Moto G 5G (2024) Review

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Moto G 5G (2024) Intro

The Moto G 5G is back again this year, and it is looking better than ever. Available in just one color (Sage Green), but with a beautiful vegan leather back, it is clear that Motorola came back this year ready to play with the big players in the budget smartphone category.

Starting on March 21st, the Moto G 5G (2024) is now available via T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile, as well as AT&T, Verizon, Visible, and a number of MVNOs such as Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and many others shortly after. You will also be able to purchase it unlocked on Amazon, Best Buy, and Motorola’s own website starting on May 2nd at a MSRP of $200.

Along with this here Moto G 5G (2024), Motorola is also launching the more refined and powerful “Power” Moto G edition. Check out our Moto G Power 5G (2024) review here.

Table of Contents:

Moto G 5G (2024) Specs

Budget specs at a glance

Below is an overview of the Moto G 5G (2024) specs:

Moto G 5G (2024) Design and Display

Beautiful design at a reasonable price

 

Motorola has been making dramatic improvements to its Moto G Power 5G lineup year after year, and this time around, they have once again delivered a superior product than the year before. The phone has come down in price when compared to last year and has improved significantly in the specs department. At the $199 price range this device will launch at, it is a steal in terms of value for money.Sure, it uses an older mid-range processor, which is to be expected for a phone in this tier. However, in my time testing the device, I found that it delivered an enjoyable and reliable smartphone experience.
The Moto G 5G’s design is modern and sleek, making it a great choice for those looking for a budget-friendly smartphone with a premium look and feel. It is rare to find a budget phone with such attention to detail. That fingerprint-repellant vegan leather back, for example, is not something you saw on Motorola’s own budget devices in the past, yet this year they have really stepped up their game in terms of design and materials.

Also, while not waterproof, Motorola claims the phone is designed to be water-repellent. It is not IP rated, so you cannot submerge it in water, but it is moderately protected against light exposure to water such as accidental spills, splashes, sweat, or light rain.

In the box, you will find a USB type C charging cable and a SIM removal tool. That is all. Just like most phones nowadays, it does not include a charging brick, a fact that I’m still trying to get used to.

At 430 nits of maximum brightness, the LCD display does struggle in outdoor conditions, where direct sunlight can wash out the screen. Indoors, the HD+ (1612 × 720) display performs just fine. The colors are vibrant for an LCD screen, but you can a much more impressive OLED screen at the same price on a device like the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G. The 720p resolution is another downside as you can see text is a bit jagged. On the plus side, swiping does feel extra smooth as you have a 120Hz refresh rate.

Similar to its Moto G Power counterpart, the device’s bezels are what you would expect from a phone in this category: smaller bezels on the top and the sides, but a larger bezel at the bottom. The device’s buttons are also very standard. Separate up and down volume buttons are located on the device’s right side, above the power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader, while a combined SIM and microSD card slot is on the left. The device also includes face unlock as an alternative biometric security method.

Moto G 5G (2024) Camera

Its biggest weakness

The Moto G 5G (2024) sports the same 50MP main camera that its G Power counterpart has, and just like with the G Power, the photo quality leaves much to be desired. Lacking optical image stabilization (OIS) and with no ultrawide lens, the Moto G 5G’s camera performance is just… okay.

The photo quality improves in well-lit conditions but struggles in low light settings. Using the main camera to zoom in on a subject is also not recommended, as the quality deteriorates significantly. Motorola states that the device uses Quad Pixel technology, which takes photos taken with the 50MP sensor and combines four pixels into one, resulting in a 12.5MP photo. However, even when using this trick, the images still lack clarity and detail. I had a similar experience with the 8MP selfie camera, which produced grainy and low-quality photos.

Video Quality

Video Thumbnail

Both rear cameras capture video at 30fps, but only the main camera can capture 1080p quality. There is no 4K support, but that is not a surprise at this price. The video quality is what is expected considering the photo quality issues discussed above. It does well in well-lit scenarios, but falls apart in low-light or when zooming. 

All in all, considering the price point, it is a decent option for casual photos and video, as long as you are not trying to push it.

Moto G 5G (2024) Performance & Benchmarks

Surprisingly great performance 
This smartphone only comes in one configuration: 4GB of RAM, which is one weakness of this device. Motorola claims you can boost that to 8GB “virtual RAM” by borrowing from the storage, but we are not sure this compares to more native RAM.

Performance was pretty solid while performing several tasks, which was shocking to see. To be honest, this little device packs quite a punch for its size and price. I went in thinking that it would perform just as well as any other budget smartphone, solely based on the specs on paper, but I was pleasantly surprised. This, in spite of its budget-friendly Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 chip.

Performance Benchmarks:

As you can see in the benchmarks above, the Moto G 5G doesn’t have the most impressive benchmarks, yet it still managed to perform exceptionally well in real-world usage. The phone’s smooth performance and reliable connectivity made it a great choice for everyday use.

This device also includes a microSD card slot that allows the 128GB of built-in storage to be expanded up to 1TB. This makes it a compelling option for those who may want to save on cloud storage and a benefit if the device needs to tap into the internal storage to get that RAM boost.

Moto G 5G (2024) Software

The software experience is where this phone truly shines. Running My UX, which is Motorola’s skin on top of Android, was a very similar experience to running the native Pixel launcher. The Moto G 5G comes with Android 14 from the get go and prompts for a software update right away. As of the time of writing this review, our review unit is updated up to the February 2024 Android security patch.However, Motorola adds a bit more to the stock Android experience with its own gestures and Moto Actions. These allow for quick and easy access to commonly used functions, such as the “three finger screenshot” that happens to be my favorite, and the “chop chop” motion to turn on the flashlight. This level of customization is a key selling point for many Moto users.

Furthermore, Motorola has confirmed to us that the Moto G Power will receive one operating system upgrade and three years of bi-monthly security updates. This means that this device will indeed be receiving Android 15.

Moto G 5G (2024) Battery

All-day battery with average use
The Moto G 5G’s 5000mAh battery is expected to provide up to a full day of power on a single charge. I put this to the test and was pleasantly surprised at how long the battery lasted, even with heavy usage. The only disappointment here was the charging speed, which is capped at 18W with the right charger and has no wireless charging capabilities to speak of.

In my testing of this device, I found that the battery performed quite well. I was able to get between 8 and 24 hours of battery life on a single charge, depending on how heavy my usage was. Streaming YouTube videos and playing an occasional game, of course, drew more power, while doing simple tasks like checking emails and social media only used a fraction of the battery.

Moto G 5G (2024) Audio Quality and Haptics

The Moto G 5G is a formidable entertainment device, including a dual speaker on the bottom edge, a 3.5mm headphone connection, and Dolby Atmos support. The speakers are impressively loud, although there isn’t much bass, as is to be anticipated from smartphone speakers. Nevertheless, the audio quality is adequate for casual listening.
The device’s haptic feedback is average. While it is surely timely and responsive, it lacks the depth and intensity that you would expect on a more expensive device.

Moto G 5G (2024) Summary and Final Verdict

The Moto G 5G is a solid budget device for those looking for a reliable device that doesn’t break the bank. At its MSRP of $199 USD, it is hard to argue with its value proposition. However, if Motorola is not your thing, there are other options out there at this same price point that may be of interest, such as the Samsung Galaxy 15 5G or the Google Pixel 6a.My experience with this device as I was testing it for this review was very positive. In fact, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed using this device over the flagships I’m used to. It may have something to do with how premium it felt in the hand or how easy it was to handle due to its smaller size (disclaimer: My hands are on the small-ish side). Either way, I found myself reaching for this device more often than my usual go-tos.

I would highly recommend the Moto G 5G to others looking for a reliable and budget-friendly smartphone option that still delivers great performance. Its impressive battery life and 5G capabilities make it a solid choice for those in need of a dependable device for everyday use.


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