Moto G7 Plus review: Better where it counts
It’s safe to say we came away pretty happy with the mainline Moto G7. In our review, we said that “Motorola’s G-series remains the gold standard for budget smartphones - and this year’s G7 continues that legacy in strong form.”
But, if you want a little more screen, a little more processing power and a little more photographic punch, the Moto G7 Plus makes for a nice up-sell. It’s nothing groundbreaking but it is better where it counts.
Display size: 6.2-inches
Display type: IPS LCD
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Operating System: Android 9
Fingerprint Sensor: Yes
MicroSD slot: Yes
Durability: Splash resistant
Ports: 3.5mm headphone jack + USB Type-C
SIM: Dual SIM
Connectivity: Cat 12 LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi (802.11ac)
Rear Camera: 16-megapixel (f/1.7) + 5-megapixel depth lens
Front-Facing Camera: 12-megapixel
Colors: Deep Indigo
Dimensions: 157 mm x 75.3 mm x 8.3 mm
Weight: 176 g
Design-wise, the Moto G7 Plus is almost identical to the Moto G7.
It’s just a little thicker and heavier but still opts for a 6.2-inch LCD display over something larger or OLED. And rather than go in on cheaper materials like plastic or metal, the chassis of Moto G7 Plus opts for the same sort of curvy liquid glass that’s become the norm for smartphones nowadays.
There’s a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, Meanwhile, a single speaker grill, 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB Type-C port adorn the bottom edge. In look and feel, the Moto G7 Plus comes across as the closest thing to flagship you’ll find for anything less than $500.
More is the name of the game here. The screen is a little wider. The camera on the back is a little bigger. The battery is a little bigger. The processor is a little better. Still, if you were to use machine learning to generate a spec sheet of what the median smartphone in 2019 looks like, it’d probably look something like the Moto G7 Plus.
Of course, there are a few differences between the G7 Plus and its cheaper counterpart. In addition to the beefier processor and camera kit, there’s also a set of Dolby-tuned stereo speakers. As you might expect, this makes the G7 Plus sound slightly better but it doesn’t really compete with the kind of dual-speaker setups you’ll find in more fancy flagship fare like the Samsung Galaxy S10.
While I found the Moto G7’s camera more or less satisfactory, I found myself genuinely surprised by just how good the camera in the G7 Plus is.
Sure, it helps to have nice and fairly-photogenic subject material but, outside of low light, the Moto G7 Plus swings above its weight.
Zoom-wise, it holds up to a decent degree - though it does begin to suffer major quality degradation once you go past 2x optical zoom.
The upgraded camera on the back of the device eclipses the mainline G7 by only a few more megapixels but that difference makes itself known fairly quickly.
The narrative around the performance of the Moto G7 Plus is more driven by the brand’s Android skin than anything else.
Like the mainline G7, the G7 Plus runs on a super-skim light version of Google’s mobile operating system. Opening, closing and jumping between apps is super smooth and intuitive. It’s not quite as streamlined as Google’s Pixel devices or HMD Global’s recent run of Nokia units - but it’s not far off either.
Moment to moment, the G7 Plus feels as snappy as Android gets - and unless you’re accustomed to the precise degree of smoothness found in flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S10 or Huawei P30 Pro, you’ll probably come away satisfied with it.
Like the Moto G7, the Moto G7 Plus proved itself a significant improvement on the Moto G6 when it came to benchmarks. That said, it didn’t really lead the pack. When it came to 3D Mark and the Geekbench Compute test, it pushed ahead of its more budget-friendly counterparts. However, across the board, it lagged behind the Nokia 8.1.
In terms of everyday battery-life, the Moto G7 Plus make it through the usual 9-5 work day pretty consistently but did need to make the time for a top up if we planned on doing anything afterwards. Broadly speaking, I’m talking somewhere between ten or eleven hours of normal use here.
The Moto G7 Plus doesn’t support wireless charging but it does boast 27W TurboPower fast-charging.
The Bottom Line
Although it doesn’t shatter the expectations for what a $650 phone can offer in the same way that the Google Pixel 3a doesn’t, the Moto G7 Plus manages to carve out a nice niche for itself. It’s the phone for those who can’t afford the Pixel 3a and come away wanting just a little more from the Moto G7.
For most people, the Moto G7 Plus will do a fine job of handling your day-to-day demands. For those who need it to push a little further, it’ll do that too.
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