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Motorola Moto G13 review

Motorola has been producing some amazing low-cost phones in recent years.

The current Moto G lineup includes numerous models, the most cheap of which is the G13. So, is it possible to acquire a good smartphone for less than £150/$180? Here is the whole review.

Design & Build

  • Lightweight
  • Side- fingerprint sensor
  • Plastic body

Obviously, at this budget, you don’t expect luxury materials throughout, and the Moto G13 is no exception. It has a plastic body, which isn’t always a negative thing.

One benefit is that it is a lightweight phone, weighing only 183.5g (6.49oz). Not the lightest, but in a world where Android phones often top 200g, it’s a pleasant surprise to have a gadget that won’t leave your hands tired after only a few minutes of use.

With dimensions of 162.7 x 74.66 x 8.19mm (6.41 x 2.94 x 0.32 inches), it’s a truly comfortable phone to hold in your hands and fit into your pocket without feeling burdened down.

Motorola included a complimentary TPU silicon case, which provides a lot of grip even if it does seem a little cheap. Even without the case, it doesn’t feel excessively slick.

Unlike other more costly options, you also receive a charger and cord in the package.

It’s a pleasant surprise to have a device that won’t have your hands fatiguing after using it for a short time

A USB-C charging connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, single speaker grille and microphone, volume controls, a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader (and works quite well), and a dual (Nano) SIM card slot are all included. Everything is neat and well-organized, giving the impression that this is a more premium item than the pricing implies.

Motorola does claim that the G13 has a ‘water-repellent’ design, but it doesn’t come with an IP rating, so I’d suggest keeping it away from any significant amount of water if you can.

Screen & Speakers

  • 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel
  • 720p resolution, 90Hz refresh rate
  • Stereo speakers and 3.5mm headphone port

While the Moto G13 is small in size, it nevertheless has a 6.5-inch IPS display. True, it’s just 720p, which is a bit low these days, but Apple has been putting up the iPhone SE with the same spec for years and it doesn’t appear to have held it back.

The G13’s screen looks fine, with respectable brightness levels (maximum of 400 nits), great colors (although a touch subdued), and excellent off-angle viewing.

The 90Hz refresh rate is a plus for such a low-cost phone, but the CPU doesn’t appear to take use of it, since scrolling seems slow and juddery. Overall, the Moto G13’s display is excellent for the price.

Overall, the display on the Moto G13 is great for the price

The Moto’s audio comes via a dedicated speaker on the bottom edge, which works in tandem with the earpiece above the display to create a stereo configuration.

If you don’t enhance things too much, the audio generated is good. The G13 can produce a lot of volume, but there is distortion at the higher end, which detracts from the overall sound. It’s OK for YouTube videos and social networking, but if you want to stream movies or music, you’ll need to use Bluetooth or the 3.5mm connection.

Specs & Performance

  • MediaTek Helio G85 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • Performance is a bit patchy

Moto couldn’t quite afford a Snapdragon CPU for a phone this cheap, but the MediaTek Helio G85 is a good substitute.

Obviously, you won’t get a lightning-fast speed, but the phone will happily run most typical apps. The lack of power is most noticeable when browsing through menus and graphic-heavy pages, with juddering more noticeable while attempting to load photos or move them about a page.

Unless you’re a Genshin Impact devotee or play a lot of PUBG, you might find that the Moto G13 has all the gaming performance you need

This also holds true for gaming, as the G13 struggles with busier 3D games, although this is to be anticipated. That is not to imply that gaming is out of the question. In reality, I spent some time playing Asphalt 9: Legends and have to admit that the G13 performed as well as most other phones I’ve tested recently, including some specialized gaming phones.

So, unless you’re a Genshin Impact devotee or play a lot of PUBG, you might find that the Moto G13 has all the gaming performance you need.

Motorola Moto G13 benchmarks.

Here’s how it fared against some of its closest rivals in our standard batch of benchmarks:

The phone comes equipped with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the latter of which can be expanded by up to an additional 512GB via a Micro-SD card.

In terms of connectivity, it should be noted that there’s no 5G support on the G13, but that’s common for phones in this price bracket. You do get Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS, and Wi-Fi 5, though.

Cameras & Video

  • 50MP f/1.8 main
  • 2MP f/2.4 macro
  • 2MP f/2.4 depth
  • 8MP f/2.0 selfie

The camera is often an Achilles heel with budget phones, and the Moto G13 is no exception. It has a 50MP f/1.8 primary shooter, as well as 2MP macro and depth sensor modules, which is a good quantity of lenses for a low-cost gadget.

Moto G13

You can obtain some respectable photographs with the primary camera, but there is a noticeable degree of artificial sharpening, especially in crowded images. The colors also fade far too quickly, leaving images flat and devoid of vitality. I wasn’t hoping for the old-school Samsung super-saturated shots, but it was difficult to snap any photos that felt genuinely nice.

They can be changed with filters and other photo editing tools, but the image that comes out of the camera is frequently flat.

I did find it hard to capture any photos that felt truly good

Portraits lack any sort of deep bokeh (background blur), while the Night mode struggles with noise in low-light images. However, when you consider the device’s pricing, this is all pretty ordinary. The macro camera, which is standard on most phones, is likewise a waste of time.

The front-facing camera is an 8MP f/2.0 unit. If the light is excellent, it shoots decent selfies, but in a dark pub or club, you might not get the shot you want.

The video resolution is limited to 1080p at 30 frames per second, so it’s adequate rather than spectacular.

Moto g13 photo sample
Photo sample for Moto g13

Battery Life & Charging

  • 5,000mAh cell
  • 10W wired charging
  • No wireless charging

The Moto G13 excels in one area: battery life. Even after playing various games and watching an episode of a TV show, I usually concluded the day with a solid 20% or so remaining.

This obviously changed based on brightness, mobile data usage, and whether or not location data was enabled, but it seemed very consistent during my time with the smartphone.

The Moto earned an amazing 9 hours and 19 minutes in the PCMark battery test that we do on all phones (with the brightness set to 200 nits). You won’t get that in real-world use, but you won’t have to worry about running out of juice before you reach home.

Moto G13

It’s also a good thing, because charging speeds aren’t terrific. The packaging included a 10W charger, and charging from a fully flat battery took the better part of 3 hours. You’ll want to charge this one overnight or when you arrive to work, as it won’t be ready to go right away.

I regularly ended the day with a good 20% or so left, even after playing some games and streaming an episode of a TV show

When searching for a rapid boost, charging the G13 for 15 minutes offers 11% of power, while charging for 30 minutes doubles this to 22%, which is well behind many other phones, including many low-cost models.

Software

  • Android 13
  • Only a little bloatware
  • Security updates until Jan 2026

Motorola is generally fantastic at keeping Android clean, and the Moto G13 is no exception.

It’s wonderful to see that the version of Android running on Pixel phones hasn’t changed significantly. Everything is clean and straightforward, and gesture support makes the phone seem very similar to my Google Pixel 6a.

Moto G13

It’s Android 13 out of the box, with the company confirming that the device should get the Android 14 upgrade. It also says that the G13 will receive security updates until January 2026, which is more than some cheap Android phone makers offer.

You don’t get any significant changes to the version of Android found on Pixel phones, which is nice to see

Admittedly, there is a little bloatware, with a few games pre-installed as well as Booking.com. But, it’s not egregious and you can quickly get rid of them if you want.

Price & Availability

In the UK, can buy the Moto G13 direct from Motorola for £129.99 or even cheaper on Amazon.

There isn’t the exact same model available in the US, with the closest probably being the Moto G 5G. As the name suggests, this model is 5G compatible. It also comes with a Snapdragon 480+ 5G processor, 120Hz refresh rate on its 6.5-inch display, and a different camera module, all for around $249.99.

Verdict

The Moto G13 is a good option if you’re on a tight budget of roughly £150/$180.

You get good battery life and performance, as well as expandable storage, which means you can store a lot of movies and music on the device. However, there is some latency in day-to-day functionality, and the cameras aren’t all that amazing.

But, given the price, it’s still a phone that can accomplish the majority of what you’d expect from a smartphone without breaking the bank. However, there are plenty of alternative possibilities, including some big increases if you’re ready to pay a bit more.

Specs

  • Android 13
  • 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel, 1600 x 720 resolution, 90Hz refresh rate
  • MediaTek Helio G85 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB Storage (expandable by 512GB with microSD card)
  • 50MP f/1.8 Main/Wide
  • 2MP f/2.4 Macro
  • 2MP f/2.4 Depth
  • 8MP f/2.0 Selfie
  • Fingerprint sensor in Power button
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm headphone port
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • 4G
  • 5,000mAh cell
  • 10W wired charging
  • 162.7 x 74.66 x 8.19mm / 6.41 x 2.94 x 0.32 inch
  • 183.5g / 6.49oz
Achraf Grini
Achraf Grini
Hello This is AG. I am a Tech lover and I have long been a promoter and editor for a shopping company, I have followed smartphones and headphones and others. I covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.
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