So Tecno just has announced the Tecno R7 and it is just as uninspired as the last 2 flagships.

Yes, yes, it ships with 2GB of RAM, a 6-core processor and for the first time on any Tecno smartphone, Corning Gorilla glass HD screen. But that’s where the novelty stops. Especially when you compare it with it’s predecessor, the Tecno Phantom A3. Which by the way, was released barely 4/5 months ago. I thought flagships were meant to be released annually?

Are a sharper screen and seemingly faster experience, enough to justify a new flagship, barely 5 months after the former was released? Just how much noticeable speed, in everyday use, does a hecta-core processor give over a Quadcore?

Check these out. Going by the figures on the official specsheet, the Tecno R7:

  • is smaller in length and breadth than the A3 but they’re the same thickness.
  • has a lower resolution front-facing camera – 5MP compared to the A3’s 8MP
  • has less battery capacity (2430 mAh) than the A3 (2600 mAh)
  • has slower, less secure and more battery power hogging Bluetooth – Bluetooth 3.5 (read 3.0) vs the Phantom AIII’s 4.0.

In short, when it comes to the hardware that really matters, the Tecno R7 appears to be more steps backward than forward. Hey, I’m just going by what Tecno published. Is Bluetooth 3.5 even a thing really?

The retrogressive hardware is not even much of an issue really. These days it isn’t always about the specs, it’s more about the software and features than run on it (ask Apple and Samsung). Which is why I don’t really understand why Tecno will release a mobile phone halfway into the second quarter of 2014, and its running the same version of Android that its premiere flagship ran a year ago – Android JellyBean 4.2. That’s just wrong. Very wrong. Unless Tecno has plans to start supporting over-the-air OS updates, I don’t see the sense in this move. The Tecno UI doesn’t veer off too much from vanilla Android (so there’s not much tweaking to do) and the hardware is more than capable. So what can be Tecno’s excuse for not bundling the Tecno R7 with Android 4.4 KitKat ?

Whatever the decision for not bundling KitKat, the least Tecno could have done was give the R7 some distinguishing feature sets. All I see on the promo banner are the same old pre-installed offerings – BBM, Palmchat (a bland experience by the way) and Flashare. Nothing new or exciting. At some point, Tecno has to come to terms with the fact that marginally incremental hardware bumps won’t be enough to stay relevant. Consumers are beginning to demand more from Tecno.

Muyiwa Matuluko Author

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