Motorola Moto G54 5G review

Motorola Moto G54 5G review: more for less

100% human
8.8

Bumping up the specs while bringing down the price, the Motorola Moto G54 5G delivers plenty of bang for your buck.

These days you’re spoiled for choice if you’re a fan of Motorola smartphones, and they keep coming thick and fast. Even in the Moto range alone, it can be difficult to decide which is the right fit for your pocket.

The new Moto G54 5G follows on from the $329 Moto G53 5G released earlier this year, which to be honest was a disappointment that skimped in too many areas compared to its predecessor the Moto G51 5G.

Thankfully, the new $299 Moto G54 5G rectifies many of the G53 5G’s shortcomings, somehow with a slight price drop to become Motorola’s first sub-$300 5G handset in Australia. As a result, it strikes a much better balance of price, performance and features.

Moto G54 5G first impressions

Motorola has wisely stuck with the 6.5-inch screen size, employing a 20:9 aspect ratio to ensure the handset isn’t too wide. At this size, it keeps the Moto G54’s height to a manageable 161.54 mm, so it feels well-balanced in your hand.

Assisting with this are well-placed volume and power buttons on the right, ensuring you don’t need to stretch too far and risk the handset toppling backwards out of your hand. Likewise, opting for a fingerprint reader built into the power button, rather than on the screen at the bottom, helps with ease of use and balance.

If you’re right-handed, it’s actually easiest to unlock the handset with your thumb. There’s also the option to the handset with Face Unlock.

While sticking with tried and true dimensions, the Moto G54 5G thankfully returns to a sharper 2400×1080 pixel screen, after the G53 5G scaled this down to a very disappointing 1600×720 pixels.

It’s a bright, crisp IPS LCD screen that is very pleasing to the eye, supported by a 120Hz refresh rate for silky smooth scrolling. The refresh rate adjusts automatically based on the type of content on the screen, to reduce its impact on battery life.

As with many Android phones, the screen’s colours might be a tad saturated for your liking, because they’re set to “Saturated” by default, but you can easily change this to “Natural” in the settings if preferred.

At the bottom of the handset, you’ll find a USB-C port for charging, along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The earpiece doubles as a second speaker for stereo sound, with support for Dolby Atmos.

The body is plastic rather than aluminium or glass, which you’d expect at this price point. Two models are available: Midnight Blue which comes with a premium matte finish and Indigo Blue which comes in a vegan leather finish.

Like most Motorola phones, the Moto G54 comes with a basic transparent protective case. It offers some impact protection but doesn’t seem as robust as something like a Tech 21 case. Once again, the phone has a “water-repellent” design, so it might survive a splash but won’t be happy with an unexpected dip.

Moto G54 5G specifications

Display size6.5 inch, 20:9 aspect ratio
Display resolution2400×1080 pixel, 405 ppi
Display technologyIPS LCD
Bands2G, 3G, 4G, 5G sub-6 bands
ChipsetMediaTek Dimensity 7020
CPU2.2GHz octa-core
GPUIMG BXM-8-256
Rear cameras50MP (f/1.8, Quad Pixel technology for 1.22μm) | PDAF | Optical image stabilisation
2MP macro (f/2.4, 1.75μm)
Front camera16MP (f/2.4, 1.0μm/2.0μm Ultra Pixel)
RAM8 GB
Onboard storage128 GB
microSD slotup to 1TB microSD card
ChargingUSB-C 2.0, 15 W TurboPower charging (20 W AC charger in box)
Battery5000 mAh
Wi-FiWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac | 2.4GHz & 5GHz | Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth5.3
Operating systemAndroid 13
SecurityFingerprint reader, Face unlock
RuggednessWater-repellent
Dimensions161.56 x 73.82 x 7.99 mm
Weight177 gm
Price$299 RRP
Warranty1 year
Official websiteMotorola Australia

Features

The Moto G54 5G ships with Android 13, with minimal bloatware thanks to Motorola’s My UX. It will only get one major Android OS upgrade, taking it to Android 14 which is already available on some devices, and three years of bi-monthly security updates. That seems a little stingy considering that many manufacturers are offering much more.

Under the bonnet, the handset packs the MediaTek Dimensity 7020 chipset. This might sound like a step down from the Moto G53 5G’s Snapdragon but, as you’ll see, it’s actually a decent step up. Motorola also throws in a generous 8 GB of RAM, once again redeeming itself after the last model’s measly 4 GB.

You’ve still got 128 GB of onboard storage, which is sufficient, if not generous, and a microSDXC expansion slot that handles up to 1 TB cards.

As the name suggests it’s a 5G handset, which ensures you can take advantage of Australia’s fastest mobile broadband networks. That said, like most handsets, it only supports sub-6 GHz 5G networks and not faster millimetre wave 5G. 

Around the back, there’s a dual camera array, similar to the G53, with a 50 MP primary shooter and 2 MP macro. The main shooter now features Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) to improve images due to unwanted camera movement from shaky hands or long exposure time in low light conditions.

Motorola hasn’t returned the third 8 MP ultrawide lens found on earlier handsets but, realistically, at this price range that’s not too much of a sacrifice compared to what else the handset improves. For example, the Moto G54 5G’s front camera has jumped from 8 to 16 MP for sharper selfies. 

That generous 5000 mAh battery should easily be able to go for 24 hours before recharging if you don’t push it too hard. The more powerful processor is likely to take a slight toll here.

When you do need to top up, there’s still no support for wireless charging, but that’s forgivable at this price range. Thankfully the phone has stepped up to 15 W wired fast charging, and Motorola includes an AC charger in the box.

Quality

The GeekBench 6 benchmarks reveal that Motorola has blessed the Moto G54 5G with considerably more grunt – delivering a 25 per cent performance boost over the G54 5G, with 921 on the CPU single-core test and 2329 on the multi-core. That’s a decent step up for the Moto range in this price bracket.

When it comes to photography, that 50 MP camera figure sounds impressive but megapixels aren’t everything. That said, the results are also a step up from recent Moto handsets, with that Optical Image Stabilisation clearly helping. Low-light performance is particularly good. There’s still a little bit of noise but far more detail and far less murk than in other Motorola handsets around this price range.

Who is the Moto G54 5G for?

The Moto G54 5G is basically for anyone looking for a decent budget Android handset that doesn’t make too many compromises. Somehow Motorola managed to produce a better handset with a lower price tag, reassuring us that it’s still on the right track when it comes to great budget handsets.

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Motorola Moto G54 5G
Increasing the quality while decreasing the price, the Motorola Moto G54 5G is a budget Android winner.
Features
8.5
Value for money
9.5
Performance
8.5
Ease of use
9
Design
8.5
Positives
More powerful
Sharper screen
Improved camera
More affordable
Negatives
Only 'water-resistant' with no IP rating
Only one OS upgrade and 3 years of security updates
8.8