- Plastic chassis
- Poor speaker quality
- Limited carrier availability
- Only one guaranteed update
The Motorola One 5G is the cheapest 5G option on the market for the moment. That says a lot in a gaggle of $1000+ smartphones. It’s great to have a low priced option, but the cost isn’t everything. Did Motorola cut costs in smart ways or does the phone fall short?
It has an unassuming appearance as an average slab phone. It’s on the bigger side but that’s understandable when you consider how big the battery is. Still, it’s not so big it can’t be operated by one hand but if you have small hands, you might want to get your hands on one at a carrier store or electronics retailer before you commit.
The plastic chassis was the main complaint in reviews. The overly shiny material picked up smudges and fingerprints like nobody's business and simply didn’t feel great.
A 6.7-inch LCD screen dominates the front of the phone. Reviews indicate that it’s bright, colorful, and high-quality for an LCD in its price bracket. It also has a 90Hz refresh rate -- a rare feature in the mid-tier market -- preventing stuttering and smoothing out gaming and common actions like swiping and scrolling.
Despite a disappointing 4GB of RAM, reviews indicated the phone is plenty snappy -- even when multitasking. Reviewers stated that it took opening nearly a dozen apps and just as many browser tabs to start bogging things down.
Game load times were the one caveat. Less RAM and mid-tier processor means things take longer to load. But once they’re running, they chug along smoothly enough with no mention of noticeable lag or dropped frames.
Software & Storage
The phone ships with the latest version of Android (Android 11.) However, reviewers were quick to point out that Motorola phones rarely see more than one major Android upgrade. So don’t expect it to stay up to date for more than a year or two.
128GB of internal also provides plenty of room for apps and video while a microSD expansion slot can add an additional 1TB of space if needed.
With a total of 6 lenses, there’s a little bit of everything for every kind of photography. A 48MP main camera with a wide lens 8MP and macro 5MP gives all sorts of shot options. Though, reviewers noted low light shots often had blurred backgrounds and ruddy noise around the edges. The macro lens in low light, however, performed surprisingly well for most.
The battery is massive and its endurance is equally impressive. Some reviewers even skipped the overnight charge from time to time. Obviously, it will depend on how you use your phone, but on the whole, reviewers reported an almost 2-day battery life on the Motorola One 5G.
With only one dedicated speaker, the phone won’t be winning any sound quality awards. Reviewers weren’t happy that it was easy to accidentally muffle the speaker due to its location on the bottom of the phone. It was also tinny and thin sounding. Fortunately, the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth makes upgrade the audio quality as easy as grabbing your favorite headphones and plugging them in or pairing them.
Specs at a Glance
- Plastic chassis
- 6.7-inch LCD display
- Octa-core 2.3 GHz Qualcomm SDM765 Snapdragon 765 processor
- 4GB of ram
- Android 11
- 128GB of onboard storage with MicroSD option
- 48MP/8MP wide/5MP macro/16MP selfie and 8MP wide front-facing camera
- 5,000mAh battery
The Motorola One 5G won’t keep up with the top-tier phones of 2020, but it’s certainly near the top of its price bracket. The fact that it’s reasonably priced but also capable of 5G connectivity is the largest selling point. The extra battery life also helps it handle 5G use without burning through its charge. Beyond that, there’s nothing groundbreaking or life-changing about the phone. But a phone doesn’t need to innovate to be a good value.
PC Magazine says, “The Motorola One 5G is a solid mid-range phone with good battery life, an attractive design, and a beautiful display. it's also one of the most affordable 5G phones on the market.”
Tom’s Guide states, “The Motorola One 5G offers decent performance and 5G connectivity for a lower price compared to other 5G phones. But compromises in practically every other category make it one of the less-compelling mid-range 5G phones.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Motorola released the One 5G on September 30, 2020.
The One 5G price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Motorola One 5G prices from around the web here on The Informr.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Motorola One 5G user manual here.
Motorola backs up the One 5G with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your One 5G has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Motorola support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Motorola's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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