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Motorola Moto G Power (2021) review: Budget battery behemoth
Motorola Moto G Power
What we like
What we don't like
Power sometimes feels like the most overused buzzword when it comes to smartphones. It could be camera power, processing power, or sheer battery power. For the Moto G Power series to keep power right there in its name year after year, Motorola is giving it some big shoes to keep filling. How well does it hold up in the ninth year of the Moto G series? Find out in our Motorola Moto G Power (2021) review.
What you need to know about the Motorola Moto G Power (2021)
- Motorola Moto G Power (3GB / 32GB): $199
- Motorola Moto G Power (4GB / 64GB): $249
The Moto G Power is the middle member of Motorola’s Moto G trio for 2021 — right between the Moto G Play and the non-5G version of the Moto G Stylus. It’s currently available in a pair of configurations, and the version we tested arrived with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage onboard. It also landed with Android 10 out of the box and a promise of Android 11 with two years of security updates. Shoppers in the UK and the rest of Europe will have to look for the Motorola Moto G9 Play instead — both devices are identical, just with slightly different branding.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 662 processor is the highlight of the Moto G Power’s spec sheet, which, despite the confusing numbering, is a slight upgrade from the Snapdragon 665 found in the last Moto G Power phone. The 5,000mAh battery contributes heavily to the Power moniker, and it offers 15W fast charging to get you back on the move quickly. Motorola set a 6.6-inch HD+ as the face of its Moto G Power, and it comes complete with a punch hole selfie camera.
See also: The best Motorola phones to buy
The Moto G Power comes with a charging block and USB-C cable in the box, as well as some simple startup paperwork and a SIM ejector tool.
As far as other options are concerned, the OnePlus Nord N200 is a solid alternative at $239. It’s slightly more affordable than the Moto G Power, and it adds 5G speeds into the mix, with a Snapdragon 480 processor and Android 11 out of the box. Samsung’s Galaxy A32 5G is another 5G-ready option with a MediaTek Dimensity 720 chipset and a sharper camera array. One final alternative from Motorola itself is the aforementioned Moto G Play. It makes a few sacrifices on the spec sheet, but it drops to a sub-$200 price tag that’s tough to beat.
All of the processing might in the world won’t do you much good without the power to keep the lights on. Enter the Moto G Power’s massive 5,000mAh battery. The phone packs enough juice to cruise through nearly two days of usage, with 15W fast charging waiting to get you back on the go. Other choices like an HD+ display and the lack of 5G also keep the Moto G Power sipping rather than guzzling through its charge.
Motorola's power-sipping choices keep the Moto G Power running for days on end.
Another area where Motorola continues to deliver is with its nearly non-existent Android skin. It’s not quite full stock Android, but Motorola has learned to let the operating system flow without adding much bloatware on top. You’ll notice TikTok and Facebook out of the box, but you can remove both right away.
I also enjoyed the Moto G Power’s overall camera setup. The 48MP primary lens cuts down to 12MP by default, but you can adjust it for full resolution shots without any portrait mode effects. You can even give Motorola’s Cutout feature a try and let your imagination roam. Take a look at the edited image in front of the pyramids to see what I mean. It’s mostly a gimmick, but it can bring a smile to just about any face.
What’s not so good?
Of course, not all of Motorola’s sacrifices are for the best. The HD+ resolution may work wonders for the battery life, but it’s not the best when you want to binge your favorite shows. There’s noticeable pixelation when you open videos in full screen, even with higher resolution videos. It’s nice to have a large 6.6-inch display, but Motorola isn’t making the most of it.
The Moto G Power is limited when it comes to onboard memory, too. You can choose from either 32GB or 64GB of storage, and Motorola’s version of Android chews into 14GB of that. On the bright side, you can add up to 512GB on a microSD card to give yourself some breathing room.
Motorola's 32GB or 64GB of storage feel pretty tight with 14GB of system files onboard.
Motorola has only promised one major software update to the Moto G Power — up to Android 11 — which isn’t enough in 2021, even for a budget phone. The Moto G Power will also get just two years of security updates that will take it to early 2023. Again, while this isn’t the worst we’ve seen, it’s still not up to where it should be.
As much fun as Motorola’s camera options and features are, the macro lens isn’t always up to the task. The 2MP resolution simply can’t cut it unless you manage to catch your subject just right. Even slightly shaky hands will give you blurred results, and you’ll need to make sure that you have plenty of light. An ultra-wide camera would’ve been preferable.
Finally, as is the case on other budget Motorola phones, the Moto G Power does not include NFC support. That means no mobile payments.
Motorola Moto G Power camera samples
Motorola Moto G Power specs
|Motorola Moto G Power|
720 x 1,600 (20:9)
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 662|
|Cameras||Rear triple camera:|
48MP wide (f/1.7)
2MP macro (f/2.4)
2MP depth (f/2.4)
15W wired charging
|Software||Shipped with Android 10|
Update to Android 11 available in select markets
|Dimensions||165.3 x 75.9 x 9.5mm|
|Security||Side-mounted fingerprint reader|
Motorola Moto G Power review: Should I buy it?
If you want a long-lasting 4G phone for under $300, the Motorola Moto G Power is an excellent choice. Its 5,000mAh battery packs enough juice to keep you going for more than a day at a time, and the 15W charging means you won’t spend too long at an outlet. The Snapdragon 662 offers enough punch to bounce between apps and videos, too. Motorola’s 6.6-inch display isn’t the sharpest, and neither are the cameras without good lighting, but the pros easily outweigh the cons.
See also: The best budget phones you can buy
You can always take a look at the OnePlus Nord N200 ($239) or the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G ($279) as worthy alternatives. Both add 5G speeds to the equation, and the Galaxy offers an extra kick and longer software support for just $30 more. The OnePlus Nord N200 is one of the most affordable ways to hop onto T-Mobile’s fastest speeds. If you’d rather spend your money on another Motorola phone, you can save some money and nab the Moto G Play ($169).