Motorola Moto g100 is here — and the Pixel 5a should be worried

Motorola Moto g100
(Image credit: Motorola)

Motorola just unveiled the Moto g100, a €499 ($588) device with enough power and camera hardware to ramp up the pressure on rival handsets — including upcoming phones like the Google Pixel 5a.

Although on the expensive side for a budget phone, the Moto g100 offers a muscular Snapdragon 870 chip and a total of six cameras. With a few other tricks up its sleeve, Motorola has an intimidating new device on its hands and one that budget-minded shoppers will want to consider. 

In addition to the high-end chipset, the g100 also sports 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage (expandable via microSD card). Again, that's generous for a Motorola g-series phone. You'll be able to put that power to good use with Motorola's new Ready For desktop mode, which is going to be usable on the g100 at launch. 

For your photography needs, the Moto g100 offers quartet of rear cameras. The most powerful camera is the 64MP main sensor, but the 16MP ultrawide camera has some unique tricks of its own. It's capable of macro shots as well as wide shots, and using the phone's macro mode activates a built-in ring light to help illuminate your small-scale subject. The other two cameras are a 2MP depth sensor and time-of-flight sensor, to help with special photo effects.

Motorola Moto g100

The Motorola Moto g100. (Image credit: Motorola)

In its presentation showcasing the new phone, Motorola demonstrated how the cameras on the phone have automatic subject tracking, meaning when you record video or make video calls, the phone can track the users in shot, zooming in or out and focussing as required.

Motorola Moto g100

The Motorola Moto g100's ultrawide camera ring light. (Image credit: Motorola)

Below these cameras is a microphone capable of "audio zoom." Working in tandem with two other microphones on the side of the phone, the g100 can ignore ambient noise and focus in on a particular source of sound.

The Moto g100 features a large 6.7-inch panel, which comes with an FHD resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. It also contains two cameras in side-by-side punch-hole notches, a 16MP main sensor and an 8MP ultrawide.

Powering the Moto g100 is a typically large battery — 5,000 mAh to be precise. That should last you for quite a long time, given Motorola's reputation for building long-lasting phones. But when you do need more power, there's 20W fast charging for you to make the most of. 

The g100 is also capable of charging optimization, which reduces the strain on the battery by learning when you typically charge your phone and only filling it to 100% when it predicts you're about to unplug it.

Motorola's taken a surprising change of direction in what exactly constitutes a g-series phone with the g100. It bears the name of the company's budget phone line, yet looking back at that almost $600 price tag, it's hard to ignore this new device costs almost double the price of a Google Pixel 4a, which is a fantastically featured phone despite its low price. The more powerful hardware on the Motorola model will have to work very well to be worth the money, particularly since the iPhone SE and Motorola's own Moto G Power are also some of the best cheap phones around right now. 

Additional phones: Moto g50, Moto g30 and Moto g10

If you prefer your Moto g phones to be cheaper, you have another three newly unveiled options to check out.

Motorola Moto g50

The Motorola Moto g50. (Image credit: Motorola)

The most interesting is the Moto g50, a cheap 5G-ready device that will sell for €229 ($270) — a cheaper price than even the Moto One 5G Ace that the company debuted earlier this year. It's armed with a Snapdragon 480 chip, a 6.5-inch HD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate, the same 5,000 mAh battery as the Moto g100 and a 48MP triple camera system.

Motorola Moto g10

The Motorola Moto g10. (Image credit: Motorola)

At the bottom is the ultra-cheap Moto g10, which costs just €149 ($175) and uses a low-powered Snapdragon 460 chip. All the same, it offers a combination of 48MP main camera, 16MP ultrawide camera and a macro lens and depth sensor for photography, plus the same 5,000 mAh battery and a 6.5-inch HD display as the g50, albeit without a 90Hz refresh rate.

Motorola Moto g30

The Motorola Moto g30. (Image credit: Motorola)

Between these two there's the €179 ($210) Moto g30. This features a 64MP main camera and 90Hz 6.5-inch display like the g100, as well as the same cameras and battery as the g10. It's unique for having the most powerful chip of these three phones; a Snapdragon 662, although the g30 lacks 5G support.

All of these phones will come to the U.K., and while it's possible at least some of them will appear in the U.S. too, there are no details on wider availability just yet.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.