Motorola has revealed its new range of budget smartphones for 2023, and the headline news is the addition of 5G support to some of its cheaper models. The Moto G73 and G53 use the Dimensity 930 and Snapdragon 480+ chips respectively, both of which have the improved networking tech built in.
With a starting price of £189.99/€249.99, the Moto G53 becomes one of the cheapest 5G phones you can buy. At £269.99/€299.99 the G73 isn’t far behind – it adds a Full HD panel (rather than 720p) and that more powerful chipset.
However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find some features which have actually been downgraded relative to last year’s models, the G72 and G52. The displays on the G73 and G53 are still 6.5in (and now 120Hz – an upgrade for the G53), but both are LCD rather than OLED. Some people may prefer LCD panels, but OLED is generally considered to be superior on phones for its enhanced contrast and colour range.
The inconsistencies don’t end there, with tweaks to the rear cameras that aren’t clear improvements year-on-year. The G73 drops its main lens from 108Mp to 50Mp, keeping the 8Mp ultrawide but losing the 2Mp macro. On the G53, the ultrawide is gone with no other changes.
The new Moto G73 is available with a white or black finish
Then there’s charging speeds. The G73’s 30W is only slightly down on the 33W in the G72, but the G53 has dropped all the way from 30W to just 10W (though Latin American buyers will get slightly nippier 18W speeds).
Both phones do at least have the same 5000mAh batteries as before, plus Android 13 out of the box. Motorola’s committed to two years of Android version updates for the phones – less than many flagships, but sadly still typical at this price.
Adding 5G support to budget phones means compromise in other areas was always likely. But the downgrades on the G53 and G73 may make people think twice about buying them when they’re available in early March.
Moto G23, G13 & E13
If you can do without 5G, some new 4G Motorola phones that are even more affordable.
The Moto G23 (from £199.99/€199) has a new MediaTek Helio G85 chip, alongside a 6.5in 90Hz display and 30W charging. Dropping down to the Moto G13 (from £149.99/€159) reduces the selfie camera from 16Mp to 8Mp and offers slower 20W charging.
The Moto G13 has an 8Mp selfie camera
Then there’s the Moto E13 (from £99.99), which uses an entry-level Unisoc T605 chip, alongside just one 13Mp rear camera and the simplified Go version of Android 13.
All three will also be available from early March.
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Budget smartphones, Smartphones