Moto One 5G Review: Killer Battery Life, Lackluster Cameras

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

Moto One 5G Audio, Data, and Call Reception

We used the Moto One 5G on AT&T’s low-band 5G network (850MHz, n5) in San Francisco, CA and in Columbia, SC, and we didn’t experience any issues with call quality or data speeds. Obviously, Verizon’s model will support mmWave 5G, but that’s all we know since this version isn’t available yet. Conversely, T-Mobile’s slightly detuned REVVL 5G is optimized for the carrier’s low band 5G network (600MHz, n71).

Moto One 5G 04

The One 5G only has a mono speaker, which is surprising when even some of Moto’s sub-$270 G-series phones offer stereo speakers -- and outstanding ones, at that. Basically, it’s fine for the occasional YouTube video, but that’s about it. Fortunately, there’s also a headphone jack, and while the amp isn’t really designed to drive high-impedance cans at high volume, the DAC sounds decent enough.

Moto One 5G Performance

We’ve already reviewed some handsets with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G (including the OnePlus Nord and LG Velvet), but the Moto One 5G is a Snapdragon 765-equipped device, meaning it’s not graphics optimized. Moto paired this chip with just 4GB of RAM, which isn’t really enough to run Android 10 without apps getting killed in the background. At least it comes with 128GB of storage (UFS 2.1) plus microSD support.

The One 5G is reasonably fast, but you won’t mistake it for the OnePlus Nord. Even Google’s Pixel 4a feels quicker. Still, everything is pretty smooth thanks to that 90Hz display. We occasionally noticed brief pauses, but nothing annoying. Overall, The One 5G didn’t have any trouble handling our usual complement of apps. As you can see from our benchmarks (below), this isn’t a phone for gamers, but most folks will be satisfied.

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 5g

We were expecting the Moto One 5G to score below the Snapdragon 765G-equipped LG Velvet, but it scores just above the Snapdragon 765G-equipped OnePlus Nord. While the Snapdragon 765 powering the One 5G 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 5g

We were expecting more of the same in the AnTuTu benchmark. But here, the Moto One 5G slots right in-between the Snapdragon 730G-equipped Pixel 4a and the Snapdragon 765G-equipped LG Velvet.

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 Moto One 5G, it just kept hanging while loading just before starting the image classification test. The One 5G 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 Moto One 5G 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 5g

manhattan moto 5g

Compared to today's flagships, graphics performance clearly isn't the Snapdragon 765's strongest suit. Here, the Moto One 5G's scores between the Snapdragon 730G-equipped Pixel 4a and the Snapdragon 765G-equipped LG Velvet.

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 Test
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...

sling shot moto 5g

Obviously, the Moto One 5G also performed worse than current flagships in these 3DMark tests. It scored close to the Snapdragon 765G-equipped LG Velvet and OnePlus Nord, and about 1.2x better than the Snapdragon 730G-equipped Pixel 4a.

Moto One 5G Other Features and Battery Life

Other specs of the Moto One 5G include WiFi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.1 (LE), NFC, and A-GPS/GLONASS/Galileo, plus the usual collection of sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, ambient light, and compass). The side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor is fast and reliable -- a nice change from the finicky in-display fingerprint sensors found on some flagships. Haptics are fine, but the vibration motor feels a little weak.

battery life moto 5g

Battery life is definitely the One 5G’s secret weapon. In fact, it’s phenomenal. We didn’t have any problems stretching a single charge over two days with this handset. The 5000mAh cell lasted a full 17 hours and 17 minutes at 90Hz in our PCMark battery test -- that’s very impressive. Charging maxes out at 15W (USB PD), which is a bit slow these days, and Moto supplies a 20W charger in the box. Sadly, there’s no wireless charging.

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

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