Smartphones have always relied heavily on buzzwords for their marketing pitch. 5G seems to be the new catchphrase that brands are cashing in on. India hasn’t yet joined the select list of countries that have experienced a partial rollout of 5G networks but it’s not too far away. It hasn’t stopped customers from adding 5G to their list of buying considerations; we all like a future-proof investment. While many premium flagship phones come with 5G support, the OPPO A74 5G is among a small clutch of devices under Rs 20,000 that proudly shows off its 5G suffix.
It’s not just the 5G that adds to the A74’s credentials of a fast device. OPPO has kitted this device with a Qualcomm Snapdragon A480 processor that teams up with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. This should please most everyday users; the device registered a score of 1709 in our Geekbench test (multi-core). It’s not the fastest phone under Rs 20,000 but it’s decent firepower. The fingerprint sensor for instance is very responsive. I like the convenient placement – embedded in the power key on the right spine.
Despite a robust 5000 mAh battery, OPPO manages to keep the heft under 190 gm. OPPO opts for a glossy finish – we tested the Fantastic Purple (there’s also a more sober Fluid Black colour variant). We dig the hues of this one but the glossy finish makes it a fingerprint magnet. The device feels just right in your hand and OPPO manages to stretch the screen: body ratio beyond 90%. The 6.5-inch FHD+ display (2400 x 1080 pixels / 405 PPI) gets a boost with a 90Hz refresh rate. It adds fluidity to gaming and videos. This feature is now becoming a key customer expectation even for devices under 20K.
OPPO’s selfie cams are geared for those days when you need extra help from your cam to smoothen those black circles. The A74 5G comes with special AI beautification and scene enhancement to help you look better on Instagram. But it’s not the 8MP selfie cam that has our attention. OPPO’s decision to leave out an ultra-wide lens (and this is not the first OPPO device this year to do that) is an interesting one. It might actually boil down to personal preference, depending on whether you’re used to snapping wide landscapes or sit on the other extreme where you are indifferent to the ultra-wide lens and rarely use it.
A 48MP primary lens is the star of the triple cam that also includes a 2MP macro and 2MP mono cam. Results are good with optimal lighting for this price point; lowlight images were average though. I would have certainly preferred an ultra-wide lens to the Macro lens but given our current indoor lifestyles and WFH routines, you’re more likely to snap a flower on your balcony than a mountain panorama that needs an ultra-wide lens.
Battery life is a key win for this device. You should sail through a day with a few hours of videos or gaming or camera use. It’s reassuring to see an 18W charger in the box that fires up the device in good time. It’s one of the key elements along with an elegant design aesthetic, 5G ready, future-proof appeal and 90Hz refresh rate that make it a worthy contender in the sub Rs 20,000 segment.
The OPPO A74 5G costs Rs 17,990 and is available in Fantastic Purple and Fluid Black.
Views expressed are personal.