Available from Verizon and AT&T, it will be one of the most affordable 5G phones you can buy in the US.
With affordable and feature-packed offerings like the Moto G Stylus, G Power and G Fast, it’s clear that Motorola thrives in the budget end of the phone market. Now with the new Motorola One 5G though, the Chicago-based company finally figured out a way to combine its budget know-how with 5G connectivity — without the use of an additional accessory or Motorola Mod à la Moto Z4 and Z3.
In the US, the majority of 5G phones are expensive. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra costs $1,300, the OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $900 and Motorola’s own Edge Plus is $1,000. Even the more affordable midtier 5G phones like the LG Velvet, Galaxy A71, Motorola Edge and OnePlus 8 cost about $700. So it’s really impressive that the Motorola One 5G will likely cost less than $500. At this time Motorola hasn’t locked in an actual price, but the company said that its new phone should come in well under that figure.
The new phone will be available “soon” (no date was given) on AT&T and later in October on Verizon. Each carrier version of the phone supports a different kind of 5G. The Verizon Motorola One 5G supports the carrier’s mmWave flavor of 5G and the AT&T version will have sub-6 5G connectivity.
Like its nearly identical European sibling the Moto G 5G, the Motorola One 5G has appealing specs but also some compromises. It has a 6.7-inch full HD display and is powered by a Snapdragon 765 processor, which is the same one found in the Motorola Edge, LG Velvet and Galaxy A71.
The phone also has a bunch of desirable features, including a big 5,000-mAh battery with support for TurboPower charging, a headphone jack, a 90Hz refresh rate display and six cameras (more on those below). It also has NFC for Google Pay, which is notable because previous Motorola budget phones have lacked this feature in the US. The Motorola One 5G runs Android 10 and will receive one major OS update as well as two years of security updates. That isn’t as good as Samsung’s promise of three years of updates for its Note 20 and new Galaxy phones, but at least you know where you stand.
But to hit that unspecified sub-$500 price, Motorola made some compromises, just like Apple did for the $399 iPhone SE. The screen is an LCD instead of OLED, which typically draws more power and doesn’t have true black colors. It only has 4GB of RAM (these days, most phones at that price range have 6GB to 8GB). Lastly, the phone has a polycarbonate (i.e. plastic) body, which isn’t as premium as a glass design. None of these are necessarily deal breakers in my book, however Motorola One 5G has six — yes, six — cameras.
The One 5G has four rear cameras, including a macro camera that has one of the coolest new features I’ve seen in a long time. Surrounding the macro camera’s lens is a ring flash to illuminate close-up photos. This is especially useful because usually when getting up close and personal with an object, I find the phone’s body casts a shadow over my subject. A ring flash like this has been seen on Canon’s macro lens for its M50 mirrorless camera, but this is the first time it’s ever been implemented on a phone and I anticipate it’ll be super handy.
As for the phone’s other back cameras, the main 48-megapixel camera uses pixel binning to combine four pixels into one. This helps reduce image noise and increase brightness. There’s also an ultrawide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel depth camera for portrait mode photos.