The TECNO Spark 3 and Spark 3 Pro are what we may call fraternal twins. The two devices not only share a name and a similar design but they both offer mostly the same user experience but there are also a few differences that called for the extra “Pro” branding on one of them. Ideally, the Pro device should be the outright buy, seeing that the makers already consider it superior to the non-pro but is that really the case?
We take you through what we think about both devices and like it should be the case for every comparison, we’ll have an outright winner, but first, the specifications (the differences are in bold):
|TECNO Spark 3||TECNO Spark 3 Pro|
|Display||6.2" 720P||6.2" 720P|
|Software||Android 9.0 Pie||Android 9.0 Pie|
|Main Camera||Dual 13MP (standard) + VGA (depth sensor)||Dual 13MP (standard) + 2MP (depth sensor)|
The Better Phone, Overall
Just from looking at the specifications, it is clear that the two phones share a lot, aside from network capabilities and internal storage. But are these two factors really enough to justify an over one thousand bob difference in price?
Honestly, yes. Having access to 4G is a big deal and with the continuous expansion of 4G in the country, I don’t see why anyone would want to lock themselves up in a cocoon of a super-slow 3G network. Secondly, you get double the storage with the Spark 3 Pro than you get with the Spark 3 and in this age of selfie-obsessed humans, the more the storage the better for you.
On top of the specifications differences, the Spark 3 Pro offers a more premium design with a polycarbonate unibody compared to the Spark 3’s removable back (none of the two has a removable battery). The speaker placement on the Pro is better since it’s on the bottom of the phone – so when you’re not blocking it, it will sound better than the rear-placed speaker on the Spark 3.
The headphone jack is at the bottom on the Pro and the top on the non-pro (I prefer the bottom) and interestingly, the positioning of the USB charging port is inverted on the Pro and the right side up on the non-pro. The other visible styling difference is the placement of the front-facing flash, which is on the right side on the Spark 3 and the left side of the Pro – both phones have a similar sized notch but weirdly, the standard Spark 3 slightly taller than the Spark 3 Pro.
The cameras are almost exactly the same (if you do not consider the second camera on the back where the Spark has a VGA lens and the Pro has a 2MP lens), they do a good job but don’t expect much from it. Interestingly, despite having identical 8MP front cameras, the Pro does produce better selfies.
Considering all these differences and the efforts put in to establish the Pro as the superior device design-wise, the TECNO Spark 3 Pro is a better buy.
But This One Has Better Software Experience
To some people, topping up the Kes.1500 to get the Pro variant might not be a problem but to anyone still asking if they really have to, the answer is no.
If the ability to access the 4G network and double the storage capacity does not justify exceeding your budget, then sticking to the standard TECNO Spark 3 will not actually be a bad thing. Majority of what you get with the Pro is what you get here.
The designs are very similar, just avoid the Gold colour – with all honesty it’s not as beautiful as the name wants us to believe. The black colour, however, does push things to a more desirable square with tiny starry imprints (also on the Gold but less visible) that add some character to the otherwise iPhony design.
Weirdly, the software experience on the standard Spark 3 is slightly better, with a newer version of HiOS, v5.0 vs HiOS v4.6 on the Pro, which means that the Spark 3 does have more features (like the smart panel) that we do not find on the Pro, weird! Both phones do have Android 9.0 Pie though.
So yes, the Spark 3 does put up a fight to really catch up with the Pro variant and depending on who the phone is for (let’s say a younger kid or older person), the standard Spark 3 will just suffice.
Which One Should You Buy?
The TECNO Spark series is one that really defined the entry-level segment, you really can’t go wrong with either. Yeah, you can probably find cheaper phones that the Spark 3 duo but the sacrifices made will water down all the savings you intend to make.
The two latest Spark series phones, Spark 3 and Spark 3 Pro, offer an almost identical experience but packaged for different categories of people. If you’re a modern by the town person, go for the TECNO Spark 3 Pro but if you wake up to birds chirping and the sound of cows mooing (I am not talking about Rongai people though), then get the TECNO Spark 3.