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While the top range smartphones might often steal the news headlines, it is the midrange that has become even more hotly contested of late, thanks to the arrival of a flurry of fantastic devices that offer plenty of style, performance and features for a lot less than a flagship device.

Enter OPPO’s sublime A74 5G which sports eye-catching looks and a very premium feel in hand, along with a great dollop of noteworthy specs, for an RRP of just R7500.

This portable midrange mobile device measures a lofty 162.9mm, has a grip-friendly width of about 74.7mm, and thickness of around 8.4mm, and tips the smartphone scales at approximately 190g. Like some of HUAWEI’s units, the A74 5G features a shimmering iridescent colouring effect on the back cover that is a real eye-catching design element.

OPPO, Oppo, midrange smartphone, cameraphone, OPPO A74 5G

Under the bonnet resides something unusual for this class of smartphone, as one would normally expect the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G system-on-a-chip doing duty, but instead, you get a 400-series in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G. It is paired with 6GB of fast (LPDDR4X @ 2133 MHz) RAM and 128GB worth of internal storage.
This chip is clocked at up to 2.0 GHz and like the aforementioned 765G is packs eight cores but is clocked lower for battery life purposes and also boasts the Adreno 619 GPU clocked at 650MHz. This makes ColorOS 11.1 based on Android 11 run smoothly and still delivers a fast mobile experience, so much so that you barely miss a faster midrange chipset.

Adding to the sense of- and need for speed is the 6.5″(16.5 cm) LCD which sports a screen ratio of 90.5%, resolution of 2400 x 1080 (FHD+), but more importantly refresh rate of up to 90Hz, adding to the response rate while navigating the OS or playing mobile titles. Besides that, this screen makes consuming mobile entertainment a treat as it is a nice size and packs in plenty of detail, and good colours for a non-AMOLED (colour gamut of 100% DCI-P3) plus pixel density of 405 PPI.

OPPO, Oppo, midrange smartphone, cameraphone, OPPO A74 5G

Viewing your photos on it is equally as nice since the rear camera module packs in a lot of detail courtesy of its 48MP main camera (f/1.7; FOV 79°; AF supported) along with a 8MP Ultra-wide Angle Camera (f/2.2; FOV 119°; fixed focus), less handy 2MP Macro Camera (f/2.4; FOV 88.8°; fixed focus) as well as a 2MP Mono Camera that is used to measure distances of your subjects from the camera. On the front, you get a very capable selfie-shooter at 16MP (f/2.0; FOV 79.3°; fixed focus).

Also onboard is dual-SIM capability, a rarity amongst smartphone in the 3.5 mm audio jack, 5G connectivity for future-proofing the device when that becomes more accessible at more places across South Africa, plus a massive 5000mAh that delivers great battery life at around a day and a half while the big boy battery can be topped up quicker than you’d think thanks to an 18W fast charger.

Together with its more upmarket brother, the Reno 5G, OPPO is fast becoming one of our favourite smartphone manufacturers for that unbeatable combination of nice price, great specs, good-looking design, and capabilities that usually only feature on more expensive, higher-tier mobile devices.