The latest iteration of Motorola’s ultra-affordable Moto G Play arrives on February 8th. It looks to be an excellent upgrade over its predecessor, and at $150, it’s actually $20 cheaper than last year’s model.
Like the 2023 model, the 2024 Moto G Play uses a 6.5-inch 720p display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It also retains an old-fashioned headphone jack and charges over USB-C. But that’s where the comparisons end. Motorola upgraded this phone’s camera array, audio system, memory, charging speed, and processor.
You’ll find a single 50MP lens on the rear of the 2024 Moto G Play. This so-called “4-in-1” camera replaces the tri-camera array of last year’s Moto G Play—a bold move, but one that I’m happy to see. I’ve always said that cheap phones should have one good camera. While we can’t vouch for the Moto G Play’s photo quality yet (it probably isn’t amazing), the “downgrade” to a single camera seems promising, and it gives customers a more honest impression of the phone’s capabilities.
For those who like to watch a lot of videos, the 2024 Moto G Play replaces its single mono speaker with a proper stereo speaker system. Motorola also added Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio to this phone, though these technologies are useless without compatible Bluetooth speakers or earbuds.
Interestingly, the 2024 Moto G Play uses a Snapdragon chipset. Motorola usually uses MediaTek processors in its super-cheap phones, so this is an odd change of pace. While the Snapdragon 680 4G isn’t exactly a powerhouse (it’s two years old and doesn’t support 5G), it should provide a better experience than the MediaTek Helio G37 that we saw in last year’s Moto G Play.
The phone also upgrades to 4GB of RAM, up from 3GB in last year’s model. Battery life supposedly clocks in at 48 hours (down from 72 hours), but the charging speed is upgraded to 15 watts. Unfortunately, wireless charging is still off the table.
It’s also worth noting the 2024 Moto G Play runs on Android 13—a year-old Android release. On its own, this is perfectly acceptable. But it’s a clear indication that the 2024 Moto G Play, like previous models, will not receive world-class software support. These inexpensive Motorola phones typically get just one Android update and two years of irregular security updates.
Customers in the United States can purchase the 2024 Moto G Play for $150 on February 8th. It will be available unlocked at Amazon, Best Buy, and the Motorola website. Carriers will begin selling the Moto G Play sometime after its initial release. If you’re in Canada, you can buy this phone on January 26th.