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Motorola’s newest budget phones look surprisingly good



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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