Motorola Moto G54 5G review

The Motorola Moto G54 strikes a fine balance between performance and affordability, with plenty of great features despite a slightly underwhelming camera.

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8.3Expert Score
Affordable activity

The Motorola Moto G54 strikes a fine balance between performance and affordability, with plenty of great features despite a slightly underwhelming camera.

Design
9
Performance
7.5
Pros
  • Stylish design, including Vegan leather
  • Nice clear display with 120 Hz
  • Solid battery life
Cons
  • Not great for gaming
  • Camera underwhelms
  • No waterproof rating

Motorola is trying its best to dominate the affordable end of the smartphone market. 

From the Moto G84 to the recently announced G04, G24 and G34, the smartphone company has a model on offer for just about everyone.

Right in the middle of the lineup is the G54, and while I haven’t tested the three new affordable models, I feel that this one hits a sweet spot between price and performance.

With features typically found in more expensive devices and better performance than the price tag would suggest, the Motorola Moto G54 is a solid option for anyone looking for a smartphone on a budget.

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Motorola Moto G54 5G review: Design

The Moto G54 comes in two colour options: Midnight Blue and Indigo Blue. The midnight blue looks a little closer to black than blue in photos, and features a plastic body. 

The Indigo Blue – the model I tested – features the same Vegan leather finish found in other Moto phones like the G84.

Individual tastes will vary, but I quite like the softer texture of the vegan leather. I’m not sure how it will hold up over time, but for the three weeks I’ve been using the phone, it hasn’t shown any adverse signs of use.

The phone itself measures in at 162 × 74 × 8 mm, and has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ (2400 × 1080) display. 

Remarkable, despite this handset sitting in the “under $300” bracket, it still boasts a 120 Hz refresh rate, as well as features like a side fingerprint sensor and face unlock.

While the phone itself is a mere 3 mm narrower than the iPhone 15 Pro, the taller screen makes the difference feel more notable than it is. The fact it weighs just 177 grams is also great, as you can easily slip it into your pocket and not feel weighed down.

Like the G84, the G54 boasts a USB-C port at the bottom of the phone alongside an old-school 3.5 mm headphone jack. 

Moto G54 on a rock looking at the back of the phone

Features and specs

The Motorola Moto G54 is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 7020 processor, which boasts a 2.2 GHz octa-core CPU.

You get 8 GB RAM and 128 GB of built-in storage, which can be expanded up to 1 TB via the MicroSD card slot. 

Like seemingly every Android smartphone these days, you get a 5,000 mAh battery, and Motorola also includes 15W fast charging out of the box. There’s no wireless charging, though.

The rear camera array includes two lenses: a 50MP f/1.8 quad-pixel main lens with OIS, and a 2MP f/2.4 macro camera.

Close up of the Moto G54 camera

Motorola Moto G54 5G review: Performance

At this price, you can’t expect the G54 to offer flagship performance. And it doesn’t.

Even with the 120Hz screen, scrolling through a webpage quickly, or even just cycling through the menus on the phone, you can see the frame rate drop and stutter occasionally.

It’s even more pronounced when gaming. The Google Play Store warned me when I went to install Mighty Doom that it had stopped working on similar devices, though so far, I haven’t experienced any major crashes.

The game definitely doesn’t run as smoothly as, say, the Galaxy S24. But it’s absolutely playable.

That said, if you want a more premium gaming experience, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The G54 couldn’t complete the Geekbench 6 GPU benchmarks at all, and more premium games like Call of Duty aren’t available to download.

Speaking of benchmarks, though:

Single-core:

Motorola Moto G84 5G
917
Motorola Moto G54 5G
904
Oppo A18
431

Multi-core

Motorola Moto G84 5G
2068
Motorola Moto G54 5G
2072
Oppo A18
1405

As you can see, on the CPU front, there’s very little separating the G54 and the G84. That’s not too surprising given the similarity in price tags.

I was more surprised at the fact the G54 couldn’t complete the GPU benchmark, though, given I could get a score from the OPPO A18.

The Moto G54 on a rock

Battery life

5,000 mAh is remarkably common in Android devices these, days, even at the cheap end of the scale. 

The Moto G54 manages its battery life well, with an easy 1–2 days of regular use. 

Because the screen isn’t too intense, and the processor isn’t that powerful, you get a good amount of battery life, though obviously, it will depend on your individual usage habits as to just how long it lasts.

There’s no wireless charging here, though you do get 15W fast charging. Interestingly, Moto has popped a 20W charger in the box, so you can take advantage of the faster speeds without any extra cost.

Camera 

When it comes to sub-$300 smartphones, typically the biggest sacrifice you are making compared to a more premium device, or even a mid-range phone like the Galaxy A55, is the camera performance.

The Moto G54’s camera isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it also doesn’t compare to a more expensive device.

Images taken in good light look fairly washed out, and it struggles in difficult lighting situations.

You do get optical image stabilisation snd an auto-enhance feature to algorithmically improve your images, though I think it’s better without it.

Here are some sample photos to show you what I mean:

Motorola Moto G54 5G review: Verdict

When you’re testing budget phones alongside flagship models, it’s easy to forget the price factor when you’re judging performance.

I was testing the G54 alongside the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus, and for day-to-day performance, naturally the Samsung models smashed the G54 out of the park.

But then I force myself to remember that the Moto G54 is a phone that costs $299 (or less when it’s on sale). The S24 starts at $1,199.

And when you figure the fact the Motorola model is a quarter of the price, yet delivers roughly half of the performance, it suddenly frames this as a much more attractive device.

If you’re looking for a gaming phone, you’re probably going to have to spend more than $300 to get what you want. Similarly, if you want to take really nice pictures, the G54 won’t suit you.

But if all you want is a budget handset to make and receive calls and maybe browse a bit of the webs? The G54 is a bargain.

Buy the Motorola Moto G54 online

8.3
Motorola g54 8/128GB Indigo Blue

Motorola g54 8/128GB Indigo Blue

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$290.01
8.3
Motorola g54 8/128GB Midnight Blue

Motorola g54 8/128GB Midnight Blue

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$290.01
Product disclosure

Motorola supplied the product for this review.

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

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