There are already abundant 5G smartphones in India and with that, OPPO has added another one i.e. OPPO A74 5G. This comes after the launch of OPPO F19 Pro+ and brings some of the best specifications from a budget smartphone with 5G network support. It is a sub-20K INR smartphone and shares its rivalry with Realme 8 5G, Samsung Galaxy M42 5G, and Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G among others. It is also the first smartphone in India to house Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 5G SoC.
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But there’s no valid reason to buy a smartphone reading its on-paper specs because knowing how it works in practical usage is crucial. Turns out I have been using Oppo A74 5G for a few days now and here’s a hands-down review that I have prepared based on its performance in each sub-section.
Prices in India, Variants, Availability
OPPO A74 5G is among the latest smartphones boasting the latest Snapdragon 4-series processor from Qualcomm. It is available in two colours i.e. Fantastic Purple and Fluid Black and a single trim i.e. 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage on Amazon India and Oppo India Store. The device is available at a price tag of Rs.17,990/-.
Of course, there are tonnes of deals and discounts available such as EMI starting as low as Rs 847/- and there are No Cost EMI options available too. Get 10 per cent off up to Rs 1,000/- on Citibank CC and DC (Non-EMI) as well as 10 per cent off up to Rs 1,500/- with Citibank CC EMI txns. There’s an exchange offer available on Amazon India as well that analyzes your old phone’s make and model and other details to give a discount on eligible units of up to Rs 12,550/-.
OPPO A74 5G is a stylish phone but comes with simple packaging. In the box you get:
- OPPO A74 5G Phone
- 18W Charger
- USB Type C data cable
- SIM ejector tool
- Safety Guide
- Quick Start Guide
- Protective case
Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the OPPO A74 5G let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?
- Display: 6.49-inch (16.5cm) FHD+ Punch-hole 90Hz Display
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G
- Storage: 6GB/128GB
- Software: ColorOS 11.1 based on Android 11
- Rear cameras: 48MP Main Camera, 2MP Macro Camera, 2MP Mono Camera
- Selfie Camera: 8MP
- Battery: 5000 mAh, 18W fast charge
- Weight: 175g
- Dimensions: 160.30 x 73.80 x 7.95mm
Design and Build
I have become a fan of OPPO A74 5G’s design. It may not be the best-designed smartphone but at Sub-18K INR, you are getting one of the best deals possible.
The front has thick bezels although it isn’t a surprise at this price segment. The chin is a bit pronounced although it is manageable. There’s a punch-hole cut-out on the top-left corner which is giant enough to grab your attention and distract you at some point in time.
The phone has front glass, a plastic frame, and a plastic back panel. OPPO has covered the plastic back panel with an iridescent texture glastic back that has a glossy feel to it while the texture allows it to spread different colours when the light reflects on it at an angle. The phone isn’t that glamorous at first but as you get used to it, the phone won’t let you down at least in terms of its modern design.
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There’s no eye-shaped image sensor but rather a simple quad-camera setup at the back in a rectangular-shaped camera bump. It protrudes just a bit above the back panel as usual. There’s a power button on the right side which is recessed a bit to accommodate a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The volume rockers are placed on the left side just within anyone’s reach. You get a bottom-firing speaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB-C port, and a primary mic at the bottom. There’s a dual SIM card slot with a dedicated memory card slot for your ease.
About the display, you are getting a 6.5-inch LTPS IPS LCD panel boosting a 90Hz refresh rate. It has a 1080×2400 pixels resolution which translates into 405 PPI density. It has a 20:9 aspect ratio and can boast a typical peak brightness of 480 nits. Now it’s all about the display specifications but our concern is, how does it perform practically. Luckily, I got my hands on OPPO A74 5G for more than a week, and here’s how the display performs on-board the A74 5G.
The cut-out for the selfie shooter is bigger than usual and is less noticeable at first in apps. But you’ll get used to it after a while so doesn’t worry much. The 90Hz refresh rate support makes the UI elements feel smoother on transitions and animations. It makes the gaming, navigation, and scrolling fast. The Snapdragon 480 handles 90Hz mode with sufficient smoothness.
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Talking about colour reproduction, the colours do not appear as you would expect from a rival Xiaomi phone, and the screen brightness is not too high for comfortable outdoor use. In other words, the A74 5G display is strictly limited. The viewing angles are up to the mark. For someone who needs to get the job done, the OPPO A74 5G display should be more than enough.
Luckily, there’s Widevine L1 support that ensures you can view HD content on your OPPO A74 5G without any hassle. However, the phone lacks a wide colour gamut so yeah, there is a bit of trade-off here and there.
OPPO A74 5G packs in the latest Snapdragon 480 5G chipset. Now, it occurs to me why would Qualcomm tag a 400-series moniker onto a 5G-enabled chipset when it has a performance paradigm of a 700-series chipset. Anyways, it is a dual-cluster octa-core chipset with two 2.0GHz Kryo 460 high-performance cores and six 1.8GHz Kryo 460 power-efficient cores. Paired with it is an Adreno 619 GPU, 128GB of UFS 2.1 single lane storage, and 6GB RAM. This is a raw specification of the processor under the hood, now let’s see how it performs with subject to practice use.
The performance on the device using Snapdragon 480 5G chipset is fairly good. The chipset by no means is made for gaming but that doesn’t mean it won’t support gaming at all. It has an AnTuTu rating of 3,18,144 which makes it way ahead of the Snapdragon 732G scores. In fact, the chipset is on par with MediaTek’s Dimensity 800U SoC which is impressive.
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I had no issues multitasking between apps, switching between apps and processes, and doing day-to-day tasks. I did notice some frame drops when undergoing long gaming sessions of COD Mobile although it will support it all. You can play games right from not-so-graphic intensive ones like Alto’s Odyssey to intensive ones like PUBG Mobile, COD Mobile, and so on. The phone doesn’t have many heating issues probably because of the graphite tubes it comes with which is another major selling point for a budget phone.
If you are an OPPO user, you must be familiar with how big the change ColorOS brought about from v7.x to v11. A74 5G runs on the latest Android 11-powered ColorOS 11 out-of-the-box with a tonne of features. This includes a tonne of customization options and the UI elements have since been simplified. ColorOS 11 is closer to OxygenOS although OPPO has maintained many of the visual elements from its unique UI. There’s no Always-on panel and no live wallpapers here.
You get a tonne of preloaded apps both first-party and third-party and you can remove some of them if not all. I must say, you will be riddled with notifications from the theme store and app store, and other apps/services if you don’t turn off these notifications. Trust me, you don’t want to get these notifications that could go as far as 20-30 notifications a day or more. In any case, OPPO has optimized the software so it is buttery-smooth and slick in performance.
Now we are in one of the most important sections of the review. Optics is currently paid more attention in this photo-centric world where we usually take 100 photos a day at times but the A74 5G will surely fail to keep up with the expectations. OPPO A74 5G gets a triple-camera setup boasting a 48MP primary sensor with PDAF, f/1.7 aperture; and two 2MP sensors dedicated for macro and depth respectively with f/2.4 apertures. The front, on the other hand, houses a subtle 8MP wide-angle snapper with an f/2.0 aperture.
The 48MP primary sensor might sound like a brilliant sensor because higher megapixels equals better photo quality. However, it isn’t the case because post-processing is equally as important as the hardware involved. The primary sensor can capture decent images in the daytime and that works only when it is brightly lit. It is an average camera setup and there’s nothing fancy about it, to be honest.
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Night mode on the primary sensor does capture images with better exposure, however, the sensor fails to retain most details so what you are getting is sometimes blurry and sometimes out of focus or images with a lack of details at nighttime. Since the rear camera assembly basically packs in two 2MP sensors apart from the primary one, I can literally discount the two others and count it as just a single camera at the back. The depth sensor is used for depth data while the macro sensor is for going closer to objects and taking their snaps but it is average given the fact that you are actually using a 2MP sensor.
The selfie shooter on-board has an 8MP sensor which isn’t that impressive as well. It is fairly average so I guess capturing photos in daylight or brightly lit lighting conditions will work in your favour. On the contrary, nighttime photography is something I would rather avoid. You can still use the selfie shooter for social media although don’t assume that it will be the best of all.
OPPO A74 5G arrives with a hefty 5,000 mAh battery to start with. This is enough to keep your device powered for an entire day even on moderate to heavy usage. You can go to “Day 2” (half of it) if used wisely. It’s not the battery size but the charging speed that disappointed me a lot. It is an 18W fast charging support that is well below the charging speeds its siblings and rivals have on board. It takes a good 95 to 100 minutes to charge up the battery to its slow extent. I do think that if you have a habit of charging overnight, this could work in your favour though.
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Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
OPPO A74 5G does have a single bottom-firing loudspeaker and that’s all. It is loud and clear albeit falls on an average side. Having a 3.5mm headphone jack literally makes A74 5G a must to consider for audiophiles since the jack is on the verge of extinction.
OPPO A74 5G, as the name suggests, has 5G network support. It supports both SA and NSA network types and multiple 5G network bands so do check which band you can access. A74 5G supports A-GPS, QZSS, BDS, and Glonass GPS systems as well as Bluetooth v5.1 with aptX HD, LE, and A2DP; and Wi-Fi 5 dual-band support as well. You also get a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a USB-C 2.0 port as with the unit. There’s NFC for contactless payments and more.
You get multiple layers of securities with OPPO A74 5G. The usual is the FPS, PIN, Pattern, and Face Unlock. A74 5G sports a side-mounted fingerprint snapper which is snappy. I prefer a side-mounted FPS than face unlock since you will have to tap on the power button (cum FPS) anyways. You are literally tapping on the side-mounted FPS to access face unlock and that doesn’t make sense. Yes, you can bypass it if you can light up the screen using the double-tap feature. In any case, FPS is simply more reliable and quick than face unlock.
Pros & Cons
- Qualcomm 5G SoC
- 5000mAh Mega Battery
- 90Hz Hyper-colour Screen
- 48MP AI Triple Camera
- No Dust and Water resistance
- No Gorilla Glass protection
At the end of the day, it depends on what feature you prioritize more before buying or upgrading to a newer smartphone. OPPO A74 5G is surely a good smartphone but priced at a bit higher than its rival like Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G. It has a newer Snapdragon processor which has left Redmi Note 10 Pro to dust, however, it is not a serious gaming device if you are considering it especially for gaming.
It is a blend of all average and good specifications so you are literally getting a full package here but don’t expect it to simply blow your mind. The camera on-board OPPO A74 5G is a concern because it is average and I highlighted it because people pair cameras with Vivo or an Oppo smartphone and have a myriad of myths about cameras in general. You can factor in what makes you tick about buying a phone, read the above-mentioned review and decide whether you’ll go through with it or not.