The 2022 Moto G Power is Motorola’s latest truly affordable budget smartphone. The phone comes loaded with Android 11 (and will receive Android 12 as an update in the future.) While the phone lacks 5G, NFC, and wireless charging it does come with a long battery life that lasts up to three days, a high-resolution 50MP rear camera, and a large 6.5-inch high-refresh-rate display all at a low price point.
Update May 1st, 2023: The Moto G Power has been updated for 2023, and our Moto G Power 2023 review is now live.
The new Moto G Power comes loaded with 64GB of storage space, 4GB of RAM, and a new processor. We appreciated how responsive and quick the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor embedded in the Motorola logo unlocked the phone. It’s worth mentioning that we experienced a noticeable lag in performance when opening apps, likely due to the fact that Motorola ditched Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor for the MediaTek Helio G37 chipset in the new device.
Features and design
A headphone jack sits on top of the phone’s plastic frame while the USB-C charging port and speaker are housed on the bottom. The power and volume rocker are situated on the right side with the SIM/microSD card slot residing on the left. On the backside of the phone is the 50MP triple rear-camera and rear-mounted fingerprint reader while the front-mounted 8MP selfie camera is positioned in the top center of the screen.
Like most similarly priced budget phones, the Moto G Power doesn’t have 5G, however, the phone did a perfectly fine job for us over LTE. We missed being able to use our phone for contactless payments as the Moto G Power disappointingly doesn’t have NFC either.
While we enjoy its 6.5-inch HD+ 720p display for watching videos we were a little let down with the lack of a 1080p display. The 90Hz refresh rate makes scrolling a pretty smooth experience but overall we were underwhelmed with the display as it’s fairly dim – even while set at maximum brightness, especially on sunny days.
Sporting a set of three low-profile lenses, the Moto G Power’s 50MP main camera impressed us with its surprisingly good photo quality for a lower-priced budget phone. The up-close photos we took with the macro lens were crisp and full of detail without distortion while night shots mostly came out okay so long as the phone was kept steady as there’s no optical stabilization. The 8MP selfie camera proved decent as long as there was adequate lighting otherwise we suffered with unwanted noise and details that were soft in low light conditions.
When we tested the Moto G Power’s call quality we found the audio to be clear and crisp with good signal strength. Audio quality from watching videos on the other hand left a lot to be desired as the single speaker on the bottom of the phone sounded distorted at higher volumes. We recommend using a pair of headphones, Bluetooth or wired, for a better sounding experience.
Software and Specs
Motorola did a nice job of keeping a nearly stock version of Android 11 with their My UX interface on the Moto G Power that incorporates some easy-to-use gesture shortcuts. We found it very handy to be able to quickly turn on the flashlight with a chopping motion as well as using a wrist twist-action to open the camera on the fly. We also appreciated being able to quickly enable Do Not Disturb mode by simply flipping over the phone face down. The phone is slated to get Android 12 in the near future along with security updates for the next couple years.
Charging and battery
While the Moto G Power charges through a USB-C port it lacks the ability for fast charging and does so at a slow 10W speed which had us waiting around for a couple of hours before the 5,000 mAh battery was completely charged. Fortunately, you won’t have to deal with those long charging times very often as the battery life lasts nearly three days on a single charge. That said, we were bummed that the phone isn’t Qi-enabled for wireless charging as we prefer to place our phone on top of our wireless charging pad instead of fussing with cords.
The Motorola Moto G Power 2022 is a solid affordable option priced at $129.99 (on the Motorola website) for those looking for a reliable budget phone. While the phone offers impressive long-lasting battery life that lasts a few days and a decent high-resolution 50MP camera, it’s hard to overlook how laggy the phone can be at times along with the dim display and a lack of 5G, NFC, or wireless charging. These days, there are budget phones from the likes of OnePlus, RealMe, and Infinix, that offer more features at this price point, making the Moto G Power series not as interesting a budget offering as it used to be.