The Motorola Moto G lineup has a new addition in the form of the Moto G52 which has been announced in the coveted budget space. Priced at Rs 14,499, the device has a few things going for it, including a high refresh pOLED panel, which should make it a worthy contender. Moto smartphones have been known to offer clean software and a robust design, both of which form an integral part of the G52’s standing against the likes of Realme and Xiaomi too. In this review, let’s try and find out if Moto’s latest offering justifies its price point.
Consumers looking for a well-built phone that offers a stunning display, a decent battery backup, excellent speakers and clean software will find the Moto G52 right up their alley.
- For a budget phone, the Moto G52 is built quite well and exudes a touch of premium-ness. The back touts a smooth gradient coating which sits somewhere between a matte and a glossy finish. The device is featherlight and tips the scales at just 169 grams. Furthermore, the handset is relatively thin at about 8mm too, which is incredible considering the smartphone ships with a 5,000mAh battery.
- The Motorola branding sits flush with the back panel, while the triple-camera array is arranged vertically towards the top-left of the phone’s rear. As for the rest of the device, there is the standard fingerprint sensor on the side along with volume rocker buttons but Moto has abstained from furnishing the device with a dedicated Google Assistant button on the opposite side. Towards the bottom, the device contains the usual selection of a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a speaker grille that works in conjunction with the smartphone’s earpiece to provide stereo sound.
- Display-wise, the G52 comes toting a pOLED panel that can refresh at 90Hz. The bezels surrounding the 6.6-inch display are extremely slim and correspondingly, broaden the viewing area that much more. In terms of colour accuracy, contrast levels, and saturation, the G52’s OLED screen is undeniably ahead of its LCD counterparts.
- That said, while the handset comes with Widevine L1 certification and can therefore relay HD streams, OTT services like Netflix and Amazon Prime don’t support HDR playback. Colour profiles are adjustable in the display alongside a few other settings that can fine-tune your viewing experience. What’s more, the screen’s brightness levels never faltered under the blustering Delhi afternoons.
- Talking about the cameras on the phone, the handset ships with a 50MP primary sensor which is supported by an 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro camera. Truth be told, photos clicked by the G52’s cameras are average at best, with the shots exhibiting overprocessed elements in the frame under broad daylight. On the bright side, the main camera’s dynamic range is up to the mark. Further, exposure levels are maintained well but there is the device does churn out a sporadically overexposed photo every now and then.
- As for the ultra-wide shooter, the device would often overturn an oversharpened output. Barring that, however, the shots snapped by the UW sensor were acceptable and offered authentic colour tones and good dynamic range. The portrait mode works well enough in bright lighting but the edge detection could see some more improvements. The macro shooter, on the other hand, takes a while to get the subject in focus. Even then, the output feels, for the lack of a better word – lifeless and is often devoid of any colour.
- Low light images from the primary sensor weren’t to my liking. For one, the handset struggled to focus in lowlight scenarios and consequently, I had to repeatedly tap on the viewfinder to get the device to latch on to the subject. That’s not all as the device tried to control the noise levels by excessively smoothening the details of the subjects in the frame. Furthermore, the colours appeared muted in darker parts of the composition too. Thankfully, the dedicated Night Mode somewhat alleviates the absence of colours and detailing in underlit conditions. Be that as it may, the output still leaves something to be desired. On the bright side, the 16MP selfie camera offers acceptable facial detailing and, for the most part, can get realistic skin tones.
- The Moto G52 ships with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 680 processor which isn’t the quickest chip in its segment. The benchmark numbers from Antutu and Geekbench summarise that much with the latter’s multi-core result settling at just 1,014 while the former outputs only 274,132. What’s more, unlike most Snapdragon 680-based devices, the G52’s performance under sustained load is nothing to write home about either, with the CPU throttling to up to 76 percent of its peak performance after a 30-minute run.
- During my daily usage, there were times when the UI froze for a few seconds while juggling through several heavy apps. Overall, however, users who are not reliant on extreme performance can work with what the device has to offer. Even so, mobile gamers should definitely explore other avenues to get their fix of quality BGMI sessions. On the memory front, there is up to 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage with the option to expand up to 1TB using a microSD card slot.
- The dual speakers on the device, supported by Dolby Atmos, sound quite good and offer a crisp sound output that doesn’t distort at higher volume levels. On the authentication side of things, the device’s side-mounted sensor is not the best in the business and takes a few tries before letting you in the device. The device is not 5G capable, unlike quite a few options in the same price range. Even so, I had few complaints about the 4G LTE services on offer via Jio’s Noida network. Both the microphone and earpiece functioned as expected.
- The device boots Motorola’s MyUX, which is based on Android 12. For the uninitiated, the interface is as close to a stock Android experience as you can get in the market. Except for the unnecessary Josh app, the interface is quite clean and minimalistic. Motorola is providing up to 3 years of security updates on the device including a guaranteed upgrade to Android 13.
- On the battery front, the device features a standard 5,000mAh cell that can last a full day off a single charge quite easily. In fact, in PCMark’s battery test, the G52 outputted a stellar score of 17 hours and 5 minutes. What’s more, the handset ships with a 33W charger inside the box which can juice up the phone in about 90 minutes.
The Moto G52 retails for Rs 14,499 and for the price, gets a few things right. That’s not to say that the phone is perfect and from its average cameras, sub-par performance and a finicky fingerprint reader, the G52 does leave something to be desired. On the bright side, the handset ships with an incredible display which amplifies the viewing experience considerably as compared to some other phones in the same price bracket. I am in awe of the phone’s well-tuned stereo speakers, along with the handset’s super clean MyUX interface too. Consequently, buyers looking for a phone to consume a ton of media on should keep the G52 at the top of their wishlist. On the other hand, if you prioritise a handset’s performance above everything else, then you would probably be better off with devices like the POCO M4 Pro 5G.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Gorgeous display
- Excellent stereo speakers
- Clean UI
- Good battery life
- Cameras could be better
- Performance is average