The Moto G13 meets the criteria of a cheap phone while looking good and offering excellent battery life. For under £130, you shouldn’t expect the kind of performance that’ll challenge flagships, but the G13 is well-made – even with corners cut regarding display resolution and the camera setup.
- Smooth 90Hz refresh rate
- Attractive design
- Very affordable
- No ultrawide camera
- Slow to fully charge
- LCD display tech
- Large 6.5-inch displayDespite the budget price tag, the Moto G13 packs a generous 6.5-inch 90Hz display with plenty of space to watch Netflix.
- Stereo speakersMusic and videos sound much better with the G13’s stereo speaker setup.
- Plenty of storage for apps and gamesThe Moto G13 comes with 128GB of storage, which should be more than enough for most people.
Motorola has spent the last few years cultivating a sterling reputation as one of the best budget smartphone makers around, and the Moto G13 feels almost predictable as a continuation of that trend.
For around £130, it offers a big display, a bloat-free Android experience, and dual SIM capabilities, making it an ideal pickup for enterprise use or a less tech-savvy loved one.
There are caveats, of course. The camera is basic, lacking in punch and detail, and the display’s 720p resolution is a shame but not unexpected at this price point – especially for an LCD panel.
Still, battery life is great, and as I mentioned in my review of the Moto G54 5G, Motorola really does have a knack for offering good-looking devices at accessible price points.
- Attractive design for the price
- Matte finish keeps fingerprints away
- Relatively lightweight at 184g
Without meaning to date myself, there was a time when phones in this price range were plasticky and more than a little cheap feeling, but the Moto G13 continues the manufacturer’s tradition of making entry-level devices that look mid-range and better.
The G13 achieves this through relatively thin bezels (I’ll get to the display panel itself shortly) and a slick, almost matte back that does a pretty good job of staying fingerprint-free. The use of a plastic frame and rear is unsurprising for the price, but it does mean that the G13 is relatively lightweight for its size at 184g, although it is a little thick at 8.2mm.
My review unit is the Rose Gold option, but the ‘Rose’ is so subtle it feels closer to silver. It’s also available in Matte Charcoal or Blue Lavender, too, three rather attractive finishes for such a budget phone.
At the bottom, you’ll find a speaker grille and a USB-C port, and while there’s no speaker grille at the top, the phone can use the earpiece as a second speaker to really hammer home that stereo sound in supported videos and games. There’s also a headphone jack – remember those?
The left side is clear, aside from a SIM tray, and the right-hand side has a volume rocker and the on/off button, which doubles as a fairly reliable fingerprint scanner.
There’s facial unlocking, too, facilitated by the hole-punch camera central at the top of the screen, but that’s not as secure as the likes of Face ID and thus can’t be used to authenticate payments.
- 6.5-inch LCD display
- 90Hz refresh rate
- 720p resolution
Cheaper phones can have much larger screens these days, so perhaps the 6.5-inch display on offer here shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s not going to blow your socks off, with an LCD panel that lacks punch for pretty much everything, although it does nicely showcase Google’s love of in-app primary colours.
The 90Hz refresh rate is nice to see at this price point, offering smooth animations when swiping and scrolling, but I’d have liked more than a 720p resolution. Still, it’s big, and that’ll make it ideal for many older users who are understandably more interested in readability than pixel count.
More than any other recent Motorola I’ve tested, though, I found the auto brightness to be a little tame – so much so that I ended up cranking it to the max manually on regular occasions.
Bezels are nice and slim here considering the budget focus, and there’s a chin at the bottom to help with swiping up – although there’s also the option for the classic Android software “buttons” of yesteryear, too.
- 50MP main lens
- No ultrawide
- 2MP macro and depth sensor
As with the Moto G54 5G, there’s no Ultrawide to be found here – it’s a 50MP primary camera and a 2MP macro lens. I’m still puzzled as to why macro keeps finding its way onto devices, but given it’s a 2MP sensor, I’d imagine it’s cheaper than adding an ultrawide despite the latter’s popularity.
The primary camera, as with the G54, is a 50MP option that hits pretty much all of the notes you’d want it to in decent lighting conditions. It’s not great, but it’s not bad; it just feels a little flat (even more so when viewed back on the device itself), although, as you can see from Goku, there’s a decent amount of detail captured.
It also delivers pretty decent colour accuracy, which is something many phones in this range struggle with.
Less impressive is the macro lens which, yet again, remains a head-scratcher. Details are too soft, even in what could be considered ‘ideal’ conditions, and it makes me wonder why you’d bother using it at all.
For selfies, the G13 is decent to a point. The 8MP camera is good enough, and arguably does a better job with skin tone than many rivals, but the portrait mode’s bokeh blurring leaves a lot to be desired, particularly when used indoors.
Videographers look away; it’s 1080p at 30fps here, and it’s not great, particularly when moving at any speed.
- MediaTek Helio G85
- 4GB of RAM
- Can keep up with most everyday tasks
There’s a 12nm MediaTek Helio G85 chip and 4GB of RAM powering the Moto G13, and while it’s not offering anywhere near the level of power of even some mid-rangers, it’ll do its damnedest to keep up with the majority of your day-to-day tasks.
I’ve had no issues flicking through apps, both from Google itself and third-party sources, and benchmarks show that it’s more capable than the similarly priced Nokia C32 and TCL 40 SE, but the low-power chipset can’t really handle gaming.
Sadly, the Moto G13 isn’t built for gaming on the go, but if that’s not of interest, then it’ll hardly be a dealbreaker. It’s not that you can’t game, it’s more that the GPU will struggle to keep up with you outside of simpler titles like Marvel Snap.
Where the G13 has the more expensive G54 beat, however, is a pair of stereo speakers. They’re not regularly available on phones in this price range, with manufacturers (Motorola included) tending to opt for a basic mono speaker at the base. Thankfully, the G13’s audio is louder, more nuanced, and more balanced with the inclusion of Dolby-powered stereo support.
- Clean Android 13 experience
- Minimal bloatware
- One OS upgrade promised
Motorola has kept the Android 13 install here very trim, too – there are a couple of apps preinstalled, but for the most part, this is as close to a stock Android installation as you’re likely to get at this price range, and it’s very welcome, leaving much more of the 128GB internal storage available.
There are a couple of games, Mistplay, TikTok, and LinkedIn, but everything else is as stock as you like.
The good news is that Motorola has confirmed that the G13 will eventually get the upgrade to Android 14, but the bad news is that this is the one and only software upgrade coming to the budget blower. If software longevity is important, you might want to splash out on something a little more expensive.
- 5000mAh battery
- Can deliver over a day’s use
- Very slow 10W charging
5,000mAh batteries appear to be in vogue at the moment, and the G13 is packing one too. Based on my experience, with the combination of a low-res 720p display and a processor that won’t use much power, you can expect around 36 hours of use on a single charge.
Naturally, you’ll get less if you start using it literally all day long, but for average users, it’ll serve you well throughout work and on your commute each way, too.
There’s a charger in the box (imagine that!), but there’s a 10W limit, so don’t expect rapid charging. In fact, it takes almost 3 hours to charge entirely, which definitely puts it in the “charge overnight” category.
Should you buy it?
You want a cheap phone with a big screen
The 6.5-inch Moto G13 looks great, making it ideal as a first phone for a style-conscious child or as a handy second phone for enterprise.
You want a good-quality display
While the Moto G13’s display is large, the LCD tech means it’s not as bright or vibrant as some OLED alternatives.
It’s hard to get excited about the Moto G13, but that’s not to say it isn’t well worth a look for younger, older, or enterprise users.
It’s got just enough grunt to beat similarly priced phones from Nokia and TCL with enough power to get what you need done and still have enough juice left for a bit of YouTube in the evenings – and it’ll look good doing it.
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We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry-standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Used as a main phone for a week
Thorough camera testing in a variety of conditions
Tested and benchmarked using respected industry tests and real-world data
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Yes, you’ll get a 10W charger in the box.