Being a regular old smartphone ain’t gonna cut it anymore! You gotta have some cool tricks up your sleeve to woo the consumers in 2023. That’s what TECNO seems to have thought of — even more than a couple of years ago — while integrating backlights onto a smartphone. The legacy carries through in the latest version, the TECNO POVA 5 Pro, which attempts to impress us all with anything but middling mid-ranger capabilities.


At first glance, one might mistakenly assume that the TECNO POVA 5 Pro looks like any other smartphone. Spend even a second longer looking and you’ll realise how unique the design of this smartphone is. There’s a lovely 3D-texture etched on the rear panel that helps the smartphone stand out. And impressively, no quarter on the rear of the smartphone looks the same. There are bits of light magic hidden within too.

That’s the bright, shining USP of this smartphone — RGB light strips on the rear panel! Safe to say that the colour-based notifications are a ton of fun and highly customisable. For notifications, calls and music, I could play around with nine different colour variations and pulsating patterns in the settings. I could even choose to have it glow up, in sync with whatever song I am streaming on the device!

As endearing as the light effects are, the rear panel is very prone to smudges which might take away a bit from the “cool” factor.

The display is a massive 6.78-inch display with a 120 Hz refresh rate. Always a delight to see at this price range. Catching up on older episodes of Run BTS on YouTube was fun on the smartphone, with the audio being clear enough. However, for music, I preferred using headphones as the sound quality tends to get a bit treble-heavy at higher volumes.


There’s a 50-MP dual camera with dual flash and a 16-MP selfie camera. The AI CAM feature is on by default, which in my view tends to deliver over-saturated photos. So, on a sunny day, the pictures I took in a nursery looked a bit unnaturally amped up — in terms of colour. Having this turned off gave me the natural-looking results that I prefer. The selfie cam has a quick shutter speed, and delivers mixed results. Skin tone and texture sometimes rendered accurately and sometimes not. However, it did do a decent job of blurring out the background in portraits.

Tech Specs

The TECNO POVA 5 Pro is powered by the mid-range MediaTek Dimensity 6080 chipset. In my regular usage of taking photos, listening to Agust D, and the occasional casual gaming, the smartphone didn’t show any signs of lagging or stuttering. As is expected of affordable smartphones, there’s a fair bit of bloatware on start-up, but it was nothing I couldn’t quickly disable or uninstall.


Powered by a 5,000mAh battery, staying on was no issue for this smartphone. With menial usage, the smartphone gave me company for more than a day. It ships with a 68W ultra-fast charger as well, which the company claims can charge the phone to 50 per cent battery in 15 minutes. While looking for a quick top-up, I found that the claim wasn’t entirely unfounded.


A distinctive design, function-driven backlights, spacious display and a price tag that is easy on the pocket. The TECNO POVA 5 Pro has all this and more. Yes, there are a few compromises along the way, but none enough to trump the cool factor.

Price: ₹14,999 onwards
Pros: Backlight on a budget
Cons: Bloatware, sound can get a bit shrill.