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Motorola Moto G84 5G review: Stamina over speed

Our Rating :
£199.00 from
Price when reviewed : £249
inc VAT

Performance could be better but a gorgeous display and terrific battery life keep the Motorola Moto G84 5G in the fight


  • Flawless display
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Decent main camera


  • Performance falls behind
  • Only one OS update promised
  • Lacklustre ultrawide camera

In many ways, the Motorola Moto G84 5G is the biggest and best of its family. It has the most RAM and storage out of all its siblings, and it gets an actual IP54 dust and water resistance rating, whereas most of its kin are relegated to simple “water-repellent design” status. On top of all this, it’s currently the only Moto G-series phone to offer an OLED display.

So, it’s frustrating to see the Moto G84 5G stumble in one of the most crucial areas – performance. It’s not even especially slow, it’s just being dramatically outperformed by one of its cheaper relations. When there’s a device on the table that offers superior performance for less money, can the Moto G84 5G scrape together enough positives of its own to compete?

Motorola Moto G84 5G review: What you need to know

Before we get into the performance shortfalls, let’s see what’s new with the G84 5G. As mentioned up top, you’re getting more in the way of memory and storage than any other Moto G-series device, with a massive 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage built in. Last year’s Moto G73 5G could match the onboard storage but paired it with only 8GB of RAM.

The Snapdragon 695 5G processor returns from the G82 5G – once again clocking up to 2.2GHz – as does the 5,000mAh battery, along with 30W charging support. The display gets a couple of nips and tucks – the panel is now 6.5in, compared to the G82 5G’s 6.6in number, and uses pOLED technology, instead of AMOLED – but it still has the 2,400 x 1,080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.

Like many of the recent Moto G-series phones, the Motorola Moto G84 5G has dropped the triple camera array in favour of a more focused dual setup – alongside the 50MP (f/1.9) main camera, we’ve got an 8MP (f/2.2) ultrawide shooter – and then there’s a 16MP (f/2.5) selfie snapper nestled next to the display.

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Motorola Moto G84 5G review: Price and competition

Originally launching for £250, the Moto G84 5G started out £20 cheaper than the launch price of last year’s Moto G73 5G – though you can already pick up a G84 for around £225 and the G73 is currently retailing for just £185. Of course, the G73 lacks an OLED display and, as mentioned, only has 8GB of RAM, but it’s an otherwise solid performer with a decent camera suite.

For even less than the G73 5G, you can pick up the newer Moto G54 5G, which launched alongside the G84 5G, for £179. This impressive budget handset earned a Best Buy from us thanks to its exceptional display and above-average performance, but its low-light photography is unimpressive and Motorola has only committed to one OS update for it.

Outside of the Motorola stable, a couple of what-used-to-be-pricier models have found themselves discounted into direct competition with the Moto G84 5G: the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G is an all-rounder that’s currently down to just £249, while the Honor Magic 5 Lite is only £229, bagging you a vibrant display and stylish design with some of the best battery life of any phone in this price range.

Motorola Moto G84 5G review: Design and key features

Motorola has really honed a style for its G-series phones and, as such, the usual boilerplate aesthetic has never looked better than it does on the G84 5G. Measuring 160 x 74 x 7.6mm, this is a noticeably thin design compared to the rest of the lineup and makes the flat edges and low-key camera module look all the more elegant.

There are three colours to choose from: the Midnight Blue – reviewed here – features a frosted plastic rear and weighs 169g, while the Marshmallow Blue and Viva Magenta options are backed in a soft vegan leather and weigh a little less, at 168g. All three have the volume and power buttons on the right edge, a dual-SIM tray on the left and the USB-C and 3.5mm ports on the bottom edge. Next to the latter, you’ll find one of the Dolby Atmos-enabled stereo speakers, with its twin just above the selfie camera.

You can potentially use one of the slots in the SIM tray for a microSD card instead, expanding the already spacious storage by up to 1TB, and the power button also doubles as a fingerprint reader. The only snag with the G84’s features is that it, strangely, only supports up to Bluetooth 5.1 while most recent phones (including Motorola’s own G54 5G) use Bluetooth 5.3. In practice, I never had any problems with the stability of the G84 5G’s Bluetooth connections, it’s just a weird corner to cut.

The G84 5G runs Android 13 out of the box and, like the G54 5G, it’s only confirmed to get one OS update, bringing it up to Android 14. That’s a big disappointment for an otherwise strong performer; however, as with all of Motorola’s offerings, the software is clean and relatively free from unnecessary bloatware (though there are a few pre-installed mobile games that are pushing their luck), giving you one of the best launchers outside of stock Android.

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Motorola Moto G84 5G review: Display

The Moto G84 5G has a 6.5in pOLED display so, on top of the crisp 2,400 x 1,080 resolution and slick 120Hz refresh rate, the contrast and black levels are as close to perfect as they get. The brightness options also impressed, hitting a peak of 490cd/m2 at the highest setting, and stretching to 747cd/m2 on adaptive brightness mode with a torch shining on the light sensor.

The good news continued as we looked at colour reproduction: on the Natural setting, I recorded an sRGB coverage of 99.5%, with a volume of 101.9% and the average Delta E colour variance score came back at an incredible 0.63. The Saturated colour profile was less accurate, but the punchy colours make it the better choice for streaming.

Motorola Moto G84 5G review: Performance and battery life

The Octa-core Snapdragon 695 5G chipset at the heart of the Moto G84 5G is an older processor, but it still mostly checks out: both single and multi-core scores in the Geekbench 6 tests landed parallel to the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G and Honor Magic 5 Lite.

The problem arises when we compare it to the Moto G54 5G, which punches so far above its weight that it shines a particularly harsh light on the lack of CPU improvements in the G84 5G. Being outperformed by a much cheaper phone – and especially one that was launched alongside – is not a good look.

motorola g84 5g review geekbench 6 performance chart

The GPU benchmarks were less egregious, with the G84 5G performing roughly the same as the rest of the competition. This, once again, means that the G54 5G really highlights its value, but at least the G84 5G doesn’t perform worse than its cheaper sibling. So long as your gaming aspirations are closer to Candy Crush than PUBG Mobile, the Moto G84 5G is perfectly capable of accommodating.

motorola moto g84 5g review gfxbench performance chart

After some initially disappointing results, the Moto G84 5G came out swinging in the battery life tests. With an outstanding result of 26hrs 24mins, the Moto G84 5G easily outlasted almost all of the competition, only just falling short of the similarly impressive score from the Honor Magic 5 Lite.

motorola moto g84 5g review battery life chart

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Motorola Moto G84 5G review: Cameras

The 50MP main lens is mostly the same as the one found on the Moto G82 5G, but the aperture is slightly narrower this time around (f/1.9 compared to f/1.8). However, that’s clearly not enough to affect performance, as images captured in good lighting are punchy and vibrant, with strong contrast to pluck out plenty of detail.

motorola moto g84 5g review picture of houses and cars

Low-light photography on these budget Motos is usually one of the weaker aspects, but the G84 5G puts in a better showing than most. It’s still not perfect, with a lack of detail in some areas and an excess of noise in others but, compared to the rest of its Moto G brethren, the G84 5G is most definitely a cut above.

motorola moto g84 5g review camera sample night

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the ultrawide camera. It’s not atrociously bad, expanding the frame without completely washing out colours, but the level of detail in these shots feels noticeably sub-par, particularly when compared to the main lens.

motorola moto g84 5g review camera sample ultrawide

Ironically, the ultrawide camera performed best with macro images, capturing plenty of detail in the focal subject and implementing an effective enough blur in the background.

motorola moto g84 5g review camera sample macro leaves on wall

Video is fairly rudimentary – topping out at 1080p at 60fps – but it gets the job done, with the main lens once again pouring plenty of detail into the footage and balancing shifting light sources well enough.

Motorola Moto G84 5G review: Verdict

The outdated Snapdragon 695 5G processor definitely feels like a misstep here, delivering performance that fails to match the cheaper Moto G54 5G. If what you care about the most is getting the best bang possible for your buck, that’s the budget Moto to go for.

With that being said, there’s a lot left to like here. The display is fantastic, with all the benefits of an OLED panel further heightened by terrific colour accuracy and some impressive brightness for this price range. Stamina is also a big stand-out, comfortably landing the Moto G84 5G in our best phone battery life list. I’d have liked to see more commitment in the software department but, for what it is, the Motorola Moto G84 5G has enough positives going for it to make up for its worst shortcomings.

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