Moto G series smartphones are – in my opinion – embodiment of middle-class devices. They are not brilliant, but they do not have any major flaws, which makes a reference point to competitive models. Is this the same case with Moto G7? Let us check…
The current Moto G family is composed out of Play, Plus and Power models - however, I decided to check the basic Moto G7 model, which is a sort-of reference point to other variants. You can check differences between this year’s models in this comparison. Let us now get to the point…
|Moto G7 - video review
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube
- Construction, set, quality of assembly
- Display, security
- Interface, applications
- Efficiency, battery, communication, sound
- Photography and video
- Summary. Advantages and disadvantages
Construction, set, quality of assembly
The set with which Moto G7 is offered does not astonish with abundance. We will find a quick charger and a USB cable, needle for opening the tray and a silicone cover. There are no earphones, but fortunately the phone has a standard minijack.
The housing of Moto G7 is made out of plastic, though the frame has a metal shine and basically looks like it is made out of one. In other words – it looks good. The back is covered with Gorilla Glass 3 with arced edges. If you do not intent on using the cover and you do not like fingerprints on your housing – choose the white colour. On the dark one, unfortunately, smudges are visible.
Motorola maintained its characteristic, round and standing above the housing camera module. It works great as a support for fingers while holding the device, but at the same time it makes the phone wobble on a flat surface.
The cover gets rid of this problem, but it will not help with the dust gathering near edges of the frame mentioned before. Below the camera lens there is the fingerprint scanner, built into the logo of the winged M.
On the lower wall of the housing we can see the USB-C socket, minijack and a single speaker, and comfortable in usage power and volume buttons are placed on the right wall. Left side is completely flat, while on the upper one we have a tray for cards – without hybrid solution.
This is a big advantage, we do not need to choose between DualSIM or enhancing the memory. You need to be careful though: close to the hole in which we insert the needle for opening the slot of cards, there is the additional microphone! It is best to be careful, because we might damage it. It is easy to be mistaken in a hurry.
At the front the main feature is the display, with the fashionable notch in the form of a water drop and a rather narrow (especially when we will compare it with previous Moto g models) bezel. At the bottom part there is the Motorola logo, and next to the edge we can see the hole of the main microphone. Similar hole can be seen near the edge of the back wall.
Unfortunately, the housing is not waterproof, but it looks rather aesthetical and has a decent stiffness. After over a month of usage without a cover – I can assume that the durability of used materials looks promising, just like the quality of its assembly. Whether you will consider this phone as a pretty one or not - it is up to you. I like, though if I had to buy one, I would have chosen the version in the white colour.
In Moto G7 we have decent, 6.2-inch IPS Full HD+ display and 19:9 ratio. I had the possibility to choose a display in a bright, mountain sunlight, which shine was intensified with snow. It turned out that the matrix was bright enough so that I could use the phone, however if we are using glasses with a polarizing filters and we are holding the phone horizontally, we will not avoid a dimmed display – but it will remain readable.
The lowest brightness level is equally good, just like readability angles or the colours representation. The automatic brightness regulation works well, there is an eye-protection mode as well.
We can turn it on manually or according to the hourly schedule. The whole is complemented by the possibility of choosing one of three colour profiles. The display can be switched to the grey mode – using the Greyscale option embedded into the Pie system.
We can choose between the bright or the dark theme of the interface as well. There is no notifications LED – it is replaced by a peculiar version of the Always on Display function. Notifications will appear when we will move our hand close to the display or when we will lift the phone up. It will light up for a moment when something will happen on it as well. In addition, we can choose for the display to remain on when we are looking at it. In most cases – it really works.
Moto G7 secures access using facial recognition and the fingerprint scanner. The scanner works great, even in low temperatures. The speed of work is nice, just like the readability – an error occurred maybe once in a dozen tries.
Unfortunately, the scanner – though a good one – does not have additional capabilities, like controlling the camera shutter or being used as a touchpad. We can only extend notifications – but this feature is deeply hidden in the “System/Gestures” section in settings. In Moto G7 we can unlock the phone using the facial recognition. Though this is a simple system using the front camera, I did not manage to deceive it with a photo.
Unfortunately, the system can be deceived using the “sleeping person” method and in weak lighting unlocking can be unsuccessful – but from a phone in this class it is difficult to expect something more. I will add that the latter problem can be decreased by using a bright locked screen wallpaper – the display will brighten the surrounding and the phone can recognize us. Of course there is the standard “Smart Lock” option that prevents blocking the phone in selected places or after connecting with a selected BT device – and so on.
Motorola have been promoting Android in its pure form for years. Without any strange solutions, or add-ons – instead, they promise fast updates. In my case, for a month – I received only security updates (January 2019), but I hope that the manufacturer will be up to the task and will continue to develop more of them. Is there any sense in describing the pure interface of Android Pie?
I do not think so – so I will only mention about additions from Motorola. And surprisingly there are some. They are called “Moto experiences and utilities”, which – according to the manufacturer – deserved a separate place in the settings menu and an icon. And it was a good call, because some of them are great, comfortable and brilliant in their simplicity. I have already mentioned about the notifications system.
Besides this I do appreciate the possibility of quickly running the torch (that is the back LED flash) by shaking the phone. Running the camera app by quickly turning the phone is equally comfortable. There is an easy gesture for decreasing the interface to be used with one hand, muting signals by turning the phone or receiving a call by lifting Moto G to our ear.
We can control the player by pressing volume buttons and we can change the three system buttons into one which is controlled by swiping gestures. I cannot get used to this, though I like its looks. While preparing this text I appreciated how easy it is to take screenshots, by swiping three fingers.
Moto adds options connected with the display and the possibility of a voice control. In the phone’s menu we can find the Dolby Audio app, thanks to which we can use different predefined sound profiles, unfortunately there is no manual equalizer.
Besides additions mentioned before – we have only what is offered by the pure version of the system. We will definitely not find one thing: bloatware, for which we must commend Motorola. I will commend the nicely adjusted shortcuts panel with the possibility to edit it as well, the only thing I miss is the possibility to create folders with icons in the tray.
Moto G7 is a middle-class guy that uses Snapdragon 632 CPU and 4GB of RAM, so it is difficult to expect for it to be the top in benchmarks- but in an everyday usage the smartphone works smooth and it does not bother the user with hang ups or lags.
The phone managed my standard set of apps without any problems, it handles games nicely as well. When it comes to more demanding titles, like Asphalt 9 I noticed some slight lags – but they were not bothersome.
Unfortunately, I have noticed that during a cold weather Moto G7 is not a great hands heater. We can notice a slight increase in temperature, but it is nothing that could make us uncomfortable.
The review device had 64GB of internal memory, out of which the user has around 53GB left at the beginning. In the middle-class phone this is not a flaw, especially that we can enhance the memory using an external drive without any compromises.
Moto G7 draws its power from a 3000 mAh battery – it is worth noting that in the middle-class a 4000 mAh cell is becoming a standard right now. Does Motorola have to be ashamed of it? Not necessarily, because this battery can provide two days of work without any problems.
Even during extensive tests I did not manage to discharge the battery in less than 10 hours – though on the other hand I think that in the standby mode it consumes a bit too much energy. We do not need to worry about discharging the battery too fast, but I would not leave G7 for a night with less than 10% of battery left.
A large advantage of Moto G7 is the quick charging. What is important is that we receive an appropriate 15 W charger in the set – contrary to some Chinese manufacturer… The charger will fill the battery in slightly more than an hour, but a half of the charge level should appear after 30-40 minutes.
When it comes to the communication, Moto has it all. We have a full, not a hybrid Dual SIM, with a socket for nano cards, there is the classic Android phone app, as well as Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.
The phone offers a decent quality of calls, though it lacks a bit to be ideal. The external speaker could have been stronger and cleaner. I have no concerns towards the microphone or the speaker at the bottom of the housing.
It is loud and rather clear, it will do its job during calls in the loud speaking mode. The element worthy of recognition is the FM radio, and when it comes to the sound I only missed the possibility of a manual correction.
Moto G7 does not make problems as a navigation device, it worked properly with accessories like different speakers, earphones or a car set.
Moto G7 is equipped with a gyroscope, it has light and proximity sensors as well, which in some way were managed to be fitted into the drop around the front camera.
Photography and video
When it comes to photography and video recording capabilities, Moto G7 comes out as it befits a middle-class phone – which is average. At the front we have 8 megapixels, while at the back – 12, with a nice f/1.8 aperture. The work of the main matrix is supported by a secondary, 5-megapixel one – but its only used for the background blurring.
The photos’ quality is average – it is difficult to criticize them, but on the other hand there are not too much features that would distinguish them or that I can write about. It is simply decent. Daytime photos offer a decent details representation and natural colours.
Along with the decrease of light the precision of details’ representation drops down as well, noises level go up, but they do not exceed unwanted levels. Photos still remain pleasant to look at.
And they could have been even better if the camera had not had tendencies to overexpose brighter parts of the shot – for example, when in the shot there is a lamp or another bright part it will be accented. And so – it could have been better, and the camera acts like in most models from the competition – that is it works well during the day, but slightly worse at night.
As a consolation the camera nicely connects panoramas and decently blurs the background, and there is the manual mode, which in weak lighting allows achieving much better effects than the auto mode.
Background blurring has additional capabilities – we can underline only one colour in the shot, and the rest becomes monochromatic, or we can cut out the object in the foreground and move it on to another background. Here we need to practice a bit and take care of the shot – but effects can be really interesting. The work of these functions largely depends on the person who is taking shots and his or hers patience.
I will complain about the front camera more. Here, the quality of photos after dark is not the only problem. There is the tendency for overexposing the background as well. There are no chances for a selfie with the blue sky on a sunny day.
Yes, we will be visible – but on an almost completely white, overexposed background… Photos on a much darker background look much better – but I think that cameras should be more universal…?
When it comes to the video recording it is similar as with photos. The brighter the better. We can record even in 4K, there is slow motion (HD, 120 frames per second) – and basically it is difficult to complain about anything. The image is smooth and clear, the sound just as much – though microphone like to recording wind noises. If it lacks something – it would be a decent stabilization. Here is a compilation of sample videos:
|Moto G7 - sample video
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube
The camera interface is rather simple, clean and readable, though I think that the icon of switching between manual and auto modes is unnecessarily separated. An icon in the modes menu would be enough…
I would have sacrificed the Google Lens icon (though it is good that it is integrated into the camera!) to have a quick access to video recording, straight from the main desktop. But the rest of the interface is impeccable.
Is it worth being interested in Moto G7? For Motorola fans this is an almost mandatory position, but in their case I would consider buying the Plus version – which has a slightly more powerful CPU and a better camera.
If you are looking for a neat phone with pure Android – you can consider buying G7 as well.
And if you are looking for a reliable phone that will not ruin your wallet, with a decent display and a quick charging battery – you should consider buying Moto G7 as well. However, I would discourage users who expect perfect photos in every condition – I recommend looking for flagships from a year or two years back.
Moto G7 evokes positive feelings in me – this is a smartphone, which on the one hand is likeable, and on the other it does not have clear, major flaws. And so – there is nothing new in Moto G, the next generation continues the tradition of its predecessors.
Unfortunately, in this year it has a strong competition from Xiaomi, Huawei or Honor. If buyers will follow only plain numbers from specifications, Moto G7 can have a difficult life… Unless the manufacturer will manage to revise its price.
Advantages and disadvantages
- pure, fresh Android
- Moto gestures
- lack of bloatware
- minijack and radio
- Dual SIM without hybrid
- cover in the set
- characteristic stylization
- nice fingerprint scanner
- fast charging and an appropriate charger in the set
- interesting background blurring effects
- video in 4K
- good display with a small notch
- decent speaker for calls
- lack of waterproofness
- troublesome facial recognition
- overexposed selfies
- poor quality of night time photos
- lack of notifications LED
- receiver is too quiet
- secondary microphone in a “dangerous” place
Source: GSMchoice.com; viewed: 246 times.