Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Moto G hits sub-$250 trio, but OS updates are absent

Need an inexpensive phone from a brand you know, and want to keep prices down? Motorola has three new models on the way, two of which will stay on Android 14 for good.

One of the best things about buying a phone these days is knowing that the device isn’t technically locked in time. With every operating system release, you can rest assured that you’ll get a new feature here and there that could make using your device more interesting, or even find a way to make itself more useful in your life.

It could be more obvious control, improvements to the camera, or even something as simple as better battery life, with the humble OS update giving mobiles a new lease of life if they get them.

Unfortunately, it’s not something every phone gets.

While it’s theoretically possible for every mobile to get an update, it’s not something every mobile maker delivers on. Some will just miss out, often when the phone is priced below a certain amount.

In recent years, some mobile makers have started to draw a line in the sand for how many updates they need to commit themselves to in order to provide updates. They’ll offer regular security updates — an important point given the security and threat landscape is always changing, and risk is always present — but the more feature-packed OS updates mightn’t come to every device, often because it costs money to build out an update for every device, and some of these don’t make enough money to count for it.

We’ve certainly seen it before and we’ll obviously see it again, because in a recent launch from Motorola, that is exactly what’s happening, as two of three phones being announced will miss out on OS updates and arrive only with the operating systems they come with.

The trio is an interesting mix, as Motorola tweaks its mid-range G-series for budget buyers, launching the Moto G34 5G, G24, and G04, three phones that look very similar, but change up the feature set and even support options depending on how much you spend.

In the Moto G34 5G, Motorola is offering a 6.5 inch HD+ screen running at 120Hz, two rear cameras include a 50 megapixel rear camera and smaller 2 megapixel macro camera, plus a 16 megapixel front camera for selfies. Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 with support for 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC with a ho-hum 4GB RAM and 128GB storage.

It’ll sport a water-repellant design, something the Moto G-series has seen over the years, and it’ll get Android 14 with one OS update and three years of bi-monthly security updates, giving you some peace of mind for support of sorts.

Priced at $279 in Australia outright and $229 on carriers, the Moto G34 5G is definitely aimed at being one of the more affordable 5G devices around, and firmly sits in the budget category of the market.

It’s also quite similar in design to the $229 Moto G24, which gets a 6.6 inch HD+ screen running at 90Hz, combination of 50 megapixel camera and 2 megapixel macro on the back, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, and MediaTek Helio G85 processor with Android 14 on-board.

In the Moto G24, there’s no 5G and… no operating system updates, as Motorola keeps this phone locked to Android 14 for the life of the phone.

Moto says the G24 will receive three years of bi-monthly security updates like its G34 sibling, but just no OS updates, keeping it on Android 14 forever.

It’s not alone in this regard, either.

A less expensive model will also be locked to Android 14, as the $179 Moto G04 aims to get the features into a similar value-driven approach sans-support.

Motorola’s G04 will see a 6.6 inch HD+ 90Hz screen in a water repellant design, support for WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC, as well as a single 16 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel front camera, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a similar processor to the AGM H6 Lite, the Unisoc T606 chip. In short, the Moto G04 is designed to be inexpensive, and being locked to Android 14 forever practically confirms that, though it will receive two years of bi-monthly security updates.

The Moto G24 (left) and Moto G04 (right) have similar camera layouts, but in the G04, the second camera is replaced by a flash.

“Our Moto G family has always focused on meaningful innovation built on consumer insights,” said Kurt Bonnici, Head of Motorola for the Greater Asia Pacific.

“We continue to listen to what consumers are looking for in their next smartphone and don’t think you need to compromise on key features or design when looking for your next affordable smartphone,” he said.

All three models also come with a 5000mAh phone, practically screaming a minimum of one day of battery life and likely achieving two to three, based on the specs, with the trio arriving in stores and at carriers in the next few weeks.

Neither the Moto G24 (left) nor the G04 (right) will move past Android 14.
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