Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

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Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

In September 2023, Motorola introduced the Moto G54, an affordable smartphone that continues the legacy of the popular Moto G53. The Motorola Moto G54 offers a compelling set of features that make it a worthy choice for budget-conscious consumers.

The Moto G54 smartphone has an 6.5-inch 120Hz display, Mediatek Dimensity 7020 chipset, 6000mAh battery with Turbo Power charging. Storage is not an issue with the Moto G54, as it comes with a whopping 256GB of storage space.

The combination of the large display, stereo speakers, dependable performance, long-lasting battery, and ample storage space makes it a compelling option for users who want a feature-rich smartphone without breaking the bank.

The Moto G54 is priced under $385, which is quite competitive for the features it offers.

After spending some time testing the Moto G54, I can give you a comprehensive overview of the device’s capabilities. My experience with the camera, battery life, gaming performance and other features will be valuable to potential buyers and users who want a deep understanding of what this budget smartphone has to offer.

Motorola Moto G54: Video Review

SpecsMotorola Moto G54 5G
Display6.5 inches, IPS LCD, 120Hz, 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~405 ppi density)
CPUMediatek Dimensity 7020 (6 nm)
GPUIMG BXM-8-256
RAM 8GB, 12GB
Storage128GB, 256GB
Memory Card SlotmicroSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)
SensorsFingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
OSAndroid 13
Rear Camera50 MP, f/1.8 (wide), 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚ (ultrawide)
Front Camera16 MP, f/2.4, (wide), 1.0µm
SIMNano-SIM, eSIM or Hybrid SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
GPSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS
NFCYes
BatteryLi-Po 6000 mAh
Charging33W wired
Dimensions161.6 x 73.8 x 8.9 mm (6.36 x 2.91 x 0.35 in)
Weight192 g (6.77 oz)
WaterproofWater-repellent design
ColorsMidnight Blue, Pearl Blue, Mint Green

Unboxing

Inside the box is a short selection of accessories. Let’s see what I got.

First of all, this is the Motorola Moto G54 5G smartphone itself, which is located at the top of the box.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

There’s also a standard three-pin adapter, a USB Type-C cable, a SIM eject tool, and a very brief quick start guide.

And that’s all, unfortunately, the kit does not include a protective case, which is usually found in other Motorola smartphones.

Motorola Moto G54: Design

The Moto G54’s design is clean and simple, maintaining the classic Motorola look. It features reasonably skinny bezels with a small chin at the bottom. The display is perfectly flat, and the edges of the device are also flat, giving it a contemporary look. While some users might have preferred a slight curvature on the back for improved ergonomics, the phone is still comfortable to hold. The build is quite slim, making it easy to handle.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

Motorola offers the Moto G54 in a choice of colors, including the trademark “Midnight Blue,” which sports a matte plastic finish. This finish not only looks good but also does an excellent job of repelling fingerprints and other smudges. For those who prefer something different, the Moto G54 is also available in “Indigo Blue,” featuring a vegan leather back, similar to the G84. Additionally, there are a couple of brighter color options for those looking to add a splash of personality to their device.

The camera chassis on the back is well-integrated and doesn’t protrude too much, ensuring the phone sits comfortably on surfaces without much wobbling. As is customary with Motorola smartphones, the Moto G54 is water-repellent, providing some peace of mind in case of accidental exposure to moisture.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

On the right side, you’ll find the volume rockers and the power button, which also functions as a fingerprint sensor for quick and secure unlocking. The left side houses the SIM tray.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

At the top of the device, there’s a microphone and branding for Dolby Atmos, hinting at enhanced audio capabilities. Meanwhile, the bottom of the phone is equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack, another microphone, a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, and a speaker grille.

APP

The Motorola Moto G54 comes with Android 13 out of the box, providing a clean and straightforward user experience. However, it’s worth noting that Motorola promises only one major OS update for the Moto G54, meaning it will be upgraded to Android 14 and may not receive further OS updates beyond that.

The good news is that Motorola commits to three years of security updates for this device. 

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

One point of contention is that Motorola has included some pre-installed apps that some users may find unnecessary, such as booking.com and Facebook, as well as a few pre-installed games. Fortunately, most of these can be easily removed from the device to declutter the user interface.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

Motorola includes some of its own apps on the Moto G54, such as the Moto app, which offers access to various customization options. You can personalize the phone’s theme colors, icon shapes, and layout. The Moto app also includes a range of handy features like gestures, audio tools, and a gaming mode, which we’ll touch on later. Additionally, there’s a feature called “Family Space,” which is useful for parents who want to control and restrict their children’s access to certain apps. The “Moto Secure” app enhances Android’s security and privacy features to help keep your data safe.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

While the overall Android experience on the Moto G54 is smooth, apps load quickly, and there’s no noticeable lag, it’s worth noting that some performance limitations may prevent certain features, like Motorola’s “Ready For” app, from being available on this device.

Display

The Motorola Moto G54 boasts a 6.5-inch display, which is quite a standard size for smartphones in 2023.  While it doesn’t feature an OLED panel, fortunately, the IPS panel on this device is still quite decent.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

The viewing angles are wide, allowing you to comfortably view content from different angles. Colors are reasonably vibrant, and the contrast is acceptable. However, when compared side by side with an OLED smartphone, you may notice that the blacks on the IPS display appear more like a dark gray. Nevertheless, the device offers a Full HD Plus resolution, providing crisp visuals. It’s also capable of achieving a maximum brightness of just over 1,000 nits, which is impressive. This means that you won’t struggle to see the screen in bright sunlight, reducing the need to squint.

The phone features a small selfie camera notch at the top, but it doesn’t significantly intrude on the screen, allowing for an immersive viewing experience when watching videos or playing games. Furthermore, the display supports a 120Hz refresh rate, which is a notable feature at this price point. 

Sound

Surprisingly, the Moto G54 includes a stereo speaker setup, which is a pleasant surprise considering its budget-friendly price tag. The stereo speakers make audio playback more enjoyable and help in creating an immersive experience when consuming media. While it might not be the loudest speaker setup at maximum volume, it maintains good clarity, which is a positive point.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

Additionally, the device includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is becoming increasingly rare in today’s smartphones, making it a welcome addition for those who prefer wired headphones.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

For audio enthusiasts, the phone offers Dolby Atmos support, which can fine-tune the sound to your liking. The Moto app provides various presets and even a manual equalizer for further audio customization, allowing you to tailor the sound to your preferences.

Performance

The Motorola Moto G54 is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 7020, a budget-friendly smartphone platform. Paired with 8GB of RAM, this combination provides quite a capable performance for everyday tasks. 

Storage-wise, the Moto G54 is quite generous, offering 256GB of internal storage, which is more than what you’d typically find in flagship smartphones like the Pixel 8 and iPhone 15, unless you’re willing to pay a premium for additional storage. Additionally, you have the option to expand the storage using a microSD memory card, which can go up to a massive 1TB. This is excellent news for users who need plenty of space for apps, media, and files.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

While the Moto G54 can technically run demanding games like Genshin Impact, it’s not the ideal way to experience such games due to its hardware limitations. Playing Genshin Impact, even on lower graphics settings, may result in a less than smooth experience. However, for less resource-intensive games like Free Fire and PUBG, the Moto G54 should work just fine. In fact, the reviewer even managed to win a game of Call of Duty Mobile on this device and earned the MVP title, which is quite an achievement.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

Motorola has included a simple yet satisfactory gaming mode, which offers features like Do Not Disturb, notifications blocking, screen recording, and performance and battery optimization settings.

Camera

The Motorola Moto G54 comes equipped with a dual-camera setup that, considering its budget-friendly nature. 

The Moto G54 boasts a 50-megapixel primary camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). OIS is a significant advantage at this price point, as it helps capture sharper and more stable photos, particularly in lower light conditions.

Alongside the primary camera, there’s a dedicated 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor. This is a fun feature that lets you get up close for extreme close-up shots. It’s handy for capturing intricate details, whether it’s a flower petal or a small object.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

While the camera app on the Moto G54 might be more straightforward compared to more expensive Motorola devices, it still provides some AI enhancements. For example, it may suggest switching to portrait mode when it detects a suitable subject.

The camera app offers several bonus modes, including Night Vision for improved low-light photography, and Motorola’s “Spot Color” mode, which adds a creative touch to your shots. The Pro mode allows users to shoot in RAW format for more advanced photo editing.

Given the price point, it’s essential to set realistic expectations for the Moto G54’s camera performance. It’s a budget phone, and while it may not deliver flagship-level results, it still performs admirably in a variety of conditions.

Indoor shots generally come out with reasonable clarity and minimal graininess. Night Vision mode brightens up low-light shots, although it may occasionally oversaturate colors. For fast-moving subjects like pets or kids, there might be a bit of blurriness in action shots.

The video capabilities of the Moto G54 are relatively basic. It can shoot video in full HD resolution at either 30 or 60 frames per second. While it may not support 4K, it’s suitable for capturing simple clips to share with family and friends. The image stabilization comes in handy, especially in lower light conditions, ensuring smoother video footage.

On the front, the Moto G54 features a 16-megapixel selfie camera. While it may not be ideal for high-quality video production, it works well for video chatting with friends and family. The audio pickup from the front-facing camera is reasonably clear.

Battery

The Moto G54 comes with a 6000mAh battery, which, when combined with the power-efficient MediaTek platform and the stock Android experience, delivers all-day battery life with ease. Even with extensive screen-on time, gaming, camera use, and other activities, the Moto G54 can easily last until bedtime. If you’re looking for a phone that can comfortably carry you through a full weekend of more casual usage, the Moto G54 is up to the task.

Motorola Moto G54 5G Review: Is this smartphone really good?

When it comes to recharging the device, Motorola advertises it as having “Turbo Power” charging. However, it’s not particularly fast, with a 15W charging speed. You’ll need to leave it plugged in for a couple of hours to get a full charge when the battery is depleted. This charging speed is reasonable for a budget-priced device and shouldn’t be too surprising.

Motorola Moto G54: Conclusion

The new Motorola Moto G54 is a compelling sub-$385 smartphone that offers several standout features you’d typically find in more expensive flagship devices. 

The Moto G54 boasts an impressive 256GB of onboard storage, which is unusual to find in this price range. 

The Moto G54 features a capable 50-megapixel primary camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). 

The phone sports a fairly decent IPS display, which offers good color accuracy and sharp visuals for an enjoyable viewing experience.

With stereo speakers, the Moto G54 provides immersive audio for multimedia consumption, enhancing your overall experience.

In addition to the generous onboard storage, the Moto G54 supports expandable storage via a microSD card slot, accommodating cards of up to 1TB in size.

The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack allows you to use your favorite wired headphones without the need for adapters or Bluetooth devices.

It’s essential to note that there are some limitations, such as receiving only one major Android OS upgrade (expected to be Android 14). However, the phone will continue to receive security updates, ensuring it remains safe and functional.

Its combination of impressive storage capacity, camera capabilities, and other features make it a strong contender in the budget smartphone market. Overall, the Motorola Moto G54 is a great choice for those seeking a feature-rich, budget-friendly smartphone without compromising on essential functionality and performance.

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