5G is the next big thing. Smartphone manufacturers have been racing to put out 5G-compatible phones in the market over the last year or two. The first few smartphones equipped with 5G technology (and likely the ones getting most of the attention) are unsurprisingly the top flagship devices from the big guns like Apple and Samsung.
However, we do not have to wait long to see other companies step up to the plate and deliver their 5G devices The good news is that this new wave of phones only cost a fraction of the flagships. The brand new Oppo A74 5G is one such phone. We took a closer look at what is currently one of the most affordable—if not the most affordable—5G smartphones in the local market.
An Honest Review: Here’s What We (Really) Think Of The Oppo A74 5G
Design & Display
As far as design goes, the Oppo A74 5G is a standard-looking phone. At the front, you are looking at a 6.5-inch display that pushes a 2,400 x 1,080 Full HD+ resolution with a little hole-punch at the top left corner that houses the front-facing camera. It is also a 90Hz display, with a high refresh rate making everything on-screen move and animate smoother. It is a significant upgrade if you are coming from a 60Hz display, and it no doubt will bring about a more pleasing viewing experience.
At the rear, Oppo opted for a plastic back with a satin-like matte finish. While it may not scream premium as much as some would have liked, we say the non-fingerprints-attracting surface is a bonus! You also do not have to worry about breaking any glass surface if the phone lands back first on any hard surface.
You will find a fingerprint sensor fused with the power button located at the side. This makes for a hassle-free unlocking process, and it works fast too. Besides that, there’s a USB-C port, an audio headphone jack (which is always welcome), and a speaker grille at the bottom. That said, the speaker grille placement is not the best as it can be easily covered up by a finger when the phone is held in landscape mode—thus muffling the sound output.
The unit we had on our hands is the Space Silver colourway. There is also a Fluid Black option that you can go for if you like a more stealthy look.
Powering the Oppo A74 5G is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G chipset introduced in early 2021. To date, not a lot of devices are rocking this relatively new chip, with the few being the Oppo A93 5G, vivo Y31s, and Nokia X20.
While you shouldn’t expect any star performance out of this chipset, it does a decent job for normal day-to-day usage. We didn’t find much to complain about in our brief time spent with this phone. It provides 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that is not expandable, but it should be sufficient for average users.
How does the Oppo A74 5G fare in gaming, you ask? We tried some popular games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9, and the phone was able to keep consistent 30Hz and 60Hz frame rates (respectively) throughout gameplays. Of course, gaming performance varies across different games, but in general, gaming shouldn’t pose too much of an issue here.
In the software department, the phone runs on Oppo’s ColorOS 11 based on the latest Android 11. ColorOS has improved by leaps and bounds over the years. It has a nice-looking interface that doesn’t get in the way. That said, the operating system does come with an abundance of third party apps out of the box that some users may not appreciate. Thankfully, you can delete them.
5G For The Masses
The Oppo A74 5G’s top-billing feature is also one that we currently have no way of testing, unfortunately. But we can say that at this price point and at this time, you will be hard-pressed to find a 5G-compatible phone priced any lower.
When 5G finally comes to the public sphere (currently earmarked for a Q4 2021 rollout), you will be able to enjoy Internet speeds of up to 10 times faster than 4G—averaging around 100+ Megabits-per-second (Mbps) and can potentially go all the way up to a whopping 20 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps). These will all be possible on this phone.
You get a quad-camera system—a 48MP primary lens, 8MP ultra-wide lens, 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor—alongside a 16MP selfie camera with this device. The camera software gives you the usual set of tools we have seen in many Android phones. It features up to 5x digital zoom. Overall, there is nothing we haven’t seen before here.
Below are some unedited shots that were taken on the Oppo A74 5G. We’ll let you be the judge!
Oppo did good in the battery department, but it certainly could’ve been better. First things first, the Oppo A74 5G’s sizeable 5,000mAh-capacity battery ensures that it can easily be a two-day phone. We have no problem going beyond a day without plugging this phone into a charger, despite regular usage. You can even squeeze more life out of the battery by dialling down the refresh rate from 90Hz to 60Hz.
However, we can’t help but wish Oppo would have put in a faster-charging speed so the battery can be filled up that much faster. The device also lacks any wireless charging and reverse charging features. It is by no means a dealbreaker, but it seemed like a missed opportunity when there are phones with 30W fast charge priced not too far away.
Our Verdict: Now Anyone Can Afford A 5G Phone With The Oppo A74 5G
The Oppo A74 5G isn’t a phone that will raise many eyebrows, but not everyone needs a specs-busting phone. With features like 5G-support, a high refresh rate display, and a large battery, it is not only good for the here and now, but should also be good to use for a couple more years to come. If all you want is a future-ready phone but aren’t prepared to shell out top money for one, the Oppo A74 5G more than fulfils your needs.
The Oppo A74 5G has a recommended retail price of RM1,099. For one day only on May 6th, you can purchase the phone at RM100 off (RM999), exclusively on Shopee Malaysia.
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