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Moto G34 review: Affordable 5G, Surprising Features

The Moto G34, a budget-friendly phone, surprisingly outperforms in certain aspects despite its affordable price tag, modest display, and slow charging speed. The camera quality, processing capabilities, and software enhancements are more than one would anticipate from a phone in this price range.




Motorola continues its tradition of offering affordable phones with the Moto G34, a surprisingly successful entry in the budget 5G phone market.

As one of Motorola’s initial 2024 offerings in the cost-effective Moto G series, the G34 delivers what you’d expect: affordability, modest specs, a subpar camera, and an average display. However, it surpasses expectations in certain areas.

One might question the utility of 5G in a budget phone with limited specs. The answer is, it can be useful in certain scenarios.

Take the camera, for instance. It’s decent for a phone in this price range. While ‘decent’ isn’t high praise, it’s a step up for a Moto phone camera. The 5G connectivity allows for easy social media sharing, cloud storage, and downloading editing apps.

However, the camera has a drawback: it takes a while to process images, delaying their appearance in the gallery. This can be frustrating if you’re eager to see if you’ve captured the perfect shot.

The processor is also ‘decent’, which is commendable for a budget phone. The G34 performs better than many similarly priced phones, with less lag and stuttering. It won’t excel in high-intensity games, but it can handle less demanding ones, which can be downloaded on the go thanks to 5G.

The phone also features a user-friendly Android 14 interface, a robust battery, and up to 1TB of expandable storage.

However, it’s not all rosy. The G34’s display is of lower resolution, with its LCD technology resulting in somewhat faded colors. If you’re looking for a 5G phone for streaming, you might be better off with a 4G phone with a superior display at the same price, or spending a bit more.

Additionally, the phone’s charging speed is slow, which is a standalone downside.

In conclusion, the Moto G34 gives you your money’s worth and a bit more. It’s not a huge surplus, but it’s enough to make the price tag palatable.


Launched in January 2024 Available in the UK, potentially in AU, unlikely in the US Priced at £149.99 (approximately $190, AU$290)

The Moto G34 was introduced globally in December 2023 and hit the UK market a month later.

The device is priced at £149.99 for the only model available, which comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. It’s available in black, green, and blue. While some regions offer variants with more RAM or different storage capacities, this is not the case in the UK.

There’s no word yet on availability in the US or Australia, but the price translates to roughly $190 or AU$290. Motorola usually offers different models in the US, so it’s unlikely the G34 will be sold there. However, based on past trends, it might make its way to Australia.

In terms of pricing, the Moto G34 stands almost unrivaled among 5G phones, as most are at least 25% more expensive (until discounts apply). Instead, the G34 competes with 4G phones from Samsung, Xiaomi, and even Motorola, which offer slightly superior features at the same price, provided 5G isn’t required.



A sizable 6.5-inch screen, not overly large Resolution is a modest 720 x 1600 LCD results in somewhat faded colors

The Moto G34 might not be your first choice if you’re looking to stream high-definition movies, as it may fall short in delivering the ‘high-definition’ aspect.

The device features a 6.5-inch screen, which is quite large and can display numerous WhatsApp messages, large Instagram posts, or extensive gaming visuals. However, with an HD resolution of 720 x 1600, videos may not appear as sharp as they would on other phones.

Despite other budget phones opting for OLED screens, which offer better contrast, colors, and brightness, Motorola has chosen to equip the G34 with an LCD screen. On the bright side, the 120Hz refresh rate ensures smooth motion.


The Moto G34’s specifications align with its budget-friendly nature. Here’s a quick rundown:

Moto G34 Specifications

  • Dimensions: 162.7 x 74.6 x 8mm
  • Weight: 179g
  • Display: 6.5-inch 20:9 HD (720×1600) 120Hz LCD
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 695
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Operating System: Android 14
  • Main Camera: 50MP, f/1.8
  • Macro Camera: 2MP, f/2.4
  • Selfie Camera: 16MP, f/2.4
  • Audio: Stereo speakers, 3.5mm jack
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Charging: 18W wired
  • Color Options: Ice Blue, Charcoal Black, Ocean Green (faux leather)

MOTO G34 OVERVIEW: DESIGN A standard-sized Android that’s lightweight Minimal camera bump USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack

The Moto G34, like many Motorola phones, sports a practical design, reminiscent of a chocolate bar.

The G34, measuring 162.7 x 74.6 x 8mm and weighing 179g, is relatively light and compact for an Android phone.

The bottom edge houses a USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack, while the right edge features an accessible power button and a slightly harder-to-reach volume rocker. Given its average size, it should be manageable for one-handed use for most people.

The G34, like many budget phones, has a flat edge. However, unlike many others, it’s not overly angular, making it comfortable to hold.

The back of the phone features a small bump for the two camera lenses. It doesn’t protrude much, allowing the phone to lie flat on a surface without wobbling.

The phone comes in three color options. We reviewed the blue one. The green variant features faux leather, which presumably lends it a more luxurious feel, though we didn’t test this variant.



It comes with Android 14, but only one software update promises an Abundance of customization features Moto’s Quick Actions simplify navigation

The Moto G34 is not just one of the most economical 5G phones, but it also offers one of the most affordable ways to own a device with Google’s stock Android.

The Moto G34 runs on Android 14, the latest version of the widely-used operating system. However, Moto has only committed to one update, along with three years of security updates, which might disappoint software enthusiasts.

Stock Android provides a clean and clutter-free operating system, largely devoid of bloatware, and features an easily accessible swipe-up app drawer, keeping your home screen neat until you decide to personalize it.

Android 14 stands out for its customization options, allowing you to tailor your interface, even though some typical Moto features are absent. You still have the flexibility to modify the font, color scheme, app icon shape, and more.

Moto continues to offer its reliable Quick Actions, enabling you to access certain apps with simple gestures: a double karate chop activates the torch, while a twist opens the camera app. Once you master these, they become handy navigation tools.

A relatively new addition to Moto phones is the Moto Unplugged app, which allows you to minimize distractions from your device temporarily. It proved useful when I needed to concentrate on writing this review until I realized that I needed the phone for the review itself!



Equipped with 50MP primary and 2MP macro lenses 16MP front camera for selfies Photo processing speed leaves room for improvement

The Moto G34 is outfitted with two rear cameras, a 50MP f/1.8 primary lens, and a 2MP f/2.4 macro lens, complemented by a 16MP f/2.4 front camera for selfies.

If you’re not expecting much from the camera of a budget phone like this, the G34 might exceed your expectations. It’s not exceptional, but it’s decent, which is all you can ask for at this price point.

In good lighting, photos have adequate detail, though colors can appear somewhat faded. In less-than-ideal lighting – not necessarily nighttime, as even indoor lighting can be challenging – photos lose a lot of detail and can appear somewhat blurry. The phone also struggles with contrast, with darker areas in daylight photos losing a lot of detail.

Despite these drawbacks, photos taken on the Moto G34 retain more quality, light, and color than those taken on other phones in the same price range that I’ve tested, so its performance didn’t disappoint me.

The digital zoom allows you to get up to 8x closer, but images become very grainy beyond 2x, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Selfies are slightly better, and I found that the front camera performed better when my face wasn’t brightly lit. The portrait mode was surprisingly effective at determining what to blur and what not to, and it wasn’t fooled even by messy hair.

The macro mode, however, is quite poor – I found it impossible to take a close-up shot with enough lighting and detail to surpass the capabilities of the main camera. Most of the time, my macro shots were blurry and out of focus. Best to avoid it!

The phone offers the usual array of additional modes: photographers can use portrait mode, Pro mode, spot color (which turns a photo monochrome except for one color), dual capture, night mode, and ‘Photo Booth’, which takes four pictures a few seconds apart like you’re in a vintage photo booth. Videographers can enjoy some of the same modes, including dual capture and spot color, as well as a slow-motion mode.

One frustrating aspect of the G34 is that it takes a while to process photos after you take them. This sometimes took over a minute, and I couldn’t find a way to disable the processing – this just means you can’t see the final image for a while after taking it. Ironically, the processing barely improved image quality, so this isn’t as big of an issue as it could be.


  • Equipped with Snapdragon 695, suitable for its needs
  • 128GB storage expandable up to 1TB, along with 4GB RAM
  • 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio

The Moto G34 features a Snapdragon 695 chipset, a surprising inclusion given its price point. This chipset is often found in more expensive (though still budget) phones, suggesting that Motorola could have opted for a less powerful processor.

The phone comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, both of which can be expanded. The microSD card slot allows you to increase your storage by up to 1TB, and RAM expansion can temporarily convert unused storage space into additional power.

In the Geekbench 6 benchmark test, the Moto G34 achieved a multi-core score of 2,035. This is roughly comparable to the scores of 5-year-old flagship models like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (2,092) and Huawei Mate 20 (2,134). Some recent budget phones, including OnePlus’ Nord N20 (1,962) and Nord CE 2 Lite (1,952), which also use the Snapdragon 695 chipset, have similar scores.

When it comes to gaming, the Moto G34 held its own during intensive sessions of Call of Duty: Mobile and other games. There were surprisingly few stutters or lags during online play. If not for the display and speaker quality, it could easily pass for a mid-range gaming phone.

For audio enthusiasts, the Moto G34 includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing you to use wired headphones, microphones, and more. It also supports Bluetooth 5.1 for wireless headphones.

The G34 also features stereo speakers for audio. While they’re not exceptional and don’t compare to those on more expensive phones, they’re adequate if you’ve misplaced your headphones.



  • Large 5,000mAh battery
  • The phone lasts a full day of use, and nearly two
  • Charging speed is slow at 18W

True to Moto’s tradition, the G34 boasts a large 5,000mAh battery, a common feature among the company’s phones. This is a substantial power pack for a phone.

Such a battery would keep even a power-hungry phone running for a long time. However, thanks to its HD screen and mid-tier chipset, the Moto G34 maximizes this battery. It easily lasts a full day on a single charge and, in our tests, often came close to lasting two days.

The slow charging speed is a downside, though. At 18W, it takes over an hour to charge from empty to full, which could leave you waiting by the charger.

As with most phones in this price range, there’s no wireless charging or reverse wireless charging available.

Overview table for Motorola G34 5G:


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