A 5G smartphone? Check. Under ₹20,000? Check. Near stock Android experience? Check. Excellent battery life? Yes.
If you’re a consumer looking for a budget 5G smartphone, then look no further. The Moto G84 5G is the one to get. I’ve been using this phone for quite some time and despite a few hiccups, the Moto G84, which is available for ₹18,999, is a fantastic 5G smartphone. Let’s get into it.
Back in 2013, Motorola launched their “Moto G” series. Since then, the company has never looked back. The “Moto G” series has constantly been the best-selling smartphone in India and other countries. It’s a budget series with a near-stock Android experience. The latest in the series is the Moto G54 5G and the Moto G84 5G.
Let’s talk about the Moto G84, which is the premium offering in the budget G family. It comes with a 6.50-inch P-OLED display, with a 1080x2400 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, a 20:9 aspect ratio and a PPI of 405. The peak brightness is rated at 1300 nits.
Under the hood is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chipset, 256GB of storage, 12GB of RAM and a 5,000mAh battery (with support for 30W wired charging).
There’s a dual-lens setup on the rear. There’s the 50MP main sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide shooter and a 16MP selfie camera. The phone supports 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and even comes with a 3.5mm jack. There are stereo speakers and an under-display fingerprint reader. The Moto G84 runs on Android 13, with Motorola promising only one major software update.
The Moto G84 has a familiar and classic look to it. It comes in Pantone colour options of Viva Magenta and Marshmallow Blue. If you opt for one of these colours you’ll get a faux leather back panel as well. There’s also Midnight Blue that comes with a plastic back.
The Moto G84 weighs just 167g and has a very good in-hand feel. I’ve, not for a minute, felt any tiredness in my hands from using this smartphone. Some may think that the design is bland with its mostly plastic construction but I think it looks vibrant. There’s no flex, and the build quality is superb. The smartphone comes with an IP54 rating (one would have hoped for IP68, but that would increase the cost).
The OLED display is the standout feature of the Moto G84. The 6.5-inch P-OLED display is vibrant with punchy colours. The 405 PPI means that the display is very sharp. There’s also a maximum brightness of 1300 nits and there’s no problem with outdoor legibility as the smartphone gets plenty bright. There are options for 60Hz, 120Hz and auto mode and it works just as advised. Auto mode is the best option and works without any hiccups. The Moto G84’s display is probably one of the best in the sub- ₹20,000 range.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is a rare commodity in 2023. It’s on the verge of extinction, but Motorola is helping to keep it alive. Along with the IR blaster in some smartphones, the 3.5mm headphone jack is a useful feature since a lot of us still have some excellent wired headphones lying around in our houses.
Performance is one area where I was slightly let down by the Moto G84. Motorola opted for an older Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chipset. For the most part, it runs just fine. Just don’t try to game with it as the chipset isn’t powerful enough. It’s a 2021 chipset and thankfully comes with no heating issues. It can handle all your daily tasks with aplomb. Media playback is also very smooth. It’s only when it comes to gaming that the chipset falters.
The icing on the cake though is the familiar Android skin that Motorola has included in the Moto G84. It’s got a near-stock version of Android 13 along with many of Motorola’s proprietary features. There are some neat features (via pre-installed Moto apps) included in the software. There are smart gesture shortcuts (Motorola fans will feel right at home), many personalisation features, and every Google feature you could ask for.
The only downside is that there is some amount of bloatware when you boot up the smartphone. Also, Motorola has promised only one major Android software upgrade when other manufacturers are promising two or more.
The battery life is another highlight for the Moto G84 as I was constantly able to get through a day of usage and have some battery left over for the first half of the next day. A full charge, with the 33W “TurboPower” quick charger, takes about 75 minutes. The stereo speakers are fine if nothing special. They get loud but also get fairly distorted often at higher levels of volume.
Nonetheless, the Moto G84 is a champ from day to day and doesn’t disappoint.
I wasn’t blown away by the Moto G84 camera. Far from it. But I like the fact that Motorola decided to only go with two lenses. There is no useless macro sensor and I’m very thankful for that. Daytime photos came out with good detail and were never over-processed. Overprocessing is a complaint I’ve had with many smartphones I’ve reviewed in the recent past but not with the Moto G84. The photos also have a nice natural look to them. The dynamic range is also quite decent. You will notice some noise in the images, but that’s to be expected in this price range. The ultra-wide camera takes a dive in terms of photo quality. It’s just an 8MP sensor so not much to expect here.
During night-time, neither of the sensors does a good job of capturing the mood. The selfie camera was good, but again, the images could have been sharper.
The most likely answer here is yes. There are some superior smartphones available for just a couple of thousand rupees more. For under ₹20,000, the Moto G84 is a tough deal to beat. It’s a classy budget smartphone and has Moto’s chops (I’m talking about the gestures features here) to boot. It’s got a great OLED screen, good battery stamina (two-day battery life), and a clean and familiar UI.
Performance is the only downer, as one can’t game on the Moto G84. But honestly, that isn’t a dealbreaker. By nailing all the basics, and providing 5G in less than ₹20,000, Motorola has another winner on its hands.
Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist. He posts at @IMSahilBhalla.