Motorola’s latest budget phones look surprisingly good


Motorola’s recent budget phones have been held back by weak designs, redundant extra cameras and a low feature set. But there seems to be hope on the horizon: the 2024 Moto G Power 5G and Moto G 5G look pretty good – at least on paper.

Both phones finally offer NFC (why it was already missing is a mystery), and they come with vegan leather back panels. They also include a microSD card slot and a built-in headphone jack, useful features most phone makers abandoned years ago. The G Power 5G also includes wireless charging for the first time – a rare feature in any budget phone. They’ll start at $199 for the Moto G 5G and $299 for the Moto G Power 5G.

The more expensive Moto G Power comes with a 6.7-inch 1080p LCD with a maximum 120Hz refresh rate – personally I’d take a contrast-free OLED panel with a lower refresh rate, but for a $300 phone you get what you can. Can take. It uses a midrange MediaTek Dimensity 7020 chipset with 8GB of RAM, and has just two rear cameras: a 50-megapixel main camera with optical stabilization and an 8-megapixel ultrawide with autofocus that doubles as a macro camera. Also works. There are no silly, low-resolution depth sensors or macro cameras here, and bless Motorola for that.

The Moto G Power comes in midnight blue – seen here – and light lilac.

Image: Motorola

The G Power supports wired charging up to 30W, although you will have to purchase a charger separately to get this speed. Wireless charging up to 15W is supported. There’s a massive 5,000mAh battery on board, although the lower-priced Moto G 5G also has one of those. Fun fact: Based on the file names of the spec sheet shared with me by Motorola, the 5G Power’s internal codename appears to be Cancún and the Moto G’s Fogo. There’s something about baseball that I love.

The lower-end Moto G 5G uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 chipset with 4GB of RAM and also includes a 6.6-inch 720p LCD with a 120Hz refresh rate. It has a 50-megapixel main camera (and a 2-megapixel macro still hanging around), and wired charging tops out at 18W. Like the G Power, it’s only “water resistant” and not rated for full dust resistance or water immersion – unfortunate, but normal in the budget class.

The Moto G 5G comes in just one color: Sage Green.

Image: Motorola

There are promising changes happening here, but as always, a lot depends on implementation. The last midrange Motorola phone I reviewed was so loaded with bloatware that I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone. We won’t have to wait long to find out: the 2024 Moto G Power will be available on Cricket Wireless starting March 22 and will be available for other carriers soon after, with an unlocked version arriving on March 29. The 2024 Moto G 5G will arrive first on T-Mobile starting March 21, with other carriers to follow. The unlocked version will have to wait a bit: it will arrive on May 2.

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