Moto One 5G Ace Review: Solid 5G Phone, Battery Life Champ

Moto One 5G Ace: Audio Quality, Performance, And Battery Life

Moto One 5G Ace Audio, Data, and Call Reception

We used the Moto One 5G Ace in San Francisco, primarily on T-Mobile’s sub-6GHz 5G network, and didn’t experience any issues with call quality or data speeds. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any 5G-compatible SIMs to test 5G on AT&T or Verizon, but 4G LTE was problem-free on these networks. The Ace includes broad support for sub-6GHz 5G and 4G LTE bands in the US, and even legacy CDMA bands for Verizon.

Moto One 5G Ace 03

On the audio front, the Ace only has a mono speaker, and while it’s loud and clear enough for calls, it isn’t well suited for music or anything much beyond the occasional TikTok video. At least the headphone jack sounds better than most. But while the DAC is clean, the amp isn’t meant to power high-impedance headphones or earbuds. The Ace also supports aptX HD and LDAC for lossless audio over Bluetooth.

Moto One 5G Ace Performance

Unlike the Snapdragon 765-equipped One 5G, the Ace packs Qualcomm’s latest mid-range 5G SoC, the Snapdragon 750G. And based on our benchmark results, it generally slots near or just below the Snapdragon 765G -- and well above the Snapdragon 690 found on the OnePlus Nord N10 5G. That’s not too surprising, but clearly, the lines between the Snapdragon 765G and the Snapdragon 750G are quite blurred.

For North America, Moto paired this chip with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (expandable via microSD up 1TB). That’s better than the 4GB RAM on the One 5G, although the Ace comes in a 4GB / 64GB version in other markets. Perceived performance is excellent. This phone ran our standard collection of apps without skipping a beat. And while it isn’t targeting hard-core gamers, it handled PUBG Mobile just fine.

Futuremark PCMark For Android
General Purpose Pocket Computing Performance Metrics
Futuremark's PCMark for Android is an excellent suite of tests if you want to benchmark a wide range of tasks on any handset -- things like image and video editing, as well as lighter-duty, everyday workloads such as email and web browsing. When you see the test running live, it's clear the scripted application tests are carefully selected and tuned to make use of the each mobile platform in a very controlled way...

pcmark moto one 5g ace

We were expecting the Ace to score above the Snapdragon 690-equipped OnePlus Nord N10 5G in this particular test, but it didn't. That being said, it still scores above the Snapdragon 765G-equipped LG Wing and Velvet. While the Snapdragon 750G powering the Ace clearly doesn't match the performance of current flagships for the workloads used in PCMark for Android, these results are still respectable.

AnTuTu 8 And AITuTu
Platform Benchmarks
AnTuTu’s latest benchmark returns a number of metrics ranked with somewhat nebulous scores, rather than frame rates or time to complete. Here we're running the latest version of AnTuTu across multiple Android devices. AnTuTu returns four top level performance results which are all included here: CPU, RAM, 3D, UX (or User Experience), along with a total score...

antutu moto one 5g ace

We were expecting more of the same in the AnTuTu benchmark. But here, the Ace slots right in-between the Snapdragon 765G-equipped LG Velvet and OnePlus Nord. It even beats its older sibling, the Snapdragon 765-equipped Moto One 5G.

Normally we have an AiTuTu result here. AITuTu evaluates the AI performance of a device by leveraging two mainstream neural network models for machine learning and AI -- Inception v3 for Image Classification and MobileNet-SSD for Object Detection. The benchmark determines the device’s accuracy and speed when inferring data from each workload.

Unfortunately, while we were able to start AITuTu on the Ace, it just kept hanging while loading just before starting the image classification test. The Ace remained responsive, but AITuTu never completed. We tried both the latest APK from AnTuTu and an older known working APK without luck.

3D Graphics Benchmarks: 3DMark And GFX Bench
Pushing The Pixels
Next we're checking how the Ace compares in GFXBench, which has been one of the standard mobile graphics/gaming performance benchmarks for years. To ensure that display refresh (v-sync) and resolution aren't limiting factors, we're comparing off-screen test results here. GFXBench tests OpenGL ES graphics workloads and we're specifically testing OpenGL ES 2...

trex moto one 5g ace

manhattan moto one 5g ace

Compared to today's flagships, graphics performance clearly isn't the Snapdragon 750G's strongest suit. Here, the Ace's scores squarely between the Snapdragon 690-equipped OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the Snapdragon 765G-equipped OnePlus Nord. It even beats the Snapdragon 765-equipped Moto One 5G in the TRex test.

3DMark Sling Shot is a newer benchmark module that's been added to the 3DMark mobile suite. Unlike previous gen 3DMark mobile tests, Sling Shot is a much more advanced OpenGL ES 3.1 and Metal API-based benchmark that employs more advanced rendering techniques, like volumetric lighting, particle illumination, multiple render targets, instanced rendering, uniform buffers and transform feedback.

3DMark Sling Shot
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Benchmark

We're running this test in off-screen mode once again to remove display resolution differences from the equation. This lets us compare cross-platform results more reliably...

3dmark moto one 5g ace

Obviously, the Ace also performed worse than current flagships in these 3DMark tests. Here again, it scored between the Snapdragon 690-equipped OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the Snapdragon 765G-equipped OnePlus Nord, and managed to beat the Snapdragon 765G-equipped Pixel 5 (running Android 11).

Moto One 5G Ace Other Features and Battery Life

As for the rest of the Ace's specs, you’ll find WiFi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.1 (LE), NFC, FM radio, and dual-band A-GPS/GLONASS/Galileo positioning, an FM radio, plus the usual array of sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, ambient light, compass, and barometer). The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is quick and reliable, but haptics aren’t spectacular -- Moto is clearly using a basic vibration motor here.
battery life moto one 5g ace

Battery life is where the Ace really lives up to its name. It (ahem...) aced our PCMark battery test with a score of 20 hours and 18 minutes, replacing ASUS’ mighty ROG Phone 3 in the top spot. While the large 5000mAh cell and 60Hz refresh rate surely help, the Snapdragon 750G is obviously quite efficient. Basically, the Ace will easily last two days on a full charge, and when it’s time for a refill, it supports 15W (USB PD) charging.

Next up: the software, pricing, and the verdict...

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