When you look at Tecno’s latest device, the Boom J8, the first thing that will come to your mind is change – change in its appearance and OS. However, will this change turn things around for Tecno mobile moving forward?
TECNO BOOM J8 REVIEW
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO POWER THE J8
Immediately you get the Boom J8 and power it on, you might need to wait for about 40 seconds, thanks to the Boom animation.
Also, powering it off takes about 6 seconds.
HOW GOOD IS THE DISPLAY?
Despite its 720p display, a color depth of 32 bits, and an HD IPS panel, the Boom J8’s display is not bad at all. It has good viewing angles and eye-pleasing colors. Outside visibility is above average provided you rev up the brightness to the max when battling direct sunlight.
GET INTRODUCED TO THE iOS WITH THE H FACTOR.
H + iOS = HiOS
You’d immediately notice that the all the icons on the J8 are squared.
NOTIFACTION PANEL HAS A SUBTLE CHANGE
When it comes to the notification panel, everything looks the same except the change in the color theme. Black is the new white.
ANYTHING NEW IN THE SETTINGS PANEL?
The fact that you can change your theme and wallpaper is a welcome development
There is also a Pulsating light setting that allows you to use one cool feature that Tecno introduced to the J8, but more on this later
The calling app has new modes. You have the one-handed mode and a detect multiple numbers mode. (Other modes aren’t so new).
Just like Xiaomi’s security manager, you have the new Hi manager which includes features like, mobile cleanup, Bandwith management, harassment block, Auto-start and app management.
WHAT STORAGE DO YOU HAVE LEFT?
The Boom J8 comes with 16GB ROM, but you have just 9GB left. After installing some games (4 in number) and a few benchmark apps, I had just 3Gb left.
ALL THE PAPPARZI
The HiOS comes with sleek interfaces. One of these interfaces is the shutting window which is so beautiful.
You also have the Boom player. I particularly love the animation on the home screen.
There are the usual gimmick additions like double tap to wake etc. You also have gestures i.e. drawing certain letters on the screen to launch apps. Finally, there is the Pulsating light that serves as your notification light and also lights up when you are playing a song.
HOW BOOMY IS THE BOOM?
Not so boomy. When you play songs on the Boom J8, the audio quality is very obvious thanks to the Boom Max which allows you control the general output of your audio. However, If you are expecting that loud boom, you might be slightly disappointed – but quality over quantity, right? (By the way, even though you have two speaker grills, you just have only one active speaker grill). I must point out that immediately you plug in your earphones/headphones, you’d understand why it is called the Boom.
Err just okay. The sound quality isn’t “oh my God” kinda great, but considering it is free, you really can’t complain.
SHOULD I BE PICKY WITH THE COLORS?
Yes!! I’d advise that you don’t go for the white variant because the white back cover is prone to obvious scratches. What I’d advise you to go for is this sandpaper variant. I am in love!
WHAT ABOUT BLOATWARE?
Definitely, but the bloatware found on the J8 can be removed
IS THE 3000mAh BATTERY ON THE J8 ANY GOOD?
I carried out two tests, one with the Bluetooth, WIFI, location, brightness & 3G switched on, I also played 2 games during this duration. I started at 7:35 and ended it at 7:59pm. See the battery changes
Results: 5% depleted in 24 minutes. Is that good enough for you?
The second test was in 3G mode, with brightness minimal, location and an always on screen for 2 minutes while playing songs, see the results below
Final Words: Impressive.
THE BOOM J8 IS NOT A CAMERA PHONE
If you are looking to buy the Boom J8 because you’re a selfie or picture freak, then just wait for the Camon c9 -The Camera interface is quite bland because you don’t have so many tweaks to play with;
…But overall, the output is far better than some phone cameras I have seen. See the samples below under different test conditions. (Click on the image to see the enlarged version and also the camera information.
DAYLIGHT WITHOUT FLASH
NIGHT TEST WITH FLASH
FRONT CAMERA TEST
HOW FAR CAN THE 2GB RAM Take YOU?
Very far, probably because of the optimized OS, but everything operated smoothly. Although, there were times I had an issue with some apps restarting, but this could be fixed in an update.
1st Test: I played 4 slightly heavy games and tried going back again, I did not experience any lag and was able to resume my games.
2nd Test: I opened several apps, then restarted the device, the apps still stayed in the multitasking panel after the restart.
Final words: Pass mark!
BLOOPERS & FLAWS
Dear Tecno We Don’t Understand Chinese.
I don’t know what triggered it, all I do know is that I saw some Chinese words in the notification panel. Tecno please fix this in subsequent updates.
CAMERA WHY YOU SO SLOW?
Be warned, anytime you try to switch to the selfie camera on the Boom J8, you would notice that there is a lag that takes about 5 seconds. Further investigations revealed that it was due to the beautification settings that were turned on by default, no way to turn it off. Once again, hopefully, an update might fix this
However, what you can do is switch to video mode and then turn the selfie camera, you won’t notice any lag when you do this.
HOW FAST IS THE FAST CHARGE?
I think there was a misinformation when Tecno said the Boom J8 had a fast charge because after using the J8 I discovered that it doesn’t charge so fast. See the test below:
I was able to charge the Boom J8 for 5% in the space of 15 minutes. At the end of the day, it would take about 2 hours or more to fully charge the Boom J8.
DOES IT SUPPORT USB OTG
Yes, yes, yes! The Boom J8 does support USB OTG, so you might need to buy an OTG adapter to use with the Boom J8
DID YOU GET ANY UPDATE WHEN YOU USED THE J8
No, I didn’t. I am not sure if the phone will or will not receive key updates, like Android N for example. #NowPlaying Wishing on a star.
Update: It has been confirmed that the Boom J8 will definitely receive a Marshmallow update.
BRING IN THE BENCHMARKS
As always, what is a review without a benchmark?
Check out the Boom J8 benchmark
Here are the things I love about the Boom J8
1. Impressive audio output when earphone is plugged
2. Very sleek and impressive design, Tecno has joined the big boys level, even with their mid range phones.
3. The new experience with the HiOS
4. Pulsating light is the first of its kind.
Things I didn’t like:
1. Little bugs with the OS
2. Back cover is prone to scratches
3. The J8 doesn’t come with Gorilla glass, so there is a high chance the screen might crack.
4. Android 5.1 in 2016?
Price = N44,000 on Konga.