TECNO POVA 4 Pro Review: this is ready for (gaming) battle!


The Breakdown

Design is great and the chipset performance is a plus. Battery life is good, the device took an OTA update and looks excellent in my hands. I am suggesting this handset as a good buy especially for those who are into budget mobile gaming!
Performance
Battery
Camera
Value for money
Build quality

TECNO is a leading international smart device brand with operations in over 70 counties globally. Since launching its CAMON series in 2014 positioned as a professional camera manufacturer with stylish and sleek design. TECNO has been relentlessly pushing for the perfect integration of aesthetic and stylish designs with innovative technology. Today, TECNO offers a wide range of smart devices but surely the POVA series is probably their most aggressive of all. Today we have the POVA 4 Pro “warship‘‘ as TECNO calls it, a budget gaming smartphone for the masses.

It’s a device aimed towards hard-core, powerful, and full of energy users, stimulating their unlimited passion, inspiring their commitment no matter in work, entertainment, or life, to light up their internal energy and potential.

This brand new TECNO POVA 4 Pro comes with good specs for a mobile phone in the budget gaming-level category. There is massive 6000 mAh battery inside with SuperCharge feature, accompanied by a Helio G99 SoC. There’s also an impressive 6.66″ AMOLED+90Hz high refresh rate display, with 8GB of RAM+256GB storage.

TECNO POVA 4 PRO

We used this phone for two weeks and below you can read our impressions using this device as a main smartphone for all purposes.

TECNO POVA 4 Pro – Specifications

  • Uranolith Grey / Fluorite Blue / Rutile Orange
  • 6000mAh Mega Battery
  • 45W Super Charge
  • Helio G99 6nm Processor
  • 256GB ROM + 8GB RAM(128GB ROM + 8GB RAM)
  • 6.66″ AMOLED FHD+ Display
  • 90Hz Refresh Rate
  • 50MP AI Camera
  • Height: 164.79 mm
  • Width: 77mm
  • Thickness: 9.19mm
  • Android™ 12
  • Helio G99, Octa-Core
  • 6.66″ AMOLED FHD+ Dot-in Display
  • 90Hz Refresh Rate
  • 8MP Front Camera with One Flash
  • 50MP Dual Rear Camera with Dual Flash
  • 256 / 128 GB ROM + 8GB RAM
  • G-Sensor
  • Ambient Light and Distance sensor
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • Electronic compass
  • Gyroscope
  • NFC

TECNO POVA 4 Pro – Unboxing

The device comes in a silver – grayish box with a nice finish using an impressive 4 Pro POVA lettering. Around the box there are stickers with information about the included device. The TECNO POVA 4 Pro in our hands is the 8/256 GB version in Uranolith Grey. Tecno informs us that the smartphone has 13 months of guarantee as a 12+1 offer. Generally speaking this is a nice retail box. Inside the box we can see the normal sum for most of the smartphones in this price range:

TECNO POVA 4 PRO

  • The POVA 4 Pro smartphone
  • A USB-C to USB-A data transfer / charging cable
  • A massive 45W wall charger
  • A SIM tray ejection pin
  • A set of headphones
  • A Silicone soft case

Judging from the above I am really happy that earphones are included in the box – these times even a charger is considered a luxury. On the other hand, a first for me is the absence of user manuals, quick set up guides and the guarantee leaflet. A guide exists in the Settings of the smartphone.

TECNO POVA 4 PRO

A plastic screen protection film is pre-installed on the phone. It can be easily scratched and I advise the addition of a tempered glass sooner than later after removing this film. The silicone soft case is very nice but… yeah soft, so if you drop your smartphone more times than you desire add a harder protective case.

You can buy TECNO POVA 4 Pro from here

TECNO POVA 4 Pro – Design

Tecno has designed a very nice phone that has nothing missing from smartphones in the category, even the best sellers from Redmi or Realme. The back side of the device comes with some sort of geometric aesthetic, that makes the camera island not that bulgy. It also makes it more compatible with the rest of the back cover. According to TECNO, the design was inspired by a meteorite motif known as the Widmanstatten pattern . The back cover finish is matte, making it not easy to leave fingerprints. TECNO POVA 4 PRO

For its size, this smartphone has dimensions of 164 x 77 x 9.19mm, and weighs about 210 grams. So indeed the body is thick and a bit heavy, but that’s reasonable because it has a super large 6000 mAh battery inside. The available buttons and ports include:

  • Right Side: Power button as well as fingerprint scanner, volume up/down button
  • Top Side: Top stereo speaker grill
  • Left Side: Non-Hybrid SIM Tray, can 2 SIM + 1 MicroSD.
  • Bottom Side: 3.5mm Headphone Jack, microphone, USB-C, bottom stereo speaker grille.

TECNO POVA 4 PRO

More than enough

Yes, this smartphone packs a pair of stereo speakers and also features DTS Audio Technology, as well as Hi-Res Wired and wireless audio certification. Οn the front side there is a 6.66-inch AMOLED display panel with Full HD + resolution, which is also coated with Gorilla Glass 3 protective glass. The screen refresh rate is up to 90Hz. And by default it already has an Auto-switch feature where the system will adjust the refresh rate based on the application. If you want more apps running at 90Hz, setting the refresh rate to 90Hz, apps running at 90Hz will increase, although not all of them will run at 90Hz, in some apps it will also drop to 60Hz.

There is no touch sampling info on how many Hz, but when used to play real drums, it doesn’t feel like there is an annoying delay. Regarding Netflix, interestingly, here it is Widevine L1 support. This means we can already watch Full HD content.

TECNO POVA 4 PRO

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TECNO POVA 4 Pro – Hardware

As we mentioned, the device comes equipped with a 6.66-inch AMOLED display panel with Full HD+ resolution. I was impressed by its brightness – in the range of 500 nits for indoor use, for outdoor use when it’s hot, the screen is still quite visible, safe. The color gamut is 99.8% sRGB / 97.8% DCI-P3 for Gamut Coverage, and 167.4% sRGB / 118.6% DCI-P3 for Gamut volume. The color of the screen is amazing, but a screen like this makes us have to be a little careful when editing color photos or videos.

The driving power behind this smartphone is the Mediatek Helio G99 SoC, and is equipped with 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB UFS 2.2 Storage. The MediaTek Helio G99 features an octa-core CPU with two high performance Arm Cortex-A76 processors clocking up to 2.2GHz and a highly capable Arm Mali G57-class GPU. High performance LPDDR4X memory up to 2,133MHz and fast UFS 2.2-class storage accelerate data access, maximizing performance in games, apps and everyday activities. Quite a combination in the price class offered. There is no software lagging or heating issues.

Sound in calls and video-calls is ok but nothing to brag about. Connectivity is also good. Full signal in call conditions. Bluetooth is ok too – I ‘ve used the smartphone with my wireless headphones daily without interruptions and by the way, its GPS is instantaneous. Concluding my findings on the hardware of the device, I have to mention some important features present such as Side Fingerprint Unlock and Face Unlock features. Then for available connectivity, it’s equipped with:

  • 4G
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Wifi Sharing
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB OTG
  • NFC
  • FM Radio

Software

The smartphone comes with Android 12 which is an amazing offer for this price segment. This is the first time that I used HIOS 12. It brings all the functions and abilities ROMs have these days. I have to mention that there’s some bloatware and advertisement as we see in other similarly priced smartphones. There were no major bugs or limitations and I believe with a little polishing HIOS can stand next to other skins but it needs a lot of work to reach MIUI or OxygenOS levels.

Panther Game Engine 2.0

POVA 4 Pro comes with a high-performance graphite heat dissipation film that covers an extended area of 11726mm², an increase of 22% from the previous generation, for even heat dissipation so your phone can keep its cool even during the most intense of battles. TECNO POVA 4 PRO

The customization is rich with many features, a theme shop and a dark mode. We can find a memory boost app, Phone Master – a general taking care app, a private app shop called Palm Store, a browser, Instant Apps – a very nice shortcut app to various games and apps that you can use without installing, a Community app for Tecno, various tools, and various other applications like music stores, data share apps etc. Especially in Notifications we are constantly bombarded by information and advertisement… The good thing is that we can find Google Services and you can instantly start removing any application you don’t use/need. In 20-30 minutes the software is more light and user friendly. Another convenient feature for the camera is that Google Lens has been integrated into the camera app, which can be easily activated by clicking the shortcut at the corner of the camera UI.

I have the feeling that the people behind HIOS will do a good job onwards since this very rich skin covers all needs a user wants and does it with good speed and minimal energy consumption. HIOS 12 also updated with OTA and that is an excellent sign. I hope Tecno will continue to provide updates for this phone.

TECNO POVA 4 Pro – Camera

Tecno POVA 4 Pro comes with an 8MP selfie camera (with a front facing flash) and dual rear cameras. I tried to find more information about the two smaller lenses and after a time I discovered that the main sensor is 50MP in size – no info on the second smaller one. The camera setup is paired with a decent LED flash. I have no idea what the latter sensor can do but the company advertises the system as AI capable. Indeed inside the camera app – a nice app, rich in details – we can find a lot of gimmicks that are around the Beauty and AR shot functions. A lot of work is done on the selfie camera. On the front we can find an 8-megapixel selfie camera with an aperture of f/2.0 and an adjustable flashlight.

The phone has an eye-tracking autofocus – a first for me and weird to look at, it reminds me of a sci-fi film. The user can also take pictures only by smiling! The camera app has Super Night, Portrait, Google Lens, Beauty, Video, AI cam and Short Video. The latter is for usage on social media and has a lot of extras for visual effects. The company has added fun in the usage of the camera and I spent a lot of time playing with it.

Main features

Taking into consideration the camera installation I was surprised at how good daylight pictures are. The 50 MP sensor works perfectly. I can’t tell whether the depth / AI lenses help. This phone could be sold with a single camera in other times, but seeing how multi-camera phones push sales, all companies provide extra lenses. Night photos are good in case of light and get better with Night mode. I don’t think anyone will complain about the camera.

Video is another story. Video resolutions include shooting them at 30fps for 720p, 1080p and at 2K. While it provides similar quality with the photography day or night there is ZERO stabilization. The result is good only when the phone is stable somewhere. If you move it a bit it becomes a mess. Sound is not recorded well, I would prefer less lenses and EIS / sound improvements.

Camera main characteristics

  • 50MP AI Camera System
  • Our 50MP camera HD image system delivers a world of clear images through excellent processing, framing the beautiful moments of life.
  • HDR Mode and Super Night Mode
  • When HDR Mode is turned on, users can obtain photos that retain details in bright and dark areas in a backlight. Whether you like shooting during the day or night, you can snap photos with plenty of details. Likewise, Super Night Mode makes sure you can capture the charming night scenes that are around you.
  • 2K Time-lapse
  • Time-lapse allows you to gain a fresh perspective on the world around you. You may now enjoy it in 2K resolution. Create your own professional reel and adjust intervals based on how long you’d like to shoot for.
  • Professional video features
  • The phone comes with features like video bokeh and night video so that you can shoot videos like a pro, day or night.
  • Intelligent AI identification
  • The POVA 4 Pro takes photo-taking to another level with its intelligent AI identification features. In a new and improved user interface, users can find 8 function buttons: Recovery, AI Intelligence, Skin Resurfacing, Skin Tone, Face Slimming, Nose Beautification, and Face Trimming. There are even gender-specific AI identification features like beard protection and eyelash detail protection.
  • AI Gallery 5.0
  • AI gallery is a full-featured and intelligent lightning-fast photo manager that lets you enjoy an amazing experience for your photo and video management with intelligent photo album classification, powerful image and video editing as well as easy photo collage. The memories album gives you the ability to replay and share your best memories with your photos and videos presented as slides.

TECNO POVA 4 Pro – Battery

The huge Li-Po 6000 battery and the software added by TECNO is an excellent combination that provides 2,5 days of light usage or one day of medium usage (no gaming). Or you can play games for up to 12.85 hours straight! TECNO POVA 4 PRO

If you do need to charge up your phone, the phone offers 45W super charge so it takes only 24 minutes to charge to 50% and 88 minutes to 100%. According to the manufacturer, the battery itself has passed the STS Battery Safety Technology endurance test. This smartphone comes with a Cooling System, Graphite Heat Dissipation Technology for a more stable temperature.

The 10W reverse charging option also allows your phone to be transformed into a portable power bank that can charge other Android devices and accessories.

TECNO POVA 4 Pro – Conclusion

Tecno POVA 4 Pro is an impressive device with a lot of advantages and just a few shortcomings. It doesn’t support 5G, doesn’t pack an ultra-wide lens camera, while packing a single microphone when talking in between phone calls. I am yet to find an official answer also on how many Android software updates this phone may get. Also its dual speaker setup could be better in terms of sound quality.

TECNO POVA 4 PRO

On the other hand, yes it is a budget gaming device. It packs a powerful performance to the Helio G99 SoC, while producing 1080p 60 video recording on the main camera. It comes with long battery life for gaming, packs an ample storage of 8GB +256GB and an impressive AMOLED 90Hz display. I liked the NFC support, the Netflix L1 compatibility and its 45W fast charger. For its current price the TECNO POVA 4 Pro is an unbeatable deal in the budget gaming market.

 

You can buy TECNO POVA 4 Pro from here

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