In recent years, brands like Xiaomi and Realme have dominated the Indian smartphone market with their value for money offerings in almost every segment except for the ultra-premium one. But that doesn’t mean there are no other contenders. I recently reviewed the Tecno Spark Power (review) which cost Rs 8,999 and boasted a gigantic 6,000mAh battery and was relatively pleased with the device.
The Tecno Spark Go Plus, priced at Rs 6,299, is the company’s latest stab at the entry-level market. The phone has a massive 6.5-inch screen, which is the biggest in the price segment. I played around with the phone for a while and here are my thoughts.
Design and display
The phone has plastic unibody build which is nothing fancy but the colour variant I received has a two-tone colour theme, wherein the top half starts as purple but transitions into something of a violet colour. The Spark Go Plus has only a single camera on the back, paired with a LED flash in the top left corner. Apart from that, the back panel bears only the capacitive fingerprint sensor, along with Tecno branding at the bottom left. The phone feels light, but one-handed usage becomes a problem owing to the big display.
The Tecno Spark Go Plus has a 6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. The bezels around the phone aren’t particularly thin, with the front being dominated by a giant chin that contributes to the phone’s hefty size. The display on its own is nothing spectacular considering the price of the device, but its large size does make for more immersive content viewing. The standard blue light filter and the dedicated reading mode are the only screen optimisation options available. The company says that the phone can pump up the brightness to 480 nits and I had no problem in reading under bright, sunny conditions.
In a time when Realme and Xiaomi are putting dual cameras on entry-level smartphones, the Tecno Spark Go Plus sticks with a single 8MP shooter on the back, supported by a dual-LED flash. As expected, the photos from the phone are nothing spectacular, but the device does a decent job of preserving details when a ton of light is showered on the subject. The single lens also means that the phone has to use software for generating a bokeh mode effect, which it is capable of – though the camera fails to recognise the subject quite a few times. As expected, low-light photos on the device lack detail and focus, but you can use the dual-LED flash to brighten up the scenery considerably.
Video-taking capabilities of the phone include 1080p, 720p, and 480p recording. The phone has an 8MP selfie camera as well which can do a software-enabled portrait mode. Tecno is employing the same brand of face smoothening on the Spark Go Plus that is employed often by Chinese OEMs even when beauty mode is turned off.
Performance, software, and battery
In terms of processing, the Spark Go Plus possesses the MediaTek Helio A22 chipset, which is something that can be expected on an entry-level smartphone. In terms of usage, the phone lagged slightly while switching between a few heavy apps such as Instagram and Facebook.
Low-end games, such as Temple Run and Subway Surfer, ran fine on the device. However, graphic-intensive games such as PUBG Mobile refused to run as the phone is backed by only 2GB of RAM. PUBG Mobile Lite will be a better choice on this type of processor and RAM configuration. The speaker and earpiece quality on the device was up to the mark, while the fingerprint sensor was hit-or-miss most of the time. There is no facial recognition option for authentication.
The Tecno Spark Go Plus is an Android Go smartphone, which means it runs a slightly modified version of Android better suited for low-end smartphones. The device runs HIOS 5.5.2 based on Android 9.0 Go edition. As with my previous experience with the Tecno Spark Power, I have very few qualms with Tecno’s software choice. There isn’t any significant bloatware to deal with, even though there are separate pre-installed apps for customising the HiOS experience.
Given that the phone has a low-powered chipset and a lower resolution display, the 4,000mAh battery should be quite sufficient for day-to-day usage. The phone’s battery dropped by just 20 percent after 4-5 hours of rigorous using.
It seems Tecno makes compelling products which focus on one major aspect of the device. In the case of the Spark Go Plus, it is the gigantic 6.5-inch display. However, it comes at the compromise of making the camera and processor tertiary features of the phone. In my mind, the consumer will have more versatility if they choose the similarly priced Redmi 8A (review) which packs in a bigger battery, better camera, and arguably a better SoC.
There are a few things that need to be mentioned however. Tecno is providing a onetime full-screen replacement on the device and also has warranty of 12 months plus one month extra. Apart from that you also get three months of Gaana subscription free along with a pair of Bluetooth earpiece worth Rs 799. Is that enough to sway you to get the Tecno Spark Go Plus? It is certainly worth some considerations at the very least, especially the screen replacement for free which is something no other competing smartphone is offering.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Good battery life
- Decent daylight photography
- Huge display
- Performance is an issue
- Not meant for one-hand usage