Review: The Motorola One 5G Ace doesn't live up to its potential

The cracks are appearing greater than ever ahead of.

2020 used to be a blended 12 months for Motorola within the Android house. The Moto G Energy stands proud as one of the vital perfect affordable Android telephones of the final 12 months, Motorola in any case dove again into the flagship house with the Motorola Edge+, and the corporate made huge growth within the foldable area of interest with the RAZR (2020).

For all of the ones highs, alternatively, there have been additionally a couple of stumbles. No longer best does Motorola’s lackluster device replace coverage get an increasing number of nerve-racking with once a year that passes, however outdoor of the G Energy, many of the corporate’s different price range telephones failed to search out sturdy footing. Sticking with the tactic of throwing the whole thing on the wall and seeing what sticks, Motorola’s kicking off 2021 via launching 4 new budget-minded units all of sudden.

The Motorola One 5G Ace is main that rate, touting the name of Motorola’s maximum reasonably priced 5G telephone to-date. It is a notable unencumber so far as 5G is worried, however as an general product, it finally ends up being a tool that is difficult to suggest.

At a look

Motorola One 5G Ace



Base line: The Motorola One 5G Ace stands proud as one of the vital most cost-effective 5G telephones you’ll purchase in 2021, however sadly, that is not sufficient to fail to remember the remainder of its shortcomings. Efficiency and battery lifestyles are very good at this value, however due to middling cameras, an affordable design, and an unacceptable degree of device beef up, the telephone as a complete comes with numerous luggage. Mix that with the truth that you’ll recuperate general telephones for much less cash, and the One 5G Ace finally ends up being tough to suggest until you actually want 5G at this value (which you do not).

The Just right

  • Snapdragon 750G is speedy and responsive
  • Unbelievable battery lifestyles
  • IP52 water resistance
  • There is a headphone jack
  • One of the vital most cost-effective 5G telephones to be had

The Unhealthy

  • Bland, affordable design design
  • Digicam is gradual and lacks OIS
  • Mono speaker
  • 5G is restricted to sub-6 speeds
  • Ships with Android 10
  • Promised only one OS replace

$400 at Amazon
$400 at Best possible Purchase
$400 at B&H

Motorola One 5G Ace Value and availability

Pre-orders for the Motorola One 5G Ace are reside presently, with common gross sales starting on January 14. The telephone is to be had universally unlocked at Amazon, Best possible Purchase, B&H, Walmart, and Motorola’s web site for $399.99.

The One 5G Ace may also be headed to carriers later this 12 months. Consistent with Motorola, we’re going to see the telephone arrive at AT&T, Shopper Mobile, Google Fi, Metro, T-Cell, Republic Wi-fi, Verizon, and Xfinity. Service availability for the Motorola One 5G Ace will release “within the coming months.”

Motorola One 5G Ace What I really like

Earlier than we get too deep within the unhealthy stuff surrounding the Motorola One 5G Ace, I do need to spotlight the issues in regards to the telephone that paintings — beginning first with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor.

Class Motorola One 5G Ace
Working Machine Android 10
Show 6.7-inch LCD, Complete HD+
Processor Snapdragon 750G
Reminiscence 6GB RAM
Garage 128GB (expandable)
Rear Cameras 48MP number one, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro
Battery five,000 mAh
Water Resistance IP52
Dimensions 166.1 x 76.1 x nine.9mm
Weight 212g

That is the primary telephone launching within the U.S. to be powered via the 750G, and for all intents and functions, it is an ever-so-slightly underclocked model of the Snapdragon 765G that we noticed in such a lot of units final 12 months. Regardless of being a technical downgrade, the 750G has been each and every bit as dependable because the 765G in my day by day use. In different phrases, it is a very speedy and succesful processor that the majority customers shall be served completely via.

Apps open briefly, 6GB of RAM permits for excellent multitasking, and I hardly ever discovered myself ready at the telephone to do what I sought after. It is clearly now not the similar flagship-grade revel in to be had on a lot more dear units, however particularly at this value level, there is little to bitch about.

I have additionally been actually inspired via the Motorola One 5G Ace’s battery lifestyles. It is packing a five,000 mAh battery, and as anticipated with a capability that enormous, this can be a tool you’ll use for a minimum of two days on a unmarried rate. Giant battery capacities are one thing Motorola actually were given proper in 2020, and I am extremely joyful to peer the corporate’s dedication to that conserving true in 2021. Nonetheless being restricted to 15W charging does put a damper on issues, and someday, Motorola wishes to transport past this antiquated rate pace.

Efficiency and battery lifestyles are the place the One 5G Ace actually stands proud, with the remainder of the positives being smaller however serving to to spherical out the tool as a complete.

Efficiency and battery lifestyles are the One 5G Ace’s sturdy fits.

The loss of a 90Hz refresh charge for the show is frustrating, however due to a Complete HD+ solution and LCD panel, the whole thing nonetheless appears crisp and gives lovely excellent colours. There is 128GB of garage that you’ll extend with a microSD card, Motorola nonetheless will give you a headphone jack, and there is NFC for contactless Google Pay beef up (one thing we do not steadily see with reasonably priced Motorola telephones). There is even an legitimate IP52 score for water-resistance, which is a brilliant price upload for a tool this reasonably priced.

As for the presence of 5G, it is..a factor. The Motorola One 5G Ace is restricted to sub-6 5G speeds, that means you can most probably see quicker efficiency than LTE however not anything too considerable the best way you could possibly with mmWave. It is a excellent spec to have so far as future-proofing is worried, however because it is going with any 5G telephone, it isn’t explanation why sufficient to shop for the Ace over a competing tool particularly for the 5G connectivity.

Finally, there is the device revel in we have now come to grasp and love from any Motorola telephone. The interface may be very blank and paying homage to what you would in finding on a Pixel, and for the additional options that Motorola has added, all of them supply reputable price to “inventory” Android.

Twisting the One 5G to open the digicam app is handy, reducing it to open the flashlight is consistently a laugh, and Peek Show (the band previously referred to as Moto Show) is still one of the vital perfect always-on show options in the marketplace. Motorola’s device has consistently discovered a excellent stability of ultimate easy whilst nonetheless offering numerous serve as, and every time I am getting to make use of a telephone from the corporate, that consistently stands proud as one of the vital major highlights.

Motorola One 5G Ace The place issues fall aside

Sadly for the Motorola One 5G Ace, that is the place the compliments prevent. Even with a retail value of $400, there are issues about this telephone which might be actually tough to fail to remember.

Let’s get started with the design, which is — as my colleague Hayato so as it should be put it — ugly. Good looks is within the eye of the beholder, and no less than to my eye, the Motorola One 5G Ace is a actually unattractive machine. It is each and every bit as large because the Galaxy Word 20 Extremely, the reflective again trend appears horribly affordable, and the total development feels worse than final 12 months’s Moto G releases. The body is noticeably cut loose the again plastic, and as such, you’ll really feel the lip of the body each and every unmarried time you hang the telephone. That does not sound too unhealthy in writing, however in day by day use, it makes the One 5G Ace unsightly to touch.

I have been dealing with the One 5G Ace side-by-side with the Moto G Energy (2021) and Moto G Play (2021), and in spite of either one of the ones telephones costing not up to 5G Ace, they really feel higher in-hand in comparison to their costlier sibling. Their plastic backs don’t seem to be reflective, their frames and extra tightly built-in with the remainder of the frame, and they are simply extra relaxing to make use of. Out of the entire new Moto telephones popping out in early-2021, the Motorola One 5G Ace indisputably were given the quick stick within the design/construct high quality division.

Extra relating to than a foul in-hand really feel is the looming uncertainty of sturdiness for the Motorola One 5G Ace. My unit has two actually nasty scratches after as regards to every week of ordinary use, and in my years of checking out/reviewing telephones, that is in regards to the quickest I have observed such deep marks on a telephone’s show.

Motorola tells me that the One 5G Ace makes use of NEG glass, or Nippon Electrical Glass. It is the first time I have ever heard of the corporate, and after my time with the One 5G Ace, possibly there is a excellent explanation why for that. Each smartphone is sure to turn indicators of use someday in its lifestyles, however this degree of wear-and-tear after every week is amazingly disappointing.

On any other design-related word, I hate that the one exterior speaker you get is a mono one at the backside body. It does get strangely loud, however the audio high quality is bland, and the speaker is so easy to hide utterly. We’ve got observed different price range telephones just like the Pixel 4a use its entrance earpiece with a bottom-firing speaker for stereo sound, so why the Motorola One 5G Ace does not do that is past me.

Then we’ve the digicam scenario, which is ready what you would be expecting from a lower-cost Motorola telephone. The main sensor you can be the usage of probably the most is a 48MP lens that outputs to 12MP the usage of pixel binning. This appears to be the very same sensor discovered at the Motorola One 5G from late-2020, and similar to on that telephone, it is a blended bag.

Footage taken in abundant sunlight steadily prove lovely excellent, appearing respectable colours (regardless that a tad uninteresting) and sharp element. Sadly, the minute you introduce less-than-ideal lighting fixtures prerequisites, issues fall aside. The digicam has hassle focusing, pictures steadily prove blurry, and the tip effects simply don’t seem to be enjoyable to take a look at. That is most likely because of there being a loss of OIS for the digicam, and that absence may be very a lot provide right here.

Number one digicam (left) as opposed to the ultra-wide digicam (proper)

Footage fascinated by the 2MP macro digicam

As for the opposite two cameras, it is hit-and-miss. The 8MP ultra-wide sensor does a excellent task of showcasing equivalent colours to the main one, however with the 2MP macro digicam, you might be easiest off ignoring it utterly. I assume there is some novelty in with the ability to focal point so intently on a subject matter, however the snail’s tempo of the digicam app makes shooting a macro shot that is correctly centered just about not possible.

Sadly, that gradual efficiency is one thing that is observed right through all of the digicam revel in. Whether or not or not it’s opening the app, snapping a photograph, or tapping to concentrate on a subject matter, the whole thing feels love it’s a step at the back of. For the reason that the Snapdragon 750G is responsive in just about all different duties, I am not certain what went unsuitable right here.

Talking of items going unsuitable, we need to communicate in regards to the device scenario with the Motorola One 5G. Regardless of being launched in mid-January 2021 — a time limit the place Android 11 has been publicly to be had for over 5 months — the telephone ships with Android 10 out of the field.

Motorola will have to be embarrassed via its present stance on device updates.

As though it wasn’t unhealthy sufficient to be delivery a product with an old-fashioned working device and safety patch, Motorola remains to be promising only one primary OS replace for all of the lifestyles span of the One 5G Ace. As soon as it will get up to date to Android 11 to be on present device (there is nonetheless no ETA for when this may occur), that’ll be the only and best device replace you ever see. I have consistently taken factor with Motorola’s one-update coverage, however on the very least, its telephones delivery at the start of a brand new 12 months have run probably the most present model of Android. The truth that the One 5G Ace is being offered with Android 10 and having its unmarried replace used to get it on Android 11 is a rattling embarrassment.

I do not know if Motorola will ever have a transformation of middle and overhaul this coverage, however no less than from my finish, this by myself makes the Motorola One 5G Ace a telephone I am hesitant to suggest folks purchasing.

On most sensible of all that, I additionally need to in brief point out what this telephone actually is at its core: a rebranding of a inexpensive telephone Motorola sells in different markets. The Motorola One 5G Ace is referred to as the Moto G 5G outdoor of the U.S., and in the United Kingdom and Europe, it retails for £249 and €299, respectively.

I comprehend it is not consistently truthful to match telephone costs from nation to nation, but when Motorola had introduced the One 5G Ace for $299 in the US, we would have a a lot more compelling tool on our palms. As an alternative, Motorola modified the branding, upped the cost via $100, did not make any upgrades to justify the greater charge, and that is the reason the product we ended up with.

Motorola One 5G Ace The contest

The Motorola One 5G Ace would possibly look like a tight acquire when having a look at it in a bubble, however once you get started evaluating it towards similarly-priced units, it turns into crystal transparent how missing the telephone actually is.

Most likely the most productive telephone to position issues into standpoint is the Google Pixel 4a. When put next side-by-side to the Motorola One 5G Ace, the Pixel 4a has a extra colourful OLED show, a considerably higher digicam, very good device beef up, and a higher-quality design — involved in $50 much less. Except you completely want the Ace’s massive measurement and/or 5G connectivity, there is completely no explanation why to shop for it over the Pixel 4a.

Should you do want a larger telephone and need peace-of-mind with 5G beef up, you might be getting the Google Pixel 4a 5G. It’s $100 costlier than the One 5G Ace, however it is usually only a higher smartphone in each and every unmarried regard. It is extra tough, has a greater show, extra succesful cameras — the record is going on.

Even if having a look at Motorola’s personal choices, there are simply higher Moto telephones than what we’ve right here. The Motorola One 5G that got here out in 2020 is only a contact costlier with an MSRP of $445, however for the ones additional bucks, you might be getting a couple of key upgrades — together with a quicker processor and a 90Hz show. It’s restricted to AT&T and Verizon, but when you need a 5G Moto telephone, this can be a a lot better providing at an excessively equivalent value. There is additionally the Moto G Stylus (2021), which drops 5G connectivity and has a barely smaller (however nonetheless huge) battery for a $299 sticky label value. You continue to get a large Complete HD+ show, excellent efficiency, and the very same digicam setup discovered at the Motorola One 5G Ace.

Motorola One 5G Ace Must you purchase it?

You will have to purchase this if …

  • You wish to have a 5G telephone for less than $400
  • You need a headphone jack + expandable garage
  • You’ll in finding it on sale as a part of a store or provider promotion

You will have to now not purchase this if …

  • You care about device updates
  • You need a excellent digicam revel in
  • You need to get probably the most bang-for-your-buck
three
out of five


I feel what upsets me probably the most in regards to the Motorola One 5G Ace is all of its wasted attainable. If Motorola had spent extra time at the telephone’s design, cameras and straightened out its device replace scenario, this may have been a fully killer Android telephone for $400. What we ended up with, alternatively, seems like a product that used to be rushed out with none concept or purpose.

Going right through the remainder of 2021, I fear that that is what we are going to stay seeing from Motorola. The corporate helps to keep making the similar errors (in conjunction with some new ones this 12 months), does not appear to make any authentic try at addressing the ones problems, and releases a myriad of units that fail to have any actual function to them.

The Motorola One 5G Ace is the newest results of that procedure, and on the finish of the day, it isn’t a telephone I’m going to be going again to or recommending as soon as this assessment is over. As a long-time Moto fan, that is not one thing I have the benefit of announcing. Here is to subsequent time.

Motorola One 5G Ace



There are a few things that the Motorola One 5G Ace will get proper, however on the finish of the day, it is a lovely mediocre Android telephone that does not do a lot to push the needle ahead. The possibility of having 5G at such an reasonably priced value is compelling, however between a vulnerable design, lackluster cameras, and indefensible device, your cash is best spent in different places.

$400 at Amazon
$400 at Best possible Purchase
$400 at B&H

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