Motorola was one of the most popular mobile phones back in the day and since then their success has wavered.  Now, in 2022, they are focusing on the entry level and mid-range of the smartphone market, bringing decent hardware underneath a very minimal Android skin that is one of the leanest on the market.

The new moto g62 5G sits near the top of the entry level segment of the market with a RRP of $399 across various carriers and retailers.  It promises to bring an entertainment experience “at an affordable price without compromising on features.”

Of course, we aren’t taking their word for it so have put it through its paces for the last couple weeks.  Read on to hear my thoughts on Motorola’s new 5G smartphone.

Design and hardware

The moto g62 is an entry-level smartphone so you should not be expecting an ultra-thin device with the greatest of workmanship and materials.  To reach that $399 price point compromises need to be made – and they have.

Firstly, let me say that I don’t hate the design of the g62, but it is nothing special.  Nothing to swoon over but in saying that the design is decent and in the end most people stick a case over their phone anyway so does it matter that much?

The rear of the phone is a satin finish with a slight curve to it to allow it to sit comfortably in the hand.  It is plastic and feels it, but it doesn’t feel cheap.  The phone has some heft to it along with thickness coming in at 184 grams and 8.59mm “thick”.  The camera island is a standard camera island housing a triple camera setup – 50MP, 8MP ultrawide angle and 2MP macro camera.

The front of the g62 is a 6.5-inch 1080P LCD display that supports 120Hz.  Given the price of this phone it’s nice to see support for 120Hz refresh rate and it makes a significant difference.  Sure, you don’t get the “pop” you see in the more expensive AMOLED display, but you do get the higher refresh rate which is pleasing to the eyes.  

The front facing camera is a 16MP camera offering impressive options including Dual Capture, Spot Color, Portrait, Group Selfie, Shot Optimization, Gesture Selfie and more.  I’m not a massive user of the selfie but those I took were decent I do like that Motorola haven’t made the default selfie experience filtered.

The right side of the phone houses the buttons – volume rocker and power button.  Motorola has opted for the fingerprint sensor/power button in one that many entry-level manufacturers do.  It is obviously a lot cheaper than an in-display sensor.  For me it worked fairly well, albeit slowly which I put down to the slower processor than what I was used to.  

My main issue with the fingerprint scanner is using various fingers to unlock the phone.  If you pick up the phone with your right hand you can easily use (after registering) your right thumb to unlock the phone, and this works well.  But if you pick the phone up with your left hand you need to make sure you pick it up such that your left index finger is wrapped all the way around the back and around onto the fingerprint sensor.  This motion is not an easy nor consistent motion, but this is not specific for this device – all phones that have this side-mounted fingerprint sensor will have this issue.

Other hardware includes a Snapdragon 480+ chipset with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard memory.  This memory can be expanded with microSD up to an extra 1TB.  The g62 supports Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and includes NFC.  The g62 you pick up from a retailer will be a dual sim version, but the carriers will all only be single SIM versions.  

For those who consume media on their smartphones the stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support will come in handy.  The speakers get loud, not the loudest I’ve heard but if you want it that loud get some headphones.

Unlike nearly all phones for sale these days, the g62 includes a headphone jack.  Yes, the courage port is included which is not a bad idea for the folks that this phone is marketed at.

Software and Performance

Motorola has always been great at Android and way back a few years ago their devices were my favourite.  Their skins, if you’d call them that, existed of nothing cosmetic but apps and features that were not only useful but didn’t mess with the fluid speed of Android.  Here we are in 2022 now and it is still the same.  Fast Android underneath a very minor skin with some useful and different features.

You can personalise the device yourself with fonts, colours, icon sizes, sounds and more.  Gestures are also a great addition for Motorola, as they have always been.  You can twist your wrist twice to launch the camera app – handy given that the double tap of the power button doesn’t launch the camera like it does on many other devices.  Karate chop with the phone to turn on the torch – very handy in the dark.  There are more but these two are the Motorola specific gestures which I wish other manufacturers would copy.

One of my favourite enhancements is the Peek Display that allows you to interact with the notifications with the display off – although some replies will require you to unlock the device to send.  This allows you to quick view a notification and either dismiss or respond in a fast manner.

The performance of the moto g62 is what you would expect from an entry-level phone.  It is slower to respond to touches and slower to complete actions than a premium or mid-range smartphone but it is still decent.  It eventually gets where it is going, albeit slightly slower than a more expensive smartphone.  Gaming was ok but don’t expect to play any fast-paced games at full tilt.  The performance of the moto g62 is at least the equal of any other entry-level smartphone I’ve tried and I put that down to the light skin that Motorola use on top of Android 12.

Battery Life

The battery life of the g62 5G was outstanding thanks to the 5,000mAh battery.  I was not able to run it out throughout a day with over an hour of wireless Android Auto, plenty of YouTube streaming, tethering to my laptop and web surfing.  At 10pm I still had 22% of battery left after nearly six and a half hours of screen on time.  Impressive to say the least, which is just as well given the poor charging solution it offers.

The moto g62 5G supports 15W charging which is just okay given the price of the phone but many competitors are including faster charging.  Unfortunately, Motorola has decided to only include a 10W charger in the box so expect extremely slow charging of the g62 – charge it overnight just in case.

Camera quality

The camera is often one of the main areas where corners are cut with entry-level devices and that is evident here.  Now the problem was that I was comparing it to higher end mid-range and ultra-premium smartphones but the results were decent but only just.  Zooming left a bit to be desired with a low quality but in decent light the pictures were ok.  Night mode, not so much.  See the results below:

Should you buy it?

The moto g62 5G is nothing special but for $399 you should not expect it to be. It is a solid phone with decent performance in all areas. The camera is just passable but is on par with other entry-level smartphones. The big advantage the moto g62 5G has is the Motorola Android skin and their apps which add so much value to the device without affecting performance.

Don’t expect ground breaking performance, nor a premium camera but the mix of a solid phone with a decent display and passable camera results in a smartphone that is not just affordable, but attractively affordable. It is great value at just $399.

If you are looking for a decent phone at an extremely affordable price then you should definitely be checking out the moto g62 5G. The good thing is that you can check it out in so many places. It is available at JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Officeworks, Big W Online, Mobileciti and Lenovo Online and at all three of Australia’s major telecommunications providers, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone in Midnight Grey.