Sparkling Gold | Tecno Spark Go (2024) Review! [Part 3]

Performance? Bet you’ll be surprised!


It’s not everyday you get a sub-5K phone with 128GB storage. Almost every phone in this range has only 64GB. However, times are changing and so do people’s demands. Thus having more storage is becoming more of a necessity than it is a luxury. It’s like only a few years ago we were satisfied with 4GB + 64GB on a flagship phone. Now, even the casual users need more storage and RAM.

To recall, the Tecno Spark Go (or Pop 8 if you’re from Africa) features a UNISOC T606 chipset with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage so there is really nothing much under the hood. Imagine getting a 1.3L Inline 4 engine on your newly unveiled Toyota Wigo. Yes, that’s how it feels and sounds like. Compact, yet surprisingly competitive.

BENCHMARKS: Typical, Expected, Nothing Special

Typical to this type of chipset, the phone scored about 250K on AnTuTu V10 and 379 points on Geekbench 6 on Single-Core CPU. The architecture of the UNISOC T606 is pretty old. It’s also not much inside. It is built on a 4+4 octa-core setup consisting of a Cortex-A75 (1.8GHz) Performance CPU and Cortex-A55 efficiency cores. The chip is fabbed on a 12nm process. It’s like seeing the Helio G35 but with slightly better connectivity options and worse storage (eMMC 5.1 here vs the G35’s UFS 2.1). The phone uses LPDDR4 RAM so at least in terms of multitasking, it does okay in theory.

As always, we will also test the phone’s throttling. In our first test inside a room temperature studio, the chipset went all out and performed in optimal conditions, and there is no throttling detected. In layman’s terms, “throttling” is a phenomenon when a chipset (the UNISOC T606 in this case) greatly reduces its performance because it is doing too many tasks at once, constantly heats up, or both. When we tested the Tecno Spark Go, there are no apps in the background running and all what was open is this app.

Normal Usage: Enough for Minimal Browsing

Imagine if this was the highest-end version of HiOS, the phone could have a seizure. We were honestly worried the phone might lag and freeze constantly due to the low RAM count, like our Redmi Note 9 back in the day where the UI suddenly just freezes and stops. The Tecno Spark Go ran roughly at first but after getting the February security update, the phone ran smoothly and we had no problems with the performance since. By the time we wrote this review, Tecno notified us that a new security update is coming, for May. The phone runs Android 13 Go Edition from the get-go

However, there are times that the phone isn’t that responsive, such as with multiple taps or long taps. The phone also can struggle when it comes to multitasking. These are minor issues and so far, when it comes to casual usage, we have no problems.

Gaming Tests: Surprisingly Handled All Tasks (But Barely)

The main reason why we want to get a sub-5K phone is to see how well it can play games. Flagships can be too costly for many people and so getting a cheap alternative is a good option. Some want a secondary device that isn’t prone to theft and can get on through the day without serious issues.

While ultrabudget phones cannot compete with flagships, can they at least run most gaming titles available in the Play Store? Short answer is YES. However, the phone did heat up after playing for a few hours. The phone having so many ads and bloatware certainly did not help. Plus, only having 4GB RAM these days is just minimum requirements. We were able to download the titles we want to see because of its big storage capacity of 128GB. Even then, we couldn’t download them all and we have to archive some titles just to get others running, while also recording the gameplay. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.

Some of the titles we tested include Farlight 84, Genshin Impact, Real Racing 3, Mobile Legends, Call of Duty: Mobile, and the all-new Wuthering Waves! This is why Part 3 took longer than usual, we had to make sure that the games we played are thoroughly tested so we can bring in an accurate result.

What we noticed is that the phone can handle almost all mainstream titles. It can play Honkai Star Rail just fine on the lowest low setting (that is, if it actually loads beyond the main home screen) but due to the low resolution, the pixelation of many games are pretty obvious and can turn out atrociously. Still, this is the lowest-end phone you can have that can play Honkai Star Rail at the minimum. It still cannot play Genshin, however. Whenever you try to do rolls, say attempting to get the golden door and hoping to acquire Boothill, the phone will incredibly lag. We recommend getting a phone with a better chipset. Save up some more, maybe around the PHP 10K mark is enough to run minimum settings with little to no problems.

When it comes to other games, there is noticeable stuttering, as obvious as that might sound. PUBG and Wuthering Waves are the main ones. Unlike Genshin Impact, the phone can somewhat handle Wuthering Waves, albeit the phone will constantly suffer.

Battery Test: The Usual and the Slow

Through the powers of PCMark 3.0, we give you the battery endurance test! See, the phone ran from 100-20% (the screenshot only said 16% because that was the percentage we had when we took this screenshot) and apparently it lasted for 11 hours and 33 minutes before giving up entirely. That’s not a bad score but also it’s the typical one we’ve come to expect from a phone with 5000mAh battery. Also the phone charges sluggishly. What do we even expect anyway? It’s a budget phone at sub-5K. Using its 10W charging brick and cable, we managed to charge the Tecno Spark Go from empty to full in measly 3 hours. We hope you have the patience to wait for the phone to charge to full in case you killed the battery flat.

In practice, the phone managed to last a whole day with us (possibly a few hours more), and about a week on standby, with at least 10% battery left. This is combined with Wi-Fi, notifications, scrolling, gaming, watching videos, and playing music, all in one charge session. So, while the charging is slow, you’re in good hands with the endurance, so there’s that.

As for the temperatures, it seems like the CPU test is fairly accurate. During the whole test (mind you, this was in a mildly dense room), the temperature remained stable and did not shoot up so there is no throttling here. When we were using it to game, we also did not feel any sort of rising heat coming out of it, which is a good thing. The chipset is optimized, but still, it’s a budget phone, and the performance of it is to be expected. Not so much power when there is no power to churn out to begin with.

We’ve come a long way, from the budget Spark Go to the flagship killer Nord 3, to the photography-centric Vivo V30 Pro, there’s always in-betweeners.

Part 4 is where the big, juicy part of the phone comes into play. That’s right! Speaker and Biometric tests! See ya there, fellow techies!