Motorola Moto G34 5G Review: Better value than the G54? Maybe…

Motorola Moto G34 5G (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The Motorola Moto G34 5G is a very low-cost 5G phone, and in some ways it’s better than Motorola’s previous budget 5G king, the Moto G54 5G.

Pros Cons
Low cost for a 5G handset Predictably ordinary cameras
120Hz display… But the display is only 720p quality
Decent performance at its price Only a single OS upgrade

Score: 4/5


Motorola Moto G34 5G Buy The Moto G34 5G! Buy On Amazon

In this review

Moto G34 5G Specifications
Moto G34 5G Design
Moto G34 5G Camera
Moto G34 5G Performance
Moto G34 5G Battery
Moto G34 5G Conclusion


Motorola Moto G34 5G (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The Motorola Moto G34 5G sits pricewise underneath the Motorola Moto G54 5G, one of my favourite budget phones of recent times, but a tad ahead of the Motorola Moto G24, a phone that launched here in Australia in the same timeframe.

Also read:
Motorola Moto G54 5G Review
Motorola Moto G24 Review

The Motorola Moto G34 5G is built around a 6.5 inch 120Hz capable LCD display, which at its price point might seem remarkable value – but there is a catch.

Resolution is limited to 1600x720 pixels, meaning it’s a 720p display. 720p isn’t awful in this price range – especially for the cheaper telco model, more on that shortly – but it does slightly limit the quality of what you’ll be watching on its screen.

Otherwise the design is very much contemporary Motorola, with a holepunch array for the front-facing camera and slight bezels around all sides.

Motorola only sells the Moto G34 5G in Australia in two different hues; either Charcoal Black or the Ocean Green finish they sent me for review. It’s plastic, of course, but the Ocean Green has a faux-leather feel to it if you like that sort of detail.

I like the colour for sure, but I really do HATE the feel of fake leather finishes, sometimes called “Vegan Leather” on phones. I accept that this is absolutely a personal quirk – but then I don’t really have to fuss too much about it, because Motorola provides a clear plastic case in the box with the Moto G34 5G anyway. So I get the nice green colour without the slightly odd hand feel, which is a pretty big win.

Less of a win is that there are apparently “Ice Blue” and “Vanilla Cream” variants of the Moto G34 5G in other markets, but at least we’re not stuck with just the basic black.

Controls on the Moto G34 5G are otherwise absolutely stock standard to what Motorola does these days with its handsets.

Side mounted combo power button and thin fingerprint reader? Check.

Volume rocker above it? Check.

Headphone jack? Check – though it is located on the bottom of the phone if that fusses you.

One interesting note with the Moto G34 5G as configured in Australia is that it’s dual SIM, but not in the way you might expect.

Pop open the SIM card tray and there’s a single Nano SIM card slot and a microSD card slot. Typically, dual SIM phones use that second microSD card slot in a setup where it can take a second Nano SIM or a microSD card, but not both.

The Moto G34 5G does it differently; the microSD card slot is only a microSD card slot, and the secondary SIM allocation is a pure eSIM play.

It’s not common at all to see eSIM capability in a phone this inexpensive, which is a big plus for the Moto G34 5G if you’re, for example, a traveller, because there’s some great deals around travel-specific eSIMs these days – as well as a lot of Australian MVNOs bringing eSIM on board.


Motorola Moto G34 5G (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The Motorola Moto G34 5G has a dual lens camera array at the rear, built primarily around a 50MP f/1.8 sensor paired with a 2MP macro lens. At the front in the holepunch, you’ll be taking selfies with a 16MP f/2.4 sensor.

The 2MP macro lens is such a commodity inclusion in cheap phones these days – I still strongly suspect there’s a factory out there that made way too many of them a few years back – and like so many of its ilk, it’s not a particularly impressive lens in its own right.

That aside, the Motorola Moto G34 5G performed absolutely as I expected it to. Anyone wanting “great” camera performance is simply looking in the wrong price bracket, because that’s not something you’re likely to hit in a phone this relatively inexpensive.

Colours in regular light are fine, if a little muted, while the quality dips rather markedly if you try digital zoom – up to 8x, but it’s not worth it – or if you’re shooting in lower-light conditions.

It’s much the same camera setup as on the similar Moto G24, save for the fact that you get a higher megapixel count on the front-facing selfie camera. This doesn’t lead to much of a bump in selfie performance, however.

Motorola Moto G34 5G Sample Photo (Photo: Alex Kidman)

It’s not the Moto G34 5G’s fault, mind you, that I look like this. No camera can make me look pretty.

Motorola Moto G35 5G Sample Photos

Motorola Moto G34 5G Sample Photo (Photo: Alex Kidman)
Motorola Moto G34 5G Sample Photo (Photo: Alex Kidman)

Motorola Moto G34 5G Sample Photo (Photo: Alex Kidman)
Motorola Moto G34 5G Sample Photo (Photo: Alex Kidman)
Motorola Moto G34 5G Sample Photo (Photo: Alex Kidman)
Motorola Moto G34 5G Sample Photo (Photo: Alex Kidman)



Motorola Moto G34 5G (Photo: Alex Kidman)

Motorola bounces around in its budget range between processor providers; for the Moto G34 5G you’re looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.

That quantity of storage is nice to see, though 4GB is on the lower side – and it’s worth noting that the Moto G54 5G ships with 8GB of RAM, which does have an effect for more memory-intensive Android apps.

Still, within its price range, the Motorola Moto G34 5G performs well. Here’s how it compares using Geekbench 6’s CPU test:

Most of that is predictable, with the slightly more expensive Moto G54 5G outpacing it, although not by that much.

It’s a different story in GPU terms, where the Moto G34 5G outpaces its pricier sibling… and not by a small amount:

The G54’s Dimensity processor isn’t (or wasn’t) compatible with 3DMark Wild Life at the time of testing, but even using the older Slingshot Extreme test, there’s a solid performance bump for the G34 5G in graphics terms there.

That matches up well with the kinds of games that the Moto G34 5G can handle best – which are your simpler and older Android experience rather than anything massively fast-paced.

Even with the 120hz screen, you’re going to still be stuck in lower settings mode for more demanding titles simply due to the 720p display in most cases.

On the software side, you get Android 14 with the promise of just one OS upgrade and three years worth of bi-monthly security updates. That’s not exactly market leading, but it’s a fair shade better than what Motorola’s offering beneath the Moto G34 5G, with both the G24 and G04 only getting security updates.

Motorola keeps its Android OS setup fairly clean, with just a few tweaks like the predictable shaking and twisting actions for camera and flashlight initiation in play. I prefer that cleaner style, but being Android you can always throw an alternative launcher on it if you must.

The Moto G34 5G is also 5G capable, predictably sub-6Ghz 5G to be precise. Network conditions can vary a lot, but I had few issues hitting my typical 200-400Mbps down rates on the Telstra 5G network in Sydney and Cairns with the Moto G34 5G.

Your own experiences may vary, and that’s true for phone calling as well. The Moto G34 5G’s speakers are nice and loud for that kind of purpose, but call quality is really more complex than just a single handset in most cases.


Motorola Moto G34 5G (Photo: Alex Kidman)

At this stage, I’m thinking of writing a song about how basically all Android phones have 5,000mAh batteries these days.

So, following on the example of Leigh Stark from Pickr, I used AI to do just that.

And it is AWFUL. 

But… guess what battery capacity the Motorola Moto G34 5G has?

Go on, I’ll wait.

Yeah, it has that one.

It’s utterly stock standard by now, but what isn’t is how well each phone handles its power.

For this, I turn at first to my standard YouTube battery test, putting the Motorola Moto G34 5G through a 1hr video playback test from a full battery. It was limited to just 720p, because that’s all the screen can handle, and here’s how it compared:

93% in that test is solid – it’s essentially only at 90% or below where I start to have concerns around a phone’s ability to last out a typical day’s usage.

As always, you can send any phone flat if you hammer it incessantly, but this typically hasn’t been a problem for me when testing out the Moto G34 5G.

Motorola Moto G34 5G: Alex’s Verdict

Motorola Moto G34 5G (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The Moto G34 5G is an interesting prospect in the budget space, and some of that interest lies in its price. Officially it retails at $279 AUD, a shade cheaper than the official price of the G54 5G – though it’s not unheard of to see that phone at lower prices at retail, especially online.

However, it’s also offered by Telstra as a prepaid phone for only $229. So what’s the catch? Typically telco-specific variants have dropped any dual SIM arrangements, but Telstra’s specifications actually call out that it’s both nano-SIM and eSIM capable.

All other specifications I can see appear identical, which only leaves the catch of it being locked to the Telstra network unless you either pay a fee if it’s been used for less than two years ($80 if never activated or only used for six months, or $25 if used between six months to two years).

It’s not entirely clear to me if the eSIM is similarly locked, but I’d err on the side of caution and assume that it is. Still, if you were looking at it with a Telstra provider, there’s a decent saving to be had there as long as you’re happy to keep it on that network for at least six months.

Price aside, it’s a good value offering given what you get, even if you are paying that full price. 5G still isn’t a must-have prospect, but it’s good to see and get in a phone especially as we face down the end of 3G networks here in Australia, and the rest of the Moto G34 5G is generally solid.

Motorola Moto G34 5G: Pricing and availability

The Moto G34 5G retails in Australia for $279, or through Telstra at $229.

Motorola Moto G34 5G Buy The Moto G34 5G! Buy On Amazon

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