Motorola Moto G84 5G review

Motorola Moto G84 5G review

Launched back in November last year, the Motorola Moto G84 5G is an affordable 5G smartphone with a $399 RRP.

When you think about cheap phones under the $500 mark, you typically think about sacrifice. What features and functions are you going to have to give up to be able to buy this phone for such an affordable price?

Oftentimes, the design is the first thing to go. Cheap phones usually don’t offer the same sleek designs as premium smartphones. 

But the Moto G84 is an exception. I tested the G84 in PANTONE’s colour of the year 2023, Viva Magenta, and it was both striking and vibrant to look at and to hold.

Coupled with a pretty solid screen and a reasonable processor, the Moto G84 5G punches above its weight, making it an attractive option for smartphone shoppers on a budget.

Motorola Moto G84 5G review : Design

Showing the front of the Moto G84 5G

It’s impossible to not start with the colour.

Motorola has launched the G84 5G in three colour options: Midnight Blue, Marshmallow Blue and PANTONE’s Viva Magenta.

I can’t speak too much about the two blue colours as I haven’t seen them first hand, but I would argue their pictures look more like “black” and “silver” than “blue” variants to me.

The version I got my hands on was the Viva Magenta, and it is something to behold. While the front 6.5-inch 2400 × 1080 FHD+ display looks like any other slab of black glass when powered off, the back and sides of this phone area truly vibrant deep pink.

It’s not going to be for everybody, that’s for certain. But I think it’s gorgeous, and definitely comes in as a pro rather than a con.

The other cool feature of the G84’s design is that the back of the Viva Magenta and Marshmallow Blue models is a vegan leather material.

It gives the device a nice feel that’s comfortable to hold and way less slippery than the glass you find on most smartphones these days.

Close up of the Moto G84 5G's cameras

Specs and features

On the specs front, the G84 5G comes powered by the Snapdragon 695 5G chip, with 256 GB of on-board storage and 12 GB RAM. 

There’s a 5,000 mAh battery to keep you running all day, which also boasts 30W TurboPower fast charging.

The screen is a 6.5-inch FHD+ pOLED display which has a 20:9 aspect ratio, making it a little narrower than many devices. Impressively for a device in this price bracket, you get a 120 Hz refresh rate and 1300 nits peak brightness, plus 240 Hz touch sampling.

There’s even an under-screen fingerprint sensor, allowing you to log in effortlessly.

Camera-wise, you get a 16MP f/2.45 selfie camera on the front, while around the back is a 50MP f/1.88 main lens with OIS and an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens.

The phone itself is IP54 dust and water-resistant, which means it can withstand a light splash of water, but don’t take it swimming.

One other key spec to note is the inclusion of a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the bottom of the device. It feels like an eternity since I’ve tested a phone with a headphone jack, and while some will appreciate its inclusion, others (like me) will likely ignore it for the convenience of Bluetooth.

The Moto G84 5G leaning against a tree

Motorola Moto G84 5G review : Performance

The Moto G84 isn’t the fastest phone we’ve ever tested, but it’s not exactly a slouch either.

From a benchmarks’ perspective, here’s how it looks up against the Moto G54 and the OPPO A79 5G.


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Vulkan Compute

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You can see that the G84 5G runs a tight race with the G54 5G on the CPU front, both in terms of single core and multicore performance.

Where it stretches in front of the cheaper G54 is with the GPU, with the G54 unable to complete that benchmark test without errors.

Of course, benchmarks are only a small part of the story when it comes to performance.

I found the phone was quick to respond to commands, and was adequate for playing a little Mighty Doom on the side. 

It’s not quite as responsive as I’d like, but the 12 GB RAM does a decent job of keeping everything on screen moving without dropping too many frames.

Battery life

You’ll get through the day easily enough with the G84 5G’s 5,000 mAh battery. Everybody uses their phone differently, but unless you’re really pushing the handset to its limit, you’ll get a full day.

The downside is that there’s no wireless charging on board, so if you do need a quick juice up, you’ll need to locate a USB-C power source nice and quickly.

Camera performance

The key function of most smartphones these days is its ability to take photos. The G84, as a more budget offering, can’t compete with the flagship photos taken by the likes of the S24 Ultra.

This is where the costs have been most obviously cut. While the camera’s specs seem reasonable on paper, the actual photos it produces are a bit underwhelming.

Colours look washed out, even in great lighting conditions. And if you zoom in on the blue sky of a sunny day, the image gets noisy pretty quickly.

But despite those comments, I wouldn’t say it was a bad camera. It’s more that the camera fits the phone’s price tag.

If you’re one to upload a lot to Instagram, for example, you’ll probably start using filters over these pics before you hit “Send”.

Here are some example shots so you can dive in a bit deeper and see what I mean.

Motorola Moto G84 5G review : Verdict

It is remarkable just how much phone you get for your money with the G84 5G. With its RRP sitting at just $399, you get a FHD+ pOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 12 GB RAM and one of the most striking, stylish designs I’ve seen on a phone in a long time.

The processor is a bit older, which helps the phone save on costs, but can still get you through the day, and even play some reasonably intense games on.

The camera is probably the phone’s weakest point, but even that takes photos that are good enough for a phone at this price.

So what’s the catch? Well, there’s no wireless charging, for a start, which is fairly standard at this price. 

But the bigger hurdle is that Motorola only promised one year of Android updates to Android 14, which has just come out. So while you’ll get another 3 years of security updates to keep your device safe, any cool new features coming to Android in version 15 won’t make it to this device.

Still, at the asking price, I feel this is still very much a bargain, and a great option for Motorola fans.

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Motorola supplied the product for this review.