A solid starter phone
The Moto 5 5G might not have all the bells and whistles of a more premium device, but as a starter phone, a first phone for a child or elderly person, or a secondary phone to use alongside a work phone, it will meet your needs. Plus, it has some premium features, like a fast refresh rate, along with an affordable price tag.
- Water repellent
- Fast refresh rate for gaming, videos
- Lower resolution screen
- Camera not as good
Decent entry-level phone
The OnePlus Nord N30 5G is a great new phone to consider if you want something entry-level that still has some premium features, including a high-res screen with a fast refresh rate, a great camera, and more. You get wonderful value for the smaller price tag of this phone.
- Fast refresh rate for gaming, videos
- Fabulous main camera
- Not water-repellent
- No fingerprint sensor
If you’re looking for a decent entry-level phone, the Moto G 5G (2023) vs. OnePlus Nord N30 5G are both good options. Choosing between them might be difficult, especially if you’re not set on one brand over the other. We’re here to help.
Moto G 5G (2023) vs. OnePlus Nord N30 5G: Looks and basics
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First, let’s consider the exterior look and the basic features and functions.
Finished in either Ink Blue or Harbor Grey, the Moto G 5G (2023) has a 6.5-inch 1,600 x 720 LCD, a visible step-down from most phones nowadays that have higher res screens. You do get a 120Hz refresh rate, which is a nice touch, though it’s tough to enjoy as much as you should given the lower resolution of the screen. With an 84% active area, however, the screen does extend right to the edges of the phone’s bezel.
Made of plastic, it’s water “repellent” but not officially rated for water resistance. So you can get it moderately wet, like maybe a run in the rain, but there aren’t any safeguards against moisture so you’ll want to be careful. Invest in a waterproof case if you’re taking it to the beach or using it by the pool.
You’ll get generous two-day battery life (on the high end) with the Moto G 5G (2023) and can store photos, videos, download apps, and more using the built-in 128GB of storage, which is expandable up to 1TV via an optional microSD card.
Running Android 13, the look and feel of the phone can be personalized using the Motorola My UX, which lets you adjust the look, settings, and even entertainment and gesture control features. It also has stereo speakers, Google Assistant support, a fingerprint reader, face unlock, Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Keep in mind, however, that there’s no NFC support so you can’t tap to pay for items at compatible terminals.
Available in a single finish, Chromatic Gray, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G has a larger 6.72-inch LCD that also boasts a 120Hz refresh rate but a much higher resolution at 2,400 x 1,080. The phone isn’t much larger in dimensions, however, with the screen reaching all the way to the edges of the phone.
This is combined with dual stereo speakers as well, and there’s no water rating at all, so this device may not even be water “repellent.” Your best bet, as with the Moto G 5G (2023), is to keep it protected around any source of water.
OnePlus does not note battery life but the phone has a 5,000 mAh battery like the Moto G 5G (2023) plus it supports 50W SuperVOOC fast charging. The Endurance edition helps further increase battery life and prevents overcharging. The phone has 12 built-in temperature sensors along with a smart charging chip and even has an adaptive charging feature that matches your sleep schedule.
With either 128GB or 256GB of storage, you can also expand this up to 1TB via an optional microSD card. This phone runs on the OxygenOS 13.1, which is based on Android 13 and which OnePlus says offers faster app installation and reduced app power consumption. Additional features include face unlock (no fingerprint sensor), Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This phone doesn’t include NFC either.
Moto G 5G (2023) vs. OnePlus Nord N30 5G: The specs
Before diving deeper into these two phones, let’s look at the basic specifications.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Moto G 5G (2023)||OnePlus Nord N30 5G|
|OS||Android 13 (My UX)||Oxygen OS 13.1 (based on Android 13)|
|Colors||Ink Blue, Harbor Grey||Chromatic Grey|
|Screen Size||6.5 inches||6.72 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1,600 x 720||2,400 x 1,080|
|Processor||Snapdragon 580+||Snapdragon 695|
|Memory Card Slot||Yes (up to 1TB)||Yes (up to 1TB)|
|Camera||48MP Rear, 8MP Front||108MP Rear, 16MP Front, 2MP Depth Assist, 2MP Macro|
|Speakers||Stereo Speakers||Stereo Speakers|
|Battery||5,000 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Water Resistant||No (repellent)||No|
|Size||6.45 x 2.95 x 0.3 inches||6.5 x 3 x 0.33 inches|
|Weight||189 grams||195 grams|
There is a lot that’s similar about these two phones, but also some marked differences when you look deeper into how they work and what they offer.
Moto G 5G (2023) vs. OnePlus Nord N30 5G: What these phones can do
As noted, the Moto G 5G (2023) runs on Android 13. It comes equipped with a Snapdragon 480+ octa-core processor. This, combined with the 120Hz refresh rate, will afford a smooth experience when you’re doing things like playing games, watching videos, and multitasking. However, the screen resolution leaves much to be desired in this department, almost negating the benefits of the high refresh rate.
The stereo speakers support Dolby Atmos audio from compatible sources. There’s only 4GB RAM, which is decent, but is half that of the OnePlus Nord N30 5G. With that said, this phone is designed for light, casual use, so you might not necessarily need more RAM if you’re opting for this phone.
The Moto G 5G (2023) has a decent camera set, including a 48MP quad-pixel rear camera and 8MP front camera. You can enjoy fun camera features, too, like auto smile capture, RAW photo output, and watermark. With the selfie camera, there are useful features like face beauty, group selfies, selfie photo mirror, and gesture selfies, ideal for those who post a lot on social media.
While there isn’t a macro camera like you’ll find in the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, there is a feature called Macro Vision that purports to offer improved close-up shots. But overall, most reviewers have said the camera isn’t great for anything more than casual shots, often yielding inconsistent results.
By contrast, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G not only run on the OxygenOS, it also promises at least one major Android update along with three years of security updates. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chipset combined with the 8GB virtual RAM should yield favorable experiences with snappy performance and lag-free viewing. There are even special gamer features like Quick Start Gaming, Gaming Tools, Game Focus Mode, and GPA Frame Stabilization for lag-free gaming experiences.
The camera system is a reported 108MP offering three times lossless zoom and a Samsung sensor. The 9-in-1 pixel binning technology can absorb more light, says OnePlus, to afford brighter and more colorful images. There’s also a dedicated Portrait mode for face sharpening, higher clarity, adjustable retouching, and even adding a bokeh flare filter.
Alongside the main camera is a decent 16MP front “selfie” camera as well as a 3MP depth assist and 2MP macro lens. With gesture support, you can do things like take photos with simple hand gestures.
Another feature worth mentioning for the OnePlus Nord N30 5G is the 200% Ultra Volume Mode, which allows you to increase the volume to use the phone as a speakerphone or portable speaker, for example, without hearing buzzing or distortion.
Moto G 5G (2023) vs. OnePlus Nord N30 5G: Which should you buy?
The decision between the Moto G 5G 2023 vs. OnePlus Nord N30 5G really comes down to which concessions you can live with. The phones are about the same price and come with similar features. Neither is waterproof though at least the Moto G 5G (2023) confirms some level of water-repellent coating.
The OnePlus Nord N30 5G has a larger screen despite not being much larger or heavier, and the screen’s resolution is much better. This alone is worth opting for the OnePlus phone instead, especially since you still get the same 120Hz refresh rate along with twice as much RAM and a better processor.
Storage is expandable for both so with an optional microSD card, you’ll enjoy up to 1TB storage with either. The omission of a fingerprint sensor in the OnePlus Nord N30 5G doesn't sound like a big deal, but you'll probably notice not having it if you've already gotten used to that feature in other phones and devices.
The camera is also better on the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, and the battery is the same 5,000mAh with support for fast charging. It appears that, all around, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G is the better phone between the two and will give you more bang for your buck. For alternative options, have a look at some of the best Android phones under $300, which includes models from both Motorola and OnePlus as well as other brands.
A phone for casual fun
As far as budget phones go, the Moto G 5G (2023) will suffice for light and casual needs. It has some great features, but also lacks in certain areas, like screen resolution and cameras. But if you just want a simple phone for web surfing, occasional gaming, photos, and connectivity, it will fit the bill. But there are better options at the same price point.
Bang for the bucks
Get great bang for the buck with the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, which has a sizeable screen, great refresh rate, fabulous camera system, and presumably long battery life. While it won’t rival more premium phones, it’s a good entry-level device worth considering that provides decent value for the dollar.
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Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.