Tecno is a growing name in the budget smartphone space, consistently making competitive yet affordable devices aimed mostly at consumers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In our Tecno Pova 5 Pro 5G review Free Fire Special Edition we take a look at the upgraded version of the Pova 5 which is built for 5G connectivity.
If you’re looking for more smartphone options, we’ve got some great guides to the best 5G phones and the best 4G phones on the market. You can also learn more about Tecno’s other products by reading our Tecno POVA 5 Free Fire Special Edition review and our Tecno CAMON 20 Premier 5G review.
|Tecno POVA 5 Pro 5G Free Fire Special Edition specs|
|Display||120 Hz 6.78-inch IPS (1080 x 2460)|
|Chipset||MediaTek Dimensity 6080|
|Battery||5000 mAh and 68W Ultra Charge|
|Price||$200 (pricing varies by region)|
The Pova 5 Pro’s overall design is very slick and clean-cut. The standard model comes in two colors – Silver Fantasy and Dark Illusion – but the Free Fire edition is a beautiful midnight blue color. At just under 169mm tall, it’s pretty large which can make it hard to fit in pockets, but the size is more of a positive than a negative when it comes to gaming on this device. The backing plate has modules that remind me a lot of a mech’s design, which might not be to everyone’s taste, but I think it looks neat!
This upgraded version of the Pova 5 also has added RGBs that pulse when you receive incoming calls and messages. These kinds of lights are definitely trending at the moment thanks to the Nothing Phone’s design and the colorful lights definitely fit with the Pova’s gamer-focused aesthetic. They’re just a really nice touch that gives the phone a more premium feel.
My favorite thing about this phone by far is the display. The high refresh rate and large screen make it perfect for gaming and watching videos. Every color pops and movement is impressively fluid thanks to the 120Hz screen. Given that we’re used to OLED/AMOLED screens on smartphones these days, this IPS display is a strong competitor for a much cheaper price.
The Pova 5 Pro runs the MediaTek Dimensity 6080 chipset, which is made specifically for 5G phones looking to provide a “crisp, high-resolution FullHD+ displays”. Navigating between apps and menus using this chipset is incredibly fast and smooth, making everything feel natural, and using the phone is a delight.
Gaming means a lot to us at Pocket Tactics so I’ve tested a range of games across the spectrum to put the Pova 5 Pro through its paces. Puzzle games like Candy Crush and Pokémon Cafe ReMix run perfectly and look stunning on the high-fidelity display. The dual heat dissipation means that you can game for extended periods of time or run higher graphics games without setting your hands on fire.
Much like its predecessor, the Pova 5 Pro struggles a bit with massive games like Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail, lagging significantly if you play on anything higher than low settings. It’s not a make-or-break situation and the bypass charging functionality paired with the super-effective cooling means that you can charge the phone while playing to make up for the additional battery drain. I’m definitely still able to play Honkai Star Rail comfortably and for long periods of time, it’s just not the prettiest way to experience Hoyoverse’s universe.
I’m really impressed by the camera quality of the Pova 5 Pro given the budget price. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not flagship-level, but for a phone mostly marketed as a gaming device, it’s more than I was expecting. The AI camera function can accurately detect whether you’re taking a selfie or a picture of your cat (the only two types of photos I take) and adjust the settings accordingly to highlight the subject of the photo.
In peak natural lighting, some of the photos can appear a little washed out compared to other devices, but all of the images have a great professional quality that can’t be achieved through editing. I don’t mind having to bump up the saturation afterward if I can take a really flattering selfie that doesn’t focus on all my skin’s imperfections but also doesn’t look too photoshopped.
Plus, this additional lighting makes the Pova 5 Pro great at taking low-light photos that still capture the detail of the photo’s subject. Overall, the camera performance is a huge plus on top of this phone’s gaming optimizations. All aspects of this phone’s usage are well-balanced, so it’s got benefits for gamers and non-gamers alike looking for a budget handset.
If you’re looking to spend all day gaming, the Pova 5 Pro has the battery life for you. While I find that it takes a little longer than the quoted 45 minutes to charge to 100%, once you’re there, the battery lasts significantly longer than other budget phones like the iPhone SE. There are also plenty of battery-saving options in the settings menu that you can turn on and off as you please, including dimming the intensity of the RGBs.
If you’ve got a USB-C to USB-C cable on hand, your Pova 5 Pro can also act as a really effective power bank for your other devices when you need it. I’ve used this function when I was transferring data over from another phone and it charged the other device by about 30% in 15 minutes!
If you’re a fan of Hayato Yagami, this is the phone for you. Tecno’s Free Fire collab products all come with an exclusive Free Fire redeem code, themed packaging, a full Free Fire phone theme with wallpapers, and a customizable clear phone case. Given how hard it is to find phone cases for non-flagship models, I really appreciate the inclusion of the case as standard, and decorating anything with stickers is fun.
I think the Free Fire tie-in is worth it regardless of which side of the fence you land on. If you’re not into the game but want the case and the beautiful blue model, you can turn off all the Hayato theming and completely ignore the collab. If you’re a massive FF fan, you’re not sacrificing a well-performing phone just to get some exclusive stickers and wallpapers.
Overall, I think the Pova 5 Pro is a great budget smartphone option with added bonuses if you love Garena Free Fire. For $200 you’re getting competitive cameras, a beautiful design and display, and relatively high performance for the price. Plus, this version is 5G-enabled, so you’re not missing out on higher connectivity speeds.
Tecno Pova 5
If you’re not fussed about 5G connection and want a similar design and performance, we’d recommend the Tecno Pova 5. For more detailed information, check out our Tecno Pova 5 Free Fire Special Edition review for the full breakdown.
Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G
It’s a little pricier than the Pova 5 Pro, but the Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G is another high-performing budget Android handset from a lesser-known brand in the West. Its AMOLED screen is the same size too, so it’s like a power-saving upgrade. We’ve also got an in-depth Redmi Note Pro 5G review for you to consult.
That’s everything we’ve got for this Tecno Pova 5 Pro 5G Free Fire Special Edition review. If you’re looking to grab yourself a new handset, head over to our guides to the best Verizon phones, the best AT&T phones, and the best T-Mobile phones.
The Tecno Pova 5 Pro 5G Free Fire Special Edition is a fantastic budget smartphone option, offering a colorful, high refresh-rate display, long battery life, and smart, competitive cameras with plenty of editing options.