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Motorola announces FIVE new budget smartphones for 2023

The Motorola Moto G73 5G, Moto G53 5G, Moto G23 and Moto G13 arrive, alongside the ultra-budget Moto E13

Having recently dipped its toes in the flagship realm late last year with the surprisingly excellent Edge 30 Ultra, Motorola is kicking off 2023 by returning to its budget roots, with the announcement of five new affordable handsets. Four of these phones are new entries into the Moto G range, with the G73 5G, G53 5G, G23 and G13 replacing various current family members, while the fifth model, the E13, slots into the brand’s ultra-budget E series of handsets.

Motorola’s new smartphones cover a relatively wide price range, and in some cases, they rub uncomfortably close to one another. Let’s have a look at what each of these new phones is offering.

Motorola Moto G73 5G

First up, we’ve got the Motorola Moto G73 5G, which is the priciest of the bunch at £270. A 2.2GHz octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 930 processor sits inside, paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. The dual SIM card tray can also house a microSD card instead of a second SIM. Other notable features include a 3.5mm headphone jack, side-mounted fingerprint reader and face unlocking.

The display itself is 6.5in across the diagonal, with an FHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The 16MP (f/2.4) selfie camera sits centrally at the top of the screen while the rear camera module incorporates a 50MP (f/1.8) main lens and an 8MP (f/2.2) secondary sensor which handles ultrawide, macro and depth shots. A large 5,000mAh battery is on power duty, and though no figures on battery life have been confirmed, we do know it will support fast charging via the provided 30W charger.

The Moto G73 5G will run Android 13 right out of the box and also comes loaded with Motorola’s Thinkshield security platform and the Moto secure app. The latter controls network security and app permissions, as well as allows users to create a secret folder to house sensitive data. There’s also the parent-focused Family Space function, which lets parents limit screen time for their children and control which apps are accessible.

The Motorola Moto G73 5G is due to release in early March 2023, with a retail cost of £270. It will be available in two colours, Midnight Blue and Lucent White, though at the time of writing, only the Midnight Blue variant is listed on the Motorola website.

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Motorola Moto G53 5G

The other 5G-ready model, the Moto G53 5G, comes in quite a bit cheaper than the G73 5G at £190. This one also operates on Android 13 from day one and comes loaded with the same selection of Thinkshield, Moto Secure and Family Space functions. The octa-core 2.2GHz Snapdragon 480 Plus processor and 4GB of RAM are identical to last year’s Moto G62 5G, but storage has at least been upgraded to 128GB. And once again, there’s space to use a microSD card to bump that up to 1TB.

Justifying its price compared to the now-discounted Moto G62 5G will likely be the biggest struggle for the G53, as the other specifications are either the same or slightly inferior. The battery is 5,000mAh, but fast charging is only 10W, compared to the G62 5G’s 15W, and while the 6.5in display has a 120Hz refresh rate, it only has an HD+ resolution. The main camera is again a 50MP sensor, though the superfluous 2MP macro lens has been dropped, folding those duties into the 8MP ultrawide lens.

The Moto G53 5G will be available in three colours: Ink Blue, Arctic Silver and Pale Pink. All three colours are due in early March, with a starting price of £190.

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Motorola Moto G23

This is where the pricing starts to get a bit muddled. Traditionally, albeit not always, the G series of phones operates on the rule that the higher the number, the better the phone, but here we have a G23 model that costs £10 more than the G53 5G, despite lacking 5G connectivity. So what does that £200 get you? For starters, the processor is an octa-core 2GHz MediaTek Helio G85, backed by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage – again there is microSD support, but you can only use cards up to 512GB in capacity.

The 6.5in display has a 90Hz refresh rate and HD+ resolution, with the rear camera array consisting of a 50MP main lens, 5MP ultrawide and 2MP macro, while the battery is 5,000mAh. Here we see the first big advantage the G23 has over the G53 5G, with the fast charging bumped up to 30W. You also get an official IP52 rating here, as opposed to the vague “water-repellent design” of the above models.

As with the other 2023 phones, the Moto G23 has a confirmed release window of early March. When that rolls around, there will be three colour choices on offer: Pearl White, Steel Blue and Matte Charcoal, with all of them priced at £200.

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Motorola Moto G13

While the G23 bucks the trend, the Moto G13 returns to the familiar pricing pattern, with a retail cost of £150. Considering the price difference, it’s surprising that this isn’t actually all that different to the Moto G23. The dimensions are identical (162.7 x 74.7 x 8.2mm), the weight is very similar, at 184g, and it’s also rated IP52. On top of that, the display is the same 6.5in, 90Hz, HD+ affair, the battery is once again 5,000mAh and even the processor and storage capacity are identical, though you only get 4GB of RAM here.

We start to see the key differences when we look at the cameras, with the selfie unit dropping to 8MP, and the 50MP main camera joined by a pair of 2MP secondary sensors, for depth and macro shots. Fast charging is also significantly less powerful than the G23, with a 10W charger provided, instead of 30W.

The Moto G13 is due to release in early March, with a starting price of £150. There will be three colours available: Matte Charcoal, Blue Lavender and Rose Gold.

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Motorola Moto E13

Rounding out the slew of new devices is the most wallet-friendly of the bunch: the £90 Motorola Moto E13. Where the G series phones use Android 13 out of the box, here you get Android 13 Go edition, a pared-down version of the platform designed for lower-powered handsets. This suits the internal components, which comprise an octa-core 1.6GHz Unisoc T606 processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Unlike the Moto G23 and G13, the E13 accepts microSD cards up to 1TB.

Cameras are equally no-nonsense, with a 13MP (f/2.2) main sensor and a 5MP (f/2.2) selfie lens. Despite the price, you still get the same 5,000mAh battery and 10W charger as the G13, though you don’t get any fast charging capability. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor that’s present on all of the G devices is also lacking here, but the E13 does still feature face unlock.

The Moto E13 is eyeing an early March release window. There will be three colours available at launch, Cosmic Black, Aurora Green and Creamy White, with all models priced at £90.

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Aside from the scattershot pricing strategy, there are a couple of potential issues that we can spot ahead of time. Notably, two devices on the pricier end of things, the G53 5G and G73 5G, don’t feature an official IP rating for dust and water resistance, something that we’ve criticised budget Motos for in the past. They each claim to have a “water-repellent design”, but this isn’t as reassuring as a certified IP rating.

The other thing to keep an eye on is that several of these new phones look like they may struggle to prove their value when compared to previous models like the Moto G62 5G. We’ll be able to properly put them through their paces closer to the early March release date, so check back in soon to see what we think of the latest batch of budget Motos.

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