Motorola Moto G23 Review

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Motorola Moto G23 Review
The Moto G23 is among the latest budget options on the market, aiming to provide a solid Android experience at a low price. The phone is one out of four budget devices from Motorola, the rest being the G13, G53 and G73. And while the G13 beats the G23 in terms of price, the performance boost that the G23 brings turns it into the better option.

Pros

  • Great performance for the asking price
  • A pure Android experience
  • Impressive battery life
  • Has a 90Hz refresh rate
  • Biometrics you can count on
  • NFC on a budget phone

Cons

  • Fickle camera results
  • Unpleasant haptics
  • No support for 5G


The Moto G23 isn’t available in the US yet and we don’t know if it’s ever crossing the ocean. We've got the model with 8GB of RAM, which is currently on offer in the UK for £199.99 (which equates to about $240 when directly converted, tax included). Judging by the price, some cut corners are to be expected. Even when compared to alternatives around price point, the G23 still shows promise and pulls aces off its sleeve that make it a solid pick for a budget smartphone in 2023.

Moto G23 Unboxing



The Moto G23 comes with the following goodies out of the box:

  • A USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • A 33W charging brick
  • A SIM-ejector tool
  • A siliconе case
  • The typical paper inserts

33W isn’t top tier, but it's still an impressive charging rate for a budget phone. The G23 also comes with a silicone case that fits snuggly and provides extra protection for the phone. Its sides are extra sturdy and its edges raise the phone so as to not get scratched from any rough surfaces that it may end up on.

Moto G23 Specs




So, the G23 is not equipped with any groundbreaking components. Even the big 5,000mAh battery is something we’ve become accustomed to with Motorola phones. But it's great to see that the G23 has a screen that supports a 90Hz refresh rate and that the phone has NFC support.

Unlike its smaller brother, the G13, the G23 has 8GB of RAM, which really brings it to a higher level. I’m not sure if that is what enables some features like the camera or multitasking to perform way better than on the G13, but that's the result.

Moto G23 Design & Colors


The G23 has a plastic back that sports a combination of a reflective surface with a matte coating, which attempts to bring multiple shades into the mix. The color options you can get it in are Matte Charcoal, Steel Blue and then Pearl White, which we chose.

The color selection is rather boring, consisting only of Black, White and Blue. The latter is this mix between deep blue and dark pine, which gives the G23 a business vibe.

Despite that, the phone is light and feels sturdy. It's comfortable to hold for someone with big hands, but smaller-handed users may need to test it out before they make a final call. Regardless, the phone definitely feels like it could survive typical wear and tear.



Moto G23 Display


Negative connotations related to IPS LCD displays aside, this 6.5” panel is set to a resolution of 1600 x 720 and the result is rather plesant. Naturally, the 90Hz refresh rate helps the G23 a ton in this category.

In terms of quality, results are absolutely acceptable. You are bound to notice some pixelation here and there, especially if you bring the phone close to your face, but you wouldn’t really need to do that when surfing the web or enjoying some games.

The screen isn’t super-bright, but I found it to be serviceable even under direct sunlight, with some dimming becoming noticeable when you twist the phone a bit too much. Saturation is more than acceptable, and you can even tweak it to your liking in Settings.



Moto G23 Camera



It is somewhat difficult to hold the G23’s camera performance against it, given its price. At times, your results may come out blurry or over-processed to the point where objects appear unrealistically jagged, but when the stars align the G23 can produce great shots.

The phone has a triple camera system, consisting of a 50MP main shooter, a 5MP ultra-wide and a 2MP macro cam. This translates to three separate camera modes, tons of built-in filters and even a Pro mode that is situational, but functional.



Sometimes all three sensors will challenge your patience. But other times, with enough light, results can be pretty good. The main camera can produce some completely acceptable shots, but the ultra-wide and macro sensors can't keep up. Photos taken with them are often of lower quality and blurry. 


Video Thumbnail
 

Moto G23 Performance & Benchmarks


Now, an important note here is that the G23 is available in two configurations: one with 4GB of RAM and then another with 8GB, which is the one we chose. Given how close the specs of the G13 and G23 are, we expect the 4GB variant of the G23 to perform about as well as the G13. That being said, 8GB of RAM feels like a total game-changer, so if you have the choice: go for that one!

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The performance of the G23 is truly impressive. System navigation felt fluid and responsive, while switching between apps was quick and painless. The phone is completely capable of multitasking without any issue to the point that even two 3D games running at the same time was doable. And the G23 didn’t even get warm!

Moreover, this budget Moto phone is a great option for a cheap gaming phone. It handled everything that I threw at it — with the clear intention of challenging it — without breaking a sweat. All tested games ran at high frame rates at medium to low settings, without excessive battery drain or heating.

The G23 handled watching content in 4K very well, with a slight recovery time needed to flush it out when you are done. That being said, you wouldn’t really need to do that in any realistic situation, so just know that 1080p is as enjoyable as ever for watching media.

The biometric sensors on the G23 are truly impressive too. The fingerprint didn’t return any errors, even when my fingers were wet. But with Face Unlock, I was truly impressed, because the smartphone not only managed to continuously recognise me with glasses and in the dark, but also did so from impressive distances, to the point where it unlocked itself on accident a few times. A bit of a double-edged sword this one!

Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Motorola Moto G23425
Motorola Moto G13428
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G930
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G621
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Motorola Moto G231424
Motorola Moto G131439
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G1960
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G1856
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Motorola Moto G23191
Motorola Moto G13190
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G635
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G636
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Motorola Moto G23189
Motorola Moto G13188
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G632
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G631
 

Moto G23 OS / Android Version


Motorola is known for releasing most of its phones with pure versions of Android, and the G23 also continues the tradition. That being said, it does come with some Moto-exclusive features and quirks.

Here’s a quick list of the tricks the G23 can pull off:

  • Twist it twice and it starts up the camera
  • Shake it and it turns on the flashlight
  • Tap it with three fingers and it takes a screenshot

Do they work? Absolutely! Were there times where they came in hand? For sure. Would I evade them at all times unless in a pinch? Yep. The movements are just a bit too erratic and childish to be repeatedly done when in a crowd.

The G23 can also attempt to learn your usage pattern in order to change up the apps on your Home Screen’s bottom bar. For example, if it detects that you tend to browse Instagram while taking your first break at around 10:00 AM, then it will place that app on the row. While that sounds great, the G23 didn’t get to know me that well, as it offered up completely nonsensical suggestions. Then again, I only spent a week with it.

If you stick with the G23 for the entire three year period, for which it will be officially supported by Motorola, the story may be different and the feature — worthwhile. Oh, and said period also includes a single OS upgrade, presumably from Android 13 to 14.
 

Moto G23 Battery


I had a really tough time draining the G23’s battery and I say that with the utmost respect. The phone’s battery life is truly impressive, as it survived an entire day of gaming, streaming and me taking photos of my cats with 17% of battery.

Standby time was also impressive, with the phone losing less than 5% in about 10 hours. When the time to recharge it eventually came, it took about two hours to get it juiced up enough for me to go out and play around with the camera some more.

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Moto G2311h 25 min
Motorola Moto G1310h 31 min
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G8h 18 min
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G7h 45 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Moto G2310h 27 min
Motorola Moto G1318h 8 min
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G15h 26 min
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G15h 45 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Moto G236h 38 min
Motorola Moto G134h 51 min
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G7h
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G5h 28 min
Full Charge(hours)Lower is better
Motorola Moto G231h 13 min
Motorola Moto G132h 28 min
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G1h 11 min
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G1h 25 min
 

Moto G23 Audio Quality & Haptics


The Moto G23 has a bold engraving of “Dolby Atmos” on top, and luckily its audio performance can live up to the branding. While it does produce some excessive noise at loud volumes, overall sound quality was great.

Soundscape separation was clear, highs didn’t stab my ears and basses didn’t rumble excessively. Sometimes, however, songs lacked a presence of midrange tonality, which removed some of the oomph I had come to expect. This didn’t happen while watching videos though, so that's good.

On the other hand, haptics were disappointing. The motor in the G23 simply couldn’t keep up with my typing speed, and I’m not even that fast on a virtual keyboard. The result brought a sluggish sensation, which made the phone feel way slower than it actually was.

Call quality and microphone clarity were great, with the latter gaining bonus points for some really impressive noise cancellation. The G23 also comes with the coveted 3,5 mm headphone jack, which is always a welcomed inclusion.
 

Moto G23 Summary and Final Verdict


All in all, the G23 can absolutely meet the expectations associated with the given price range. For a budget phone, it shows great promise in terms of performance. If you decide to pick the Moto G23 for your daily driver, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised, as long as you can accept its few, but noticeable shortcomings.

 *Disclaimer: You may notice review scores have changed on PhoneArena! Since September 20th, we have started using a new scoring system. Learn more about the new PhoneArena Smartphone Review Rating system here.

Pros

  • Great performance for the asking price
  • A pure Android experience
  • Impressive battery life
  • Has a 90Hz refresh rate
  • Biometrics you can count on
  • NFC on a budget phone

Cons

  • Fickle camera results
  • Unpleasant haptics
  • No support for 5G

PhoneArena Rating:

3.4

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