Motorola is updating its budget-friendly Moto G series with a new model sporting a 50MP rear camera, similar to what flagship devices like the Galaxy S23 have.
Granted, the 2024 Moto G Play won’t have the same level of hardware or features as the S23, but it is still a significant upgrade compared to last year’s model which has a middling 16MP lens. That said, it will have a few software tools to boost picture quality. Motorola states its device will support HDR enabling bright images and Phase Detection Autofocus, or PDAF for short. The latter gives the phone a way to better “detect where light rays” are coming from. Android Authority touts it as the “best method for autofocusing” on smartphones and can even be found on some of the best mirrorless cameras on the market.
Keep in mind it is just one lens. There won’t be a telephoto option or anything like that alongside it. The rear camera does have a ton of shooting modes including, but not limited to, night vision and 8x digital zoom.
The selfie lens has been upgraded too as it’s now 8MP instead of 5MP. Motorola also gave it the Photobooth feature allowing users to “stitch together four different poses” into a group of consecutive pictures.
Hardware upgrades (and downgrades)
The 2024 Moto G Play will see improvements in other areas, however, it will retain a few limitations present in the older model
For example, it still has the 6.5-inch 720p LCD screen, but now it has a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz for smooth video watching. The rate can be dropped down to 60Hz if you want to extend the battery life. Additionally, the smartphone will run on a 6nm Snapdragon 680 chipset although it lacks 5G connectivity much like the 2023 device.
Motorola is doing this strange back and forth with the Moto G Play where it introduces an upgrade and then immediately scales it back. Presumably, this is being done to keep the price tag low.
What’s interesting about the Moto G Play is it has characteristics that make it a good first phone for kids. Motorola specifically mentions the display is made out of Corning Gorilla 3 glass and has a protection rating of IP52 to protect against accidental spills. On board, the device will house the Family Space tool giving parents a way to set screen time limits as well as control which apps on the device are accessible or not.
Other notable features include Moto Secure protection against malware, Dolby Atmos for immersive audio, and a 5,000mAh battery that lasts up to 46 hours on a single charge.
The 2024 Moto G Play will launch in the United States on February 8 for $150. It can be purchased at Motorola’s website or Amazon where it’ll be “universally unlocked” so you can connect to a preferred carrier. If you don’t have one, the device is available through Verizon, Cricket, and AT&T among others.
Canada will receive the phone a bit earlier. It’ll be “available through select carriers” on January 26. No word on how much it’ll cost as it depends on the carrier a person chooses.
While we have you check out TechRadar's list of the best cheap phones for 2024.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.