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TECNO POVA review: Helio G80 on a budget

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Here’s our review of the TECNO POVA.

Tecno Mobile released several smartphones in the Philippines with the same M.O.: each with an affordable price tag, a large display and an even larger battery. Their latest, the TECNO POVA, ticks all boxes but this time with a powerful gaming chipset.

TECNO POVA Review

Price

Just like other Tecno Mobile phones, the POVA also affordably priced, retailing for just Php 6,999. It is available in Tecno Mobile stores nationwide or through their official store in Shopee.

Similar to our experience with the Tecno Mobile Pouvoir 4, our assessments on this TECNO POVA review will be in relation to its price.

Design and Display

Just like the Pouvoir 4, the Tecno Pova is large device. The phone is built around a big 6.8-inch display. It has a clean design with soft curves and a glossy back with gradient specks of color.

TECNO POVA Review
TECNO POVA Review

The edges of the back panel slopes towards its sides, which slightly hides its chunky-ness. All in all, the POVA is not a bad looking phone. Even the packaging looks nice. By the way, it has one of the most complete set of accessories I have seen in awhile. In the box, the phone comes with a silicone case, a travel charger, a micro USB to USB-A cable, a set of earphones, and a tempered glass screen protector (which you have to install yourself).

The POVA’s volume rocker and power button is on the right hand side. There’s a dedicated button (in red) to activate Google Voice on the left. And at the bottom, you have the microphone, a microUSB port, and the headphone jack.

At the front, we have the aforementioned 6.8-inch HD+ display. It has an IPS panel with a 1640 x 720 resolution with a punch hole selfie camera on the upper left corner. The earpiece is camouflaged, almost hidden, on the upper bezel. It is flanked by two LED front flashes, also hidden.

TECNO POVA Review

By the way, the earpiece doubles as the phone’s mono speaker. Sound quality is not that good. Bass is lacking, but for the price it does get really loud.

The display is pretty good. Its bright and punchy. It only has 720p resolution, so if you’re used to 1080p or full HD, you’ll definitely notice this.

TECNO POVA Review

Performance and Benchmarks

The TECNO POVA is powered by a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio G80 processor with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. If you need more space, it has an expandable microSD card slot that takes up to 256GB cards.

The phone runs on HiOS based on Android 10. The OS itself is clean and intuitive, but is filled with ads. The OS is also dragged down with bloat ware and persistent notifications. I understand that those who plan to get the POVA probably don’t mind the issue. You can uninstall the apps and games if you won’t use it.

TECNO POVA Review

For the most part, the POVA’s performance is actually good. It is smooth and snappy. Apps load fast and it can run games easily, mostly in medium settings.

Check out the benchmark scores below.

TECNO POVA Review

Cameras

The TECNO POVA has a quad camera setup with a 13MP main, a 2MP macro, a 2MP depth, and a fourth AI Lens.

The camera app has the AI CAM mode with slow motion, short video, video, beauty, bokeh, AR shot, panorama, and document modes. You can also use the same modes on the selfie shooter.

It has same issue as the Pouvoir 4 where you get a slight delay between tapping the shutter button and actual capturing of the image. An update should be able to fix this.

For the price, the POVA’s photos actually look good. Its images are what you’d expect in its class. You get ample details with good colors.

Selfies are okay. Its not bad, but not great either. Skin tone is good, but images look soft with below average detail. The bokeh effect is average with the device struggling to separate the background from the hair.

Battery Life

The POVA’s huge 6,000mAh battery can give you a day and half up of usage. You can stretch it up to two days if you limit your activities.

Thank goodness the phone comes with 18-watt fast charging support. You can get a full charge in around 1.6 hours.

TECNO POVA Review

Wrap Up

All in all, I feel that the TECNO POVA is more refined compared to the Pouvoir 4. It has a better design and better performance. One thing they have in common is that both offer a lot of value for the price.

Still, its not all rainbows and unicorns. The POVA also suffers from the same issues that plagued the Pouvoir 4, such as bloatware, unwanted notifications, and a buggy camera app. I know that these things can be fixed with updates, but it does take some points away from good impression.

But you can’t ignore the fat that it brings a lot of good things for Php 6,999 — the Helio G80 performance, 6GB RAM, and the 6,000mAh battery with 18-watt fast charge.

TECNO POVA specs

  • Display: 6.8-inch HD+ Dot-in Display, 1640 x 720
  • Processor: 2GHz Octa-core MediaTek Helio G80
  • RAM: 6GB RAM
  • Storage: 64GB Storage, MicroSD up to 256GB
  • Rear Camera: 13MP Main + 2MP + 2MP + AI HD Lens, Quad Cameras
  • Front Camera: 8MP Selfie Camera, Dual Flash
  • Network: 4G LTE
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Others: Fingerprint Scanner, OTG, MicroUSB Port
  • OS: HiOS, Android 10
  • Battery: 6,000mAh Battery, 18W Flash Charge

Bryan is a tech and gadget enthusiast who spends his day blogging, writing fiction, and watching NBA clips on YouTube.

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