Motorola launches Motorola One 5G Ace at $399, updates Moto G Power, Play, and Stylus

At CES 2021, Motorola is building out its 5G value lineup as well as its go-to budget devices.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Motorola is stepping up its affordable 5G device cadence, with the launch of the Motorola One 5G Ace starting at $399. The 5G Ace launches as Motorola refreshed its Moto G Power, Play, and Stylus.

With the launches, Motorola continues its focus on value 5G devices and the mid-tier market.

The headliner amid Motorola's CES 2021 launches is the Motorola One 5G Ace. The 5G Ace complements the Motorola One 5G, and my initial hands-on highlights a premium feel (albeit in plastic), solid camera, and value at $399. It comes with perks like SD-card support, a 48MP camera, and a solid display.

The Motorola One 5G Ace will be available for pre-sales on Jan. 8 with available Jan. 14. The device will be available at Best Buy, Walmart, B&H Photo, Amazon, and Motorola unlocked. Carriers will add the smartphone in the months ahead.

In 2021, the price curve for 5G devices is expected to fall as Qualcomm rolls out cheaper chipsets. Wedbush tech strategist Brad Gastwirth said:

We continue to see declines in 5G related handset costs as a material driver of 5G adoption over the next few years; in addition, we also believe reduced silicon costs will again shift emphasis to other areas including cameras and storage.

The Motorola One 5G Ace highlights the broader theme of price compression. The Motorola One product line is designed to hit the mid-tier premium market

As for the broader rollout, the Moto G Power, Play, and Stylus are 4G devices, but they have prices between $169 to $299. Motorola's Thomas Milner, head of product marketing, said the company has sold more than 100 million Moto G devices and is aiming to advance its mid-tier market share.

The devices feature Qualcomm Snapdragon chips -- including a few that just launched weeks ago -- and Android 10 with an update coming for Android 11. Motorola is also offering good value for the camera, display, and battery specs on the devices.

Here is a look at the devices with a few first impressions.

Motorola One 5G Ace

Of the four devices, the 5G Ace feels the most premium of the group. The 5G Ace is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G processor. Memory is 4GB to 6GB with storage of 64GB or 128GB built-in with the ability to expand to 1TB with microSD card expansion.


Motorola One 5G Ace


With a display of 6.7-inches and a battery of 5,000mAh, the Motorola One 5G Ace provides good value.

The 5G Ace features a camera system that includes three cameras in the rear, including a main one with 48MP, an ultra-wide-angle 8MP, and 2MP Macro Vision for extreme closeups. The front camera is Quad Pixel 16MP.

The Motorola One 5G Ace has a plastic frame and comes in Volcanic Grey and Frosted Silver.

Overall, the Motorola One 5G Ace is likely to find a market, but for those folks that buy value devices on the latest Android version competition with Google's Pixel 4A 5G will be formidable.

Moto G Stylus

The second iteration of the Moto G Stylus has a better fit and finish and a new stylus compared to its predecessor.

Considering Samsung may downplay its Note franchise, Moto G Stylus could find a market with the second iteration. The stylus in the device is passive, but Motorola has improved its note app so writing and markups are smoother.

Moto G Stylus is 4G and runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 with 4GB memory and 128GB of storage built-in with 512GB possible with microSD card expansion. The 6.8-inch display is solid, and the battery is 4000mAh.

The camera system includes a main one with 48MP, an ultra-wide-angle 8MP, and 2MP Macro Vision for extreme closeups. The front camera is Quad Pixel 16MP.

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Moto G Power and Moto G Play

The Moto G Power was the original big-battery value device in the Motorola portfolio, and with a starting price at $199, it holds its spot.

Moto G Power has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor and has 3GB of memory in the Best Buy version and 4GB in another SKU. The display is 6.6 inches and battery life checks in at up to three days and 5,000mAh.

The device is 4G but also extends to 2G and 3G since the Moto G Power is a global smartphone that also hits emerging markets. The rear camera setup is a 48MP main camera with a 2MP macro and 2MP depth. The front camera is 8MP.

Also: Moto G8 Power and G8 Power Lite, hands-on: Two long-lasting and affordable handsets, but the G8 Power wins out

Storage for the Moto G Power is 32GB for the Best Buy version and 64GB through Motorola. The latter device has microSD card support up to 512GB and goes for $249.99.

Moto G Play goes for $169 has a 6.5-inch display, 13MP dual-camera system, and a 5000mAh battery. It has 3GB of memory with 32GB of storage expandable to 512GB with microSD. The processor is Qualcomm Snapdragon 460. 

The Moto G Power, Play, and Stylus will be available on Jan. 14. 

Also: Motorola advances Razr with 5G, better specs, more carriers for $1,399

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