Not everyone wants (or needs) to spend $1000 on a smartphone, the midrange has been good enough for the average user for a few years now. The Moto G7 Plus has a solid camera with enough performance for those unwilling or unable to drop a grand on a smartphone.
The Moto G7 Plus has a strong set of features, including a large 6.2-inch display, 4GB of RAM and dual rear-facing cameras, but there are a couple of spots where it cuts corners to keep the cost down. That’s no surprise, and in the past the G series has made cuts in the right areas, minimizing any negative user experience and delivering an excellent value device.
Design & Display
In hand the Moto G7 Plus it feels good and doesn’t immediately feel budget. However, tap the rear glass and it does sound a little hollow, which is unmistakably budget. It’s not something you do often and the phone comes with a case so it’s not something I’ve done since the unboxing.
The Moto G7 Plus follows the trend of the front-facing camera dipping into the display. The 6.2” display with Full HD+ resolution means things are crisp enough at this price point. It’s not OLED but this LCD panel is decent offering good color and technically the brightness is good at over 400cd/m2. It is good in full sunlight but I have checked to see if the automatic brightness wasn’t booting the brightness up all the way. The viewing angles are acceptable, but you can see in some of the photos that it can wash out a little if you’re not looking at it straight on. If you’re big into sharing content with friends outdoors you might notice this more often.
It has a teardrop in the display for the front-facing camera, so the device will feel modern, even if you dislike it, it’s a tell-tale sign of a modern phone. The smaller bezels do mean that the fingerprint reader has been moved to the back. If this were a premium phone the fingerprint reader would be in the display. I have hardly used the rear fingerprint reader even though I can use it to unlock the phone. The face unlock works very well. It’s fast and for most of the two weeks, I’ve been using the phone I’ve had half a dozen instances where I’ve had to unlock it with the pin or fingerprint reader. I’m also counting the times where I’ve had to unlock my phone in a completely dark room, so the feature works very well.
While the G7 Plus does have a large display, it’s not overly cumbersome to handle. It measures 157 x 75.3 x 8.3mm, weighs 176g and sits well in the hand, but the glass finish means there’s little grip on offer. The power and volume keys are located on the right of the handset and fall nicely under your thumb or finger, with the power button offering a textured finished providing obvious tactile feedback on the key your finger is on.
The rear is glass with a p2i water repellent coating, this means you can’t drop it in water or accidentally hop in the pool with your phone in your pocket. But will survive things getting wet from a bit of rain or getting splashed in the kitchen or bar.
Moto Gestures make the Moto G7 Plus feel very smartphone
There are a ton of little features that make the Moto G7 feel very premium. When you first set your alarm it asks you if you want to connect Spotify or play music over setting a traditional alarm sound.
At night need a flashlight, we do love just how intuitive the Moto Actions are. The karate style chop to turn the flashlight on should be standard on all phones. Moto Voice which can read out incoming calls and texts when you’re doing things like driving or at a user defined place. Like many phones, the G7 Plus has a sort of always-on feature. It’s called peek display and show you information and notifications even if the screen is off.
This year there’s also optional gesture navigation similar to the Pixel 3. Instead of traditional navigation buttons, you get a single pill shaped bar which you can tap and swipe to do various things. It’s not for me, but worth trying out as you might love it.
The camera app is nice and easy to use and generally, we’re impressed with the results. They’re probably better than you’d expect for a phone under £300 and the G7 Plus has some nifty modes like spot color which lets you pick a color to keep while the rest of the image is monochrome – all in real-time.
You can see that the camera does not do well in low light, this is where it shows its budget price tag.
Low light Selfies are very average
A second 5Mp camera captures depth information for portrait mode which works pretty well in general. This mode doesn’t work quite as well on the 12Mp front camera, it’s single camera has a hard time with defining edges around the hair. The slightest movement and your selfie are out of focus. The beauty mode is acceptable but we wish the photos turned out a little sharper, you notice when your eyes aren’t in focus. If selfies are as important to you as the rear camera the Mot G7 Plus may disappoint.
The G7 Plus gets us through most days and when we’re not really using our phone much, the stand by is average, so you do lose 17-20% overnight. Even with this if I have a screen on time for 2.5hr I’ll have enough to do a 30 min commute into work. This is when I’m not using my phone very much when I’m out around town really using my phone after 3.5hr of screen on time and 1 hour of streaming music I will want to top up before I head out for the night. At 4 pm I’d have about 40% which feels tight if I’m out till midnight meeting up with people.
The great thing about charging is the G7 Plus has a slightly mind-boggling 27W charger included in the box. This means you can charge the phone to a whopping 76 percent in just half an hour from dead. You need th original charger, but still, it’s a very fast charge, this is one of the best results we’ve ever seen for fast charging.
We should warn you that if you play any graphically intense games like Warhammer you’ll find they really drain the battery. We noticed that the battery drain was much more significant than on a phone with a more powerful processor like the OnePlus 6t McLaren edition running the Snapdragon 845 with 10GB of RAM.
Moto G7 vs Mot G7 Plus. Which one is right for you?
There’s not much to rival the G7 Plus at this price so a big question is whether you should get it over the regular G7. If you’re a basic smartphone user, we think you would be fine with the regular G7 since you won’t appreciate all the little geeky upgrades (like the slightly better processor).
However, since you’re going midrange you might consider just going for the top of their range. The G7 Plus has more power, a slightly better camera, and faster-charging technology that it’s cheaper siblings.
When looking at the cameras they both have dual rear cameras but the main sensor on the G7 Plus is a higher resolution at 16Mp and has a slightly better f/1.7 aperture. The main benefit is optical image stabilization (OIS) which helps keep pictures blur-free but more importantly, video smoother (at up to 4K). Even if you’re not serious about camera photography, we think that in the long run, you’ll like this phone for longer if you get a camera with OIS.