Motorola Moto G Play - 2024: Affordable, Accessible Smartphone for All

Motorola Moto G Play - 2024: Affordable, Accessible Smartphone for All

By Karl Belanger

Cheap Android smartphones—often offered for free when joining prepaid carriers, or deeply discounted at big box retailers have been around for years. Unfortunately, these phones usually come with major issues such as woefully outdated software, poorly performing touchscreens, or slow performance when running the Talkback screen reader. These issues often combine to make cheap Android phones tedious to use (at best) or, more often than not, downright unusable.

Fortunately, this has slowly been changing. Newer phones have more RAM, faster processors, and better touchscreens—all while keeping the cost low. One such “budget phone” is the Motorola Moto G Play - 2024. Motorola has been known for releasing good “budget phones” for a while, with the G Play series being the cheapest among them. The G Play 2024 is the latest in this line, coming in with a base price of one hundred and fifty dollars, but it can often be found for closer to one hundred dollars. While it won’t compete with the higher-end phones from Google or Samsung, it certainly holds its own. The phone is responsive enough for basic use, and all of its accessibility features work well.

Physical Description

The Moto G Play 2024 is a fairly large phone. The volume buttons are near the top of the right side, and the combined power button/fingerprint reader is just below them. The sim tray is the only thing on the left side of the device, and is almost exactly across from the volume buttons. The bottom edge contains a USB-C charging port, the speaker, and a microphone. This phone does have a headphone jack, which is on the top edge near the left corner.

The phone only has sixty-four gigabytes of storage. This is fairly small for a modern phone, so users downloading audiobooks and lots of apps will run out of space quickly. Fortunately, the sim tray also has a Micro SD card slot for expanding storage. One final note is that this phone will only get one or two major Android updates, and a couple years more of security updates. This is similar to other budget phones.

Using the Moto G Play 2024

Setting up the Moto G Play - 2024 is quite straightforward and is consistent with other Android phones. After powering it on, hold down both volume buttons to turn on Talkback. After that, you can go through the tutorial, and follow the prompts to set up the device. Near the end of the setup, you will be prompted to install some suggested apps. You likely won’t want most of these—from what I’ve found, they don’t add much, aren’t very accessible, and just take up more of the already-limited storage space. Be sure to uncheck them before continuing.

After finishing setup, you can start using the phone. If you’ve used an Android phone before, the Motorola launcher will be very familiar. Motorola does have its own weather app with a widget on the home screen. This widget, and the app by extension, are not very accessible—I’d recommend just getting the Google weather app, or your weather service of choice.

Fortunately, all of the important functions, including settings, home screen management, phone, messages, etc. are accessible. You will likely want to turn off the power-on sound, which is a voice saying “Hello moto” just before the lock screen appears when you turn the phone on.

Moto G Play - 2024 Performance

Overall, the phone’s performance is very respectable. It recognizes gestures reasonably well, though it’s less-forgiving of imprecise movements than more-expensive phones. The speaker gets the job done, as Talkback speech and music will both sound decent. Since this is a cheaper phone, it uses an older Bluetooth version and doesn’t have Near-Field Communication (NFC) capabilities. This means that you won’t be able to use apps like Wayaround or mobile payments through Google Pay.

The phone’s touchscreen is responsive enough for navigating and typing. The lag is not significant, although if you’re coming from a high-end Android or iPhone, you’ll likely notice that loading apps (especially large ones) takes longer. The device should handle most casual games well, though anything processor-intensive may not work. I loaded the game Blind Drive—it took a good twenty seconds or so to load the main menu. The game played reasonably well after that with only a couple audio artifacts here and there.

The G Play - 2024 handled accessibility features quite well. It seamlessly paired with a Braille display, and I was able to control the phone with no issues. Apps like Google Lookout and Seeing AI worked well, and the camera seemed to pick up text and identify products quickly with good lighting.


The Motorola Moto G Play - 2024 is an affordable smartphone that offers decent performance, good battery life, and a large screen. It handles most basic tasks, such as browsing, messaging, and streaming, as well as some casual games. Its accessibility elements work well—it pairs with Braille displays, has a screen reader, and works with apps designed to enhance accessibility. The G Play -2024 is a viable option for blind people looking for an affordable, accessible device. However, users needing faster, smoother, more powerful phones may want to look elsewhere.