TECNO Spark 8C Review: First Budget Smartphone with Expandable Virtual RAM

tecno spark 8c review

Renowned smartphone brand, TECNO in February 2022 launched its budget smartphone, the Spark 8C a new addition to the Spark family.

The Spark series are mid-range smartphones that are carefully tailored to the lifestyle of vibrant and trendy youth looking for an affordable budget smartphone that comes with innovative features, sleek and fashionable design.

The biggest talking point about the Spark 8c is its expandable virtual RAM referred to by TECNO as its Memory fusion. TECNO is one of the prominent manufacturers offering the memory fusion feature, a type of virtual expandable memory technology that simply allows you expand the RAM size of your TECNO Spark 8C in order to increase its performance.

TECNO Spark 8 Box Contents

Apart from the TECNO Spark 8C, users will get the following items inside the box:

  • Transparent silicon protective case
  • SIM ejector pin
  • Power Adapter
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Earpiece
  • 12 + 1 months Warranty card

TECNO Spark 8C Key Specifications

  • Display: 6.6-inch HD+ dot notch screen, 720 x 1612 pixels resolution, 90 Hz refresh rate
  • Dimension: 164.57 x 76 x 8.95mm
  • Chipset: Unisoc Tiger T606
  • CPU: Octa-Core
  • Operating system (OS): HiOS 7.6 based on Android 11
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB
  • Camera: 13MP AI-enhanced dual rear camera with dual flash; 8 MP front-facing camera with flash
  • External Storage: Supports microSD up to 128 GB
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Charging: 10W charging
  • Network: 2G/3G/4G
  • Connectivity: GPS, WiFi, BT, FM, OTG
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Sensor: G-Sensor, Ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, Rear-mounted Fingerprint sensor

TECNO Spark 8C Review

The Spark 8C is designed to give users the utmost mobile experience and is equipped with innovative and upgraded features. We’re reviewing the Spark 8C after using it for a week and this is what the phone has to offer.

Design and Build Quality

Spark 8C comes in four colour options: Turquoise Cyan, Magnet black, Iris Purple, and Diamond Grey. Our review unit was the magnet black colour. It is a fantastic-looking device with its iconic design and fashionable colours that fit into the lifestyle of any user.

tecno spark 8c
Tiny hole-punch front-facing 8MP camera with flash by the side

When you hold the Spark 8C in your hand, it feels light. The phone has rounded corners at each edge, and the back is made of plastics that can easily scratch, hence the need for a protective case.  At the rear, there is a TECNO “STOP AT NOTHING” slogan branding.

On the right-hand side of the phone is the power and volume buttons placed comfortably within reach and can be clicked on easily with the thumb. On the left side is the slot for SIM card featuring two Nano-SIMs and space for a micro-SD card. The fingerprint sensor can be found at the rear close to the camera department.

At the bottom are the speaker grill, microphone, 3.5mm audio jack and the micro-USB 2.0 port. The Spark 8P build quality is similar to the Spark 8P except that the power button works as the fingerprint unlock.

Display

In terms of display, TECNO Spark 8C features a 6.6-inch HD+ dot notch screen display with 720×1612 pixel resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. At the top of the screen is a tiny hole-punch front-facing 8MP camera and flashlight.

spark 8c display
Spark 8C display

The stunning, sharp and smooth display makes it easier to read and watch movies indoors and outdoors. The screen is of good quality with a decent colour range for a budget device. Watching videos on TikTok, Instagram and Netflix was quite cool on the Spark 8C screen.

Camera

TECNO Spark 8C sports a 13MP AI-enhanced dual rear camera with dual flash. On the camera front, the device is equipped with an 8MP with flash for taking selfies.

Rear Camera and mounted fingerprint scanner of the Spark 8C

The camera did a good job but can be better. The main camera produced some sharp and detailed photos with stable hands in daylight and low light. Although, the selfie camera did an acceptable job of capturing images, in daylight it should offer clearer pictures, especially for night photography.

Within an accurate lighting condition, the Spark 8C captures good images. The following are sample images shot by the TECNO Spark 8C.

Selfie taken with the front-facing camera

AI Cam in portrait mode

AI Cam

Image captured with rear camera at night

Hardware and Software

The smartphone is powered by an Unisoc Tiger T606 octa-core paired with up to 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The RAM can be expanded to up to 6GB via its memory fusion feature while the storage is expandable via a micro-SD card up to 128GB. Getting an extra RAM sounds really great right.

In the GeekBench 5 benchmarking test, the Spark 8C scored 311 single-core and 1,204 multi-core. The performance was great.

The phone handled most of the tasks thrown at it excluding playing heavy games like Asphalt or PUBG but playing light games like candy crush won’t be an issue. The current hardware performance is considered okay for the mid-range phone with no lags and freezes.

The TECNO Spark 8C ships with HiOS 7.6, which is based on Android 11 with the March security update. TECNO HiOS 7.6 on the Spark 8C comes with a ton of helpful features like Peek Proof (for hiding what you are reading or typing from unauthorized users), Soplay (unique for recording music), Kids Mode, Phone cloner, Hi translate, Talkback, XShare mini, AR card, Social turbo, Dark mode, among others. There are also preinstalled versions of Google apps, Facebook, Tecno spot, Phone cloner, Carlcare, Boomplay, AHA games, and many more. Sign up or log in to your Gmail account to update apps in the Playstore.

TECNO custom user interface, HiOS on the Spark 8C comes with bloatware and Ads but can be disabled.

Close to the rear camera is a fingerprint sensor for easy unlock or biometric authentication. 

Spark 8C Memory Fusion

One of the interesting facts about the Spark 8C is its expandable virtual RAM called Memory Fusion on the device.

Technology keeps changing, we have used many smartphones from different brands and we get angry when unable to multitask because of low RAM. With the memory fusion feature, you can double the RAM size of your Spark 8C. It allows you expand the 3GB RAM Spark 8C variant up to 6GB of RAM.

Different Android and others that support the virtual RAM feature do not have one specific way to enable it. However, the process to activate TECNO Spark 8C memory fusion is very easy and straightforward. The user needs to go into the settings and search for memory fusion. You can increase the RAM size by + 1, + 2 or + 3. We increased the review unit by plus 3 which expanded the RAM to 6GB. After increasing the RAM, the internal storage available is reduced.

Users can activate or deactivate the feature at any time and return it to the default 3GB RAM. The smartphone requires a restart when the feature is turned on or off. The device must also have enough empty storage space to convert it into RAM. For heavy files users to enjoy the memory fusion feature there is a need to get an external memory card since the memory fusion of the Spark 8C uses part of the internal storage for its virtual RAM.

Battery and Connectivity

The smartphone is backed by a 5,000mAh battery capacity which is powered through the micro-USB port with a power brick supporting 10W fast charging.

I did a charging experiment to find out how long it takes to fully charge the Spark 8C. It took about 1 hour and 51 minutes for the phone from 50% to 94%. The phone fully charges in about 3 hours 15 minutes using the micro-USB charger found inside the Spark 8C box.

With regular surfing the internet, looking through my various social media feeds, watching a movie, listening to my favourite songs on boomplay for 4 hours, regular checking of emails and capturing images with the front and rear camera with flashlight switched on, I get back home with about 40% battery power left.  I can say that the battery life is great as it lasted for 24 hours with heavy usage.

To increase the battery life, you can either enable a power boost or the power saving feature. The power-saving feature comprises ultra-power saving that extends the battery life for 12 days and Smart scenes optimize sleep mode and short videos to extend battery life.

Spark 8C power boost

The phone features dual-nano-SIM support with 2G, 3G or 4G connectivity. The device worked perfectly okay with my 4G LTE SIMs with no extra setting or configuration needed after inserting the SIM cards. There is also support for FM Radio, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and there is a 3.5mm audio jack.

Security

The TECNO Spark 8C features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and Face Unlock to prevent unauthorized access to your device.

Pricing and Availability

The review unit (Spark 8C) comes in 64GB storage with 3GB of RAM and is currently available for purchase in TECNO stores and authorized retail outlets nationwide for 66,000 Naira, while the 32GB storage model comes with 2GB of RAM and is priced at 46,000 Naira.

Final Verdict

You will get more performance out of the memory fusion feature without having to worry to purchase a smartphone with higher RAM at extra cost.

The Spark 8 ticks all the boxes when it comes to an affordable budget smartphone that offers good performance and stability but there is still a lot of work to be done in the camera department, especially the front-facing camera.

Long-lasting battery life, a good camera and excellent performance make the Spark 8C a good phone. Everything works seamlessly from the moment the phone was unboxed with no traces of lag or freezes during the review. There is a lot of fun you can have with this phone and if you are looking for a new Android device in the market that is budget-friendly, the TECNO Spark 8C is highly recommended.

Posted by Richard

Avid reader and writer, Android lover.

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