Moto G 5G Range
Consumer attitudes to new smartphones have changed. The days of the premium handsets being the biggest revenue generators for the major manufacturers look to be behind us. As people look for more value from their smartphone investment, analyst Gartner has said the main mobile battleground is now the affordable and mid-range market.
In that context, it shouldn’t be any surprise that the big brands are already positioning themselves to slug it out over low-cost 5G phones. Yet what makes this worthy of note is the fact that 5G is not even close to being universally available in most regions yet. It remains, for now, a niche offering.
Value for Money?
In the normal course of things, the accepted laws of market forces tell us that, especially when it comes to technology, early adopters are the ones prepared to pay a premium. All things being equal, this is exactly the point in the 5G lifecycle where we would expect device manufacturers to be cashing in with the most expensive phones. To date at least, that is exactly what they have been trying to do. The first wave of 5G-ready smartphones have mostly been priced very much in the premium range.
But that may all be about to change. And the first brand to stick its head above the parapet with the release of a truly budget 5G phone is Motorola. The new Moto G 5G Plus retails at £299.99 in the UK for the 64GB version, £349.99 for 128GB.
Compared to rival 5G-ready devices like the OnePlus 8, LG V60, the Samsung Galaxy S20 series or even Motorola’s own flagship Edge Plus, these really are bargain prices – in some cases just a third of what a premium 5G phone would cost you.
This looks like part of a very deliberate plan from Motorola. The brand scored a marketing coup as early as 2018 with the release of a 5G ‘Moto Mod’, an accessory pack which turned any of its Z-series handsets into a 5G-ready device. Launched to coincide with Verizon’s very first commercial 5G services in the US, this gave Motorola a valid claim to be the first manufacturer to make 5G-enabled devices available, regardless of the recent release of the Moto G 5G.
Fast forward two years, and Motorola has not only been busy with native 5G phones like the Edge Plus and Edge, it has also made a concerted play in the budget market with the launch of no less than four Moto G series handsets in under 12 months, including the Moto E5, which we reviewed Here
The Moto G 5G Plus can therefore be seen as drawing together two strands of the Motorola strategy – 5G and budget-friendly handsets. After the turmoil the brand has been through since the days when it vied with Nokia for dominance of the pre-smartphone mobile market, its current owners (Lenovo) will hope this sets them back on the road to former glories.