Review Tecno i7 smartphone: Takes you by surprise

Tecno I7

VS

Lenovo P2

Octa core PERFORMANCE Octa core
5.5″ (13.97 cm) DISPLAY 5.5″ (13.97 cm)
32 GB STORAGE 32 GB
13 MP CAMERA 13 MP
4000 mAh BATTERY 5100 mAh
4 GB RAM 4 GB

The Tecno I7 mobile features a 5.5″ (13.97 cm) display and runs on Android v7.0 (Nougat) operating system. The device is powered by a Octa core, 1.5 GHz, Cortex A53 processor paired with 4 GB of RAM. As far as the battery is concerned it has 4000 mAh. Over that, as far as the rear camera is concerned this mobile has a 13 MP camera.

NEW DELHI: India is one of those regions where there is cut-throat competition between tech companies, especially in the smartphone segment. And this competition is getting fiercer by the day, with the arrival of more Chinese brands. So if a company needs to make a mark for itself, it needs to deliver something really compelling and worth the price.

Adopting a similar strategy, another Chinese brand debuted in India a few days back. Called Tecno Mobile, the company has launched as many as five smartphones.

Of these, the i7 is the most powerful. Bearing a price tag of Rs 14,990, the smartphone is aiming at much bigger names like Samsung and Motorola in the budget bracket.

Skimming over the specifications, it seems that the smartphone can give its competition a run for their money. But does it really stand a chance in the already overcrowded Indian smartphone market? Read on to find out.

Performance and camera

Performance is one of the vital factors that decides how good (or bad) a smartphone is, and we found the Tecno i7 to be decent in this regard. While using heavy gaming apps and jumping between 5-6 different open apps,we did encounter a little bit of lag. However, the smartphone can handle daily tasks such as social media browsing and music/video streaming without any hassles.

The processing power is provided by last year’s MediaTek MT6750 processor, clubbed with 4GB oF RAM. This is decent enough to handle majority of the tasks. The smartphone gets a little warm when streaming QHD or Full HD resolution videos for extended amount of time.

Just as we’d expected, the i7 failed to break any grounds when it came to AnTuTu and GeekBench benchmarking tests. On the former, it came at the bottom of the list with a score of 44336 and on the latter, single-core and multi-core scores were 621 and 2624 respectively.

At a given price tag of Rs 14,990, Tecno Mobiles could have easily matched its competitors in the processing department. It could’ve also added less bloatware, but it didn’t. The phone comes with numerous apps, some of which can be uninstalled while others can just be disabled. Obviously, they eat up internal storage.

Talking about the storage, Tecno i7 includes 32GB of internal storage and many would be relieved to hear that the smartphone supports microSD cards.

On the connectivity front, the i7 has everything a general user could need. It supports 3G, 4G, VoLTE, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There is a hybrid SIM card slot as well.

During our testing, call quality was loud and crisp without any issues. Network detection was fine even in areas such as basements. Fingerprint sensor is accurate most of the times, but might annoy some while being used in moist conditions. Setting it up is child’s play.

We appreciate the fact that being one of the new smartphone brands in India, the company ships the i7 with Android 7.0 Nougat. The latest OS is layered with the company’s own HIOS UI layer. Although it is easy to get used to, those familiar with other CHinese Android skins won’t see much difference.

To make things easier for users, Tecno i7 comes with a ‘Micro Intelligence’ feature that lets you use gestures to perform actions such as launching apps. You can also flip the device to mute audio, cover the screen to silence incoming calls and more.

Besides the display, we found the camera to be one department where Tecno i7 seems to have excelled. The resulting images from the smartphone’s 13 megapixel rear camera and PIXELEX engine came out to be vibrant and crisp. Daylight shots were impressive with accurate colour reproduction. The vivid display also plays a big part in making the shots look really good.

It might disappoint some to know that the camera UI seems like an iPhone rip off. It has the same layout, shutter button and the overall look. But as long as you are fine with the imitation, there won’t be any issues with the images. The camera is snappy and gives you easy access to some of the options right from the main screen. You can swipe to switch from photo capturing mode to video mode, as well as change to other modes like Beauty and Panorama.

It also takes one tap to access other shooting modes and change settings like HDR, aspect ratio, filters and front-facing camera. The camera manages to shoot decent images in low light. But if you want to add more light to the subject, Tecno i7 has four LED flashes. This not only lights up low light shots drastically but also proves to be an effective torch in certain situations.

The front-facing 16 megapixel camera is supported with a LED flash and screen flash as well. Users can apply the same rear-camera features on the front. There is an option to click wide selfie shots, which is nothing but a shorter version of selfie panorama mode. For selfie lovers, this might not be the best option today but should work in casual settings.


All the processing power, display, camera and connectivity need a powerful battery to make the Tecno i7 keep running and it doesn’t disappoint. The smartphone is backed by a massive 4,000mAh battery, which easily goes through a typical day of use. On screen time with general use was over 4 hours during our testing. But if you’re a heavy user, you might need to carry a charger.

If you want to save even more battery, you can activate the Ultra lower power mode in which the handset can only receive calls and SMS, in addition to keeping a few basic apps like Alarm and Sound Recorder active. The Battery Saver mode limits things like vibration and location services. Synchronization services are also reduced.

Furthermore, the smartphone has it’s home-brewed fast charging technology called Rocket Charging. The feature is claimed to reduce the typical charging time by 20%.

Verdict

The i7 is Tecno Mobile’s first baby step in the Indian smartphone market. The handset tries to bring all day-to-day features in an attractive package. However, at a price of Rs 14,990, the i7 competes directly against the likes Motorola Moto G5, Asus Zenfone 3S Max, Lenovo P2 and more.

Although these established rivals may make the Tecno i7 feel like another Chinese smartphone, the Display, Camera and Battery are three elements that can help the device get an edge over others. It could take some time for Tecno i7 to create a reputation for itself in the market, but for that it would have to deliver more value-for-money smartphones with better offline and online service. But that’s a conversation for another day.