Motorola is bringing a midrange 5G phone to the US (as it had promised earlier this year) with the announcement of the Motorola One 5G, which will cost under $500.
The One 5G is technically Motorola’s second 5G phone, following the release of the Moto G 5G Plus in Europe over the summer. The One 5G, however, differs in two key ways: it’ll actually be available in the United States, and it’ll offer a special mmWave variant for Verizon — which only offers mmWave-based 5G — similar to other recent midrange phones like Samsung’s Galaxy A51 5G UW and LG’s Velvet 5G UW.
Most of the specs for the One 5G are in line with almost every other midrange Motorola phone released this year: there’s a Snapdragon 765G processor (similar to the $699 Motorola Edge), 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage (expandable through microSD), a 5,000mAh battery, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and NFC. The screen is a 6.7-inch, 90Hz, FHD display with two hole-punch cameras — a primary 16-megapixel shooter and a secondary 8-megapixel ultrawide angle lens. Also similar are the notable absences: there’s no wireless charging and no waterproofing.
But the Motorola One 5G stands out for now just offering 5G support — something that none of the Moto G or Moto E devices released in the US have offered. As with Samsung and Motorola, it is disappointing to see that the faster mmWave specification will only be limited to the Verizon variant (only the company’s flagship $999 Motorola Edge Plus has offered both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G support this year). Still, the fact that Motorola is starting to include 5G at all in its cheaper model phones is an encouraging thing for the future of the networking standard.
Also new is a “power touch” button on the side of the device, which has an integrated fingerprint sensor and enables some touch gestures that offer similar functionality to the “edge touch” action bar on the Motorola Edge series. For example, you can double tap to bring up a customizable app toolbar or swipe on the button to bring up a pull-down notification shade.
The final point of interest on the Motorola One 5G are the rear cameras. The Motorola One 5G has four, most of which are also standard midrange fare: a 48-megapixel main camera that can shoot quad-pixel stills at 12-megapixel sizes, an 8-megapixel 118-degree ultrawide, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
But, as has become tradition for Motorola One devices, the One 5G also has a unique camera feature: a dedicated 5-megapixel macro camera with a second, ring light flash that’s placed around the macro lens. The idea to fix a key issue of macro photography: by shooting objects so close up, you often cast your subject in shadow. By integrating a ring light directly into the macro lens, Motorola is hoping to help alleviate that issue and allow for even better, clearer macro shots.
The Motorola One 5G will be sold through both AT&T and Verizon in the US (right now, Motorola isn’t announcing any plans for an unlocked version), and there’s no exact price or release date yet, although Motorola did confirm that the One 5G will cost under $500. That said, it’s not clear whether the sub-$500 price will apply to just the AT&T version or if the Verizon model will reach that price point as well, given that Verizon’s mmWave variants of other 2020 phones have nearly universally included a price increase.