Midrange with premium potential
Today’s midrange smartphones have inherited the premium looks of the high-end models for quite a while, and it’s not all that difficult to find one that’s clad in metal, and with features like fingerprint sensors. One such phone is the Moto M, which has a pretty apt name.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and the saying applies to phones as well. The Moto M’s exterior would have you believe that it costs twice its actual price, but it’s where it is in the market not because of its looks, but its innards. Housed inside the exquisite metal body is a MediaTek Helio P15, a 2.2GHz octa-core SoC that’s supported by 4GB of RAM and a 3,050mAh battery. Together, they all work to power a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a 16MP main shooter, an 8MP secondary camera, as well as a fingerprint sensor.
The rear camera and fingerprint sensor represent a sort of polarity on the back of the phone, as while the fingerprint sensor dips into the phone, the rear camera bulges out. This sort of design meant that you’ll have to be careful where you set it down, but fortunately, Lenovo provides a protective case that evens out the camera bump when it’s slipped onto the Moto M.
One trait of the Moto brand, despite going through multiple owners and names, is the near-stock Android OS that its phones come with. The same applies to the Moto M. A caveat here is that the Moto M doesn’t get the latest Android 7.0 Nougat update, but with Marshmallow already so intuitive to use, it’s just a minor gripe of ours.
One obvious thing that isn’t vanilla Android is the Dolby Atmos equalizer for immersive audio and customization. If you’re on headphones, it works very nicely, but the built-in speakers may not live up to your expectations on the volume department.
Performance is pretty much standard what you’d expect from a Helio P15, which is basically the P10 clocked up. And with that, come scores like 463 on Sling Shot Extreme, 10,721 on Ice Storm Unlimited, 3,553 on Work 2.0, 54,518 on AnTuTu, 4,513 on Quadrant and 40.5 fps on Epic Citadel. The surprising and unfortunate result we had was battery life, rated only at six hours and 43 minutes using Work 2.0’s battery life test.
The Moto M is the midrange phone that’s nice to look at and gets the job done.
The camera bump is precariously prone to damage, but fortunately Lenovo provides a protective case for free.