I have used both devices and left with a feeling of being almost full in terms of what I’d want from them if I was in the market for such.
For less than Kshs 12,000, the Tecno Spark 4 and the Infinix Hot 8 make strong cases for being the devices you should go with and not something from Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi or the 2-year-old Oppo smartphone that had been discounted during Black Friday.
|Tecno Spark 4||Infinix Hot 8|
|Dimensions||165.28 x 75.9 x 8.2 mm||165 x 76.3 x 8.7 mm, 179g|
|Display||6.52-inch HD+ (1600 x 720 pixels) Dot Notch||6.6-inch HD+ (720 x 1600, 269ppi) Drop Notch Display|
|Camera||Selfie camera: 8MP with flash
Main camera: 13MP + 2MP + VGA
|Main camera: AI Triple Lens 13MP + 2MP + QVGA
Selfie camera: 8MP
|Processor||Quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 (MT6761V) clocked at 2GHz||Same|
|Memory||2GB RAM, 32GB onboard storage||Same|
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie with Tecno’s HiOS UI||XOS 5.0 based on Android Pie 9.0|
|Network||2G, 3G, 4G||2G, 3G, 4G|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, microUSB||Same|
|Color options||Royal Purple/Vacation Blue/Misty Grey/Energetic Orange||Quetzal Cyan, Cosmic Purple, Black|
The Tecno Spark 4 is big and plastic-y, something that I might be tempted to say of the Infinix Hot 8 as well.
Their similarities don’t end there.
They similar button and other feature placement. Both keep clean tops while cramming everything – microUSB port, 3.5mm headphone jack and the speaker – to the bottom. Minor differences, however, show up in the buttons.
Whereas the Spark 4 keeps the volume up and down buttons separately, the Hot 8 sticks with the good old volume rocker. The power button on the latter is also textured so you can’t miss it while the one on the former can easily be mistaken for one of the volume buttons if one isn’t looking.
Sure, things like button placement and the like are not ones that would impact my choice of a device but they are still worth pointing out.
With very little to set them apart when it comes to their sizes and the sizes of their display units, the teardrop notches that dominate the fronts of both devices don’t do much to help matters.
There is no outright winner when it comes to the design.
Both devices have 3 cameras on the back. The one thing they have in common? There’s not much to write home about either. Sure, they’ll do fine for basic needs – where all that you need is just photos – but that’s about it. Don’t expect anything spectacular. As such, the cameras, which match spec by spec, cannot be used to make a direct preference for one over the other, objectively speaking. Subjectively speaking, I tend to lean towards the photos I took with the Hot 8.
Any differences in the performance of the two devices are down to the software customizations on each device. While I found the fingerprint sensor on the Spark 4 a tad too slow to the point I even though maybe it wasn’t an always-on sensor (it is), it is the momentary stutter of the face unlock on the Hot 8 that had me pulling my hair.
Both devices are powered by MediaTek’s Helio A22 chipset and with a similar amount of memory, everything should be almost similar and, indeed, it is.
What will have you pick one over the other on the basis of software alone is purely based on one’s past experiences with either brand.
Infinix’s XOS and Tecno’s HiOS may have different approaches to the whole user experience but they do have lots of convergence points. Battery optimizations, for instance, are almost the same across the two brands’ custom software overlays.
Both are notorious for bundling a lot of what is, to some of us, unnecessary apps. They’ll also treat you almost the same way when it comes to the annoying ads that bedevil the notification dropdown. The colourfulness of their interfaces is also almost at par.
The Infinix Hot 8 has a mammoth 5,000mAh battery unit. While that is impressive and it shows in the device’s extended screen-on-time, it doesn’t stray far away from the respectable 2 hours less I managed to get with the Tecno Spark 4.
The Infinix Hot 8 is going for Kshs 11,000 while the Tecno Spark 4 goes for Kshs 12,000.
The latter adds a little bit of oomph and flair to its rather ordinary profile with the choice of design and tries too hard when it comes to the cameras. The former doesn’t need to do much to stand out in the battery department, its stronghold.