Motorola Moto G54 5G review

Motorola Moto G54 5G review

With its Moto G series, Motorola has always strived to deliver the best possible mobile experience to budget-conscious consumers. I’ve reviewed several generations of Moto G phones over the years, and must say the new Moto G54 5G represents a watershed moment. Simply put, Motorola has crafted its most compelling low-cost smartphone yet.

Having tested last year’s G53 5G myself, the G54 improves upon it tremendously across the board. As a seasoned tech reviewer, I occasionally worry budget devices cut too many corners. But the G54 5G left me thoroughly impressed – between its sleek design, vibrant display, capable cameras and reliable performance, Motorola hits the sweet spot of premium features without the premium price. Read on for my full verdict.

 

Design

 

Motorola Moto G54 5G review

 

While most inexpensive smartphones opt for generic glossy plastic builds, the Moto G54 5G brings some real style to the table. My Indigo Blue review unit came with a striking vegan leather backside, presenting a more upscale look and feel. The material grants a secure, comfortable grip similar to Motorola’s flagship Razr foldable.

A sizable 6.5-inch display drives the front design, as expected for 2023. Bezels are reasonably slim by budget standards and I appreciate the small centered punch-hole front camera. The camera bump on back protrudes minimally, allowing the phone to rest flat when placed down.

In terms of ergonomics, the side-mounted fingerprint sensor / power button sits perfectly placed to unlock with your thumb. My only gripe is the tall stature made the higher volume buttons uncomfortable to reach. Positioning them closer to the midline could enhance handed comfort. Still, the Moto G54 achieves an eye-catching aesthetic belying its cost.

 

Display

 

Motorola Moto G54 5G review

 

This is where the G54 truly blows its predecessor away. Rather than an HD+ resolution, it bumps up to a crisp, vibrant 2400 x 1080 full HD+ panel. Having reviewed countless phones in all price tiers, I struggled to notice any real pixel density difference next to my iPhone 14 Pro.

Everything I viewed on the G54 looked stunning, from movies to photos to games. Colors pop with accuracy, contrast appears inky dark, and motion stays fluid with a responsive 120Hz refresh rate. Yes, brightness could hit higher peaks and reflections can be visible. But in terms of display prowess alone, the G54 competes well above its class.

 

Cameras

 

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review

 

On paper, Motorola retains the same dual rear camera array as the G53 (50MP main + 2MP macro), while shifting to a 16MP selfie camera. But enhanced optics and processing qualitatively improve photo results across lighting scenarios.

Shots in ideal outdoor conditions showcase pleasing colors and plenty detail upon zooming. Low light performance also exceeds expectations thanks to beefed up stabilization and processing. The front cam still underwhelms – selfies pick up visibly softer focus. But the G54 packs Motorola’s best budget camera experience yet, even if it can’t quite hang with pricier flagships.

 

Software and Performance

 

Motorola Moto G54 5G review

 

Motorola bakes in its helpful Moto customizations on top of a clean Android 13 build. An intuitive interface lets you customize themes, gestures and more to your liking. The new MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chip also supplies a brisk 20%+ boost over the G53’s Snapdragon 480+, easily handling my daily workload. Gaming does induce some warmth over extended playtimes, unsurprising for a budget 6nm fabrication. But make no mistake – the G54 brings legitimate speed at this price point.

 

Battery Life

While nominally smaller than the G53’s battery at 5,000 mAh (vs. 5,100 mAh), improved efficiency helps the G54 offer equivalent all-day endurance for me during testing. Even intensive use cases got me through a full workday without issue. When you do need a charge, swift 30W fast charging has you covered in about an hour. For a modern 5G device, I consider the uptime here quite competitive.

Audio

The built-in stereo speakers impress, pumping out loud, detailed sound given the phone’s size. Turning on Dolby Atmos instantly makes music and movies sound cleaner and more spacious. There’s also dedicated Music and Smart Audio modes to tailor the profile as needed. My only note is that Spatial Audio muddies audio quality, so I preferred keeping it switched off.

Verdict

With the Moto G54 5G, Motorola sets a new standard in the ultra-competitive budget phone segment. Rather than producing a token low-cost handset, the company optimized every component that matters – great-looking build, gorgeous screen, capable cameras and fast 5G connectivity. I can confidently crown it a premium device masquerading at an bargain price point. Considering its performance could even put some pricier mid-range options on alert, the Moto G54 5G comes tremendously recommended.