Motorola unveiled two new devices today – a member of the premium X-series and what will probably be the cheapest 5G phone from the company for the foreseeable future. These are launching in China for now, but should make their way to the rest of the world in some form later on.
Motorola Moto X40
The old X30 Pro was an interesting combination of powerful hardware and a reasonable price tag. This new model, the Motorola Moto X40, doesn’t call itself a “pro”, but it nevertheless dials up the power with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and a 165Hz display – Motorola sure loves its high refresh rate displays.
The display has a 6.7” diagonal and 1,080 x 2,400px resolution. It is a 10-bit panel with HDR10+ support and DC dimming. The fingerprint reader is under the display now rather than being mounted on the side. This is Motorola’s first 165Hz display and with the powerful Adreno 740 GPU it might draw people away from pricey gaming phones.
Pro or not, the X40 boasts 125W wired charging and it features wireless charging too – only at 15W, thought, down from 50W on the X30 Pro. Still, non-Pro Motos usually skip it altogether. If you need to charge the phone as fast as possible, the wired charger will get you from a dead battery to 50% in just 7 minutes. The battery capacity is 4,600mAh, by the way, basically the same as the old Pro.
Similar reasoning applies to the camera – instead of a 200MP main sensor, the X40 is equipped with a 50MP sensor (1/1.56”). It has OIS, 1.0µm native pixels with 4-in-1 binning support. That leaves the door open for a flagship model in the X40 series.
Next to the main cam is a ultra wide-angle lens (117°) with a 50MP sensor (1.3µm pixels). This one has autofocus, so it can shoot macro images from 2.5cm/1”. Also on board is 2x portrait camera with a 12MP sensor (IMX663, 1.22µm pixels). For selfies there is a 60MP selfie camera with a centered punch hole. Main sensor aside, this setup is quite similar to the X30 Pro.
Going back to the chipset, it is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and it is cooled by an 11-layer setup that includes a vapor chamber (3,002mm² in size). The chipset is paired with 8/12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 128, 256 or even 512GB 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 the case for the 2021 model as well. The new one launches with Android 13/My UI 5.0 out of the box.
The X40 makes its resilience against water official with an IP68 rating (it can survive 1.5m/5ft under water for 30 minutes). The mid-frame is made out of 7000-series aluminum, the rear is covered with Gorilla Glass Victus with a soft-touch finish (available in Blue and Black). We’re not sure if that applies to the front as well, the details provided by Motorola are vague. Anyway, the phone measures 8.6mm thick and weighs 199g, roughly the same as its predecessor.
The Motorola Moto X40 is on pre-order in China right now, shipping is set to begin on December 22. The base 8/128GB model starts at CNY 3,400 ($490/€460/₹40,500). For comparison, the Moto X30 Pro (which served as the basis for the global Edge 30 Ultra) started at CNY 3,700 for an 8/128GB model. There are other configurations on offer too: 8/256GB for CNY 3,700, 12/256GB for CNY 4,000 and 12/512GB for CNY 4,300.
Motorola Moto G53
The Motorola Moto G53 has 5G connectivity as its claim to fame. Even so, as a follow-up to the 4G-only Moto G52 it is disappointing in some respects. Even the 5G-equipped Moto G51 has some better specs (Motorola’s line-up can be quite confusing).
Starting with the screen, gone is the 6.6” 90Hz AMOLED with FHD+ resolution of the G52, replaced by a 6.5” 120Hz LCD with only HD+ resolution. The G51 5G had a 6.8” 120Hz LCD with FHD+ resolution. The selfie camera has been demoted to an 8MP sensor (down from 16MP).
There are downgrades on the back as well. The main camera still has a 50MP 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 here.
Then there is the battery. At 5,000mAh it is the same capacity as the old phone, though the charging speed is now down to 18W (down from 30W) and you only get a 10W charger included in the box. Some corners have been cut to pay for the 5G modem.
Thankfully, the cutbacks 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 storage. You also get a choice between a Black and a White colorway.
The Motorola Moto G53 is now on pre-order in China at a price of just CNY 900 ($130/€120/₹11,000) for the 4/128GB model and CNY 1,100 for the 8/128GB one. Again, this could be the cheapest 5G phone from the company – that G51 we mentioned earlier is CNY 1,500. Still, the G5x model number feels like it belongs on a mid-ranger and this is an entry level phone, but that is just a nitpick.