In a world of Apples and Galaxies, it is hard to make a splash in a market as saturated as that of the smartphone. Seriously, there are so many options out there, it is no wonder people gravitate towards what they know or the company with the biggest marketing budget. Motorola, however, is attempting to get your attention and has returned with a phone that has most of the bells and whistles of a 2019 flagship but at its usual affordable budget price, that phone is the G7.
At just $299 (yes, you read that right), the company has managed to cram some cool features into this phone. First is that sexy and durable plastic build that houses the stunningly large 6.2-inch Full HD+ Max Vision screen, it is quite the looker. It has a brilliant almost edge to edge 19:9 aspect ratio and is very immersive! You also get a welcome AI powered dual camera system 12MP and 5MP that includes Google own lens feature that can identify many objects just by looking at it. A substantial 3000 Mah battery with USB-C 15-watt fast charging and a water-repellent coating for that added reassurance.
The phone is also powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor which Motorola claims is 50% faster than the previous generation, paired with 4gm of ram (even the 2019 Google Pixel costing $1000+ has the same) as well as 64gb of expandable storage, stereo speakers and even a facial unlocking. The G7 also runs on the latest iteration of the Android Pie operating system and is largely untouched minus a few ‘Motorola-ey’ touches.
So, the question is, what it’s like to operate as a daily driver? We will start by saying that on paper all these features sound amazing and for the most part offer a satisfying user experience. The screen is spectacular, albeit it’s not AMOLED, it still has punchy colors and decent brightness, it is also perfect for watching video content thanks in part to that stereo speaker setup which gets suitably loud thanks to the Dolby Audio enhancements. The processor seems to handle the non-bloated OS well too, it was zippy and didn’t hang or lag and could handle some intensive games well. Multitasking too was OK, but you should expect some app refreshing from time to time when many apps are open. Lastly, the facial unlock works just as well as devices twice the price.
There a few caveats at this price point though and unfortunately it is in two areas that do matter in 2019 – the battery and the camera. Let’s start with the camera, you do need to adjust your expectations here, we are not saying it is bad by any means, but it is just not top tier. It is better than previous generations especially with the inclusions of things like portrait mode and hyper lapse slow motion which turned out great but as usual with this price point, low light photos still kind of suck and video capped at 1080p and no optical stabilization sees like a misstep. The selfie camera too is adequate but uninspiring. Now the battery, first, this phone will get you through a day with moderate usage but push it any harder and you will need to top up by dinner. To us, Motorola missed an opportunity to really stand out by sacrificing slimness for longevity, but the 15-watt included fast charger does fix the hurt a little here.
Motorola were the king of the budget smartphone category for many years and in a lot of ways the G7 is no exception. It offers everything most consumers want in an attractive and affordable package. Even with some minor qualms, one must remember that this is a phone that costs less than $300 and for what Motorola has managed to do here, can you really find a more feature packed phone? We know we can’t, so the company continues to claim the title – Best Budget Smartphone in 2019!