On paper, the Moto G53 promises a lot, such as a 120Hz refresh rate, 50MP camera, Snapdragon 480+ 5G compatible, and immediate support for Android 13, all of which are appreciated in an entry-level smartphone. However, there are concerns like an HD+ display, slightly weaker performance, and slow charging. Let’s see how it fares in practice.
Motorola Moto G53 Technical Specifications
|Model||Motorola Moto G53|
|Dimensions||74.66mm x 162.7mm x 8.19mm|
|Manufacturer Interface||My UX|
|Screen Size||6.5 inches|
|Resolution||1600 x 720 pixels|
|Pixel Density||269 PPI|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 480+|
|Rear Camera||Sensor 1: 50MP, Sensor 2: 8MP|
|Video Recording Resolution||Full HD|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 5 (ac)|
|Connector Type||USB Type-C|
|Colors||Silver, Blue, Pink|
This review was conducted using a product lent by the brand
Motorola Moto G53 Design
For an entry-level smartphone, the Moto G53 has some nice surprises. With its slim appearance, the phone strikes a balance between size (162.7 x 74.66mm), thickness (8.19mm), and weight (183g). The slim and tall design, combined with a comfortable width, ensures a solid grip. The phone’s weight is evenly distributed, making it easy to use with one hand without any discomfort.
The angular frame with rounded corners adds to the impression of a well-built device. The edges around the screen and the back of the phone are slightly beveled, providing effective grip. However, the Moto G53 doesn’t fit perfectly into the palm and knuckles.
While examining the frame of the device, we find the SIM drawer on the left edge, which can accommodate a SIM card and a MicroSD card (up to 1 TB). The volume and power controls are located on the right side.
Worth mentioning is that the power button also houses an efficient fingerprint sensor, which may be a bit too sensitive. Its sensitivity, always signaled by haptic feedback, triggers a biometric recognition attempt whenever it is touched by skin. In short, if you are used to keeping your hands in the same pocket as your smartphone, expect it to vibrate regularly. However, we appreciate its position on the frame, which corresponds to the natural placement of the thumb for right-handed users and the index finger for left-handed users. At the bottom, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a speaker surround the USB-C port.
As with many entry-level devices, the Moto G53 features plastic construction. Motorola has opted for a polymer frame and back, which is not surprising given the smartphone’s price. Nevertheless, the finishes are clean enough to maintain the illusion of a higher-end product. The back of the G53, with its iridescent effects, resembles frosted glass and does not collect fingerprints.
The device’s rear design contributes to the manufacturer’s intended quality appearance. The brand logo at the center is well-proportioned and integrates seamlessly into the coating. Regulatory mentions at the bottom, printed in a matching tone, are barely visible. In the top left corner, the camera module, consisting of two sensors, occupies a reasonable amount of space. We appreciate its minimal protrusion, ensuring the smartphone’s stability when placed flat with the screen facing the user.
Finishing with the front of the Moto G53, the active touchscreen surface covers nearly 90% of the area. The screen is bordered by acceptable bezels, although the bottom one could be considered slightly too thick. No complaints about the central punch hole, topped by an almost invisible grille. This is where the internal earpiece, which also serves as a second speaker, is hidden.
It should be noted that the Moto G53 is not waterproof and does not have an IP certification. According to Motorola, the device does have a splash-resistant coating. However, we recommend caution when using your smartphone in rainy weather. The same advice applies to potential front impacts, as the screen is not protected by Gorilla Glass or an equivalent quality glass. This is unfortunate, especially since the device tends to slide on its own when placed face down on an uneven surface.
Motorola Moto G53 Display
The Moto G53 features a 6.5-inch HD+ 20:9 ratio display with a resolution of 1600 x 720 pixels and 229 ppi. Although the sharpness is a bit low, it isn’t disastrous. Visually, the image lacks some crispness but doesn’t suffer from obvious pixelation. Although it’s acceptable for a smartphone under $250, some competitors perform better, like the Vivo Y35 or Nokia G60, which offer Full HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels; 400 ppi) at similar price points.
As expected for this price range, Motorola opted for an LCD panel. However, the smartphone fails to match its competitors in terms of viewing angles. While the colors and contrasts are slightly too cold and veiled for our taste, the main issue lies in the poor viewing angle management. The display looks decent when viewed head-on, but tilting the device causes contrasts to slip and colors to derail, making it evident that an LCD panel is used.
The Moto G53 tries to make up for this with an excellent 120 Hz refresh rate. The manufacturer’s efforts to provide a smooth interface and navigation experience are commendable. The device’s settings are set to an adaptive refresh rate by default (from 60 Hz to 120 Hz depending on smartphone usage), which is ideal for conserving battery life without degrading user experience.
Technical tests conducted with our probe and Portrait Displays’ CaIMAn Ultimate software confirm our general impressions regarding color display, temperature, and brightness. In saturated mode (default setting), sRGB maxes out at 91% and DCI-P3 falls to 64%. Considering good coverage revolves around 100% sRGB, the Moto G53 could perform better.
The Delta E, which measures the difference between the original color and the displayed color, reaches 5.54, significantly above the desired index of 3. Forcing Normal mode from the device’s settings lowers the value to 3.52, which is better but still slightly too high. A Delta E higher than 3 indicates significant chromatic differences, while below 3, the human eye cannot perceive any difference between original and displayed colors.
The measured color temperature in saturated mode confirms our cold general impression, as we recorded 7181K, higher than the standard 6500K, which leans towards blue. In normal mode, colors warm up and yield a more acceptable result of 6067K. Once again, the Moto G53 struggles to find the right balance, and manual adjustments will be necessary to achieve the most natural display possible.
The brightness is evaluated at 510 cd/m², which is adequate for outdoor use but not outstanding. Some readability difficulties may arise under direct summer sunlight. The Moto G53 also features a responsive adaptive brightness option, but the minimum brightness level appears too high for comfortable reading in the dark.
Motorola Moto G53 Software
The Moto G53 comes with My UX, based on Android 13. Normally, opting for the latest version of Google’s operating system would be good news for feature and security updates. However, we have some reservations about Motorola’s practices and the software future of the device.
To date, the manufacturer has only committed to deploying Android 14, set for release in September 2023. No promises have been made regarding future upgrades to Android 15 and 16.
Second drawback, more troublesome in the short term: the system update delay faced by My UX. It’s no secret that rapid distribution of security patches has never been Motorola’s strong suit. With its Moto G53, the company confirms its relatively slow responsiveness. At the time of writing this review, the device is running Android 13 secured by the January patch, not the February patch officially deployed earlier this month, even after manually searching for software updates.
The same applies to Google Play system updates, the latest of which can at least be manually retrieved from the device’s settings.
In use, My UX closely resembles the stock version of Android, making it accessible to a wide range of users. Despite this, the interface offers deeper customization features with the Moto app, a launcher-like toolbox rather than a fully integrated environment.
It offers a range of options that take advantage of what Android 13 already provides to enhance the user experience: a display editor (themes, fonts, icon shapes, text size, ringtone settings, etc.), a gesture control configuration module (flip to mute, three-finger screenshot, lift to silence ringtone, etc.), and advanced digital privacy settings (secure folders, keyboard scrambling for secret code input). Moto also provides access to Dolby Atmos speaker activation and configuration settings.
If one were to nitpick, it’s a pity Motorola didn’t offer more advanced customization options. For example, the app drawer is organized as an infinite list rather than pages, making it hard to navigate with a large number of installed programs. The tiles in the control center are too imposing, and scrolling text will never be as effective as a simple logo. Additionally, access to ringtone settings is not optimized, requiring multiple steps to switch between silent, vibrate, and audible modes. But overall, My UX performs quite well.
Moto is not the only app bundled with the Motorola overlay. There’s the Google suite, due to Android 13, and some bloatware (Cdiscount, Pinterest, 2248) that made us cringe.
Finally, the Moto G53 is Widevine L1 compatible, allowing it to handle HD video streams on SVoD platforms.
Motorola Moto G53 Display
As for the SoC, the Moto G53 is equipped with a Snapdragon 480+, backed by 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage (expandable via microSD up to 1 TB). An upgrade from the Snapdragon 480, an entry-level chip found in the Moto G50 in 2021, the Snapdragon 480+ brings 5G compatibility to the smartphone and offers smooth performance for basic tasks (web browsing, messaging, video playback).
However, we experienced unexpected slowdowns when using the search option in the smartphone’s settings, consistently.
|Model||Motorola Moto G53||Nokia G60||Vivo Y35|
|PC Mark 3.0||9,803||9,372||6,454|
|3DMark Slingshot Extreme||2,507||2,884||1,316|
|3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics||2,338||2,774||1,151|
|3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics||3,358||3,550||2,649|
|3DMark Wild Life||983||1,207||446|
|3DMark Wild Life average framerate||6 FPS||7 FPS||2.70 FPS|
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme||N/A||N/A||122|
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme average framerate||N/A||N/A||0.70 FPS|
|GFXBench Aztec Vulkan/Metal high (onscreen/offscreen)||20/7 FPS||12/4 FPS||4.9/3.2 FPS|
|GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen/offscreen)||29/16 FPS||16/19 FPS||7.1/8 FPS|
|GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen/offscreen)||68/41 FPS||39/47 FPS||19/21 FPS|
|Geekbench 5 Single-core||N/A||N/A||372|
|Geekbench 5 Multi-core||N/A||N/A||1,317|
|Geekbench 6 Single-core||733||N/A||N/A|
|Geekbench 6 Multi-core||1,776||N/A||N/A|
|Geekbench 6 Compute||918||N/A||N/A|
|Sequential Read/Write||492/489 MB/s||523/472 MB/s||979.04/831.8 MB/s|
|Random Read/Write||43,254/40,327 IOPS||46,000/43,000 IOPS||54,781.03/51,776.18 IOPS|
In terms of gaming, the situation isn’t much better. The Moto G53 is not designed to handle heavy games, as evidenced by our disastrous experience with Fortnite. Capped at 30 fps by default and set to “Medium” graphics quality, the refresh rate frequently drops below 20 fps, often hovering between 15 and 19 fps.
In short, the game stutters constantly, and sometimes freezes. Performance is slightly better at 20 fps, though instability continues to disrupt gameplay.
Motorola Moto G53 Photo and Video
Here is the configuration of the Moto G53:
- A 50-megapixel main camera (f/1.8);
- A 2-megapixel macro camera (f/2.4);
- An 8-megapixel selfie camera (f/2).
The main sensor of the Moto G53 is decent but not exceptional. In bright conditions, it captures fairly accurate colors, good detail levels, and satisfactory sharpness, thanks to pixel binning (grouping pixels in fours to improve image brightness and reduce digital noise).
However, it struggles with backlit scenes, both indoors and outdoors. In autofocus, contrasts are not pronounced enough, and the scene appears dark overall. Manual focus, on the other hand, tends to overexpose the subject.
Image quality deteriorates in poor weather conditions. Under heavily overcast skies, the image appears washed out and overexposed, with a very white rendering, far from natural colors observed with the naked eye.
As expected, there is no telephoto lens on this smartphone, but it does have a digital zoom up to 8x. Unsurprisingly, the Moto G53 compensates for maximum zoom with strong image smoothing. At 2x zoom, the captured images still maintain an acceptable level of detail.
The available night mode does bring more light to nighttime shots and retains more details, but it also generates a rather coarse grain. In the end, it might be better to stick with HDR, which manages to capture enough surrounding light sources to create a usable photo.
50 MP Mode
By default, photos taken with the Moto G53 are 12.5 MP, but you can switch to 50 MP at any time (Plus > Ultra-Res). Comparing the same scene captured in both modes, we recommend using the lower resolution. The 50 MP shots exhibit a significant blur that generously smoothes out details and gives the impression that the lens is dirty.
Like most smartphones, the 2 MP macro sensor adds little value to the Moto G53. The shots are often blurry, and the details are faded.
As with night mode, it is better to stick with the automatic settings of the main sensor and get closer to the subject to capture a good close-up photo.
More effective indoors and against a plain background than outdoors, the portrait mode sometimes struggles (often) to accurately outline subjects. From one photo to another, it may cut out a part of a pair of glasses, stray hair strands, or an entire bun. On the other hand, when it correctly outlines the individual, it forgets to blur some background elements.
However, it does capture details and textures well, allowing you to easily see pores, fine lines, and other hairs or strands.
The 8 MP selfie sensor, located at the front of the smartphone, understandably doesn’t perform at the same level as the main camera. It suffers from the same issues, such as poor management of backlit scenes and white light, and sometimes struggles to focus correctly when lighting conditions are suboptimal.
The result is often blurry and grainy. In contrast, when it captures light well and stabilizes, the sensor smooths the subject a bit too much. In this case, combining it with portrait mode significantly improves detail and texture perception.
The main sensor of the Moto G53 can record Full HD videos at 30 frames per second, while the macro lens records HD sequences at 30 frames per second.
Motorola Moto G53 Network and Communication
The Moto G53, powered by the Snapdragon 480+ SoC, supports 5G in Europe on 4G LTE and sub-6 5G frequencies. It lacks mmWave (millimeter wave) frequency, like 99% of smartphones in 2023. Despite this, the Moto G53 offers value for its price. The device supports Wi-Fi 5 (unfortunately not Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.1, and has an NFC chip.
Call quality is good, with no major issues reported. Ambient noise doesn’t interfere with communication, and GPS performance is accurate and responsive.
Motorola Moto G53 Audio
Motorola’s Moto G53 features dual stereo speakers, certified with Dolby Atmos (spatial sound). Is this a marketing gimmick or a true added value? One thing is certain: without earbuds or headphones, the sound is not optimal, even with the smartphone’s intelligent audio analysis. Tested on metal, folk, rock, and electronic music, the bass tends to bleed, and the trebles are shrill. Podcasts fare slightly better, although the speakers can sound like they’re blowing (and whistling) into our ears when the volume is at maximum.
Spatialization and intelligent analysis make more sense with Bluetooth headphones (in this case, Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds). While the immersive surround sound is impressive for electronic music, the automatic equalization settings could handle bass and treble better for more distinct styles. Metal music crackles, lacks power, and the folk sound is very compressed. Unwanted background noises can be corrected using the manual settings in the Dolby Atmos app (presets for Music, Movies, Games, Podcasts, and customizable 10-band equalizer).
As briefly mentioned earlier, the Moto G53 also has a 3.5mm jack. With the intelligent analysis handling the sound equalization, the output is very muffled for tracks primarily driven by bass and low frequencies, giving the impression of listening to music underwater. On the other hand, the trebles are better managed than with the speakers and Bluetooth earbuds. Again, a quick manual equalization should improve the audio experience. Spatialization works well here too.
Motorola Moto G53 Battery
The Moto G53 features a 5,000mAh battery, which is excellent. After three weeks of using the smartphone as a primary device, we can confirm that it lasts about a day and a half on mixed usage, with approximately two and a half hours of active screen time per day.
However, a significant downside is the charging time with the 10W power adapter provided by Motorola. Starting from 3% battery, it takes the Moto G53 10 minutes to reach 10%, 30 minutes for 23%, 1 hour 15 minutes for 53%, and 2 hours 36 minutes for a full charge. This is very slow.
Here’s the charging progress:
|1 hour and 15 min||53%|
|1 hour and 30 min||63%|
|1 hour and 45 min||74%|
|2 hours and 15 min||93%|
|2 hours and 30 min||98%|
|2 hours and 36 min||100%|
However, the smartphone is compatible with a TurboPower mode, which, if you have a 30W power adapter, significantly speeds up battery charging time.
Motorola Moto G53 Price and Release Date
Motorola unveiled the Moto G53 at the end of 2022, and it’s already available for purchase on Amazon. Priced at $249 for 128GB storage and 4GB RAM, the Moto G53 comes in blue, silver, and pale pink color options.
Our opinion on the Motorola Moto G53
The Moto G53 is slim, sleek, relatively lightweight, and easy to grip. The frosted glass-like texture on the back is appealing, though it’s made of 100% plastic. The phone lacks IP certification and Gorilla Glass, making it prone to slipping when placed face-down.
While an LCD screen is expected for under $250, the HD+ resolution is disappointing. Motorola attempts to compensate with an excellent 120Hz refresh rate, but the display’s contrast, colors, and brightness are mediocre.
The Moto G53’s camera performance is inconsistent. The primary sensor takes better photos at 12MP than at 50MP, but only in good lighting conditions. The portrait mode offers decent detail but struggles with accurate subject separation. The macro camera isn’t very useful.
The Moto G53 isn’t a powerhouse, and it won’t handle heavy gaming. However, it’s sufficient for daily use and supports storage expansion up to 1TB via a microSD slot in the SIM tray.
My UX is a user-friendly software overlay that respects and subtly optimizes Android 13 with Moto app tools. More customization options for the interface would have been appreciated. The Moto G53 is slow to deploy security patches, and more updates would have been welcome.
Battery Life: 7/10
In mixed use, the Moto G53 lasts a day and a half. However, it takes over two and a half hours to fully charge the battery with the provided 10W charger, which is too slow, even though the device supports TurboPower charging.
The Motorola G53 is an average smartphone offering decent battery life, an appealing design, and a clean, comprehensive interface based on Android 13. Unfortunately, it has too many flaws to be wholeheartedly recommended. These include an HD+ display, major updates ending with Android 14, a weak processor for everyday use, and unremarkable camera quality. Additionally, it has one of the slowest charging times seen in recent years.
Some might argue that it’s an entry-level smartphone, but even for an entry-level device, it’s hard to seriously recommend the Motorola G53.
Pros of the Motorola Moto G53:
- Attractive design
- Pleasant interface
Cons of the Motorola Moto G53:
- HD+ LCD screen
- Extremely slow charging
- Performance lags