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OPPO A74 Unboxing, Review Philippines: Affordable A94 Alternative?

by Duey Guison  April 12, 2021

Review Verdict: As a more affordable version of the A94, OPPO made sure to keep all the essentials on the A74 to make it a compelling budget mid-range offering in the Philippines. In fact, the A74 is one of the better A-series phones OPPO has offered in recent memory, being a great alternative to the current budget mid-range king, the Redmi Note 10. 

OPPO A74 Review Philippines Specs:

  • Snapdragon 662 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • 6.43-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, 20:9 aspect ratio
  • 48-megapixel f/1.7 main camera with PDAF, 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera, 2-megapixel f/2.2 mono camera
  • 16-megapixel selfie camera
  • 4G, LTE
  • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, in-display fingerprint scanner
  • 5000mAh battery
  • 33w fast charging
  • Android 11, ColorOS 11.1

Pros

  • Full HD AMOLED panel
  • More universal fast charging protocol

Cons

  • No ultra-wide-angle camera
  • Not the best for medium to heavy gaming
  • No more stereo speakers no more

Want the A94’s AMOLED display but can’t pay the sticker price for it? No problem–OPPO’s A74 is a more affordable alternative to the brand’s mid-range offering, having many of the core features of the A94 at a lower price. The phone’s Php 2k more affordable and priced more competitively against budget mid-range king Redmi, but does the OPPO A74 have what it takes to compete against the reigning king?

Unboxing and Packaging Contents

Unlike the A94, the A74 goes for a more common packaging where you have the photo of the phone in front, along with the usual branding. It is also a two-piece package design like the A94, where the actual box is practically devoid of any markings save for subtle OPPO branding.

Inside the box, you get the usual contents: the phone itself, silicone case, documentation, SIM ejector tool, 33w charger, USB-C cable, and a headset.

Design

The A74 has the same size as the A94, save for a variation in the camera module since the A74 uses a triple rear camera setup instead. It is also similar as it uses a glossy finish on both the back panel and the frame. It is also a fingerprint magnet, which is why you are better off using the included case so that you don’t have to constantly wipe off smudges.

The port and button layout are likewise the same as well: SIM card tray and volume control on the left side, the power button is on the right side, and loudspeaker, USB-C port, and headphone jack at the bottom. Despite having a bigger battery (more on that later), the A74 has roughly the same weight and thickness as the A94.

Display and speakers

The A74 borrows the same display panel used on the A94. We’re talking about a 6.43-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel that has deeper blacks and more vibrant colors compared to the IPS panel used by its predecessor. You also get quality upgrades like Widevine L1 for watching Netflix shows in Full HD, along with an in-display fingerprint scanner.

Like with the A94, our complaint with the A74 is the speakers, as it reverts back to a single bottom-firing one instead of the dual stereo speakers found on its predecessor. Overall audio fidelity is not as great compared to its predecessor, and we’re thankful that the A74 still comes with a headphone jack.

Cameras

While the A74 has virtually the same camera setup found on the A72, we’re scratching our heads at the omission of the ultra-wide-angle camera, leaving you only with a 48-megapixel main camera as the only usable rear camera–the pair of 2-megapixel cameras are pretty much there to simply pad the features, though it is possible to get decent shots with the macro camera IF you nail the focusing distance right.

Missing ultra-wide-angle camera aside, overall camera performance is similar to the A94, though you are losing on several features like 4K video recording, Ultra Steady, and Dual View Video. While it scales back on camera features, the A74 appears to have EIS built-in–I tried shooting a quick Full HD clip and barely noticed any sudden movements.

 

Internals and Battery Life

The A74 is equipped with a Snapdragon 662 processor that is paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. That gives the A74 more RAM than its predecessor, and the processor is near-identical to the Snapdragon 665. While the Snapdragon 662 has lower-clocked speeds, it makes up for it with support for faster LTE speeds, along with support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. In terms of general performance, the A74 should be at par with any Snapdragon 665-powered phone.

When it comes to gaming, the A74’s performance is more of a mixed bag based on results we obtained from GameBench. While we’re surprised that it actually performed well in Asphalt 9 with high-quality graphics, there are limitations when it comes to other games. In the case of Call of Duty and Wild Rift, the A74 can run 60FPS only if you set the graphics to low.

We don’t know if it is a new game-related issue yet since we previously tested other phones with the same processor for both games while being able to use both high graphics and 60FPS.

Things became a bit problematic when it came to playing the hit open-world RPG Genshin Impact. Aside from the game struggling by only doing 22FPS on average, I encountered several in-game delays that gave me a headache while finishing tough domain challenges.

PCMark’s battery test reported around 18.5 hours of battery life, which should translate to around two days of juice with moderate use. Unlike the A94 that used OPPO’s 30w VOOC solution, the A74 uses a more universal 33W Flash Charge solution. It is a widely adopted fast charging protocol, as brands like vivo and Xiaomi do use the same wired charging tech for their mid-range phones. Topping up the A74 is swift; it took us a little over an hour to charge it from flat to 100%.

Wrap up and Conclusions

The OPPO A74 does its job as an affordable alternative to the A94 as we found in our review for the device in the Philippines, as it retains that gorgeous AMOLED display, in-display fingerprint scanner, and 48-megapixel main rear camera while being priced lower. While you lose an ultra-wide-angle camera (and 4K video recording), the A74 makes up for it by having a bigger battery that supports a more universal fast charging solution.

OPPO A74 Review Philippines Price

The A74 is priced at Php 11,999 and is available at OPPO stores and partner dealers nationwide, and via OPPO’s official Lazada store.

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