Tecno Spark 20C review: brings the party to your pocket

Review Summary

Expert Rating
7.0/10

Design
★  
7.5
/10
Display
★  
6.5
/10
Software
★  
7.0
/10
Camera
★  
6.5
/10
Performance
★  
6.5
/10
Battery
★  
7.5
/10

Pros

  • Premium design
  • Excellent stereo speakers
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Underwhelming performance
  • Brightness could be better
  • No 5G capability

The Tecno Spark 20C offers all the essentials you’d expect from a quality budget phone: a 6.56-inch 90Hz display, a 50MP primary camera, dual speakers with DTS support, a 5,000mAh battery, and 18W fast charging. The phone is priced at Rs 8,999 on Amazon, and it certainly impresses with its feature list. The question is, does it deliver a performance worthy of its asking price? Let’s find out in this review of the Tecno Spark 20C. 

Verdict

The standout feature of the Tecno Spark 20C is its stereo speakers with DTX support, which are impressively loud with minimal sound distortion at maximum volume. Features like an interesting design, a smooth 90Hz display, reliable battery backup, and satisfactory daylight cameras also make the smartphone worthy of consideration at its price. However, the phone falls slightly short in terms of performance and lacks 5G capabilities. 

Design

The Spark 20C has quite an attractive design. The Magic Skin Green variant that I’ve received especially stands out, partly due to its faux leather back. This material not only does an excellent job of concealing fingerprints and smudges but also adds to its unique appeal. It can get a little dirty with use, but a quick wipe with a slightly damp cloth is all it takes to restore the rear panel to its former appearance. The device is comfortable to hold and has a well-balanced weight of 189g.

The rear panel houses the 50MP primary lens, along with an AI lens and flash unit. The camera deco features a gold metallic coating that complements the flat edges, giving the device a visually appealing appearance. There are dual stereo speakers, along with the Type-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right edge, you’ll find the power and volume buttons, while the SIM card tray is located on the left. The power button also serves as a fingerprint scanner, which functions efficiently, swiftly unlocking the phone.

Display

Coming to the display, the phone equips a 6.56-inch LCD panel with a refresh rate of 90Hz, 180Hz touch response, and HD+ (720 x 1,612) resolution. The panel has thin bezels around the edges with a slightly protruding bottom chin, which is typical at this price point. The display delivers a satisfactory visual experience but has limited visibility due to low brightness levels. Even cranked to the maximum, the brightness is acceptable only for indoor use, as visibility is further diminished under direct sunlight or in very bright environments. 

The dual speakers, however, massively help improve the multi-media experience on the device. The speakers come with DTS support and claim to offer 400 percent high-quality volume output. Naturally, such a claim made me excited to test these out and I was not disappointed. The speakers are indeed impressively loud. Now, there’s a bit of distortion at maximum volume, but it’s within an acceptable range that doesn’t detract from the experience. Watching shows and videos on this device was a blast. 

Cameras

The Tecno Spark 20C comes with a 50MP primary lens paired with a 0.08MP auxiliary lens. At the front, there’s an 8MP camera for all your selfie and video conferencing needs. When it comes to photography, the camera does a satisfactory job in daylight, with vibrant colours, although slightly boosted and an acceptable amount of details. While some details may be lost around the corners, the overall output is satisfactory. The lens also comes with 2x digital zoom, that works well. In low light, the images are softer and have a visible amount of grain. The AI cam does detect low light and switches to ‘Night view’, but the images are usually inconsistent and require multiple attempts to get acceptable results. There’s no dedicated night mode, so the images aren’t as appealing as they could have been with some long-exposure shots.

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The portrait mode on the Tecno Spark 20C is inconsistent, with improper background blurring, and slightly poor edge detection. Colours appear artificially boosted, and skin colour takes on a mild orange hue. The selfie camera works similarly as the primary camera, offering satisfactory results in daylight. The camera outputs images with good skin colour reproduction and some level of softening. In low light, selfies turn out quite grainy, with a significant amount of softening and lack of details. Videos recorded on the device are average, capable of capturing up to 1080p videos at 30FPS. The resulting videos appear blurry, and the sound quality is often slightly distorted.

Performance and software

The MediaTek Helio G36 SoC lies at the core of the Tecno Spark 20C and powers all its performance needs, assisted by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The storage is also user-expandable up to 1TB. The processor adeptly manages day-to-day tasks like general browsing and app use, but it does experience some performance hiccups here and there and lag, particularly when you’re scrolling too quickly or switching between a few apps.

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There’s Memfusion functionality available, which virtually boosts RAM up to 16GB total. With the boost enabled, there’s a noticeable performance increase, with the occasional lags while browsing minimised and slightly better gaming performance. The difference is there, but it’s not particularly large. Talking about gaming, the device is ideal for casual gaming at best, and while it can run graphically demanding games such as BGMI and Call of Duty: Mobile, the gameplay experience is not enjoyable, even at the lowest graphical settings. 

On the software side of things, the device operates on HiOS, based on Android 13.0 out of the box. The OS does come with a few pre-installed apps, some of which can removed but others can only be disabled. The OS is intuitive to use and comes with features like a smart panel, Dynamic Port (what Tecno calls its Dynamic Island-like feature), game mode, and more to enhance your user experience. 

Battery and charging 

A 5,000mAh battery paired with 18W fast charging support fuels the smartphone. The battery on the device is quite robust, and given that the smartphone is meant for basic everyday use, the battery easily lasts an entire day. With heavy usage, you might need to plug your device in at the end of the day.

The Tecno Spark 20C scored 14 hours and 9 minutes on the PC Mark battery test, which is within the acceptable range for the price. The bundled 18W charger takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes to recharge the device completely from 0 to 100 percent, which is standard for the price segment. 

Final Verdict

For its asking price of Rs 8,999, the Tecno Spark 20C delivers on several key essentials that make it a compelling choice in the segment. Where the phone falls short is in its performance output, screen brightness levels, and lack of 5G capability. Competitors such as the Moto G24 Power and POCO M6 5G offer better performance, and the latter even comes with 5G connectivity. The itel P55 5G is another device that offers both 5G support and better performance compared to the Spark 20C at just Rs 500 more. On the other hand, the Realme C53 and Moto G24 Power offer 30W charging, which is faster compared to the Tecno Spark 20C. 

On the other hand, quite a few aspects work in favour of the Spark 20C too. These include a smooth 90Hz display, satisfactory daylight cameras, good battery backup, and a unique textured faux leather design. The standout feature of the smartphone, however, is its set of stereo speakers, which are quite impressive and greatly enhance the multimedia experience.

Editor’s Rating: 7 / 10

Reasons to buy:

  • The smartphone features a premium design with faux leather back
  • Excellent stereo speakers that are quite loud with minimal sound distortion at maximum volume
  • The smartphone offers a reliable battery life that easily lasts an entire day with regular usage

Reasons not to buy:

  • The smartphone’s performance could have been better
  • The screen brightness levels could be improved
  • The Spark 20C lacks 5G capability  

Key Specs

Tecno Spark 20C
RAM8 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G36
Rear Camera50 MP + 0.08 MP
Front Camera8 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.6 inches (16.76 cm)
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Tecno Spark 20C Price
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Rs. 7,999.00
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