There’s a new trio of moto g phones in Australia, and after we checked out the moto g04 and moto g24, it’s time to hit the headliner – the moto g34. 

Announced in March, but going on-sale on April 25, the moto g34 tops the series in price and hardware. The moto g34 is available for $279 through motorola.com.au, or for $229 from Telstra from 30th of April and at TPG from 1st of May.

The phone offers a solid hardware platform with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, large display with 120Hz refresh rate and Dolby Atmos sound for excellent on-the-go entertainment, and the big 5,000mAh battery that’s become a mainstay of Motorola phones these days. 

The phone is available in two colour options – Ocean Green and Charcoal Black – with the Ocean Green coming in a Vegan Leather finish on the rear, while the Charcoal Black uses a more traditional PMMA plastic. 

Motorola have sent over the Ocean Green in Vegan leather for review, and I’ve been using the moto g34 5G for a couple of weeks now, and here’s how it went. 

Hardware and Design

Right out of the gate, I’ll let you know I like Vegan Leather. It’s divisive, and if you don’t like the feel of it, the Ocean Black is also an attractive option with a more traditional PMMA plastic on the rear. 

I like the soft-touch feel of the vegan leather. It doesn’t show fingerprints, and it moulds well to the plastic rails on the side. If you love the colour, but not the feel, then you’ll be pleased to see a clear TPU case included in the box which covers the device but still lets you see the colour. 

Outside of the case, the design of the moto g34 is remarkably similar to its recently announced siblings, with a slightly raised camera bump on the rear which has a slightly darker hue than the back panel for a sort of two-tone look. The batwing logo is the only other affectation on there breaking up the blank rear.

Motorola’s design language is simple, with a volume rocker and fingerprint sensor enabled power button on the left and a SIM card/microSD combo tray on the right. 

The SIM tray is slightly different to the low-end trays we usually see in that it has only one SIM slot alongside the space for the microSD card. This is because the phone supports eSIM, a boon for anyone who wants the freedom that eSIM offers when selecting a plan.

The base has a headphone jack with a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, with a downward firing speaker that pairs with the earpiece for stereo sound – and apart from a Dolby Atmos logo, there’s nothing at the top.

Display

The moto g34 has a few tricks up its sleeve to differentiate itself from its stablemates. It has a similarly sized display as the moto g04 and moto g24, however ramps it up with 120Hz refresh rate for a very smooth scroll rate. 

It’s not an LTPO display, so you can force between 60 and 120Hz or just let the auto smart optimisation do its thing with auto adjust. If you find your battery life suffering you can force it back to 60Hz in settings. 

The display is decent for an LCD panel, though at 720p resolution (1600×720) it’s a little ‘soft’ when looking at text. It is a bright and easy to read display which can be seen both inside and under the harsher glare of full sunlight.  

The colours can be tuned with either natural or saturated colour options, with the natural a little too muted for my tastes – but your mileage may vary.

There’s not a lot of bezel around the top and sides of the screen, though you do get the usual chin at the bottom. There’s a punch-hole notch for the front-facing camera in the display which doesn’t tend to detract from the overall look.

Screen tech aside, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack for private listening – a benefit compared to most flagships – but if you forgo earbuds entirely, you’ll be pleased with the stereo speakers. They’re punchy, if a bit too focused on the mids, but they’ll do in a pinch.


Performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G platform is a welcome addition to the moto g34. It’s paired with 4GB of RAM which Motorola can boost with ‘RAM Boost’, using storage for swap memory when the system is under load. 

Overall, the performance of the moto g34 is fine. There’s still some blips as the processor works, which is mostly noticeable when multitasking and launching apps, but for the most part it runs fine. 

The other consideration of the Snapdragon 695 5G chipset is that it does support 5G which can offer faster download speeds. I tested it out on the Telstra network and was happy to see 300-400Mbps download speeds quite regularly – but your mileage may vary depending on your network and other conditions. as

Of course you want to see how it did on the benchmarks and here they are for Geekbench and 3DMark.

Battery and Charging

The Motorola moto g34 comes with a 5000 mAh battery which supports TurboPower charging.

The battery seems to last an age with what I call fairly decent use, easily getting well into the second day before needing a charge. Needless to say, there’s going to be no issues with getting through a full day with the moto g34.

When it comes to charging, there’s a 20W charger and USB-C cable, though the Motorola website seems a little confused:

Using the supplied 20W charger in the box, I tried out the charging and 15 minutes got to around 20% charge, while a half hour tipped to 34% and a full charge took just under two hours. So, it’s not super fast, but it gets you there.

Camera

The moto g34 includes a dual camera array on the rear, including a 50MP main sensor and 2MP Macro sensor and a 16MP sensor on the front, embedded in the notch in the display.

The main sensor will shoot at 50MP, though the software ‘bins’ the shot, using the quad-pixel technology to stack four pixels on top to create a 12.5MP image. It’s a decent shot for the most part, with the moto g34 able to snap a good shot during the day. 

The macro sensor is there, if you have needs for up-close shots, but as with most 2MP macro sensors, it feels a little tacked on.

The low-light shots are fairly decent, as long as there is light to work with. You won’t get the Night Sight levels of a Pixel or Galaxy S series phone, but with some ambient light around the shots look pretty good. 

Software

The moto g34 was announced with Android 14 and running Motorola’s MyUX software experience over the top. The phone comes with limited software support, with Motorola commiting to one OS update, as well as 3 years of bi-monthly security updates.

Out of the box, the moto g34 comes with the February 1st Security update. After a few checks, there’s no updates as of our review in May, so we’ll see the bi-monthly update shortly. 

I’ve always been a big fan of the Motorola myUX software. It’s light, so you essentially will never know it’s there over the stock Android look. Where you do notice it is in small things like gestures, which add a fast way to take screenshots, launch the camera or flashlight and more. 

The Moto app is the central hub for personalising your new phone. Strangely it was missing on the moto g24, but it’s included on the moto g34 so you can jump straight into learning all the tips and personalising your device. 

Should you buy it?

The moto g34 offers a lot when it comes to customers looking for a budget offering that meets their needs. 

The phone offers a lot, including a large 6.5-inch display capable of up to 120Hz which offers a smoother experience, and it also has a fairly snappy Qualcomm processor and a large 5,000mAh battery that lasts easily through the day. There’s also the e-SIM inclusion, something you don’t get a lot in this end of the range. 

There’s certainly more that could be done, including upping the resolution on the display  and a bump to 8GB of RAM would smooth off any rough edges in the customer experience. The camera too could use some work, but in this price range it’s about on par with the competition and the results are fine. 

Overall though, I like the moto g34. It’s a simple design that works and has enough grunt and power to get you through a day with no issues. 

The moto g34 5G is available now for $279 from motorola.com.au, or through Telstra and TPG for $229 – though locked to their respective networks – in Charcoal Black and Ocean Green (vegan leather).