Motorola today unveiled two new devices — a member of the premium X series and what’s likely to be the company’s most affordable 5G phone for the foreseeable future. These start in China for the time being, but should later find their way to the rest of the world in some form.
At a glance: Moto X40 • Moto G53
Motorola Moto X40
The old X30 Pro was an interesting combination of powerful hardware and a reasonable price. This new model, the Motorola Moto X40, doesn’t call itself “Pro”, but it’s still going strong with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and a 165Hz display – Motorola loves its high refresh rate displays.
The display has a diagonal of 6.7 inches and a resolution of 1,080 x 2,400 pixels. It’s a 10-bit panel with HDR10+ support and DC dimming. The fingerprint reader is now under the display and no longer on the side. This is Motorola’s first 165Hz display, and with the powerful Adreno 740 GPU, it could turn people away from expensive gaming phones.
Pro or not, the X40 offers 125W wired charging and wireless charging too – only at 15W I thought, less than 50W on the X30 Pro. However, non-pro motos usually skip it altogether. When you need to charge the phone as fast as possible, the wired charger will take you from a dead battery to 50% in just 7 minutes. Incidentally, the battery capacity of 4,600 mAh is basically the same as the old Pro.
The same applies to the camera – instead of a 200MP main sensor, the X40 is equipped with a 50MP sensor (1/1.56”). It features OIS, native 1.0µm pixels with 4-in-1 binning support. This leaves the door open for a flagship model in the X40 series.
Next to the main camera is an ultra wide-angle lens (117°) with a 50 MP sensor (1.3 µm pixels). This has auto focus, so it can take macro pictures from 2.5 cm/1 inch. Also on board is a 2x portrait camera with a 12MP sensor (IMX663, 1.22µm pixels). For selfies, there’s a 60-megapixel selfie camera with a center hole. Aside from the main sensor, this setup is pretty similar to the X30 Pro.
Coming back to the chipset, it’s the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and it’s cooled by an 11-layer structure that includes a vapor chamber (3002mm² in size). The chipset is paired with 8/12 GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 128, 256 or even 512 GB of UFS 4.0 storage. This is a dual SIM phone, there is no room for a microSD slot. No 3.5mm jack either, but that was also the case on the 2021 model. The new one starts with Android 13/My UI 5.0 out of the box.
Motorola Moto X40 color variants
The X40 makes its water resistance official with an IP68 rating (it can survive 1.5m/5ft underwater for 30 minutes). The midframe is made of 7000 series aluminum, the back is covered with Gorilla Glass Victus with soft-touch finish (available in blue and black). We don’t know whether this also applies to the front, Motorola’s information is vague. Anyhow, the phone is 8.6mm thick and weighs 199g, about the same as its predecessor.
The Motorola Moto X40 has an official IP68 rating • Gorilla Glass Victus with a soft-touch finish on the back
The Motorola Moto X40 is available for pre-order now in China, with shipping scheduled to begin on December 22nd. The base 8/128GB model starts at 3,400 CNY ($490/€460/£40,500). For comparison, the Moto X30 Pro (which served as the base for the global Edge 30 Ultra) started at 3,700 CNY for an 8/128GB model. Other configurations are also on sale: 8/256 GB for 3,700 CNY, 12/256 GB for 4,000 CNY and 12/512 GB for 4,300 CNY.
Motorola Moto G53
The Motorola Moto G53 has 5G connectivity as a claim to fame. Still, as a successor to the 4G-only Moto G52, it’s disappointing in some ways. Even the 5G-equipped Moto G51 has some better specs (Motorola’s lineup can be quite confusing).
Starting with the screen, the G52’s 6.6-inch 90Hz AMOLED with FHD+ resolution is gone, replaced by a 6.5-inch 120Hz LCD with only HD+ resolution. The G51 5G had a 6.8-inch 120Hz LCD with FHD+ resolution. The selfie camera has been downgraded to an 8 MP sensor (from 16 MP).
There are also devaluations on the back. The main camera still has a 50-megapixel sensor with 0.64µm native pixels (1.3µm after binning), but the ultra-wide module is gone. Don’t worry, the 2MP macro camera is still there.
Then there’s the battery. At 5,000mAh it’s the same capacity as the old phone, although charging speeds have now dropped to 18W (from 30W) and you only get a 10W charger in the box. Some corners have been trimmed to pay for the 5G modem.
Motorola Moto G53 5G color variants
Thankfully, the cuts didn’t affect the microSD card slot or the 3.5mm headphone jack. The G53 has two versions, one with 4GB of RAM and one with 8GB, both with 128GB of storage. You also have a choice of a black and white colorway.
The Motorola Moto G53 is available for pre-order now in China, priced as low as CNY900 ($130/€120/₹11,000) for the 4/128GB model and CNY1,100 for the 8/128GB model. Again, this could be the company’s cheapest 5G phone – the aforementioned G51 costs 1,500 CNY. Still, the G5x model number feels like it belongs to a mid-ranger and this is an entry-level phone, but that’s just a nitpick.