The mobile gaming industry has seen significant growth, prompting manufacturers to create gaming-oriented phones alongside regular consumer devices. Tecno, typically recognized for budget-friendly options, is entering the budget gaming market with the Pova 5 Pro. Although normal consumers can also opt for this phone as this comes with a really impressive design. This review provides an in-depth assessment of the Tecno Pova 5 Pro’s performance and features and how well it justifies the price tag.
Design & Build:
The Tecno Pova 5 Pro boasts a well-thought-out design with its distinctive Arc design, exclusive to this model. The back panel, constructed from high-quality plastic, features a gradient finish that subtly reflects light, imparting a premium feel despite its affordable price.
The device has curved edges for a comfortable grip and doesn’t feel overly large. The button placements are ergonomic, and the power and volume buttons offer balanced tactile feedback.
The attention to detail can be noticed with its neatly arranged camera module, minimal branding, and well-designed speaker grills. Although it lacks an official IP rating, its build suggests durability and resistance to minor accidents and wear.
The device includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is becoming less common in modern smartphones but useful for those who prefer wired audio. It also has a USB Type-C charging port.
Display & Sound:
The Tecno Pova 5 Pro features a large 6.78-inch display with minimal bezels, but it’s not AMOLED. Despite this, it provides a commendable viewing experience, suitable for gaming and binge-watching.
The device offers a well-balanced display with sharp resolution, natural and vibrant colors, and good contrast ratios. It performs satisfactorily indoors and decently in direct sunlight, thanks to adaptive brightness that optimizes lighting while saving battery when not needed.
The device also boasts excellent touch responsiveness, crucial for gamers. It effortlessly recognizes multi-touch gestures and minimizes lag or latency during screen interactions.
Pova 5 Pro features a dual-speaker system that improves audio output, delivering clear sound with decent highs, mids, and noticeable bass for its price range. The Hi-res Audio certification enhances sound quality, both through the phone’s speakers and the included earphones, resulting in a richer and more immersive audio experience.
The headphone jack offers users the option to use their preferred headphones for latency-free audio, which can be especially appealing to gamers and audiophiles.
Tecno Pova 5 Pro features a 50MP primary rear camera that delivers high-resolution photos with sharp details, vibrant colors, and good dynamic range in well-lit conditions. Its low-light mode stands out for its balanced approach, enhancing exposure without excessive noise reduction or artificial sharpening. While not professional-grade, the night mode produces impressive results for a phone in this category.
The zooming capabilities, while not the primary focus, are suitable for casual use. It can capture close-up or macro shots with decent detail and a pleasing depth-of-field effect for a blurred background (bokeh).
The selfie camera performs adequately in well-lit conditions, producing sharp images with accurate colors and natural skin tones. It captures facial features and expressions perfectly without excessive smoothing. However, in low-light or dim environments, the selfie camera’s performance declines. Selfies taken in such conditions exhibit softness, reduced detail, and potential graininess or noise in darker areas of the image.
The device uses proprietary camera algorithms to improve photo quality, striking a balance between sharpness and a natural look. The Beauty Cam feature subtly enhances selfies, providing a refined appearance without excessive artificial effects.
The device doesn’t offer 4K video recording, but given its price range, this omission is expected and not surprising. However, its 1080p video footage is respectable, featuring good stabilization, color accuracy, and overall clarity, suitable for casual videography and social media sharing.
Let’s check out some of the camera samples:
Performance & Gaming:
Under the hood, the phone is equipped with Mediatek Dimensity 6080 chipset, while not top-of-the-line, delivers commendable performance for its segment.
In popular games like BGMI, the device performs smoothly, even on the ‘Smooth Ultra’ settings, although it doesn’t quite reach 60 fps due to the absence of the ‘Extreme’ setting. The gyroscope is also pretty accurate and responsive. Nonetheless, it provides an engaging gaming experience, impressively considering its budget-friendly status.
The device’s gaming capabilities aren’t limited to BGMI; it also performs well in graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 9. The graphics are sharp, animations run smoothly for the most part at higher settings, and frame drops, while occasionally present, are rare and generally do not significantly impact the overall gameplay.
TECNO includes a Game Space app tailored for gamers, offering a suite of tools and customizations. Gamers can optimize performance or battery life, access real-time system stats, and control notifications to minimize distractions during gameplay.
The Bypass charging feature is a notable addition, allowing gamers to charge the device without directly using the battery. This addresses concerns about overheating and battery degradation during intense gaming sessions.
However, the device’s thermals are worth noting. Extended gaming sessions can cause the phone to become warm, with temperatures reaching around 40-42 degrees Celsius. While this is common for smartphones under load, it’s advisable to take breaks during marathon gaming to ensure both the device and user remain comfortable.
In terms of performance benchmarks, the Pova 5 Pro’s Antutu and Geekbench scores, while not chart-topping, are respectable. This reaffirms that the phone doesn’t rely solely on flashy features but also has a reliable hardware foundation.
The device achieves respectable performance benchmarks, with an Antutu score of 406,084 and Geekbench 6 scores of 749 for single-core and 2,062 for multi-core.
While not exceptionally high, they indicate pretty good performance for daily tasks and casual gaming.
Pova 5 Pro is running on Android 1 with HiOS 13.1.0 on top. While its user interface has some similarities to Xiaomi’s MIUI in terms of aesthetics and certain functionalities, it also offers unique attributes.
The interface delivers a clean and intuitive feel, featuring sharp icons, smooth transitions, and an overall fluid experience. Unlike some custom OS skins that tend to overcrowd the user experience with unnecessary features, Tecno manages to strike a balance by offering a suite of functionalities without overwhelming users. However, it’s worth noting that there is some bloatware present.
Fortunately, the software avoids many of the glitches or slowdowns that can affect custom interfaces, providing a seamless and responsive user experience. This speaks to the optimization efforts by the Tecno software team.
A small feature that I really liked is the gesture-based ‘Quick App’ function, which proves to be more than just a gimmick. It enhances productivity by allowing users to quickly access and switch between apps with a prolonged back gesture. This feature redefines multitasking, making it efficient and less intrusive.
Customization options are also available through the Hi Theme store, allowing users to personalize the interface with icon packs and themes to match their aesthetic preferences.
The software also emphasizes privacy and security, providing features that empower users to control their data and app access permissions transparently. However, there are some issues with weather data displayed in the Chinese language.
In terms of updates, the device received a recent security patch, indicating an up-to-date software experience.
Pova 5 Pro offers impressive battery life with its 5000mAh capacity, providing extended usage without frequent recharging, even during long gaming sessions.
Its 68-watt fast charging is highly efficient, allowing for a 50% charge in just 20 minutes and a full charge in under 45 minutes. Features like TECNO’s Battery Lab 3.0 and the Bypass Charge function optimize power usage and promote better battery health.
The Tecno Pova 5 Pro, considering its price range, emerges as a strong contender. It boasts a robust build, commendable performance, and a range of user-friendly features, offering excellent value for money. While there are some noticeable compromises, such as the front camera’s performance in low-light conditions, they do not significantly impact the overall positive user experience.
For budget-conscious individuals, particularly those seeking a device priced under 15k, that can handle everyday tasks and gaming smoothly, the Tecno Pova 5 Pro comes highly recommended