REVIEW | Tecno Pouvoir 4 budget smartphone

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Flagship-level smartphones with premium price tags are taking a dip in sales on a global scale. Let’s face it, smartphones in the current pandemic is considered more of a discretionary purchase.

REVIEW | Tecno Pouvoir 4 budget smartphone

And while most of the major brands are introducing more and more “lite” versions of their flagship lines, there are some manufacturers bringing more value to their products at their lowest price points.

Looking at the capabilities and specs of Tecno’s new Pouvoir 4 on paper seemed unimpressive. The phone doesn’t introduce anything new in the midrange segment. That is, until we saw the price.

For P4,590, users will be getting a 7-inch screen and a 6000mAh battery. And while this is the lowest price for a 6000mAh battery capacity phone, it is natural to assume that the brand must have cut corners in the internals department.

That’s where the Pouvoir 4 caught us off guard for the second time. Even if its competition sports the same screen size with a possibly weak screen protection, usually these devices only boast 2GB worth of RAM partnered with a small 16GB worth of storage peppered by bloatware. For the entry-level device, users will be getting 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

The phone seems overqualified for its price, but we haven’t even mentioned the quad-camera setup it has. To give you a short rundown on the Pouvoir 4, here’s our first impressions for the device.

PROS

  • Modern and up-to-date aesthetic
  • Large 7-inch screen real estate
  • Beefy 6000mAh battery
  • Decent cameras

CONS

  • Slow charging (2 ½ hours)
  • Fingerprint magnet
  • Bloatware

Design and Ergonomics

Save for the back fingerprint sensor, which is a relic of 2018 smartphones, the Tecno Pouvoir 4 did its homework in terms of its design. While phones at its league retain the large forehead bezel for the front camera, the Pouvoir 4 has an updated dewdrop design.

The rounded edges are a good touch, especially for a behemoth of a phone. This device is advertised as a social media-centric product, and that is evident with the screen and the battery that prioritizes content consumption and extended usage that is undemanding for the processor. However, you have to say goodbye to one-handed mode.  

REVIEW | Tecno Pouvoir 4 budget smartphone

At the back, you can spot a round fingerprint sensor, a regularly missing function for entry-level smartphones. The fingerprint sensor is a plus to have, but the unlocking speed is a tad bit slow and fails to recognize 20% of the time. Surprisingly, users can opt for its face recognition feature which works better.

The micro-USB port is excusable, placed in the center between a bottom-firing speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

On the left is a red dedicated Google Assistant button and the triple-slot card tray, while the volume and power buttons are located on the right side. All buttons are tactile and do not feel flimsy, and the coarse texture of these are a huge plus.  

Specs, Performance, and User Interface 

The Tecno Pouvoir 4 comes with a 12nm MediaTek Helio A22 chip that clocks at 2.0GHz, paired with a PowerVR GE8320. The chip’s strength is in its energy efficiency, a suitable partner for a 6000mAh battery.

Although the device is not technically a gaming phone, we tested the newest titles to see how it fares out. “Genshin Impact” and “Call of Duty” mobile is definitely out of the table, but “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” and “Marvel Super War” work great, despite the low to medium settings.

However, that performance is strictly for graphic intense games. When running casual online tap games, there is little to no slowdown that we observed. It can handle multitasking, and can shuffle through multiple open browser tabs with ease.

The device supports gesture navigation, magazine lockscreen, a side Smart Panel for quick access apps, a dedicated Game Mode, and HiOS Lab. The latter is akin to the realme lab, as it also allows users to test out experimental features that the brand plans to roll out in the future.

Camera and Optics

The quad-camera inclusion in itself is a miracle given the price. And unlike its competition, photos taken on the device do not look like they were captured straight out of a VGA camera, although Tecno uses a QVGA lens for AI functionality.

Take a look at the images captured by the Pouvoir 4 below.

REVIEW | Tecno Pouvoir 4 budget smartphone

 The cameras are housed in a square tray with minimal camera bump. Tecno also added a quad-flash feature on this device, since the camera suffers greatly in low-light performance. However, in well-lit environments, it easily rivals devices that are double its price.

The images have good edge detection and color reproduction is decent. Although it lacks any kind of stabilization, the autofocus on the video mode is on point.

With this camera performance though, the stock camera app is very limited on modes and is missing a much-needed update so users can get more out of this capable device.

Battery and Charging

The main selling point of the Pouvoir 4 is its battery capacity. Given that the battery size is large and lacks any quick charging function, it can take a while to fully charge from 0-100% (2 ½ hours).

However, as this phone will be primarily used for online surfing and content streaming, especially online classes, it easily lasts roughly two days of usage.

To counter this charging speed, Tecno needs to optimize battery consumption on this model. The current built-in battery optimization software doesn’t really cut it, and the same goes for the 5V 2A power brick. In the case of less demanding users though, the battery life of the Pouvoir 4 can easily last three days.

 Conclusion

The Pouvoir 4 is Tecno’s declaration of war for the entry-level devices in the Philippine market. With its specs-to-price ratio, it is currently the best smartphone for users needing a device for online classes but are on a tight budget. That large battery and wide screen combo for the price of P4,590 stands at the top of its competition, with an added high RAM+ROM configuration and quad-camera setup. The Tecno Pouvoir 4 outright beats the Huawei Y5P, Xiaomi Redmi 9A and 9C, the Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus, the Nokia 3.1, and the Samsung Galaxy A01 Core in terms of specs.

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