The Tecno Pova 5 Pro runs on the latest available Android 13 and the most recent version of Tecno's proprietary HiOS 13 Android overlay. If you are familiar with the older HiOS versions, this one won't look too different, and you will feel right at home. In fact, there are little to no changes compared to the older HiOS 12.
Tecno has been running and refining its own skin for some time now, which we've generally found to be quite good in the past, with a few on-and-off caveats here and there. These mostly come down to pre-installed bloat and ads, but the experience on the Pova 5 Pro is actually pretty clean, as the bloat and the ads are noticeably reduced.
That's not to say there aren't many pre-installed apps and utilities. Tecno is still sticking to its traditions of developing and deploying its own set of apps to cover the basic features. You get an in-house gallery and video player and an app store, even two, depending on how you count them. These can still get annoying at times, but we can understand the angle Tecno is coming from.
Getting into the Pova 5 Pro is business as usual, with both fingerprint and face recognition available. You can choose to either unlock upon touch of the power button or a full-on press. The latter option is advisable if you don't want to have frequent misreadings with your phone in your pocket, for example, because the software will always be looking for a fingertip.
Once you're past that, you arrive at a standard homescreen interface. The leftmost pane, called the Zero screen, holds cards with suggested news, weather and quotes widgets and an app usage widget. You can disable the Zero screen in the 'Desktop settings'.
There's an app drawer by default, which you can access from the old-school A-Z orange icon at the bottom or with an upward swipe from the bottom.
Themes are available as part of HiOS, and there is a dedicated Theme store for this purpose.
Tecno has a long-standing selection of advanced features that generally get carried forward from older models. That includes the Game mode with all the settings, statistics and parental controls. There is also a Smart panel with slide-from-the-side shortcuts.
Social Turbo toolset is rather interesting (a WhatsApp enhancer of sorts) - it can change your voice, enhance your face during video calls, record your WhatsApp calls, and allow you to read messages without marking them as Read.
MemFusion is Tecno's name for virtual RAM. The Pova 5 Pro has 8GB of physical RAM chips on board and can extend that up to 16GB with another 8GB of virtual memory. By default, MemFusion is set to 5GB.
The special features menu also controls the LED backlight. You can choose different animation styles and colors for each action, such as playing games, receiving notifications, calls, etc. You can even schedule the active time for the backlight effect, too.
Performance is pretty solid, overall. HiOS feels fast, snappy and responsive on the current handset, and aside from a few weirdly-named menus and features, it feels surprisingly polished.
This is the first time we get to see the MediaTek Dimensity 6080 chipset, which was released not long ago in Q1 2023. The chipset is part of the mid-range Dimensity 6000 series of SoCs and slots in between the Dimensity 6020 and 6100+. It's based on the 6nm N6 manufacturing process from TSMC and features an octa-core CPU and a Mali-G57 GPU running at 950 MHz.
The CPU consists of 2x Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.4 GHz and 6x Cortex-A55 cores ticking at 2.0 GHz for not-so-demanding tasks. The device we reviewed pairs the Dimensity 6080 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but there's a lower-tier version with 128GB of internal storage as well.
Here's how the Pova 5 Pro and its chipset fared against the similarly-priced competition.
The Dimensity 6080 fares very well in its own price category and even edges out its competitors in most tests. The CPU-intensive and combined tests, such as AnTuTu, seem to be its strongest suit. In pure GPU scenarios, the device falls short mostly in offscreen tests at higher resolution.
However, in 1080p and in the 1440p offscreen 3DMark Wild Life Vulkan tests, the Dimensity 6080 proves to be more powerful than the Snapdragon 690 and Snapdragon 685.
Somehow, Tecno was able to cram up a vapor chamber into the tight budget. The company advertises a 2,820mm2 vapor chamber coupled with a huge 10,159mm2 graphene-based heat sink. But it looks like it paid off.
The Pova 5 Pro fared great in our CPU torture test and maintained above 90% of the CPU's clock speeds. The device didn't get warm either, so it felt pleasant in hand.
Even after 1 hour of continuous load, the CPU dropped only to 89% of its theoretical performance. To be fair, the Dimensity 6080 isn't very demanding to begin with, as it offers just two Cortex-A76 cores. Still, believe the applied cooling solution does make a difference.
We also tried playing Mobile Legend: Bang Bang and Free Fire, which are advertised to maintain 80 and 90fps. However, we could not force the display above 60Hz, so you won't be able to take full advantage of the fast display during gaming.