If you're looking to buy a very cheap smartphone then this Motorola Moto G10 review is the right place to be.
Motorola is renowned for its affordable phones, offering tonnes of different options depending on what exactly you need a phone for. Although they are unlikely to take the top spots as some of the best phones you can buy, they’re no stranger to T3’s guide to the best cheap phones. The Motorola Moto G10 is no different, it’s one of the American manufacturer’s cheapest handsets, and will appeal to those who need a big screen, long-lasting battery and decent camera. You'll have to be willing to make some sacrifices though.
Let’s get straight down to it. In this Motorola Moto G10 review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the smartphone from its price, design and display to its camera and performance.
Motorola Moto G10 review: price and availability
Available now, you can buy the Motorola Moto G10 starting from $176 in the US, £120 in the UK and AU$234 in Australia. That's about as cheap as smartphones can be. Take a look at the widgets on this page for more pricing from across the web.
Motorola Moto G10 review: design and display
Made predominantly from plastic with thick bezels and a large selfie camera notch on the front, the Motorola Moto G10 does look like a cheap phone. You can buy it in two colourways: grey or pearl, both of which have a ridged textured wave design on the back that takes some getting used to. It does make the phone very grippy and it won’t slide out of your hand as easily as glass phones do. Overall the phone is quite clunky, measuring 165.22 x 75.73 x 9.19mm and weighing around 200g. This isn’t a super slim slab of glass by any means.
Alongside the quad-camera system on the back, there’s a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone hidden in the Motorola logo. It’s placed slightly too high up to where your finger would sit naturally but what’s good about it is that it is pretty reliable and works well every time.
On the frame, there’s a USB-C charging port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, power button, volume controls and a dedicated Google Assistant button. There's a bottom-ported loudspeaker on the phone, the audio is quite tinny and distorted though so I would recommend sticking to headphones.
The 6.5” Max Vision display has a resolution of 1600x720p (HD+). You can’t expect anywhere near the quality you’d get from a more expensive smartphone but it’ll get the job done. For the price, it has a decent IPS display that is clear and bright enough for most everyday uses. It’s also big which is good for streaming video from YouTube or Netflix when you’re out and about.
In the box, the phone comes with a clear protective case, USB-C cable and a charging adaptor. The Motorola Moto G10 is IP52 water repellent which means it may not survive a dunk in the bath but should cope with a bit of light rain here and there.
Motorola Moto G10 review: camera
A quad camera system sits on the back of the Motorola Moto G10 with a 48MP main lens, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there’s an 8MP selfie camera. You can see some example shots in the gallery below.
Point-and-shoot photos come out looking fine. The cameras can't compete with pricier phones like the Google Pixel 4a or the OnePlus Nord, but it does okay. There was a lot of detail considering, although photos did look quite dull in general and struggled to create a balance between light and dark areas of the shot.
Macro photos taken up close to the subject were surprisingly good. Again they lacked vibrancy but overall, they came out looking relatively sharp and would be good enough to use on social media. The zoom function wasn't really worth using though, photos came out looking very grainy, especially at the maximum 8x zoom.
Motorola Moto G10 review: performance and battery
Powered by the basic Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 chipset, the Motorola Moto G10 packs 4GB of RAM and a choice of either 64GB or 128GB of storage which you can expand using a MicroSD card.
Naturally, you won't get super-fast performance from this phone. I found that when there were a few apps open, or when I downloaded several files at once, the phone suffered from lag and it felt sluggish. You won’t want to use this for mobile gaming, but it will be fine to use for messaging, web browsing and a bit of social media networking. Its Geekbench 5 scores back this up scoring 221 in single-core and 1,032 in multi-core which is similar to most other very cheap phones. There’s no 5G or Wi-Fi 6 support here so it’s not particularly future-proofed either but again, that's a given at this price point.
A large 5,000mAh battery means that this phone will last you the full day, you won’t need to remember to take a charger with you when you go to work. I ran a video on it over two hours on full brightness and in that time the battery level dropped by 16% suggesting it would have lasted over 12 hours in total, that's good going for such a cheap handset. It comes with a 10W charger in the box, it took about 2 and a half hours to recharge it from empty to 100%.
Running on Android 11, Motorola has of the better versions of the operating system. Granted, it’s not as nice to use as the best Samsung phones but it’s still better than some others I've seen. All of the Google apps come pre-installed and you get the benefit of Moto Actions like lift to unlock, swipe to split the screen and the three-finger screenshot, all of which make the phone more efficient and quicker to use.
Motorola Moto G10 review: verdict
You can't expect to be blown away by a cheap phone, and it's almost certain that you won't be wow-ed by this one either. The Motorola Moto G10 is basic across the board, there are no sophisticated features and it won't deliver knockout performance, but what it does provide is reliability with decent battery life and a durable design.
Don't buy this if you play a lot of mobile games, or if you want to take professional-looking photos. But if you just need a smartphone for casual web browsing, texting and calling then this will definitely do the job.
Motorola Moto G10 review: also consider
If you need a basic phone with a decent display for streaming video, then the Sony Xperia L4 could be a good choice. The 21:9 aspect ratio of the screen makes it good for watching TV shows and movies and makes it useful for multitasking too.
The Vivo Y20s is another super-cheap phone worth looking at. Granted the screen is pretty low resolution and the camera isn’t amazing but it is very affordable with long battery life and it looks stylish too.
- These are the very best Android phones you can buy