Although there’s still time in the 5G spectrum auction and the so-called 5G-reality, smartphone makers appear to be proactive on their part in releasing 5G-capable phones across the price spectrum. Thus, it’s not only that almost every newfangled rollout is tagged 5G or future-ready, some are coming at mid to lower tiers, even below the Rs. 20,000 slab. That brings us to the newly out Oppo A74 with a 5G surname. This is the first Snapdragon 480 5G phone in India. And here’s everything else you get in the phone:

ModelOPPO A74 5G
5GDual-mode 5G SoC
Mobile PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G
RAM+ROM6 GB + 128 GB
IDAbout 8.42mm 188g
Display6.5-inch FHD+ punch-hole LCD screen 2400 x 1080 pixels; 405 PPI; 90HZ Refresh Rate; 90.5% Screen to Body Ratio
Front Camera8MP
Rear Camera48MP Main camera + 2MP Depth camera + 2MP Macro camera
SpeakersSingle Speaker
UnlockSide Fingerprint Sensor
CoolingMulti-cooling System
Battery Life5000mAh Capacity with 18W Fast Charge
Network5G SA and NSA bands: n1/28A/41/77/78, 4G: LTE FDD bands 1/3/5/8, Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band WiFi
ColorOSColorOS 11.1 (based on Android 11)
ColorsFluid Black/Fantastic Purple

Now while on paper, that’s a rather basic set of specs, let’s see if those and especially 5G is enough to plead the case, that is should you consider it for the asking price of ₹17,990?

Contents

Oppo A74 5G Unboxing

  • Handset
  • Charger
  • USB-C Cable
  • SIM ejector pin
  • Protective case
  • Safety Guide and papers

Oppo A74 5G Design and Build Quality

Oppo A74 5G has got a dashing yet derivative design. The phone comes in Fluid Black and Fantastic Purple. Ours is the latter with an eye-pleasing gradient shift between purple and what I discern as turquoise blue. And just as in looks, the thing also feels good in the hand. It weighs 188g and is 8.42mm thin.

All the usual buttons and burrows are here and are easily accessible too. By the sides, you have pretty tactile volume rockers (left) and a power cum fingerprint reader (right). Both it and the face unlock mechanism work fine. There’s nothing on the head, so only a single mic, which is present on the foot. Rest, there is a 3.5mm jack, a USB-C port, and a subpar-sounding speaker.

Come to the front, you get a 6.5-inch LCD panel with FHD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, and 90.5% Screen to Body Ratio. There is a punch-hole at the top left corner. The bezels are agreeably slim. There is DRM L1 certification for HD streaming on OTT platforms. So, all in all, although not AMOLED, the screen is good enough to entertain your eyes.

ALSO READ: Oppo F19 Pro Review

Let’s now see how these front and back cameras perform.

Oppo A74 5G Cameras

Oppo has armed the phone with a 48MP primary camera accompanied by a 2MP depth sensor and 2MP macro sensor. Upfront, it has got an 8MP selfie shooter. The company has also stuffed a bunch of software tricks to stoke some excitement into this setup, including a frickin’ 108MP mode. We’ll get into all of its camera modes and mannerisms shortly.

Let’s take a gander at how they fare in the real world –

Oppo A74 5G nets social media-ready shots whence its 48MP sensor is provided with ample light. The details aren’t much to write home about. Dynamic range is also not very convincing. Turning the AI Scene Enhancement mode boosts the colors and contrast. Still, the output was mostly skewed from what’s natural. Even the extra-HD mode which boasts synthetic 108MP results couldn’t do much justice to the final output. Add it to the bucket of things you’d hardly ever or very occasionally use. This would also include things like macro mode, Panorama, Pro Mode, Time-Lapse, and Slow-MO Video. Speaking of which, you get to record videos up to FHD at 30 FPS. The rear side supports gyro-based EIS stabilization.

Portraits come out appeasing with decent edge detection. A small tip would be to toggle off the beautification while taking selfies for a touch more facial details.

Night mode adds a bit more brightness to the frame. But lack of details and smudged noises are apparent. Now, you can always try the 3 Night Filters for fun shots. Just take look at the Night Filter 03 from the above slideshow.

Similarly, Oppo has packed the phone with some interesting software tricks. More on that in the coming section.

Oppo A74 5G User Interface and Experience

The phone ships with Android 11 based ColorOS 11.1 software. Now, this as you may already know, brims with features. And if you don’t, then there’s a lot to try and tinker around here. You can customize the various theming elements, enjoy navigational and multi-tasking utilities, and protect your privacy with thoughtful locks and checks. The very few preinstalled wares can be either used, uninstalled via ADB, or ignored. Surprisingly in my short stint with the device, I didn’t come across any laggy or buggy instances.

The software sits on top of the Snapdragon 480 chipset which also powers the paraded 5G capability with help of the Snapdragon X51 RF Modem. Oppo A74 is the first to boot with this chip in India. This has an 8nm architecture with two Cortex A76 performance cores and six A55 efficiency cores. Now, this setup is similar to that of Snapdragon 720G but falls short only by its clock speed. Furthermore, the phone comes in a single 6GB+ 128GB memory configuration. The device holds up well in day-to-day multi-tasking. The graphics are handled by Adreno 619 GPU (found within the Snapdragon 750G) and the gameplay experience was serviceable.

The benchmark standing is as you’d expect out of this setup:

Oppo A74 5G Benchmark TestsScores
Androbench Sequential Read | Write (Storage)502.33 MB/s | 178.2 MB/s
Androbench Random Read | Write (Storage)124.02 MB/s | 99.45 MB/s
Geekbench 5 Single-core | Multi-core (CPU)523 | 1754
PCMark Work (Real world scenarios)7271
3DMark Slingshot Extreme (OpenGL) | Slingshot (Graphics)2425 | 3517

Oppo A74 5G Battery, Calls, and Connectivity

The battery backup is good. In our PCMark 10 benchmark testing, the phone came up with 10hrs of runtime. You may thank the big 5000mAh battery, software optimizations and efficiency brought in by the chipset for this. And whence it runs out of juice, dock in the 18W quick charger to refill within the 2 Hr mark.

ALSO READ: Poco X3 Pro Review

Rest, the call quality and connectivity options are also fine for the part. Besides Dual VoLTE SIM support, Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band WiFi, and WiFi calling, you also get the 5G-readiness out of the box. Oppo has future-proofed the device with the 5G SA and NSA bands such as n1, n28A, n41, n77, and n78.

Now there’s still time for that future. So, let’s come back to the present.

Verdict: Should you buy the Oppo A74 5G?

At ₹17,990, Oppo A74 5G brings a large and long-running 5000mAh battery, a 90Hz FHD+ display, a 48MP camera with some nice tricks, and feature-ridden Android 11 based software — all wrapped inside a slim and sexy body. Even the Snapdragon 480 is an interesting chip, as in, it can hold up well in most everyday tasks including some casual gaming. It’s only when you take competition into consideration, you find that the A74 fails to hold a candle to the better-specced phones in the range.

Much of what’s offered is formulaic or strictly fundamental, barring 5G of course. 5G is the main attraction here and is appended right in its title. But even though Oppo A74 5G is one of the cheapest 5G phones from the brand, that’s been done by cutting some heavy corners. So, if you aren’t a stickler for 5G, you may consider other options in this range.

Pros

  • 5G future-proofness
  • 90Hz FHD+ display
  • Long-running battery
  • Feature-rich software
  • Slim and sexy design

Cons

  • Uninspiring camera performance
  • Sub-par sounding speaker

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