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Motorola’s newest budget phones look surprisingly good

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Motorola’s recent budget phones have been held back by lackluster designs, pointless extra cameras, and underwhelming feature sets. But there appears 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 that was ever missing in the first place is a mystery), and they come with fetching vegan leather back panels. They even include a microSD card slot and a built-in headphone jack, handy features most phone manufacturers 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 pricier Moto G Power comes with a 6.7-inch 1080p LCD with a fast 120Hz maximum refresh rate — personally I’d take a contrast-ier OLED panel with a lower refresh rate, but for a $300 phone you take what you can get. It uses a midrange MediaTek Dimensity 7020 chipset with 8GB of RAM, and there are just two rear cameras: a 50-megapixel main with optical stabilization and an 8-megapixel ultrawide with autofocus that doubles as a macro camera. There are no silly, low-res depth sensors or macro cameras here and bless Motorola for that.

The Moto G Power comes in midnight blue — seen here — and pale lilac.
Image: Motorola

The G Power supports up to 30W wired charging, though you’ll have to buy a charger separately to get those speeds. Wireless charging is supported at up to 15W. There’s a massive 5,000mAh battery on board, though the lower-priced Moto G 5G has one of those, too. Fun fact: the 5G Power’s internal codename appears to be Cancun and the Moto G’s is Fogo, based on the file names of the spec sheets Motorola shared with me. I love some inside baseball.

The lower tier Moto G 5G uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 chipset with 4GB of RAM and includes a 6.6-inch 720p LCD, also with a 120Hz refresh rate. There’s 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 afoot here, but as always, a lot depends on the execution. The last midrange Motorola phone I reviewed was so chock-full of bloatware that I’d hesitate to recommend it to anyone. We won’t have to wait long to find out: the 2024 Moto G Power will be available starting March 22nd at Cricket Wireless and coming to other carriers soon afterward, with an unlocked version arriving on March 29th. The 2024 Moto G 5G will arrive first at T-Mobile starting March 21st, with other carriers to follow. The unlocked version will be a bit of a wait: it arrives on May 2nd.



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