Moto G14 review: a budget phone apt for multimedia lovers

Review Summary

Expert Rating
7.0/10

Design
★  
7.0
/10
Display
★  
7.0
/10
Software
★  
7.5
/10
Camera
★  
7.0
/10
Performance
★  
6.5
/10
Battery
★  
8.0
/10

Pros

  • Long-lasting battery life
  • FHD+ display
  • Dolby Atmos speakers are impressive
  • UI is clean and easy to use 

Cons

  • Processor could have been better
  • Slow charging speed

Motorola launched its G13 smartphone just earlier this year in India and now the brand has introduced another handset in this series in the form of the G14. While looking at the nomenclature, you might think that the Moto G14 would offer upgrades over the G13, these two phones offer completely different sets of specs. In fact, both the Moto G13 and G14 are currently priced at Rs 9,999 in India. While the former ships with a 90Hz HD+ display, the new phone comes with an FHD+ panel with a 60Hz display refresh rate. Not just that, these phones are powered by MediaTek Helio G85 and UNISOC Tiger T616 chipsets, respectively. While the UNISOC chipset offers better CPU performance, the MediaTek chipset offers an advantage in GPU performance, especially when it comes to gaming. As you can imagine, the handsets have been aimed at different audiences altogether. Having spent more than a week with the Moto G14, I’ll be sharing here if buying this phone makes more sense for you than the Moto G13 or if you should go for a different handset entirely. Without any further ado, let’s start with the review.

Moto G14 Product Shot

Verdict

The Moto G14 is a handset that is ideal for light tasks. The phone offers decent camera quality, clean software, and good battery backup. However, the phone does struggle when it comes to demanding tasks. Having said that, as a budget phone that is a touch shy of the Rs 10,000 mark, the phone presents itself as a good multimedia companion with long battery backup.

Design and display

The Moto G14 comes with a design that is reminiscent of other G series handsets from Motorola, namely the G32 and G13. While going for a tried and tested design is not a bad option for any brand, given the similar price range, Motorola could have opted for a different design to make this handset stand out from the crowd. However, the phone’s glossy back definitely catches the eye right away. If we talk about ergonomics, the handset is fairly easy to hold and use, even with one hand. At the front, you get a hole-punch display design, which is non-interruptive in nature and lets you watch content on display with ease.

Coming to the display panel itself, the 6.5-inch FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080 pixels) IPS LCD display with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. With an impressive display resolution for the price range and a pixel density of 405ppi, the phone manages to produce crisp visuals and can be a great option if you consume a lot of multimedia content. While the display brightness is pretty decent even for outdoor viewing, as this is not an AMOLED panel, it would be wise to not keep your expectations high when it comes to legibility.

Particularly in this price range, I can say that Moto G14 has one of the best displays that one can find but the lack of a high frame rate could be noticeable, especially if you are into gaming. In other use cases, the phone will get you by just fine.

Surprisingly, the Moto G14 comes with stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support, which is not common in this price range. This enables the phone to offer impressive sound quality and along with the FHD+ display, this feature makes the handset a great option for consuming multimedia content.

Cameras

The Moto G14 comes with a dual camera setup, consisting of a 50MP primary camera with a f/1.8 aperture and a 2MP macro sensor with PDAF support and an f/2.4 aperture. Now that we have the specs out of the way, let’s talk about the performance. The primary sensor on the Moto G14 is capable of taking shots with good details, particularly with the macro sensor, with acceptable colour accuracy but as is the case with most budget phones, the handset is not able to produce these results in the absence of ample lighting.

Moto G14 Product Shot

The low-light shots clicked with the handset showed noise and detail lacking as well. The dedicated night mode managed to click somewhat better pictures but if you want a phone that can click social media-worthy shots of your night parties, this phone might not be the ideal contender. Have a look at the camera samples below and be your own judge.

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If you like recording a lot of videos, you need to keep in mind that the handset is capable of recording videos up to 1080p resolution at 30fps. Just like it was in the case of still pictures, the videos that were recorded with ample lighting turned out to be fine but the videos in low-light situations were grainy. If you want to record videos at night through this phone, you will have to ensure that there is an external light source providing enough light before you press the record button.

Software and Performance

Moto G14 runs Android 13 out of the box and much like other handsets from the brand, you get a near-stock version of Android with some added features. With the My UX interface, which has now been present on the brand’s phones for quite some time now, the phone allows you access to useful gestures such as three-finger screenshots, Quick Capture, Fast Flashlight, and more. If you’ve used a Motorola phone before, you will feel right at home. As the phone comes with a rather clean interface that is easy to navigate, this is one of the strong points of the handset. However, I would like to point out that the phone does come with some pre-installed apps and ‘Glance’ lockscreen (which shows customised content on lockscreen but can be turned off), so if you are expecting a fully stock Android experience, you might want to keep this aspect in mind. If you are not bothered by these, which I wasn’t frankly, you’ll find the user interface to be clean and easy to use. 

Coming to performance, the handset packs the UNISOC Tiger T616 chipset, which is fine for light tasks but not so much for some of the more demanding apps and games. In my usage, while I didn’t experience any app crashes, there were some slowdowns and lag while switching between apps on certain occasions. If you are planning to buy this handset for basic tasks such as browsing, watching videos, and messaging, you will be more than just fine using this phone, but not for anything that needs more demanding processing power.

In the AnTuTu benchmark test, the handset managed to score 283998, which is a good score for this price range. 

Coming to the Geekbench benchmark, the G14 secured a score of 449 in the single-core test, and 1518 in the multi-core test. As you can see, the phone manages to get decent scores on these tests as well. However, in real-world usage, I faced lag issues and texture loading issues while playing games such as Battlegrounds Mobile India.

Battery life and charging speeds

The Moto G14 ships with a 5,000mAh battery and as the phone doesn’t have a high refresh rate display and a non-intensive processor, the handset manages to deliver an impressive battery life of up to one and a half days with ease and two days with moderate usage. However, when it comes to charging speeds, the phone does take its time to juice up. You can expect to spend up to 2.5-3 hours to charge the phone fully from zero percent with its 20W bundled charger.

In the PCMark battery test that we conducted, the phone managed to last 15 hours and 30 minutes, which shows that the handset is extremely efficient in terms of battery life and ensures you won’t have to carry a charger with you.

Moto G14 Battery Test

Final verdict

The Moto G14 seems a bit confusing as the brand already has a phone available at the same price point in the same series, albeit with slightly different specs and a largely similar design. In this price range, the Redmi 12 is worth considering as well. Coming back to the Moto G14 though, does the inclusion of an FHD+ display and the UNISOC processor make a large difference? The simple answer would be no. Does it make the phone a better choice for someone who doesn’t play games and largely spends time watching multimedia content, then I’d say yes. The clean UI is an added bonus. 

Editor’s rating: 7 / 10

Reasons to buy

  • Long-lasting battery life
  • FHD+ display
  • Dolby Atmos speakers are impressive
  • UI is clean and easy to use 

Reasons not to buy

  • Processor could have been better
  • Slow charging speed

Key Specs

Moto G14
RAM4 GB
ProcessorUnisoc T616
Rear Camera50 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera8 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.5 inches (16.51 cm)
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Moto G14 Price
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Rs. 8,650.00
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