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I used one of the most ridiculous Android phones of 2024

The back of the Tecno Pova 6 Pro.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Tecno Pova 6 Pro has a mad name, comes in a mad green color, and has an equally unhinged design. It’s undoubtedly the craziest-looking smartphone announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, and we haven’t even started to get into the crazy features yet.

I spent a long weekend with the Tecno Pova 6 Pro, a phone you probably won’t ever get to buy, but one you should definitely know about. It has managed to capture my heart in a way I didn’t really expect.

Tecno’s crazy and mad design

A person holding the Tecno Pova 6 Pro.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Tecno continues to be a brand that intrigues us. It doesn’t sell its devices in the U.S., but our journey with the brand started with the Phantom X2 Pro and its unusual pop-out camera, then continued with the Phantom V Fold and the Phantom V Flip — two folding phones you could potentially buy both of for less than the price of one Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. The Tecno Pova 6 Pro isn’t in the same technical league as those phones, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. Quite the opposite, actually.

The color of the phone in our photos is Comet Green, and it really is very green. You can get it in Meteorite Grey, too, but why would you when the green is this eye-catching? It’s not just the color, the patterns, or the shininess that make the design special either. It also has a set of mini-LEDs in the massive camera module, which like the Nothing Phone 2, activate when a call or notification comes in and to show battery charging level. The mini-LEDs can even link with the popular PUBG game for some added flashiness.

The Tecno Pova 6 Pro's LED lights on the back of the phone
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

They aren’t as bright or as customizable as the Nothing Phone 2’s Glyph lights, but it will be interesting to see if they can help this phone take on the Nothing Phone 2a when we see it in the near future. The back of the Pova 6 Pro is maddening in other, less fun ways too. It attracts a huge amount of fingerprints and has various statements like “NFC” and “Hi-Density Battery” slapped on it, which cheapen the look of the phone — something not helped by the sticky slickness of the plastic used for the back panel and chassis.

More madness exists on the chassis and in the box. The Pova 6 Pro has a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom, and while that’s certainly unusual these days, inside the box is something we haven’t seen in a long while: a pair of wired in-ear headphones. I told you this isn’t like all the other phones out there at the moment.

One of the biggest batteries we’ve seen

The Tecno Pova 6 Pro's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The materials used for the Tecno Pova 6 Pro hint at the phone’s lower-midrange status, but Tecno has filled the slim, lightweight phone with a whopping 6,000mAh battery. Does it return mad battery life? I started using a fully charged Pova 6 Pro on a Friday night and ignored a charger until the battery ran out. It finally expired at 4 p.m. on Monday after five-and-a-half hours of screen time, along with mixed use over the weekend. A 70-watt wired charger comes in the box, and it took 15 minutes to reach about 50% and less than 45 minutes to hit 100%.

this is perhaps not absolutely insane battery life, but is still quite impressive. The Pova 6 Pro’s modest specification helps it make the most of its capacity. The screen is a 6.78-inch AMOLED with an FHD resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and one of the worst automatic brightness modes I’ve ever encountered. Its ponderous reaction time and preference for almost total dimness are infuriating, leading me to turn it off. A MediaTek 6080 processor and 12GB of RAM provide decent power, and playing Asphalt 9: Legends proved no problem.

Tecno has updated its HiOS Android interface to match the installation of Android 14, and it provides a far better experience than any previous Tecno phone I’ve used. There’s less bloatware, fewer pointless apps and widgets preloaded on the home screen, and a pleasing turn of speed. It’s not perfect — the split notification shade is annoying, and the face and fingerprint unlock system is too slow — but it has been reliable and has a much cleaner, more classic Android design than expected. It even has its own take on Apple’s Dynamic Island, called Dynamic Port 2.0, which works quite well.

A camera with a surprisingly missing feature

The Tecno Pova 6 Pro's camera and LED lights.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

What about the camera? The Pova 6 Pro appears to have three cameras on the back, along with an LED flash. You know one is a 108-megapixel main camera, as it tells you on the rear panel for all to see, so that would make the other two a wide-angle camera and the expected 2MP macro lens, right? Wrong. The Pova 6 Pro doesn’t have a wide-angle camera at all, making it stand out from almost every other phone released over the past few years, just contrarily so.

Surprisingly, I haven’t missed a wide-angle camera. The Pova 6 Pro’s status means it probably would have been quite an ordinary camera anyway, so I never really felt robbed of being able to take a mediocre wide-angle photo I’d probably never look at again. So, what are those other two cameras? Excellent question. The specification lists the 108MP camera, and that’s it. I checked with Tecno, and sure enough, one of them is a fixed focus 2MP camera, and the other is an “AI camera” that collects ambient light.

Photo quality varies wildly. At its best, it is only average and has no stabilization. It also has problems focusing on objects that are moderately close, and although the Pova 6 Pro’s camera also has an “in-sensor” zoom feature with a 3x shortcut available in the app, the results rarely inspire. Lowlight photos are noisy, too. There are a couple of special features, including a dual video mode that shoots with the front and rear cameras simultaneously and an edit mode that changes the look of the sky in your photos. Although the Pova 6 Pro’s design makes it look like the camera will be a standout feature, it’s all a con, and it’s crazy it went to such trouble to make it appear so special.

Mad and fun, but in need of refinement

The Tecno Nova 6 Pro is all over the place in an oddly endearing way. The funky design makes it different, the software is surprisingly good, and the battery will last a few days with average use. It even has an IP53 water and dust resistance rating, plus Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Audio wired and wireless support. However, it gets covered in fingerprints, the camera is a mystery, basics like the fingerprint sensor and auto-brightness are slow and unreliable, and there’s no permanent always-on display — a pet peeve of mine.

Yet, for all its ups and downs, I like the Tecno Pova 6 Pro, and a lot of that is due to the improved software. It makes such a difference when I don’t feel like I’m fighting against it, which I did with previous versions of Tecno’s HiO. Instead, after a short time customizing it to my personal preferences, it settled down to become a solid companion. I’ve felt more comfortable more quickly with Tecno’s HiOS than I usually do with Xiaomi’s MIUI, even if it’s not quite as slick or feature-packed.

What the Pova 6 Pro needs is refinement, as many fundamentals are hit-and-miss, and I’d love to see a Tecno phone with a more capable processor inside to give it some extra performance. I’ve had fun with the Tecno Pova 6 Pro, and that’s a small recommendation on its own. I continue to like what the company is doing, but unless you’re happy to put up with a poor camera and all the other madness on show, it’s probably not a phone you should rush out and buy.

Tecno has come to MWC with many other, even crazier products, too — including an AI robot dog and some truly wild concept materials.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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