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I switched to this $300 Motorola phone for two weeks and was pleasantly surprised

Compromises are expected when you price a phone at just $300, but you would be hard-pressed to notice them in the new Moto G Power 5G.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Matthew Miller/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Moto G Power 5G 2024 sells for $299 in Pale Lilac and Midnight Blue colorways.
  • The phone can last up to two days with a 5,000mAh battery, with a large display, lovely vegan leather back panel, and flawless Moto software enhancements.
  • The LCD display isn't as vibrant as an OLED, but it's one of the few tradeoffs on a device at this price range.

For the past two weeks, I've had my T-Mobile SIM inside the new $300 Moto G Power 5G, and I can't help but recommend it as one of the best phones in its price range. For the money, the latest Moto phone offers a large display, sleek form factor, lovely vegan leather back cover, large capacity battery, wireless charging, and more.

Also: This $350 Android phone nearly made me forget about the flagships

Motorola's user interface is one of my favorites, with a fairly stock, Pixel-esque look and feel that is boosted by the brand's handy gestures and system enhancements. Twist to launch the camera, chopping motions to toggle the flashlight, pick up to silence the ringer, and several other gestures make the phone much more intuitive to use than other phones of similar pricing, and that's only scratching the surface of the new Moto G Power 5G.

View at Motorola

First, let's talk design. The fingerprint sensor on the Moto G Power is built into the side power button, my personal favorite implementation of the biometric security since the phone can be easily unlocked as you pick it up. The frame is made with plastic, but I found that to be perfectly fine as it helps make the large-sized phone lighter at just 201 grams.

Motorola sent along the Pale Lilac color for me to test, which surrounds the frame and looks great with the lovely vegan leather back. This back material is also on my Motorola Razr Plus and provides extra grip, helping to keep the phone from sliding off tables and other slippery surfaces. Such features make this $300 phone feel like something more expensive.

Also: The best phones to buy in 2024

Also, the 6.7-inch LCD supports a rare 120Hz refresh rate with an 85% screen-to-body ratio. It looks great with a 391 ppi resolution and I've enjoyed lots of media content while using the phone. The stereo speakers perform decently well, too, but if you're not up for the quality, there's also a legacy 3.5mm audio port for wired listening.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Some compromises have to be made to offer a phone at this price point, one of which is the processor. A MediaTek Dimensity 7020 processor powers the phone with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. From my testing, I noticed a bit of stuttering and lag when navigating between apps and games. Motorola has a RAM boost feature that's all software, but the benefits weren't noticeable. The storage size can get a boost too via a microSD card, with support of up to 1TB. 

Also: This big-screen Android phone has useful features absent from today's flagships

50MP main and 8MP ultra-wide cameras are positioned in the upper left of the back. The ultra-wide camera captures 118 degrees of field of view while also serving as the macro shooter. While the camera hardware is not as powerful as flagship phones, Motorola provides excellent custom camera software that helps you capture great photos and be creative with little effort on your part.


Moto G Play (left) and G Power 5G (right)

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Given that the word 'Power' is in the name of this phone, let's talk about that large 5,000mAh capacity battery. In my testing as a daily driver, I was able to easily go two full days with heavy usage on the Moto G Power 5G that included communications, social media, photo capture, music streaming, and YouTube video playback. In addition, Motorola provides support for fast 30W TurboPower charging with a charger in the box.

The big surprise with the Moto G Power is the inclusion of wireless charging, which is usually a feature left out of phones in the $300 and lower price range. 5G is also provided and the phone was able to keep up with my T-Mobile service, so I was never left without a solid signal, even in areas with weaker cellular reception. 

ZDNET's buying advice

Motorola continues to impress with its affordable line of Moto G series phones and the G Power 5G has me questioning my past decisions to purchase expensive flagship phones. The phone offers everything I need to get work done, with an impressive host of gestures that make using the phone very efficient and smart. If you are looking for a first smartphone and want something affordable and can last long, or just want something with a big display in a sleek form factor, then the latest from Motorola is worth considering.

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