Meet OPPO A74 5G - The best budget 5G phone?

In case you missed it, A74 is OPPO's most affordable 5G offering in the Philippines.
Meet OPPO A74 5G - The best budget 5G phone?
Meet OPPO A74 5G

As a recap, OPPO A74 5G features a punch-hole 6.5-inch LCD (LTPS) panel with a 90Hz refresh rate, FHD+ resolution, and 100 percent DCI-P3 color gamut. 

Inside, it has the new 2.0GHz 8nm Snapdragon 480 octa-core processor with Adreno 619 GPU and a Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF system with support for mmWave and sub-6GHz global 5G. 

Now, let's check out how OPPO A74 5G performs!

Meet OPPO A74 5G

The accessories
The accessories

The smartphone arrives in a white box with the device's render in front. Inside, we find the following: A74 5G phone, clear silicone case, SIM ejector tool, wall charger, USB-A to USB-C cable, basic earphones, and paper documents.

Overall, OPPO threw everything we would need inside the box!

We were loaned the Fluid Black color variant. Right outside the box, this colorway probably makes every minimalist's dream come true. At the back, the OPPO A74 highlights a gradient glass-like back design.

Surprisingly, it's not a fingerprint smudge and hairline scratches magnet. With or without the protective case, the pet peeve in you (like me) should not be OC. 

OPPO A74 5G is a pretty lightweight device weighing only 190 grams. I like how it has a nice grip despite having a glass-like build.
Top
Top
Bottom
Bottom

There's nothing on top of the device. Meanwhile, you can find the 3.5mm headphone jack slot, microphone, USB-C port, and a grill speaker at the bottom.

The triple-slot tray of dual SIM  and microSD card lies above the volume rocker at the left side of the phone. On the other hand, the power button is placed on the right side.
Right
Right
Left
Left

OPPO A74 5G features a punch-hole 6.5-inch LCD (LTPS) panel with a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, FHD+ resolution, and 100 percent DCI-P3 color gamut.

It has almost no side bezels leaving the chin bezel the most visible one.

Although it only has an LCD (LTPS) panel, OPPO A74 5G's display produces nice, vivid with sharp colors images, and videos with good viewing angles. 

Vibrant display even under direct sunlight!

Under direct sunlight, I can still see clearly everything on the display. 
6.5-inch LCD (LTPS) display
6.5-inch LCD (LTPS) display

In terms of its sound, OPPO A74 5G can fill up to a medium-sized room with a crisp and nice sound. Although the speaker has a little distortion when the volume is on its highest level. But this shouldn't be your concern since it's a little unnoticeable.

Its in-package earphones work decently when plugged into the device.

For cameras, it has quad-camera setup of 48MP f/1.7 w/ PDAF, EIS + 8MP f/2.2 119-degree ultra-wide + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth, and LED flash. Notably, this is a wide array of sensors with varying dedicated functions to ensure good images for different situations. 
Quad camera setup
Quad camera setup

The A74 5G is equipped with AI Scene Enhancement 2.0, AI Beautification, and stylish filters. According to OPPO, the AI Scene Enhancement 2.0 feature can recognize 20 kinds of scenes to optimize the camera settings for more accurate color. It also has Dazzling Background blur effects.

Its camera has the following features: night, video, photo, portrait, slo-mo, time-lapse, expert (pro), extra HD, pano (panorama), text scanner, macro, and sticker.

Rear Camera Samples

Outdoor
Outdoor
Gloomy daylight
Gloomy daylight
Daylight
Daylight
Extra HD
Extra HD
Indoor
Indoor
Macro
Macro
Portrait
Portrait
Night mode
Night mode
Night mode 2
Night mode 2

Overall, the main camera produces impressive quality photos with vibrant colors and sharpness. Some may like the Extra HD feature since it paints photos with more contrast. The quad-cameras are very good despite any lighting conditions. I'd like to note that the main camera produces better photos than the ultra-wide-angle camera.

The extra HD feature may be nice for some!

Punch-hole selfie camera
Punch-hole selfie camera

In front, OPPO A74 5G features a punch-hole 16MP f/2.0 snapper for selfies. It has the following functions: night, video, photo, portrait, time-lapse, pano, and sticker only.

Selfie Camera Samples

Outdoor selfie
Outdoor selfie
Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Portrait selfie
Portrait selfie
Indoor with artificial light selfie
Indoor with artificial light selfie
Indoor with beautification feature
Indoor with beautification feature
Lowlight selfie with screen light
Lowlight selfie with screen light

Just like the rear cameras, it has a beautification feature as well. Although for me, the selfie camera's beautification feature is being overdone—most especially in indoor settings with artificial lighting. 

Maybe some will like it but as a person who likes natural-looking selfies, I personally don't like the selfie shooter's beautification feature. This also applies even if I turn off the beautification feature, the selfies I take still look like they're beautified.

But overall, the selfie photos taken on this smartphone are great.

For mobile video content creators, it has up to 1080p 30fps videos at the back with support for EIS. For selfies, it has up to 1080p at 30fps as well.

Performance

The benchmarks
The benchmarks

Inside, OPPO A74 5G is using the new 2.0GHz 8nm Snapdragon 480 octa-core processor with Adreno 619 GPU and a Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF system with support for mmWave and sub-6GHz global 5G.

The device scored 499 (Single-Core) & 1,755 (Multi-Core) in Geekbench and 980 in 3DMark benchmark tests.

In reality, OPPO A74 5G can handle games at "high" as its default setting. Below is the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang game setting that we got.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang settings
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang settings

Meanwhile, in PUBG Mobile, we got the following default setting:
PUBG Mobile settings
PUBG Mobile settings

Surprisingly, I didn't encounter any hiccups, but I will update this if I get any. Texting, calling, surfing the web, playing music, and casual gaming can be a day's worth of usage in this device. 

In terms of battery, OPPO A74 5G is packed with 5,000mAh of battery. In real life, it can last up to over a day and a half with moderate usage.
Battery settings
Battery settings

With Super Power Saving Mode, 5 percent battery can power 1.1 hours of WhatsApp chatting. And with Super Nighttime Standby, only 2 percent of battery power is used up as you sleep, according to OPPO.

Viable battery-optimization features!

Notably, it is packed with 18W Flash Charge 4.0. Charging takes less than an hour from flat to full. Awesome, right?
OPPO A74 5G speed test
OPPO A74 5G speed test

In terms of connectivity, A74 5G has WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 5G (of course), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.1, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, and dual SIM. 

We were able to test its 5G capability using a Smart Postpaid SIM with Signature Plan S. The above results are what we got.

Remarkably, OPPO A74 5G possesses the speed that most of us, if not all, need in this special time whether in working from home or online schooling. Note that it has a side-mounted fingerprint reader and face unlock—both are responsive.
The UI
The UI

The UI is clean with almost no bloatware. Its overall look and experience can suit most people, if not all. ColorOS 11.1 clearly improved so much versus older iterations. It is more intuitive to use with responsive swipe gestures and is feature-rich while providing a smooth overall experience. We can safely say that this is an underrated Android skin.

OPPO A74 5G Specs

Display: 6.5-inch 2.5D curved LCD (LTPS) screen w/ 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, FHD+ 2400 x 1080 resolution at 405 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 8nm Snapdragon 480 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 619
RAM: 6GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1 expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.7 w/ PDAF, EIS + 8MP f/2.2 119-degree ultra-wide + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 18W Flash Charge
OS: Android 11 w/ ColorOS 11.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.1, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, USB-C, dual mic, Colors: Fluid Black, Space Silver
Dimensions: 162.9 x 74.7 x 8.4 mm 
Weight: 190 g
Price: PHP 15,999

Quick thoughts

OPPO A74 5G makes a great rival for budget 5G smartphones in the market
OPPO A74 5G makes a great rival for budget 5G smartphones in the market

The A74 5G is the most affordable 5G-ready smartphone from OPPO right now. It has stellar battery life, good cameras, pretty good performance, and a beautiful display.

To answer the question of the OPPO A74 5G is the best budget 5G phone, for me, personally, this smartphone makes a respectable rival for the other budget 5G smartphones out there. 

How about you? What do you think about the OPPO A74 5G? Share with us in the comments!
Meet OPPO A74 5G - The best budget 5G phone? Meet OPPO A74 5G - The best budget 5G phone? Reviewed by Telenor Editorial on August 04, 2021 Rating: 5

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