Motorola has made some of the best budget and mid-range phones for years. But Moto’s previous lineup of inexpensive devices was a bit confusing, as its offerings were split between the Moto G6 and G6 Play, and the even less expensive E5 Plus and E5 Play. In 2019, Moto is trimming down its G7 portfolio down to just three phones while also giving each model a slightly different twist to suit your needs.
Starting with the star of the family, the $300 Moto G7 costs $50 more than last year’s G6. But for that extra money, you get a significantly larger 6.2-inch 2270 x 1080 screen (versus the the G6's 5.7-inch display), a nifty teardrop notch, Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, and 4GB of RAM and 64GB of base storage, which is the same amount of memory and storage as what you get in a Galaxy S9. Not bad.
The G7 is also the only member of the family to sport dual-rear cameras, which is a nice bonus. Though for the G7's cheaper siblings, Moto has customized the G7 Power and G7 Play’s camera apps so that they too can shoot portrait mode photos using software instead of having an extra sensor.
Next comes the G7 Power, which like the standard G7 sports a Gorilla Glass rear panel and a 6.2-inch display, though the Power’s screen features a somewhat disappointing 1520 x 720 resolution. The G7's specs are also slightly more reserved. While it also has a Snapdragon 632 chip, it only gets 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. However, that lower-res screen should only enhance the G7 Power’s standout feature: its monstrous 5,000 mAh battery.
Considering that even most flagship phones today top out with battery capacities around 4,000 mAh and tend to feature much more power hungry chips and features, I’m excited to test the G7 Power’s longevity myself to see how long it can last.
Finally, the $200 G7 Play rounds out Moto’s budget phone family, and while its plastic back, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and smaller 5.7-inch screen start to show where Moto pulled back to bring the G7 Play’s price this low, there still don’t seem to be any major missteps.
Additionally, all of the new G7 models (even the G7 Play) come with rear-mounted fingerprint sensors and water-repellent coatings that Motorola claims should be able to handle a light splash or two.
All three phones will also come with essentially a stock implementation of Android 9 Pie out of the box, headphone jacks, and tweaked camera apps that support several different shooting modes that let you capture cinemagraphs (similar to what we saw on the LG V40), hyperlapse videos, photos with selective colors, and even special high-res shots that combine multiple frames into a single image to help avoid the pitfalls of traditional digital zoom.
All told, I like that Moto is paring down its budget offerings into something that’s more manageable and easier to digest, and with all three handsets slated to be available unlocked, potential buyers won’t have to worry about things like network compatibility.
So even if feel like I’ve written these exact words in previous years, it seems like Moto will once again maintain control over the budget phone market with the new G7 family. Look for all three G7 phones to go on sale sometime in March.