There’s still no clear date for 5G rollout in India; that hasn’t stopped brands from riding on 5G as the next big product differentiator. While you may not yet experience 5G speeds on devices that are ‘5G ready’, it’s still a future-proof investment (especially if you hang on to your phones for a couple of years) that will allow you to ride the upcoming 5G wave. OPPO’s A74 5G is one of the only 5G ready smartphones priced under Rs 20,000, a feature that is a big part of the brand’s sales pitch for this phone. But that’s not the only reason why this device deserves a look in.

We’ve been impressed with OPPO’s design aesthetic for most of its F series and Reno series devices that we’ve checked out during the past year or so. The A74 joins that list. It feels good in your hand despite a massive 5000 mAh battery and 6.5-inch screen. Battery life is quite impressive, you’re unlikely to reach for your charger during a typical WFH day with some camera usage and a couple of hours of gaming or watching videos. OPPO has bundled an 18W charger that powers your device in reasonably quick time.

The other design feature that we approve is a fingerprint sensor embedded in the power key that’s responsive and conveniently placed. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon A480 processor that combines with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory. It’s certainly not the zippiest sub-Rs 20K phone but it’s enough power for many everyday users who need apps to load fast and their cam to snap images in an instant. The device notched up a decent score of 1709 in our Geekbench test (multi-core).

OPPO has kitted the A74 5G display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It certainly adds to its gaming and binge watching appeal. The device stretches the screen: body ratio beyond 90% with a 6.5-inch FHD+ display (2400 x 1080 pixels / 405 PPI). This display is one of our favourite features of the display. The other win is the form factor, the A74 weighs under 190 gm and comes in a glossy finish. We checked out the Fantastic Purple that’s almost like an ultra-violet burst of colours. It’s certainly an attention seeker; you might want to opt for the more sedate Fluid Black if you like to keep things understated. The glossy back loves fingerprints though.

The A74 5G joins a growing list of OPPO devices that have opted to omit an ultra-wide lens in the rear cam set up. Is this a COVID-induced trend fuelled by a reduction in travel and exposure to vast outdoors or a wider trend based on actual usage patterns? We’ll find out soon enough. The triple rear cam is headlined by a 48MP primary lens that teams up with a 2MP macro and 2MP mono cam. There’s also an 8MP selfie shooter. Like most other OPPO cams, this one can get quite aggressive (if you choose to) on the beautification front with Special AI beautification and scene enhancement modes for those days when you’ve missed out on your beauty sleep. Results are quite good in optimal light but I missed having an ultra-wide angle lens in the mix.

The OPPO A74 5G delivers decent bang for the buck with a refined form factor, a capable cam and a dependable battery. But most of all its future proof with its 5G suffix and a solid processor.

 The OPPO A754 5G costs Rs 17,990 and is available in Fantastic Purple and Fluid Black