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Motorola One 5G Ace is a budget phone that doesn't look cheap

It melds a chic design with an affordable package.

Sarah Tew
I'm a visual storyteller, working primarily in the medium of photography and photoshop. I listen to more podcasts than I can keep up with and enjoy gardening, cooking, reading, and am striving for a sustainable lifestyle. A big-picture thinker, I am always trying to put the pieces together, and though things are scary these days, I believe humanity will pull through.
Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Expertise Apple | iPhone | iOS | Android | Samsung | Sony | Google | Motorola | Interviews | Coffee equipment | Cats Credentials
  • Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Sarah Tew
Patrick Holland
Motorola One 5G Ace
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Motorola One 5G Ace
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Motorola made a few smart compromises to get the base price to $400, which is $45 (AT&T model) or $155 (Verizon model) cheaper than 2020's One 5G.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The Ace has a main wide-angle camera, an ultrawide-angle camera, a macro camera and a single selfie camera. 

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The main 48-megapixel camera uses pixel binning to combine multiple pixels into one. This helps reduce image noise and increase brightness.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The ring flash around the lens of the macro camera on the 2020 One 5G is gone.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The main camera on the Ace is pretty solid for a $400 phone.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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In the camera app, prompts appear to help you choose the best mode as you frame your shot.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The screen is similar but doesn't have the 90Hz high refresh rate that the 2020 One 5G did.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The Ace is a heavy phone.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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It weighs 212 grams. To give you some perspective the Galaxy S21 Ultra weighs 229 grams and the iPhone 12 Pro Max is 228 grams.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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I like the plastic back and finish. It looks attractive and contemporary.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The Ace packs a giant 5,000-mAh battery.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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in my testing got through a day and a half no problem and often made it two days on a single charge. There are phones that cost two or three times as much as the Ace and don't last anywhere near as long.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The fingerprint reader is on the back of the phone.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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Unlike the 2020 One 5G, the Ace is available unlocked and will work on any US carrier with sub-6 5G.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The Ace runs Android 10.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The Ace in all its chonky glory.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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On the bottom is a USB-C port for charging and a headphone jack.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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On the right side is a volume rocker and power button.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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Here's another angle.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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The Ace is part of Motorola's 2021 budget phone family.

Motorola One 5G Ace
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