The Moto G Power is 25% the price of $1,000 smartphones, and it does 95% of the things you wantby Antonio Villas-Boas, Business Insider US
- Motorola’s Moto G Power offers quite a lot and a decent core smartphone experience for 25% of the price of $1,000 premium smartphones.
- It runs Android and apps surprisingly well, but it doesn’t do too well with power-hungry video games.
- The phone has a fine camera that’s a little finicky, but you can eventually learn its quirks for acceptable results.
- The Moto G Power’s battery life is incredible, too, regularly lasting us up to two full days on a single charge.
I have nothing but respect for the Moto G Power. Sure, it’s not perfect. But, it’s also $250.
That’s cheap for a smartphone, and you usually get what you’re given when you pay so little. Inexpensive smartphones typically come with massive compromises, and they can be barely usable.
With the Moto G Power, however, what you’re given isn’t bad at all – it’s pretty good, actually- and it’s totally sustainable as a daily smartphone that runs pretty much every app you’d ever want to run.
Check out what you get in a $250 smartphone.
Moto G Power specs
- Display: 6.4-inch 1080p (2,300 x 1,080) 60Hz IPS
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
- Memory & storage: 4GB RAM & 64GB storage, expandable up to 512GB with microSD card
- Rear cameras: 16-megapixel wide, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro lens
- Selfie camera: 16-megapixel
- Battery: 5,000mAh
Design and display
The Moto G Power isn’t especially attractive, nor is it ugly in any way. It’s somewhat thick, but not too heavy. It’s large to accommodate its large 6.4-inch screen. This phone is penultimate generic smartphone design, and it shouldn’t be anything more, nor should it have any extra flourishes for its price tag.
The screen makes everything look good enough. I enjoy my videos, apps, photos, and everything else just as much on the $250 Moto G Power as I did when I tested the $1,400 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Sure, the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s screen is better, but I never wished the Moto G Power had a better screen, either.
The bezels are surprisingly thin for a $250 smartphone, and you get the hole-punch selfie camera rather than a notch design. There’s a strange darkness around the selfie camera that indicates some cheapness here. It’s noticeable, but it doesn’t ruin the experience or make the phone unusable by any means.
Performance and battery life
The $250 Moto G Power has similar benchmark scores as the $400 Samsung Galaxy A51. In everyday usage, however, the Moto G Power actually feels snappier and smoother with fewer stutters than the Galaxy A51, and the G Power delivers a more fluid, comfortable, and less jarring experience. In other words, the Moto G Power is an excellent value, and based on everyday performance alone, it has a leg-up over Samsung’s prized and popular mid-ranger.
With that said, the Moto G Power does not impress with graphically intense games like “Asphalt 9.” Gameplay is stuttery and sputtery, and I wouldn’t recommend you get the Moto G Power if you play a lot of power-hungry games. The Galaxy A51 does better here.
For those interested in the benchmark scores, the Moto G Power scored a 313 for single core, and 1,401 for multi-core. For reference, the Samsung Galaxy A51 scored a 347 single-core score, and 1,305 for multi-core.
Unlocking the phone is a breeze with the traditional fingerprint sensor on the rear on the phone. In fact, I can confidently say that the fingerprint sensor on the $250 Moto G Power works better than the fancy ultra-sonic in-display fingerprint sensor in Samsung’s Galaxy S20 smartphones, which start at $1,000.
The Moto G Power’s marquee features is its battery life, and its 5,000mAh battery seriously impresses. This thing can easily last two days with normal usage, including video and music streaming, a bunch of web browsing, social media scrolling, and running general common apps like messaging apps, email, Google Maps, and taking photos. With light usage and using the Moto G Power purely as a phone (the occasional phone call and text message, no web browsing, no social media, or other apps in general) the Moto G Power has the potential to last more than three days.
The Moto G Power has a triple-lens camera system, which is impressive for a $250 phone. With that said, the third lens – a 2-megapixel macro lens – seems more like a marketing trick to say the phone has three lenses. And, the ultra-wide lens isn’t all that good. I wish Motorola invested all of its camera budget for the Moto G Power into the regular camera instead of adding inferior cameras for the sake of specs-bragging.
The Moto G Power can take good photos, but it’s not as much of a guarantee as it is with more expensive smartphones. There’s a delay when you press the shutter button, giving you and/or the subject the opportunity to move while the photo is being taken, which results in blurry photos. Check out some photos taken with the Moto G Power:
Here’s a photo taken with the regular camera. This is actually a very sharp, clear, and detailed photo. A $1,000 flagship could totally have taken this photo:
Here’s another photo with more color. It’s really quite a good camera if you and the subjects are still:
Here’s a shot from the ultra-wide lens. It’s not very sharp, especially towards the edges. I suppose it’s an option, but it’s not really worth using this lens very much. It looks like it was taken through a plastic lens.
And here’s a photo taken with the baffling macro mode, Motorola’s technical ticket to call the Moto G Power a triple-lens smartphone:
Motorola has priced the Moto G Power to be largely immune to criticism. At $250, the phone really doesn’t have any drawbacks apart from that strange darkness around the hole-punch selfie camera and the poor performance during graphically intensive games. Otherwise, It works as well as a $400 mid-ranger, it can take decent photos once you learn its quirks, it has a modern screen design, a fine screen at that, and it has incredible battery life.
It doesn’t have premium features, like wireless charging or an official water resistance rating (although Motorola does say that it has a water repellent design). But, you shouldn’t expect those things in a $250 phone. No one should be expecting more for $250.
The bottom line
The Moto G Power is priced as an entry-level smartphone, but it looks and acts more like a mid-range smartphone, and it comes with all the core features and functions you’d want.
It’s a perfect option for those who want a good, simple, inexpensive smartphone that lets them run the apps they want to stay in touch with friends and family, take the occasional photo, all while you’re not worrying much about battery life.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a smartphone, but you want all the core benefits of a smartphone, the $250 Moto G Power is for you.