an incredible 14 days without recharging, making those days of frustration over dark screens a thing of the past for the go-getter who is burning the midnight oil or frequent traveller who needs to stay connected,” they claimed.

We couldn’t vouch for that given time limitations, but in an era where one is constantly on their phone, any sustainable, lengthy battery life would be most welcome, not least in a country prone to regular power cuts.

The Tecno Spark 7 remains affordable, costing between R1,999 and R3,499 when it goes on sale this month. Another plus is its size, offering 128 gigabytes of storage, a massive upgrade from the 5’s 32 gig.

But would anyone who had the previous model jump into the latest one? I’ve previously heard rumblings from users pointing out they may have been misled by fancy words into purchasing basically similar gadgets, even from the known premium brands.

That’s the same feeling I had as I held the Spark 5 against the Spark 7 Pro. But it remains a user-friendly, hi-tech reasonable product which could find resonance with the vast SA technology market.

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