Yes, we know: 5G is here. But we also know that not everyone can shell out lots of moolah (particularly due to uncertainties caused by the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic). Meaning, allocating for newer 5G tech – right now – seems… impractical.
But then here’s Moto G50 5G, one of Motorola’s cheap Android 11 phones for 2021; so cheap it allows you to join the 5G bandwagon in just over P10,000.
We take a closer look to see if this phone is worth the (small) investment, or would you be better off just paying higher price/s for other unit/s?
Look-wise, Moto G50 5G – available in Steel Grey and Aqua Green – looks… well, pedestrian. Measuring 164.9 x 74.9 x 9mm and weighing about 192g, the phone has back casing made from shiny plastic; and frame using matte plastic.
The use of plastic, it’s worth stressing, makes this a finger-/hand-print magnet; so – when using, and if you’re OC – constant wiping is a norm.
On the right-hand side, you get the volume rocker, power button (which is also the fingerprint sensor; go figure!), and a dedicated Google Assistant button (dunno who really uses this for it to merit a “regular” spot).
On the left-hand side, you get the SIM and microSD card tray.
At the bottom, you get the USB-C port, a 3.5mm headset jack (you get a so-so earphone with the unit; not made available for free by other brands now), and a speaker.
And on the back of the Moto G50 5G, you get a three-lens camera module that sticks out slightly; I suppose this is already “acceptable”, no thanks to iPhone’s stove-looking protruding cams. The phone, thankfully, “flattens” when you use the gelatin case.
Moto G50 5G’s 6.5inch HD+ (1600 x 720 somewhat low resolution) display has a refresh rate of 90Hz; it ain’t exactly high-end, but – considering the asking price – it’s… more-than-acceptable. Cheaper phones have that tendency to have pixelated-looking screens, but this one’s sharp, colorful and bright. To be more succinct, though: this isn’t super crisp, but… for P10,000+, what are you expecting, really?
Inside the Motorola Moto G50, you’ll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset, alongside a 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (less 16GB or 12%, already used for the system OOTB). It uses Android 11.
As stated in the unit’s name, this supports 5G connectivity if you live in an area that supports it.
It uses a 5,000mAh battery. Without connecting to internet, the phone survived for over two days. And then, of course, the drainage was faster when surfing, playing, shooting, etc. BUT 5,000mAh is 5,000mAh… considering the asking price.
PERFORMANCE IN FOCUS
You know that “Back” button/section, etc at the base of the phone (lower front section)? In this unit, coming OOTB, it’s not here; and so you have to adjust re this. A small annoyance, really; but an annoyance all the same (for creatures of habit).
And so an ice cream vendor passed by the house. I thought, hey, Mamang Sorbetero is as colorful as, say, a calesa or even a jeepney, making for a good photo subject; and so he (and his ice cream cart) became the subject for the photoshoot.
Let me say that:
- The phone heats up; I was basically only shooting less than 20 pictures, and it was already warm in my hands.
- With a rear camera system uses a 48MP f/1.7 main lens, a 5MP f/2.4 macro lens and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor (there’s no ultra-wide lens here), the photos you shoot are actually not as disappointing as I thought they’d be (i.e. the pics turned out well enough, at least particularly when done with clear skies). The colors were not as crisp as they should be (quite “maputla” or pale-looking), so tweaking via the likes of Photoshop (or any filter, for that matter) may be needed IF you want the pics to shout “POP!”. But I’d say the photos taken up-close had details, weren’t pixelated, etc. I, honestly, can work with this…
- With 13MP selfie camera, this is not a bad offer (always, always revert back to the asking price); working well enough even when in not-too-bright locations (expect the pixelations, though).
- For video recording, choose between 1080p at 30fps or 60fps with either front or back camera. Not too sure if you can shoot flicks as you could with iPhone here, but… ditto with the above point, this does the job (for your TikTok uploads, for instance).
Transferring the files to one of my Macs via Bluetooth was actually… fast. But you get this creepy-sounding “reminder” after a pic’s been sent out. The same sound ought to also give you a warning of the sound quality of this phone – i.e. it’s not “brusko”; instead, and this is even it’s loud, it’s somewhat “basag” and “tunog lata” (tin can) sounding.
For gaming (a game-crazy nephew tried “Call of Duty: Mobile”), it was “regular”, he said. Nothing to brag about re everything (e.g. details in the game, speed, and so on). But that you won’t be too bothered by this phone’s performance is a statement in itself, considering the asking price. Oh… BTW, the heating’s an issue here, again.
IN THE END
Buy it if this early, and even if you do not have a big budget, you already want to join the 5G bandwagon. Without the need to fork out much-needed money (particularly at the time of COVID-19), this makes perfect sense indeed, making you access the the extra speed offered 5G brings without choking (even killing) you budget-wise.
That it has… well, respectable specs count – e.g. the 5,000mAh battery, the better-than-okay cameras, and so on. It may not be as flashy as the more expensive units, but even a basic-looking phone that performs not-that-bad is better than over-advertised under-performing units.
If you temper your expectations – and always think “This only costs a little over P10,000 – then this one’s a must-try…