The TECNO L8 found its way into my hands. Its been long when last I reviewed a device, so this one got a lot of scrutiny from me. Disclaimer: If you’re to lazy to read long epistles, you had better scroll down to the conclusion part. I beg you don’t!!
This phone is exemplary of the new path TECNO has taken in recent times. A renewed focus on design and aesthetics. Is this phone worth your money? Why should you own one? Look at the full specs sheet HERE and also see our Unboxing experience HERE.
- Stylish design.
- 5.5 inch HD Display.
- 8 MP/2 MP camera combo.
- 16 GB inbuilt storage with micro SD card slot.
- 5050 mAh battery.
- USB OTG with reverse charging.
- Grainy front camera.
- Non removable battery.
- Slow charging.
The TECNO L8 is beautifully crafted. We can’t really put it to words till you hold it in your hands. It has a polished metallic finishing all round. The ends and edges are carefully curved, so it smartly fits into your hands. The phone isn’t so thick, though you can feel some of the heft-blame the big battery and the metal body. In terms of design, I commend TECNO for the work they have done here.
The 5.5 inch screen here is packed into a very compact frame with reduced bezels. This made the phone appear smaller than other phones of same screen size. On the left hand side of this phone, there’s a button you could easily mistake for a camera shutter, but all it does is to activate the Ultra Power Saving Mode. The button is bristled and lined close to the metal frame to prevent accidental presses. TECNO is really having some sense.
TECNO should have made the button configurable, so users can choose what it can be used for. Maybe Music player, or Camera or even apps. There’s no TECNO branding on the front, you could easily pass this for another brand until you turn the back.
The TECNO L8 runs the new HIOS. The software brings a new and slightly unique user interface. It has support for themes and one can also change fonts without need for rooting. Out of the promised 16 GB, you have access to only 9 GB usable memory. Meanwhile, this phone is packed with lots of nifty features. It has a host of gesture controls you can pick from – Quick Start, Double Tap to wake, Wave to answer calls etc.
Hi Manager is another handy app here. It has a Mobile Cleanup to clean away junk files, Bandwidth management for managing your data, and Call Blocker etc. I particularly like the way the notifications bar is themed.
There’s nothing special here. A 5.5 inch screen with resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels and 320 ppi. Viewing angles are great, color reproduction is decent too. Sunlight legibility is poor in phones of this range, you would have to crank up the brightness to be able to read anything.
This phone has an 8 MP lens at the back and a 2 MP lens for selfies. The back camera performs as you would expect from a phone of similar specs. The selfie camera is susceptible to taking blurry selfies if you don’t keep your hands steady. To put this camera to test, I decided to pit this phone against the Infinix Hot 2 with similar camera, and the results were interesting. See for yourselves:
You can see from the pictures taken at night, the lens of the TECNO L8 takes in more light, the output is more natural than the noisy patches found in the shots taken on the Infinix Hot 2. For the well lit environment, the TECNO L8 still emerges tops with better natural colors and brighter output.
The sound output of the TECNO L8 is awesome and refined, though it is not loud enough. The default Boom Player app is fully featured, you’ll enjoy music with it. The music experienced is heightened when you plug in earphones or use a headset. Video playback is great here too. You can then choose to use the default video player or install an app like MX Player.
The TECNO L8 runs smoothly through chatting and other apps. The 1 GB RAM manages to hold a few apps before shutting them down in the background. The only glitch you will experienced is when you try heavy games like Asphalt 8 (after you must have cleared free RAM) . Below are screen shots of results from AnTuTu Benchmark.
Recall that this device comes with a huge 5050 mAh battery. Asides the build, battery is the next best thing on this phone. It lasts and lasts and lasts. With 2 SIM cards installed, 6 hours of Wifi-hotspot, 3 hours of movies and chatting all the while. I was able to hit close to 17 hours of constant use. The sad part here, this phone takes a while to charge – almost 3 hours. See screenshot of the battery life below:
Unfortunately, there’s no back lit capacitive buttons, and this phone has no notification light, so you have to depend on the sounds to get alerted of notifications. USB On-the-Go simply works here. Recall the phone comes with an OTG cable, just plug it in the phone, connect your external device and you’re good to go. The phone is also capable of charging other devices.
Network reception is up to par, and call clarity here is smooth and audible.
It is really no doubt that the TECNO L8 is a beautiful device. TECNO obviously put in a lot on the appearance of this phone, you can easily mistake it for a premium device if you don’t look well. The major problem here is that, the specs don’t match up with the awesome design. You then get that feeling that the phone would’ve been more powerful than what it is. There is the TECNO L8 Plus with 2 GB RAM to partially compensate for that.
Funny enough, the target market doesn’t really care about specs, but would be overwhelmed by the design, so we can still conclude TECNO has a winner here. If you are a power user, I wouldn’t recommend this for you, unless you just want that powerful battery. If you don’t care about huge specs, then this phone should be your first port of call.