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FOR

  • Modern design
  • Solid autonomy
  • Nice set of extras
  • Almost stock Android
  • Great value for money
  • Good daytime photography
  • A big screen in a compact body

AGAINST

  • No NFC
  • Feels cheap
  • Basic performance
  • Weak selfie camera
  • Small internal storage
  • Low screen brightness
  • Low light photography
  • Poor video recording quality

Better cameras, longer battery life and higher performance. Motorola claims that these are the focus of the new G7 series in order to compete with the strong competition from China in the mid-range segment, where the price/performance ratio is paramount. The Moto G7 Play ($134.95) is the smallest model of the new G7 family with a screen of 5.7 inches (all other models are 6.2 inches in diagonal). Plastic may not look quite as premium, but it’s not a fingerprint magnet. Build quality, on the other hand, is top-notch, and this handy smartphone sports a pleasantly rounded design. The fingerprint reader is well-positioned, easy to reach and reacts quickly. Alternatively, the Moto G7 Play can also be unlocked via 2D face recognition.

Moto G7 Play – Design

Moto G7 Play – Design

With a size of 71.5×147.3×8mm, the grip is solid and the overall feeling quite nice. In addition, its lightweight (just 149 grams) will be hardy noticed inside your pocket.

The Moto G7 Play sports the now infamous notch. Sadly this has an elongated form instead of the water-drop style of high-end models. The notch houses the headset, the front camera, and the LED flash.

On the back, we find the single main camera along with the LED flash located immediately underneath it. It protrudes very slightly which causes the annoying imbalance of the terminal when placed on a flat surface.

The fingerprint sensor is further down and hides behind the Motorola logo.

On top, we also find a 3.5mm audio jack for which we are grateful. Next to it, there is the second microphone for noise cancellation.

The two nanoSIM and microSD card tray are on the left side, opposite the volume and power buttons placed well within thumb reach.

Finally, the bottom edge houses the microphone, a type C port, and the speaker.

Moto G7 Play – Display

Moto G7 Play – Display

The Moto G7 Play’s LCD display offers an HD+ resolution (1,520×720 pixels). Colors and contrast are not bad, the device covers 100% of the standard RGB color space. But if you are accustomed to bright colors or HDR10 quality videos, you will be disappointed.

Sound

The mono-speaker has decent quality and without distortion (for the most part). Volume level, on the other hand, is not one of its strong suits and in noisy environments, it is difficult to hear the sound.

Software

One of its best features resides in its almost stock Android 9 Pie OS. There is no bloatware, and if you do not like some of Motorola’s application (most of them are quite useful) you can uninstall them without too much fuss.

Moto G7 Play – Performance

Moto G7 Play – Performance

The low-end eight-core Snapdragon 632 fits perfectly with this Motorola Moto G7 Play and provides solid performance and smooth user experience. With just 2GB of RAM, it doesn’t have blazing fast performance but it grants a smooth, lag-free user experience.

This SoC uses the Adreno 506 GPU allows you to enjoy most games with minimum/medium settings and the occasional stutter at times. We have tried it with PUBG with medium quality graphics and the gameplay was mostly smooth and only occasionally there was a severe drop in fps.

The cell phone also comes with 32GB of internal memory that can be expanded via a microSD card up to 512GB. This is the bare minimum for today’s phones but considering the price is understandable.

The same goes for the fingerprint sensor which works really well and fast. It cannot compete with other faster sensors, but it gets the job done in a timely manner.

Moto G7 Play – Camera

Moto G7 Play – Camera

This is where most companies cut corners, but the Moto G7 Play’s camera behaves better than most, always within reason.

In good light conditions, the captured image has good details, unless you want to zoom in. The colors are reproduced reliably but with a somewhat dull and washed off tone. The dynamic range is just decent. With HDR image quality somewhat improves and sports a pretty good contrast effect.

At night, its focal aperture of 2.0, manages to capture enough light to show some details but with background noise creeping in.

The selfie camera is OK for uploading to social media, but just that, and we appreciated the inclusion of a front-facing flash for selfies in low light conditions.

It is also possible to record video in 1080p at 30fps with both the rear and front camera, and in 4K at 30fps using only the main camera. The end result is also just OK.

Autonomy

The 3000mAh battery grants it an autonomy of about a day and a half scoring 7 hours of screen time in our test.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a fast charger, so from 0 to 100%, it requires approximately two hours.

Connectivity

The only thing really missing here, and we cannot understand why is the NFC module that has become so handy for contactless payments.

Moto G7 Play – Verdict

The new Moto G7 Play may not have the newest design or the most cutting-edge technology, obviously, but the focus of the company was to create an affordable smartphone for people who want basic functions and maybe some mobile gaming and need a device that performs well enough that they do not end up throwing out.

And it does… it even surprised us with its solid performance, clean-cut operating system, great autonomy, and good rear camera. Its only flaws but in no way deal-breakers are its low storage capacity and the absence of NFC.

For people looking for a small device and have basic needs, or even as a gift to an older or younger person, it is a smartphone that will not disappoint and with a price of $134.95 it is difficult to do so.


Also read: BEST CELL PHONES

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Performance
7.5
Display
8
Camera
8
Design
8.5
Software
9
Autonomy
9
Price
9.5
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