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Moto G50 5G review

    Moto G50 5G review

    by
    Amaan
    Aug 14, 2021

    Introduction:

     

    First, it was the Moto G 5G Plus nearly a year ago, and now it’s the Moto G50. Both of these are an attempt by Motorola to compete against the 5G competition.

     

     

    You can call the Moto G50 almost a 5G version of the Moto G10. The Moto G50 is powered by Snapdragon 480. The ultrawide camera had to be sacrificed to get the relatively low launch price.

     

    Body164.9x74.9x9.0mm, 192g; Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame; Water-repellent design.
    Display6.50" IPS LCD, 90Hz, 720x1600px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 269ppi.
    ChipsetQualcomm SM4350 Snapdragon 480 5G (8 nm): Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz Kryo 460 & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 460); Adreno 619.
    Memory64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
    Rear Camera

    Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF;

    Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4, 1/5.0", 1.12µm;

    Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4.

    Selfie Camera13 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/3.1", 1.12µm.
    Video captureRear camera: [email protected]/60fps; Front camera: [email protected]/60fps.
    Battery5000mAh; Fast charging 15W (10W charger in the box).
    Operating SystemAndroid 11.
    MiscFingerprint reader (rear-mounted); NFC; FM radio; 3.5mm jack.

     

    Let’s get down to the detailed review of the phone and the specs that the specs sheet can’t reflect.

     

     

    Unboxing:

     

    The Moto G50 comes in a standard box consisting of the usual documentation, a charging adapter and a USB-A to USB-C cable. There is also a handy transparent silicone case, we appreciate the free case.

     

    Although the phone has 15W charging support, the box carries a 10W charger. The cable only supports charging, it can’t be used for data transfer. We’ve seen this with other Motorola phones, and honestly that’s quite a disappointment.

     

     

    Design:

     

    The Moto G50 is made of plastic, it’s not a surprise considering the price bracket but it does have water-resistance coating. This doesn’t mean you can drop your phone in a water tank or puddle, it means that a big splash or rain won’t be an issue for it.

     

    The phone is available in two colors - Steel Gray and Aqua Green. The back is glossy and naturally is prone to fingerprints. However, the Gray color is good at hiding the smudges. The body is slippery and doesn’t have much grip. The matte side frame doesn’t help with the grip either.

     

     

    The rear panel has a plastic back with glossy finish. The camera module is positioned as it usually is and the bump is considerably smaller.

     

    The fingerprint sensor has an unusual position - it’s placed a bit higher than it should, you’d have to stretch your index finger a bit more to reach it, even if you have average-sized hands.

     

    The front has a 6.5-inch display with some thick bezels around, with the bottom one being particularly thick. The selfie camera sits behind a water drop-styled notch instead of a punch-hole (being kind of an industry standard).

     

    Moving on to the frame, the left side accommodates the hybrid SIM + microSD card slot (two SIM cards or SIM card + microSD card), while the right side is home to all the buttons. The power button is placed lower and is textured. The next in line is the volume button and then the dedicated Google Assistant key. All the keys are positioned in a way which is in the comfort zone of your thumb.

     

     

    The bottom section is home to the speaker grille and the USB-C port.

     

    Apart from the inconvenient position of the fingerprint reader everything else is just fine, we especially appreciate the water-repellent coating. For an all-plastic body the G50 seems to be on a bit heavy side with a weight of 192g, but the phone sits comfortably in the hand.

     

     

    Display:

     

    Moto G50 is equipped with a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with a relatively low 720 x 1600p resolution. Many phones in the same price range, as well as even cheaper ones, offer a display with 1080p resolution as a standard so it’s a bit of a surprise to see a display with such low resolution. Something had to be sacrificed to offer a 5G phone at such a cheap price, and that something is the screen resolution.

     

     

    Motorola tries to make up for lack of sharpness with a high screen refresh rate of 90Hz.

     

    As for the brightness, the phone lacks the Max Auto mode to boost the brightness in bright outdoor conditions, so you are stuck with the manual boost of up to 362 nits.

     

    Ending things on a high note, let’s talk about Motorola's refresh rate control which works in a simple and yet elegant way. There is an Auto option, which is probably the best choice. The display remains at 60Hz while you are not interacting with the screen and will always switch back to 90Hz once you touch the screen.

     

     

    Battery Life & Charging Speed:

     

    Moto G50 is bundled with features that help provide a great battery life. It comes with a modern 8nm chipset with generally low power consumption. Then there is also a low-res 720p display, and it packs a 5,000mAh battery.

     

     

    The phone can last 43:21h of 3G calls while it can go on for nearly 20 hours of web browsing and you can watch videos for over 18 and a half hours. A bit of optimization can definitely improve the overall battery life.

     

    The Moto G50 comes with a 10W charger but the phone supports 15W charging speed. The charging time isn’t impressive as it takes nearly 2 hours and 35 minutes to charge back to 100% from flat zero. A 30 minute charge refuels the battery to just 23%.

     

     

    Speaker:

     

    Just like most of the phones in this price segment, the Moto G50 doesn’t have stereo speakers, so it relies on a single, bottom-firing speaker. The loudness of this speaker isn’t that impressive, but it’s good enough.

     

    As for the quality of the sound, that is not impressive either. The music sounds rather flat without any bass and distortion starts to leak in when you get close to the maximum loudness level.

     

     

    Performance:

     

    The Moto G50 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 5G chipset - a low-end 5G chipset build on a modern 8nm manufacturing process. The chipset is supported by 4GB RAM and 64/128 GB storage expandable via microSD card.

     

     

    Moving on to the benchmark results, the scores seem rather low. Keep in mind that there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Snapdragon 480 5G SoC, it’s just that the handset competes against more powerful opponents in the same price bracket.

     

    The phone in the Geekbench test  managed to score 505 points in the single core test and in the multi-core test it got 1,620 points. At the AnTuTu benchmark it scored 286,916 points.

     

     

    Camera & Photo Quality:

     

    Rear Camera48MP (wide): f/1.7, 26mm, 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF
    5 MP (macro): f/2.4, 1/5.0", 1.12µm;
    2MP (depth): f/2.4.
    Selfie Camera13 MP (wide): f/2.2, 1/3.1", 1.12µm.

     

     

    Daylight photo quality:

     

    Since the camera hardware of the G50 is the same as the G10, we would expect almost similar processing. Just like the G10, the G50 offers true-to-life colors without turning up the saturation. The dynamic range is quite wide, making the images more balanced with highlights well preserved.

     

     

    The noticeable distinction between the G10 and G50 is that the latter offers considerably sharper photos with more fine details. Upon close introspection you might spot some oversharpening here and there but that can be ignored since it drastically improves the clarity.

     

    As expected, there is not much of a difference when using the 48MP mode. Using the 48MP mode produces shots that are softer, noisier and have a narrower dynamic range with a good level of fine details.

     

     

    Low-light photo quality:

     

    The Moto G50 for its price segment does a pretty good job. The photos do look slightly soft and some highlights seem to be clipped, but the shots do have plenty of detail.

     

    The HDR also performs quite well and creates an overall balanced exposure, but skips some highlights when the conditions are a bit challenging.

     

     

    If something that needs work, it would definitely be the sharpness, since the photos are a bit soft. Here’s where the night mode would be of assistance.

     

    The Night mode improves the shots considerably by introducing some contrast, brightening up the shadows while retaining the highlights and adding the much needed sharpness. There is also some noise visible, but we think that it’s a fair exchange, since the images are more sharper and clearer. In our opinion using the night mode in low-light scenes would be the best choice.

     

     

    Macro:

    The Moto G50 has one of the better macro shooters in comparison to other competitors. It packs a 5MP sensor, so the shots are more sharp and detailed with vivid colors and low noise. It's a bit of a tedious task to capture moving objects since there is no autofocus.

     

     

     

    Portrait:

    In a sufficiently lit scene, the shots captured are quite sharp with a convincing bokeh effect, even with complex backgrounds. The software doesn’t perform consistently with the skin tone as one would expect. At times the face of the subject looks more reddish and at times a bit too pale.

     

    The HDR algorithm performs really well, with colors looking good and fine details being there. The latter seems to struggle as the level of lighting drops and the noise starts to become more prevalent. Here we are not talking about a huge change in lighting, even a small change in the lighting results in a drastic change in the end result.

     

     

    Selfies:

    The selfies are a bit unsatisfactory for a phone that has a high-resolution 13MP selfie camera. We had expected a bit sharp-looking images, and even a slight change in light makes the image even softer.

     

    The skin of the subject doesn’t come out right all the time, sometimes having a pale, yellowish tint along with overall bland colors.

     

    What’s good about the photos are the decent amount of detail and the wide dynamic range along with the subject being well exposed.

     

    As for the portraits the shots aren’t well exposed and are also a tad sharper, since there is no HDR mode available here. Furthermore, the edge detection isn’t ideal either.

     

     

    Video Recording:

     

    The Moto G50 is capable of recording videos at 1080p at best, and there is no camera settings to change the resolution either. Compared to the G10 the overall quality of the footage is improved.

     

    Although a bit bland, the colors offered by the Moto G50 are more generous. For a Full HD video the sharpness and contrast are good with relatively low noise.

     

     

    Final Verdict:

     

    The Moto G50 undoubtedly is an excellent marathon runner thanks to its energy efficient chipset and huge battery capacity. The overall camera performance is good - both during the day and night, and comes with water-resistance. The burden-less Android experience has always been Motorola’s strong suit, and in recent years, the brand has always made an attempt to enhance it even further with several Moto-specific features without sacrificing the vanilla feel.