Mo­torola G7 Power

SmartHouse - - CONTENTS -

The ma­tur­ing smart­phone mar­ket, fac­ing head­winds from pesky con­sumers wait­ing longer and longer to re­place their ex­ist­ing de­vices, has now be­gun frac­tur­ing by price point.

Flag­ship phones are be­com­ing more pow­er­ful, premium, and pricey with ev­ery pass­ing year, while de­vices tar­get­ing the lower end of the mar­ket at­tempt to dif­fer­en­ti­ate by value, look­ing to strike the right bal­ance be­tween price and per­for­mance, and if they’re lucky, truly ex­cel in at least one area.

Mo­torola has been a strong player in bud­get phones for some time through its Moto G line, cheap de­vices that use a close-to-stock Android op­er­at­ing sys­tem.

A lack of bloat­ware helps things run smoothly even on th­ese lower spec phones, but now Mo­torola is try­ing to add another string to its bow with the G7 Power.

As the name sug­gests, Mo­torola has taken its reg­u­lar Moto G7 phone and juiced it up with an un­prece­dented 5000mAh bat­tery the com­pany claims gives the Moto G7 a marathon 60 hour bat­tery life.

This is one area the phone ex­cels, the ques­tion is: are there any oth­ers?

DESIGN

It’s un­likely Mo­torola is go­ing to win any awards for the util­i­tar­ian and unin­spired design of the G7 Power.

The phone looks prac­ti­cally iden­ti­cal to a lot of oth­ers, and its pla­s­ticky con­struc­tion does noth­ing to help you for­get this isn’t a premium phone, but at least it’s hon­est about it.

The 6.2” dis­play cov­ers the full front of the phone, bar­ring an iPhone-es­que notch for the front fac­ing cam­era and a mild lower bezel bear­ing the Mo­torola name.

The screen is good for 1570 x 720 pix­els, which is lower than the G7 and G7 Plus, but still pro­vides a per­fectly re­spectable 279 pix­els per inch, and its colour re­pro­duc­tion, bright­ness, and con­trast can hardly be faulted for a phone at this price point.

The back of the phone houses a sin­gle 12MP cam­era and LED Flash above a fin­ger­print sen­sor.

Wow fea­tures on a phone at this price point are pre­dictably pretty rare, but this LED Flash does pro­vide one, thanks to one of the few tweaks Mo­torola has made to the stock Android 9 Pie OS the phone ships with.

The in­cluded Moto app pro­vides users a few cool fea­tures through “Moto Ac­tions” and “Moto Dis­play”,

and one of them is called Fast Torch.fast torch RE­VIEW: The Mo­torola G7 Power Won’t Out­per­form Its Ri­vals, But It Will Out­last Them

When en­abled, users can quickly shake the phone in a “karate chop” like motion to turn the LED Flash on or off as a torch.

This is a shock­ingly use­ful fea­ture and all phones should in­clude it from here on.

Some other Moto Ac­tions in­clude a three fin­ger tap to take a screen­shot (which is less con­ve­nient and re­quires more hands than just us­ing your thumb on the hold but­ton and volume down), twisting your wrist twice to open the cam­era app, and flipping the phone screen side down to ac­ti­vate Do Not Dis­turb.

Moto Dis­play in­cludes At­ten­tive Dis­play, which pre­vents the screen go­ing to sleep if you’re look­ing at it, and Peek Dis­play, which is supposed to al­low users to in­ter­act with no­ti­fi­ca­tions while the screen is off.

In prac­tice I found all this does is briefly il­lu­mi­nate the phone screen ev­ery minute if an un­ad­dressed no­ti­fi­ca­tion is lin­ger­ing, which se­rial no­ti­fi­ca­tion ig­nor­ers like my­self will just find an­noy­ing.

Mo­torola has stayed loyal to the head­phone jack on the G7 Power, but it’s lo­cated at the wrong end of the phone for peo­ple who want to charge and plug into an au­dio source at the same time, still beg­gars can’t be choosers.

Users can quickly shake the phone in a 'karate chop' like motion to turn the LED Flash on or off as a torch.

PER­FOR­MANCE

Design was never go­ing to be the main draw for this phone, in­stead the fo­cus is on per­for­mance, or rather stamina.

The 5000mAh bat­tery is 2000mAh more than on the reg­u­lar G7.

Mo­torola claim two and a half days bat­tery life, and it largely stacks up.

I tried to get the phone to go flat over a week­end but my time and pa­tience ran out be­fore the bat­tery did.

More­over, the in­cluded 18W “Tur­boPower” charger pro­vides up to 9 hours charge in just 15 min­utes (pro­vided the bat­tery is flat enough to ac­ti­vate it, charg­ing speed slows as the bat­tery is charged).

While it’s un­likely to set the world on fire in terms of re­spon­sive­ness or speed, us­ing the G7 Power is snappy enough.

Apps never take more than a cou­ple sec­onds to open, with most near in­stan­ta­neous, while hangs and crashes are ex­ceed­ingly rare.

An Octa-Core Snap­dragon 632 and 4GB RAM keep things go­ing smoothly, and multi-task­ing is made eas­ier us­ing the One But­ton-Nav Moto Ac­tion, a sub­sti­tute for the handy but still in­con­sis­tent Google Ges­tures.

With One-But­ton Nav en­abled users can flick back and forth be­tween apps with a sin­gle swipe, and it’s easy enough to get the hang of.

The cam­era is noth­ing spe­cial, but that’s to be ex­pected at this end of the mar­ket.

The G se­ries of phones have al­ways rep­re­sented pretty good bang for their buck.

The G7 Power doesn’t get the same dual cam­era as the G7, leav­ing users with a sin­gle, slower lens.

G7 users get a max­i­mum aper­ture of f/1.8, while G7 Power users are stuck with f/2.0.

It doesn’t look like much, but it can make a dif­fer­ence with the small sen­sors used in smart­phones.

Mo­torola have tried to spruce it up with some claimed “smart cam­era” en­hance­ments like “hires zoom”, which the com­pany claims re­stores de­tails and im­age clar­ity lost by digital zoom­ing.

This is au­to­mat­i­cally ap­plied to pho­tos taken at more than two times zoom, but not un­til af­ter capture.

The G7 Power also fea­tures a screen flash for illuminati­ng self­ies, can shoot 4k video, and make cin­ema­graphs (short an­i­ma­tions with move­ment re­stricted to one part of the frame).

Im­por­tantly, the G7 Power has the Cam­era2 API, which al­lows users to shoot pho­tos in RAW for­mat DNG, which cap­tures more in­for­ma­tion and gives greater flex­i­bil­ity for edit­ing.

This ca­pa­bil­ity, paired with any num­ber of avail­able apps in­clud­ing Snapseed, VSCO and Light­room, means (with ad­mit­tedly a touch ex­tra work) users can still create high qual­ity pho­tos with a less than stel­lar cam­era.

VALUE

Value is ob­vi­ously the main con­cern for buy­ers con­sid­er­ing a phone like the G7 Power, so luck­ily for Mo­torola this is where it ex­cels.

The G se­ries of phones have al­ways rep­re­sented pretty good bang for their buck, but with the G7 Power it’s par­tic­u­larly so.

Mo­torola sell the G7 power via its web­site for $349, but it’s avail­able at vastly vary­ing price points from on­line re­tail­ers.

Tel­stra – for some rea­son – has the phone start­ing from $59 a month on a 24 month plan with only 3GB in­cluded data, a ridicu­lous of­fer­ing you’d be a fool to take up, even by Tel­stra stan­dards.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the car­rier’s ver­sion of the phone doesn’t have the dual SIM slots of­fered on the Mo­torola edi­tion.

The G7 Power, like most bud­get phones, is best as an out­right pur­chase paired with a cheap plan, whether through one of the main car­ri­ers or an MVNO.

Its $349 pric­etag makes it cheaper than the G7 and G7 Plus, and while sac­ri­fices have been made in the screen and cam­era, they don’t crip­ple the phone by any means.

CON­CLU­SION

As the name sug­gests, this phone is re­ally about one thing: Power.

So at the end of the day it’s quite a simple choice: if you’re look­ing for a cheap, ca­pa­ble phone with a bat­tery life that puts any other to shame, get the G7 Power.

It’s by no means the pret­ti­est or fastest, even amongst bud­get phones, but it does get the job done and will keep get­ting it done long af­ter many of its ri­vals have given up.

Writ­ten by Jack Gra­menz

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