- 1. Moto G Power 5G (2023): Pricing and availability
- 2. Design and build quality: Unmistakably Motorola when it comes to look and feel
- 3. Display: Looks good and it's 120Hz
- 4. Battery life: Goes the distance
- 5. Performance: You'll feel it but not in a good way
- 6. Software: Close to stock Android
- 7. Cameras: Shoot and pray (at night)
- 8. Should you buy the Moto G Power 5G (2023)?
Motorola's Moto G Power line has always been about providing smartphones with excellent battery life. The trend continues with the latest version but adds marked improvements over its predecessor, like a 1080p display, 120Hz refresh rate, 5G connectivity, a better processor, and more. The previous Moto G Power was one of the best cheap Android phones available, so our expectations were high.
While everything looks great on paper, it isn't the best performer when it comes to daily tasks, with sluggish performance and the occasional stutter. But where the Moto G Power 5G is really lacking is its photo capabilities. If you're somebody that loves to take photos, this handset won't be for you. But if you just need a phone that can last you days on a single charge, this will be an excellent buy.
Motorola Moto G Power (2023)
The Moto G Power 5G delivers more than its predecessor with a MediaTek Dimensity 930 processor, 6GB RAM, 120Hz FHD+ LCD display, 5,000mAh battery, and a $300 price tag, but it excels when it comes to battery life.
- MediaTek Dimensity 930
- 6.5-inch, Full HD+ (2400x1080), 405ppi, LCD, 120Hz refresh rate
- 256GB with microSD slot up to 1TB
- USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Operating System
- Android 13
- Camera (Rear, Front)
- 50MP f/1.8, 2MP PDAF, 2MP Depth; 16MP f/2.4 front camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac | 2.4GHz and 5GHz, Bluetooth 5.3,
- 163.06 x 74.8 x 8.45mm
- Mineral Black, Bright White
- 15W wired charging
- IP Rating
- Water-repellent design (no IP rating)
- Fingerprint reader on power button, Face unlock
- Excellent battery life
- Big improvement over last year
- Decent build quality
- Takes poor images
- Performance is sluggish
- No NFC
Moto G Power 5G (2023): Pricing and availability
The 2023 Moto G Power 5G is currently available directly from Motorola and through retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. It's unclear at this point whether it will arrive to wireless carriers, but if the past is any indication, we'll most likely see it pop up on carriers sometime this year. Currently, the phone is priced at $300 and comes in two colors, Mineral Black and Bright White.
Design and build quality: Unmistakably Motorola when it comes to look and feel
If you look at Motorola's phone offerings, you'll start to notice some similarities. There isn't anything wrong with that, but let's just say you won't get anything exciting or unique here. Still, the handset looks solid. It's an understated look that won't catch anyone's attention, but many phones in this price range won't either.
On the rear, you get a rectangular camera island that houses three cameras and a flash. On the front, you get a flat display with a hole punch cutout for the front-facing camera. The bezels of the screen are noticeable, especially the one on the bottom. The edges of the phone offer nice flat surfaces with a slight curve, making it feel comfortable in the hand. On the right side, you get a volume rocker and power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader. On the left, there is a SIM tray that can house the SIM and microSD card. On the bottom, there's a USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the speakers, which Motorola says are Dolby Atmos certified.
For the most part, there's nothing really premium-looking about this device. From the moment you see it, you know it's going to feel less than stellar, and when you pick it up, you get confirmation. One good thing about the standard plastic finish on the rear is that it's more resistant to scratches and damage. However, it's prone to fingerprints. While the look is relatively simple, the device feels lightweight and solid. In addition, there aren't any creaks or strange noises that come from the phone when you try to flex or bend it.
Display: Looks good and it's 120Hz
I'm not picky about my displays, but my friend had some things to say when he saw the Moto G Power's, noting that it looked dim and washed out. Mind you, this person uses an older Samsung smartphone with an AMOLED display, so the difference must be quite noticeable.
This is an LCD IPS display, so you can't expect the highest brightness output or the deepest colors. The handset features a large 6.5-inch 120Hz 1080p screen, which looks pretty good for what it is. As for how bright this display gets, Motorola doesn't have any details listed, but it's definitely not the brightest screen I've ever used. It's tough to see in direct sunlight, but during bright sunny days in a car, or having it mounted to my windshield, everything was perfectly legible.
When it comes to the refresh rate, you can set it to adjust automatically. While setting it to 60Hz is probably going to be the best option if you're looking to save some battery, I chose to let Motorola decide for me since the battery isn't a problem. But if you set it to 120Hz, you can easily see and feel the difference when scrolling through the menu and webpages.
Battery life: Goes the distance
When you have the word 'Power' in the name of your phone, it better either deliver uncompromising battery life, immense processing power, or a combination of both. Luckily, for the Moto G Power 5G, you can comfortably leave the charger at home on a weekend trip thanks to the phone's efficient components and large 5,000mAh battery. If you're someone that uses your phone sparingly throughout the day, I can confidently say that you should even be able to get to the three-day mark with this phone. Again, it will depend on your use, but for everyday general use, I think two days is fair.
One thing to note is that you won't be getting quick recharging from this device. It only has a maximum charging rate of 15W and only comes with a 10W charger.
Performance: You'll feel it but not in a good way
The Moto G Power 5G is powered by MediaTek's 930 (6nm) processor with 6GB of RAM, which is quite a leap from the previous model's MediaTek Helio G37 (12nm) processor and 4GB of RAM. Despite these improvements, it's still not all that great in day-to-day use. You'll often feel the phone struggling to keep up with quick interactions. If you're someone that likes to multitask and switch between apps, then you'll definitely notice a slight pause when going from one app to the other. However, as long as you're not trying to blaze through everything, it should be manageable.
Surprisingly, I had a decent time playing games like Marvel Snap or Diablo Immortal. Mind you, the experience wasn't perfect, with some graphical load-in and little stutters here and there. Motorola does have a Gametime mode that will not only give you quick access to block all incoming notifications, but it also has a tool that will increase performance at the expense of battery life. Although, I couldn't really see a huge difference when it was on.
Synthetic benchmarks are a good way to visually show just how big or little the difference might be when compared to others phones in its class. So here's a look at some GeekBench 6 scores for a handful of phones that we recently tested like the OnePlus Nord CE3 Lite, Samsung Galaxy A54 5G, and Google Pixel 6a. The differences are definitely apparent when I compare it to my experiences with the Pixel 6a.
|Motorola Moto G Power 5G 2023 (MediaTek Dimensity 930)||825||2254|
|OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite (Snapdragon 695)||888||2,079|
|Google Pixel 6a (Tensor G1)||967||2,633|
|Samsung Galaxy A54 5G (Exynos 1380)||1,010||2,865|
Just to get some more numbers, here are results from Geekbench 6, 3DMark SlingShot Extreme, and AndroBench tests. Not terribly impressive numbers here, when it comes to the Sling Shot Extreme and AndroBench numbers, but this is a $300 phone, so it's best to temper your expectations.
Software: Close to stock Android
The phone comes with Android 13, which does feature some light customization, but for the most part, feels like what you'd find on a Pixel. The phone does come pre-installed with a number of apps like Motorola's Family Space, Interactive Wallpapers, Moto app, and a few more. You can uninstall some of them, but the Motorola stuff can only be disabled, which is a downer.
Perhaps more concerning is that although it comes with Android 13, the last security update was from February. Motorola doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to software updates, whether it's major OS upgrades or minor security patches. Although it does pledge security updates for three years on its devices, along with one OS update, it doesn't really mean much if you aren't getting consistent updates.
Another downer is that the phone doesn't have NFC. Those who rely on digital payments or use tap metro passes will be completely out of luck here. This is quite a common issue with lower-end models, with brands cutting out what they can to get the price down. But you always have to keep in mind that this is a $300 phone. And while it's easy to demand more for your dollar, it's not as easy checking off all the boxes and getting what you want.
Cameras: Shoot and pray (at night)
The Moto G Power 5G delivers three rear cameras, a 50MP main camera, 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor. The macro does what it says, allowing you to get up close and personal with whatever subject you're trying to photograph. But as you can probably imagine, things don't look all that good when shooting with a 2MP sensor, so I'd recommend just sticking with the main camera and getting as close to your subject as possible.
During the day, the main camera works just okay. For me personally, I'm not a fan of the overly vibrant colors and most scenes in optimal sunny weather look overexposed. You can see plenty of examples where the highlights are blown in the images above, and this is just shooting in full auto. If you're someone that likes to tinker with the settings, the default camera app does have a few modes that will let you experiment like the Pro, Portrait, Night Vision, Dual Capture, and a few others. For most of my time with the phone, I used the standard photo mode, and kept HDR off. The camera works, but I wouldn't really want to take this on vacation and capture cherished memories with it.
At night things don't get any better, where objects tend to look less sharp and the colors running together between the subject and the background. You can see some of the results when shooting photos at night above, with different lighting scenarios ranging from dim, moderately lit, to relatively dark. Bottom line, if photography is your main concern, you're going to want to steer clear of this one; it's definitely not its strong suit.
Should you buy the Moto G Power 5G (2023)?
You should buy the Moto G Power 5G (2023) if:
- You just want a budget phone that works reasonably well
- Long battery life is your highest priority
- You have a limited budget
You shouldn't buy a Moto G Power 5G (2023) if:
- You want a phone that performs well
- You want a camera that can take photos in any condition
- You demand higher quality materials
When you're working with a phone that costs $300, it's a good idea to temper your expectations. For day-to-day use, the Moto G Power 5G is a good phone that can handle most things you throw at it. Now, with that said, is it the smoothest experience when browsing the web or using apps? No. Does it have an impressive screen that's going to wow your eyes? Absolutely not. But will it get you through a weekend without a charger? Sure. Can you feel confident using it? For the most part.
The weakest area here is the camera. While things look alright in brightly lit environments, quality starts to go downhill when you start to take photos or videos where the light isn't optimal. As stated before, if you're someone that loves to take photos and videos, this phone isn't going to be for you. But if you're someone that wants a phone that can do the basics and last a long time, the Moto G Power 5G is going to be right up your alley.
Motorola Moto G Power (2023)
The Moto G Power features impressive battery life, a great screen, and is priced just right. But it's lacking in areas like performance and cameras.