Table of Contents
The Oppo A74 5G is a fairly affordable 5G phone. It is extremely similar to the Oppo A54 5G but has 50% more RAM and double the storage. This kind of cheaper 5G phone is relatively new, but you now have a whole stack of options if you want 5G and have $300 or £250 to spend.
The Oppo A74 5G is better value than the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, and a little slicker than the Moto G50. But die-hard bargain hunters may want to consider the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite instead, as it has a better chipset and a bigger screen.
Don’t rule out the Oppo A54 5G if you can get by with 64GB of storage either. It’s only around $30/£30 cheaper but that may matter when you’re working to a budget, and the jump from 4GB of RAM to 6GB seems to make a rather subtle difference in most use cases.
We know the alternatives, but how is the Oppo A74 5G to use? A joy, mostly. The camera is responsive, the Snapdragon 480 chipset is better than you might guess considering it is part of Qualcomm’s ‘budget’ line. And while the Moto G50’s battery lasts longer, the Oppo A74 5G does just fine if you plan on charging every day. It’s a great ‘first 5G phone’, and to get something significantly more interesting at this level you have to ditch 5G and make do with 4G.
There’s nothing ground-breaking going on in its camera array though, and some 4G phones around the price have better screens or much faster chipsets.We’re still experiencing a 5G growing pain or two, then, but if you care more about 5G than blistering gaming performance, advanced camera chops or getting a bold OLED screen, the Oppo A74 5G is a fine choice.
Oppo A74 5G price and availability
- Out now in the UK and Australia
- Costs £249.99 / AU$399.99
- Can import to the US for around $290-300, but there’s no CDMA support
The Oppo A74 5G is not really a phone intended for the US market. It lacks CDMA support, ruling it out from working properly with some US networks. However, you can import it for around $290-300. It costs £249.99 in the UK and AU$399.99 in Australia, similar to what you’d pay for a base spec Samsung Galaxy A32 5G. Higher ‘A’ number, better phone? They’re completely different series from different companies, but the Oppo does get you a little more tech for your money, including more storage at 128GB, making this a decent deal from most perspectives.
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2021, April 05|
|Status||Available. Released 2021, April 13|
|BODY||Dimensions||162.9 x 74.7 x 8.4 mm (6.41 x 2.94 x 0.33 in)|
|Weight||190 g (6.70 oz)|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|DISPLAY||Type||IPS LCD, 90Hz, 480 nits (typ)|
|Size||6.5 inches, 102.0 cm2 (~83.8% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~405 ppi density)|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 11, ColorOS 11.1|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM4350 Snapdragon 480 5G (8 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 460 & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 460)|
|Internal||128GB 6GB RAM|
|UFS 2.1 (single lane)|
|MAIN CAMERA||Quad||48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 119˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|Features||LED flash, panorama|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||16 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide)|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.1, A2DP, LE, aptX HD|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, QZSS|
|USB||USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|BATTERY||Type||Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable|
|Charging||Fast charging 18W|
|MISC||Colors||Fluid Black, Space Silver|
|Price||$ 459.00 / € 240.53 / £ 229.00 / ₹ 16,990 / Rp 3,799,000|
- Plastic back and sides
- Mono speaker
- 162.9 x 74.7 x 8.4mm
Affordable phones like the Oppo A74 5G may explore recently discovered ground, that of 5G mobiles most of us can afford, but there’s not much of a pioneering spirit in their designs.
Androids in this category tend to either have mid-size or large screens. They have all-plastic designs and tend to sacrifice a tech frill or two in order to fit 5G into the budget.
You get to choose things like whether you prefer a side or rear fingerprint scanner, a teardrop notch or a punch-hole, and how gaudy you want the back to be. The Oppo A74 5G achieves a good balance across these elements.
It’s a mid-size phone, one with a 6.5-inch screen rather than the 6.67-inch display seen in the various 4G and 5G Xiaomi phones you might buy at the price. The punch-hole looks a bit smarter than a teardrop, and the side-mounted thumb scanner is marginally preferable to a rear one, in our opinion.
Oppo A74 5G has a relatively grown-up looking grey to black gradient cast along its back. While the light reactive finish is matte, the rear surface is still glossy, so you’ll see your reflection in it.
The camera lens housing is the one part we’re not too sure about. It’s made in the image of a top-end phone, an oversized chunk of glass, without having hardware that would require all the space used here. On first opening the box we thought the Oppo A74 5G’s camera looked a bit like a toy box approximation of a high-end phone’s, like a kid wearing a slightly-too-large suit. That said, we’d forgotten all about that after about 24 hours.
The Oppo A74 5G is a perfectly pleasant phone to look at, hold, and use in most respects, though it lacks water resistance. It also only has one speaker, a mono driver on its bottom.
We’ve used this for many, many hours of podcast and live radio streams at this point. It doesn’t get too harsh at max volume and performs just fine in most situations. However, some 4G phones at this level have greater volume and bass, and stereo speaker arrays.
- 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 IPS LCD screen
- Solid peak brightness
- 90Hz mode improves scrolling smoothness
The Oppo A74 5G has a 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 LCD screen with a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz. You can switch it down to 60Hz for a slight battery life boost, but the phone actually automatically drops it down to 60Hz with incompatible apps, or when the screen shows something static for a couple of seconds.
A 90Hz refresh rate improves the fluidity of scrolling, and makes a half-decent phone feel faster, even if it is not in reality. A Full HD resolution shouldn’t really be particularly notable when you spend $250/£250 or more, but these days it kind of is. The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G has a 720p screen and so does the cheaper Moto G50.
Should I buy the Oppo A74 5G?
Don’t buy it if…