Oppo A74 5G


Oppo A74 5G Featured image

The Oppo A74 5G is another budget phone that pushes 5G connectivity to the fore. However, while it’s a competent all-rounder, it fails to stand out against its rivals in any other regard.

Pros

  • 5G connectivity
  • Solid fingerprint sensor
  • Relatively clean software

Cons

  • Mediocre performance
  • Slower charging than some rivals
  • Only a 90Hz LCD panel

Availability

  • UKRRP: £249.99
  • USARRP: $230

Key Features


  • ScreenThis screen here refreshes at 90Hz

  • Network skillsThis is a 5G phone, so can take advantage of faster data speeds

Introduction

The Oppo A74 5G is another in an increasingly long line of affordable phones offering 5G connectivity at a £250 (or thereabouts) price tag.

It’s a neat and tidy cheap phone that handles the basics with minimal fuss. However, as ever at this end of the market, the provision of 5G represents a point of compromise as much as it does a positive feature.

Contemporaries include the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, and the Nokia X10. More recently in 2022, we’ve seen the launch of the Poco M4 Pro 5G and the Realme 9 5G at the same RRP.

So what, if anything, can Oppo do to make a statement in such a closely fought field?

Design and Screen

  • Plastic but solid build
  • Reliable fingerprint sensor
  • 90Hz and FHD+ LCD

The Oppo A74 5G design is deeply by-the-books. Don’t expect any of the occasionally eye-catching flourishes of Xiaomi’s Poco line here.

Home screen on the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Like most other budget Oppo phones, it’s easy to hold, with a rounded back and sides and regular 162.9 x 74.7 x 8.4mm dimensions. It weighs 190g, which is the right side of heavy.

The phone doesn’t feel remotely premium, however. Its shiny plastic back is a little clammy in the hand, while a slightly mirrored split finish that runs from reflective black at the bottom to a slightly silvery tone at the top wears your greasy fingerprints like badges of honour.

Oppo hasn’t attempted any fancy design tricks with the camera module either, which adopts the time-honoured squared-rectangle mesa look.

There’s a nice reliable fingerprint sensor stashed behind the power button along the right-hand edge, and I appreciate the fact that the volume controls are on the opposite edge rather than all clustered together.

On the bottom edge of the phone sits the obligatory 3.5mm headphone jack, which is pretty much a given on cheaper phones. This is also where you’ll find the phone’s single speaker, which means there’s no stereo sound. Xiaomi’s Poco sub-brand often supplies such a thing for this sort of price (and cheaper), so it’s a bit of a miss.

The Oppo A74 5G features a crisp LCD screenImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Oppo has equipped its budget phone with a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel. This is quite clearly the biggest compromise that’s been reached in hitting that 5G target, since the non-5G Oppo A74 released in other territories comes with a vibrant OLED panel.

It isn’t a bad LCD by any means, with a crisp 1080 x 2400 (FHD+) resolution and acceptable 480-nit peak brightness. Another advantage over that 4G model is a 90Hz refresh rate rather than the bog-standard 60Hz. 

That’s less of a stand-out feature when the performance potential is as limited as it is here. You’ll never get the full silky advantage of a properly driven higher refresh rate display, but it’s smooth enough in day-to-day use.

The Oppo A74 5G has a plastic but solid buildImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Camera

  • 48-megapixel main camera
  • 8-megapixel ultra-wide
  • 2-megapixel macro and depth sensors

You’re getting a so-called quad camera system in the Oppo A74 5G, but only two of those sensors actually matter. Those are a 48-megapixel wide sensor and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide.

The cameras on the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The other two sensors come in at 2 megapixels, and they handle macro and depth duties. They’re largely there to make up the numbers.

I quite enjoyed using the Oppo A74 5G’s main camera outdoors during a sunny week. Oppo’s colours are nice and balanced, without being too garish. Fed with plenty of light, my snaps tended to deliver decent detail.

1x Zoom shot from the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Inevitably, as soon as the light starts to drop, so too does the quality of the shots. Night mode shots are almost a total write-off, with bags of grain. Just as with the Oppo A54 5G (which is very similar to the Oppo A54 5G, in many ways), it’s one of the worst night-time performers in its class.

The AI assistant isn’t active by default, as is often the case. When activated, it will brighten up indoor shots quite noticeably. I also discovered that it would apply HDR a little more diligently in such situations.

However, outside in good natural lighting, I found that this AI assistant would overdo the brightening and blow out certain highlights. It made some of the clear skies look a little too blue – albeit more social media-worthy. It’s generally best left off in such scenarios.

Night shot form the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Ai scaled shot from the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The 8-megapixel ultra-wide is quite a limited component by comparison. Shots taken with this sensor looked notably dimmer and murkier than those captured with the main sensor, with much less balance and dynamic range. It’s good to have the option of a wider angle, but you’ll likely find yourself relying on the main sensor for the vast majority of your shots. 

There’s no dedicated telephoto camera, so the Oppo A74 5G’s 2x zoom (and beyond) settings rely on cropping in on that main sensor. There are ample pixels to make these usable, but they’re distractingly fuzzy beyond 2x.

There’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera around front, and it’s perfectly adequate in ideal lighting. It kept me in focus against busy backgrounds, with suitably sharp edges distinguishing me from my background – although my skin tone seemed a little smudged and washed out.

Selfie shot from the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

2x Zoom shot from the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

5x Zoom shot from the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Ultriawide shot from the Oppo A74 5GImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Performance

  • Snapdragon 480 5G
  • 6GB of RAM
  • ColorOS 11.1 on Android 11

Just like the aforementioned Oppo A54 5G and the Nokia X10, the Oppo A74 5G runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 5G chip. It’s one of the lesser chips in the roster, but it’s sufficient for most day-to-day tasks, and it’s accompanied by a healthy 6GB of RAM.

That’s reflected in a Geekbench

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