13 May 2021
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Hands-on review: Oppo A74 5G - a reliable and affordable 5G phone

By Lama Farhat

Every year the smartphone industry finds a new “gimmick” and makes it the focus of almost every phone. First came touchscreens, then intuitive ways to unlock phones like touch ID and Face ID. For the past few years, it has been cameras and how many of them can a company fit on one phone. This year, 5G seems to be that new selling point.

5G is now the option that companies are putting on their higher-end smartphone models. Oppo bucked the trend and included 5G on one of their budget phones, the Oppo A74 5G. But is it any good beyond the 5G compatibility?

Design

After reviewing a couple of Oppo phones, I believe they have perfected the design. The phone is slim and sleek. The sides are a little curved - this makes the phone look premium while also feeling great in the hand. 

The phone is available in fluid black and space silver. Both colours look really good. The interesting thing is that they are not just black and just grey, they reflect light in a way that makes the colours change and fade. It is the type of finish you would expect on a premium model. The front of the phone is also almost bezel-less with a really small selfie camera that is easily disguisable. This will make users feel like they are using a $2000 pro model phone for a quarter of the price. 

Display

The Display on the Oppo A74 5G rivals more expensive phones on the market. It even has a better refresh rate than the latest and most expensive iPhone. The Oppo A74 is rocking a 90Hz refresh rate and a 180Hz touch sampling rate. The phone performs smoothly and transitions are seamless. Oppo also made sure to pay extra attention to the colours while making the screen look as realistic as it could. 

Cameras

Four rear cameras and one selfie camera seem to be the new standard in phones. This would have been impressive a couple of years ago, but now it is almost expected. The Oppo A74 5G has a 48MP main camera, an 8MP Ultra-wide camera, a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP mono camera. All four work together to make many modes available from Photo to Video, Night, Expert, Panorama, Portrait, Time-lapse, Slow-motion, Text scanner, and even Google Lens. They work exactly as you would expect them to. They take clear images that look vibrant and lifelike. They perform well in low light situations and they have the capabilities to shoot videos at 1080P and 30fps which is all you would need out of a budget phone.

Battery

I appreciate that Oppo is not one of those companies that make fast charging capabilities exclusive to pro-range devices. Oppo has a habit of making sure their budget phones are just as reliable as their pro models, especially when it comes to battery. The phone rocks a 5000mAh battery that can easily keep the phone going for a little over a day while actively being used. The phone also comes with an 18W fast charger that allows users to quickly power up before heading out of the home or office.

Verdict

The Oppo A74 5G is a decent phone. It is reliable in every way and will not disappoint the everyday average user. The addition of 5G also makes it future-ready. 5G is still being rolled out around the world so having a phone that is 5G capable, means you will not have to replace it next year when your area is 5G-ready. 

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