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Lifewire / Andrew Hayward
Truly excellent battery life
Mostly solid Android 9.0 performance
Large screen for media
Alluring design, despite plastic build
Low-resolution screen is fuzzy
Camera delivers spotty results
Poor gaming performance
Lower-than-average LTE speeds
The Moto G7 Power is a budget phone through and through, but it's a pretty good one at a great price with a battery life that’s second-to-none.
Motorola's Moto G7 has seen a significant upgrade over 2018's Moto G6, ushering in a slick, flagship-esque makeover with a tiny teardrop notch and a large, beautiful display. Those upgrades come at a price, however, and the $299 asking price is the highest to date for Motorola's reliably strong budget line.
However, there's another option that can save you a bit of money—the Moto G7 Power which shaves $50 off of the asking price. While it sees some component downgrades in the process—most notably a less-premium design, lower-quality screen, and weaker camera—it also includes an enormous battery that can easily last you for 48 hours or more. Read on to see what we think, now that we've wielded this long-lasting budget option.
The Moto G7 Power doesn't have a tiny, teardrop-style camera notch at the top, but it's still a nice-looking device. The notch for the front-facing camera and earpiece is a wider one, but still narrower than an iPhone's. That said, it has a big "chin" of bezel at the bottom of the screen, plastered with an unappealing Motorola logo. The black bezel on the top and sides is a bit thicker too—it's definitely not as refined as the standard Moto G7.
The Moto G7 Power doesn't have a tiny, teardrop-style camera notch at the top, but it's still a nice-looking device.
Plastic is substituted for glass on the Moto G7 Power’s back, making it feel a bit cheaper, although it still has a glossy allure. The lone Marine Blue color has a nice reflective finish to it, and the phone feels plenty durable. The circular camera module and flash sit at the center near the top, while the speedy fingerprint sensor (with Motorola's "M" logo on it) is beneath. Given the price point, this is a solidly attractive phone.
There's no IP rating for water and dust resistance, although Motorola says it has a "water-repellant design with P2i nano coating." We suggest being careful around water, all the same. Thankfully, the Moto G7 Power keeps the 3.5mm headphone port on the top, and while the 32GB internal starting storage is meager, you can slot in up to 512GB more via microSD cards.
Setting up the Moto G7 Power is a breeze, as you'll simply hold in the power button on the right side of the phone and follow the on-screen prompts that follow. It's very similar to the process we've seen from other recent Android phones, whisking you through account sign-ins, reading and accepting the terms and conditions, and optionally restoring from a backup. It should only take you a few minutes to get to the home screen and start using your phone as you please.
Here is one of the key areas in which this budget phone can't rise above its station. The 6.2-inch display is certainly large, but at just 720p or HD+ resolution (1570 x 720), it's noticeably fuzzier than nearly any other pricier smartphone. That's most obvious with text and menus, which don't look especially crisp, although videos tend to still look good.
The 6.2-inch display here is certainly large, but at just 720p or HD+ resolution (1570 x 720), it's noticeably fuzzier than nearly any other pricier smartphone.
Most smartphone screens today are at a much crisper 1080p (including the Moto G7), while many flagship phones go for Quad HD or 1440p resolution and pack in a lot more pixels for added clarity. This LCD screen is entirely usable, but it just doesn't pack a very strong punch.
The Moto G7 Power has the same lower mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor as the standard Moto G7, and it's solidly equipped for everyday tasks. Android 9.0 Pie runs pretty smoothly, and you'll be able to browse the web, view media, tweet, and email with ease. Motorola shaved down the amount of RAM from 4GB in the G7 to 3GB in the G7 Power, however, and we did notice more instances of sluggishness when loading up apps or moving around the interface. In PCMark's Work 2.0 benchmark test, the Moto G7 Power scored a higher 6,209 score than the Moto G7's 6,015, but that boost is surely due to the lesser demands of the Power's lower-resolution screen.
As with the main Moto G7, the Moto G7 Power struggles mightily with 3D gaming. Racer Asphalt 9: Legends runs at a decent clip, but only does so because it's running at a very fuzzy-looking low resolution. Likewise, battle royale shooter PUBG Mobile is solidly playable, but the textures are blurry, the environmental detail is sparse, and the game doesn't load a lot of the world around you at any given time. It's hardly the ideal way to play.
Benchmark testing bears out the gaming struggles, too, with the Moto G7 Power registering just 7.6 frames per second (fps) in GFXBench's Car Chase benchmark, and 36fps on the T-Rex benchmark. Again, both scores are higher than the Moto G7, but the lower-resolution screen surely contributes to that result. They're still very low scores, all the same.
Using Verizon's 4G LTE network just north of Chicago, we typically saw download speeds between 15-27Mbps, which was lower than the average 30-35Mbps we've seen with most other phones tested in the area of late. Surfing the web and streaming media didn't seem slower or less reliable than usual, but the Speedtest scores did come in lower all the same. You can also use the phone with 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi networks, and it worked well with both in our testing.
The Moto G7 Power doesn't have a downward-firing speaker at the bottom, but the earpiece at the top of the phone is used in its place. Functionally, it's similar in quality to the lone bottom speaker on the Moto G7: it's fine for playing a bit of music in a small room, but it's not powerful enough to fill a larger space without sounding muddled. Music playback sounds constrained at any level, but the clarity drops quickly as you climb up the volume meter.
Call quality, on the other hand, was totally solid via the earpiece on Verizon's 4G LTE network, and speakerphone functionality worked well.
While the standard Moto G7 had a 12-megapixel main camera along with a 5-megapixel secondary sensor for capturing depth data, the Moto G7 Power just keeps the 12-megapixel camera. That might sound capable enough on paper, but the results were underwhelming in our testing.
In strong outdoor lighting conditions, you can get solid detail and realistic coloring from shots—but not always. We often had outdoor shots in which the contrast seemed overblown and the camera struggled with highlights. With lesser lighting and especially when indoors, you'll be lucky to get anything that is both solidly illuminated and clear enough to share. The Moto G7 had its own problems with consistency, but the struggles are even more obvious here. And without the secondary sensor, the blurred-backdrop portrait photos aren't very convincingly processed, either.
The Moto G7 Power can shoot 4K video at 30fps, which isn't terribly common for a budget phone at this price point. The results are decent, with strong contrast and solid detail, and the electronic image stabilization does an admirable job of smoothing out movement for easier-to-watch clips.
Battery life is the Moto G7 Power's standout feature, allowing it to do something that the vast majority of smartphones cannot: last two full days without breaking a sweat. The 5,000mAh battery cell is massive compared to the 3,000mAh Moto G7 or the Google Pixel 3a.
Battery life is the Moto G7 Power's standout feature, allowing it to do something that the vast majority of smartphones cannot: last two full days without breaking a sweat.
We pulled the Moto G7 Power off of the charger one morning and went two full days without plugging it back in. At the start of day three, following 48 hours of uptime, it still had a 30 percent charge. Granted, the remaining charge depleted much faster near the end, but we still got into the mid-afternoon on day three despite average, everyday use. That's super impressive. Even if you push hard with streaming media usage or games, it seems unlikely that you'd pull anything less than a day and a half out of a charge. Motorola suggests a runtime of up to three days on a charge, and that's possible with modest use. We're plenty happy with two days and change, however.
There's no wireless charging on a $250 phone like this, but the Moto G7 Power's 15W USB-C TurboPower charger can put in up to a 9-hour charge in just 15 minutes. Of course, with that kind of battery, you won't need to reach for the charging cable too often.
Software is consistently a strong point of Motorola's phones up and down the price range, thanks to one simple fact: they don't fuss with stock Android too much. Motorola's take on Android 9.0 Pie doesn't bring upon a massive stylistic shift over the core version of the mobile operating system, and that means it's a lean and highly usable experience.
Even with a lower-end processor onboard, Android 9.0 Pie runs smoothly most of the time—although as mentioned, we did see occasional hitches more frequently than on the standard Moto G7, which has more RAM onboard. Google Assistant is plenty responsive, answering queries quickly. Note that there isn't an NFC chip included, so the Moto G7 Power can't handle mobile payments at physical registers.
With the Moto G7 Power, you can choose between either the traditional three-button Android navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, or a newer gesture-based system that's similar to what Apple pioneered with the iPhone X. And really, it's entirely up to whichever option feels most comfortable to you, as both are effective for getting around menus, apps, and whatever else you put on the screen. The old navigation bar is reliable and may be second-nature to some, but the swipe-based gesture controls are smooth and intuitive. Still, there's a learning curve, for sure.
The Moto G7 Power does add some new abilities to Android, but they're appreciated ones. Through the pre-installed Moto app, you can access Moto Actions. These optional functions help you make better and more efficient use of your phone, such as doing chopping motions with your phone to active the flashlight at any point, or twisting your wrist twice to immediately bring up the camera app. There's a whole bunch of these Moto Actions, and you're bound to find something that'll be useful in your daily usage.
At $249, the Moto G7 Power is a fraction of the price of big-name smartphones from the likes of Samsung and Apple. Granted, you'll be making some concessions along the way, from the low-resolution screen to the meager camera and poor gaming performance, but all of that is to be expected from a phone at this price point. Luckily, everything here is functional, and between the big screen and enormous battery pack, this is still an appealing phone for the price.
You don't have to spend a lot more to get a significantly better phone—such as the $400 Google Pixel 3a, which has much more power, a better screen, and a tremendous camera. However, given the price of the Moto G7 Power, that's still a sizable $150 price bump. And if your budget is $250 or less, this is a phone well worth considering.
We've gradually detailed a lot of the key differences bit-by-bit throughout this review, but ultimately, the standard Moto G7 is a better all-around option, with a strong screen and an appealing, flagship-inspired design, along with slightly better camera performance. Meanwhile, the Moto G7 Power doesn't try to punch above its weight; it's clearly a budget phone, and one that makes a few trade-offs for incredible battery life.
Do you want a sub-$300 phone that feels premium and polished or one that lasts and lasts? You can't get both at this price point, and while these phones have similarities (such as the same processor and Android experience), that's the biggest differentiator between them.
The budget battery champ.
Looking for a cheap Android phone with decent performance and a battery that you don't need to charge every single night? The Motorola Moto G7 Power should be one of your top picks, thanks to its 5,000mAh battery that can deliver 48 hours or more of uptime on a single charge. The phone has some underwhelming elements, but it’s hard to complain about at this price point.
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