Motorola has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of reasonably priced smartphones that you can rely on. In order to continue to compete in this segment, it was necessary to update the offer with an inexpensive device supporting the 5G standard – these have been found in the competition for some time. This is how the Motorola Moto G 5G model hit the market , i.e. the latest offer from the well-known and popular Moto G series . It is also the cheapest 5G smartphone from Motorola and one of the cheaper ones on the market – it costs PLN 1299. So let’s check whether a cheap 5G smartphone can already be recommended or whether there are too many compromises in it.
Despite the plastic housing, Moto G 5G does not compete in the segment of small and light smartphones. With a diagonal of 6.7 inches and a weight of 212 grams, we are dealing with a smartphone with a heavy weight. The dimensions of the device are 166.1 x 76.1 x 9.9 mm. Fans of large screens can enjoy that they do not have to pay extra for the plus version to enjoy the large display. On the other hand, fans of small smartphones are in an increasingly difficult situation – the trend is clear here and there is no turning back.
I got a version in Volcanic Gray, i.e. volcanic gray. In practice, I do not see gray here at all. The casing has a very dark purple color, which most often looks like black, and shows shades of purple only from certain angles and in strong lighting. The casing also has a very delicate, holographic pattern. I have to admit that when the phone is clean, I like it visually. The problem is that the dark, glossy casing is one of the toughest to keep clean that I have recently passed through my hands. Even with a cloth in your hand, it is difficult not to leave any traces. On the other hand, the phone comes with a transparent silicone case.
The positive effect of greater weight is the impression of solidity of the phone’s structure. Moto G 5G does not resemble a plastic phone in the hand, which is empty inside. To the touch, the smartphone looks much more like metal and glass structures. On the back of the housing there is a classic, very fast fingerprint reader. It’s not the latest fashion, but it works great in most situations. The only exception is the car holder. You can work around this issue by also configuring face unlock. It’s not as fast or as secure as a fingerprint, but it can be a good complement.
There is a monaural speaker on the bottom edge of the phone that works well for hands-free calls and broadcasts, but has a less readable sound when listening to music at maximum volume. The USB C socket works on a 2.0 controller, next to it there is also a less obvious headphone socket today. There is room for a hybrid dual SIM on the tray, which excludes the use of a memory card, which is also supported with one SIM card.
The phone wobbles when placed on the table due to the slightly protruding camera lenses. Putting on the case provided in the set completely eliminates this problem. Motorola reports that the housing is sealed to the IP52 standard and coated with a hydrophobic coating. You can actually find a gasket on the SIM tray. This means that rain and splashing water on the phone should be safe, but do not submerge the Moto G 5G in water.
The Moto G 5G screen has a large 6.7-inch diagonal, which is not often found especially in the lower price ranges. The display resolution is FHD + 2400 x 1080, which translates into a pixel density of 394 PPI. The screen aspect ratio is 20: 9 and it was made in LTPS IPS technology. Most of these parameters can also be found in the more expensive Moto G 5G Plus model – what was missing in the non-plus version is a 90 Hz refresh.
In the display settings you will find a night light that reduces the amount of blue light, a dark theme, as well as styles that are a new addition. In the styles, you can choose one of 4 fonts, one of 8 colors and one of 4 icon shapes, for a total of 128 possible combinations of appearance. The most important thing is that the presented proposals look attractive in virtually every combination and at the same time they differ noticeably but subtly from each other.
What we will not find is advanced color saturation or white balance adjustment. You can only choose from natural, enhanced and saturated colors. However, I do not consider this a significant disadvantage.
At this point, it is worth emphasizing that the Moto G 5G illuminates the screen and displays notifications every time we touch the phone, which is a convenient solution. It is a pity that the notification LED has been completely abandoned.
Given that the color saturation and viewing angles are good and the screen is large and attractive, I believe that the lack of high refresh rate and some advanced adjustments is more important from a marketing standpoint than in practice. The Moto G 5G is simply fun to use. Only the maximum brightness on sunny days may leave something to be desired.
Specification and operating system
Moto G 5G is equipped with an octa-core Snapdragon 750G 5G processor with 2 x 2.2 GHz + 6 x 1.8 GHz clocks. The processor supports 4 GB RAM and 64 GB space for the system and user files. The space can be expanded with a memory card up to 1 TB.
The benchmarks were as follows:
- Antutu 8 – 314129
- Geekbench 5 – 658/1954
- Androbench sequential read / write – 760/246 MB / s
Considering that we are dealing with a cheaper version without a plus and the cheapest 5G device in Motorola’s offer, the results are surprisingly good – they rank Moto G 5G at the level of flagships two generations older than the latest models. The Antutu Moto G 5G achieves almost twice as much results as the similarly priced HTC Desire 20 Pro . It’s been a long time since Motorola has such a good price / performance ratio. We can still find cheaper proposals with similar performance, but here the Moto G 5G is more attractive than other smartphones with the M logo on the housing.
The communication package includes LTE + 5G, WiFi ac 2.4 + 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.1 as well as NFC. Location services include: GPS, LTEPP, SUPL, GLONASS, and Galileo. The sensor kit includes: fingerprint reader, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope and e-compass.
The Moto G 5G is therefore comprehensively equipped with the latest connectivity technologies, as well as a complete set of sensors and localization methods. The only thing you can fault is 4 GB RAM.
Moto G 5G runs on Android 10 with security updated as of November 1, 2020. Motorola has long been betting on an interface that is as close as possible to pure Android – there are only small proprietary additions. There are more and more of these additions over time, but they are not overwhelming or worsen most of the benefits of pure Android. In return, they add significant value to the user. The gestures that activate the camera and flashlight have been known and loved for a long time. Still no manufacturer has come up with a better or at least equally good way to start the flashlight that could compete with Motorola. There are more gestures, but these two are still the most useful. There is also a mode dedicated to mobile players. The new features are the previously mentioned Style that can be customized and a convenient editor for editing and sharing screenshots. The number of functions cannot compete with the advanced overlays of some manufacturers, but also does not try to compete with them, because Motorola took a different direction. The only thing I would like is faster updates to newer versions of the system. Since some manufacturers with extensive overlays already offer Android 11, introducing it where there are much less modifications should be faster and easier.
Camera Result –
The Moto G 5G offers three cameras on the back and one selfie camera. The set proposed by the manufacturer looks like this:
- 48 MP, f / 1.7, PDAF – main
- 8 MP, f / 2.2 – wide angle
- 2 MP, f/2.4 – macro
- 16 MP, f/2.2 – selfie
The camera received a refreshed application interface. You can find shortcuts for most functions in the pop-up menu just above the shutter button. This is a good change, because it allows you to turn on the flash or the automatic trigger without reaching the top bar and scrolling through a long list of settings – everything is within the reach of a thumb. In addition to the standard photo and video modes in the Moto G 5G we can also find: portrait, photo clipping, spot color, night photos, moving photos, panorama, group selfie, live filter, pro, slow motion, time-lapse movie and spot color in video version. The camera in the options also offers the help of artificial intelligence, which consists in automatic smile detection, the possibility of taking a selfie with a gesture, intelligent composition, optimization of the shot and the function of recognizing objects using the Google lens. I wouldn’t call it artificial intelligence, but I’m not going to break down marketing terms here. I like the application, and how about the photos?
Daytime photos are ok. They do not surprise with anything special and do not disappoint. They offer the appropriate detail and tonal range. The color scheme doesn’t always convince me, but it’s not bad. Wide-angle photos are clearly lower quality than the main camera. This dependency is present in every smartphone to some extent, but it is more visible in the Moto G 5G . You can make a successful wide-angle photo, especially when there are no close objects with complex textures. The more details should be visible, the more visible the shortcomings. A 2-megapixel macro camera is, in my opinion, always going to be a marketing block. Yes, it offers a greater magnification than the main camera, but the quality is much worse. I like macro photos, but I would not use such a camera at all.
More serious problems start with night photos. Here you can see the lack of optical stabilization, allowing to extend the exposure time. Some of the photos look good enough, especially if the scene is lit with city lights and neon lights. However, when there are no better lit parts of the frame, the quality of photos drops significantly – below the level of the current average shelf.
Moto G 5G defends itself by recording movies – all modes offer very good digital stabilization, also in 4K resolution. Autofocus also works smoothly and without problems – it does not get lost. The detail is not that exceptionally good anymore, but it plays a much less important role in the recording – watching a shaky, blurry video is a nightmare, but we do not have to be afraid of it in the case of this Motorola. During Full HD recording, you can switch between the main camera and the wide-angle, which is not possible with 4K. However, I did notice a bug which is that I can’t jump from one camera to the next. When I touch the wide-angle camera icon while recording with a standard camera, the one I touched is highlighted, but the frame remains unchanged. On the other hand, the smooth zoom control works properly and allows you to jump between cameras.
Moto G 5G has a 5000mAh large capacity battery. The set includes a 20W charger, which used to be impressive, and today is completely standard, regardless of the price range. You can findphones with a charger twice as powerfulthan Motorola Moto G 5G , although this is not a common rule. Slower chargers are also happening, although less and less often.
However, the battery life places the Moto G 5G in the forefront. In the test of streaming YouTube video with screen brightness set to half, the smartphone lost to 21% after 21 hours and 45 minutes. This means that by discharging to the end it would exceed 27 hours of continuous playback – more than 24 hours non-stop is a really good result. It is true that many smartphones set at 50% brightness will have a screen brighter than Motorola, this achievement is still commendable.
Motorola Moto G 5G – Conclusion
On the manufacturer’s website, the Motorola Moto G 5G is priced around 300 Euro, but you can find stores cheaper. At this price, you can also buy it in the Plus offer . Considering that we are dealing with a device that supports 5G connectivity , without any shortcomings in the equipment, with a large screen of good quality and surprisingly good for a version without a plus in performance, as well as with a very good battery life, the Moto G 5G is really very good. After a break for several models in which the price-performance ratio was average Motorola showed that it can still positively surprise. The weakest element at this price is the camera. Not everything related to it is bad. Daytime photos and 4K video with stabilization keep a good level, as does the rest of the device. However, wide-angle and night photos, although usable, lower this level, as well as the 2 megapixel macro camera added by force. If these disadvantages were not there, the Motorola Moto G 5G would be one of the best options among mid-range phones supporting 5G. And it is still a good proposition, worth the money in my opinion. Mid-range phones have come a long way and today offer experiences much closer to high-end models than in the past.
Who is the Motorola Moto G 5G for :
- For people looking for a sensible, inexpensive smartphone with 5G
- For lovers of big screens
- For those looking for a long battery life
- For fans of Moto gestures and pure Android looks
Who is not the Motorola Moto G 5G :
- Not for demanding mobile photographers
Advantages of the Motorola Moto G 5G :
- Interesting, unusual color and solid material for the material
- Case included
- Headphone jack
- IP52 casing sealing
- Very fast fingerprint reader
- The screen with a diagonal of 6.7 went to the cheapest 5G model
- Pretty good performance
- Complete equipment
- Moto gestures and improvements
- Good quality of photos from the main camera during the day
- Good quality of 4K video stabilization
- Refreshed and practical camera app
- 5000mAh battery and 27h YouTube non-stop playback
Disadvantages of Motorola Moto G 5G :
- It is impossible to keep the housing clean and enjoy its attractive appearance
- 4 GB RAM
- Hybrid dual SIM excluding the use of a memory card
- The screen could be a little brighter
- We are waiting for Android 11
- Wide-angle photos could be of better quality
- Forced macro camera
- The lack of optical stabilization of the camera results in below-average night photos
- Switching the camera while recording video does not always work as expected