Motorola continues to focus on large battery capacities, but forgets about the other pillars of a great smartphone, with the Moto G7 Power.
Motorola has owned the mid-range and low-end market in recent years, with its impressive Moto E and Moto G smartphones. This year, Motorola is going all-in on the Moto G7 lineup, with three models, all hitting different price points and features. The Moto G7 Power is positioned as the battery king, and one that can still get stuff done.
Disclaimer: At Android Headlines, we now review all phones from the “good” and the “bad” perspectives. Our reviews are designed to give a deeper perspective on the positive and negatives of each new device and should help readers who are specifically looking for why a phone is really good, or why its negative aspects might make it worth avoiding. This “bad” review focuses on the negative for the Motorola Moto G7 Power. For an idea of everything LG did right with this phone, visit our “good” review.
These days, most people use their smartphone as a media consumption device. The Moto G7 Power does work as one, but it won't provide you with the best experience. This is largely because there is a single speaker on the phone. That single speaker is the earpiece. So at least that single speaker is firing at you, instead of down or on the back of the phone.
Moto G7 Power's speaker is actually pretty loud, but that usually comes at a cost, and that's true here. The sound is a bit on the tinny side, and some of the higher notes can be blown out. It's not the best audio experience, and it would probably be better if Motorola had stuck in a downward-firing speaker on this phone. As it would have more power and space to actually output some great audio.
Poor Camera Experience will be a Deal Breaker for most
Then there's the camera, it's also a decent camera. It's no perfect and could definitely handle some improvements. For instance, when there is a ton of light, it seems to have trouble exposing the picture correctly. As you can see in the Flickr Gallery down below, some images that have plenty of light, the Moto G7 Power has trouble with. It overexposes it quite a bit. Take the picture of the Roborock S5 for example, it is very overexposed. The vacuum is actually black, but it looks almost gray in that particular picture.
At night, the camera also struggles, so you'd have to find the happy middle to get some great pictures. On the bright side, it does work great with food. It's an okay camera, it could be better but it could definitely be a lot worse - many in this price range are, actually. But if you are looking to buy the Moto G7 Power for its camera, don't.
Equipped with a 720p display, the Moto G7 Power doesn't have the sharpest display on the market. It's not as bad as it sound though, given this is a 6.2-inch display with that low of a resolution. You can only really see pixels if you are specifically looking for them. In our usage, we did not really see individual pixels much if at all. But the colors on this display are not perfect either. From time to time, they can seem washed out. For example, if you use a very bright wallpaper on the phone, you can see the brighter colors are washed out. It's not completely terrible, and most people may not even see it, but it is a problem.
Motorola's design for the Moto G7 Power is pretty plain and boring. For most, that won't be a big deal. But it would be nice for Motorola to switch things up a bit. It looks very similar to the past two years of Moto G smartphones (Moto G5 and Moto G6 lines). It also has a notch on the front, and while yes that is a trend right now in the industry, it is a trend that virtually no one likes nor wanted. And Motorola is embracing it for some reason.
Let's not forget about the fact that there are still some pretty big bezels on the Moto G7 Power. The whole point of the notch was to reduce the bezel size - guess Motorola didn't get that memo. The chin of the Moto G7 Power is pretty large. In fact, it's so large that Motorola was able to fit its logo on it. Not the bat wing logo, but their entire name, "motorola". Which makes this phone look pretty ugly, unfortunately.
With the Moto G7 Power having a much larger battery than most other phones, including the Moto G7, you'd think that there wouldn't be a camera bump. And that it would be a completely flat backside. You'd be wrong. There's a much smaller bump, but there is still a bump on the back. Fortunately, it doesn't make the phone wobble when typing on it on a table or another flat surface.
No 4G LTE Connectivity on America's Largest Network is a big Ommission
Motorola touts that the Moto G7 Power does work on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon carriers, and it even lists all of Verizon's bands. But we put a Verizon SIM card into the phone and, it won't pick up 4G LTE at all. Only 3G and 2G. It's a bit puzzling, since this works perfectly fine on the Moto G7, and all of Motorola's phones in recent memory have worked on all four carriers. But for some reason this one is not. We aren't the only ones having this issue either, so it's not a case of it being this particular phone. On numerous forums, we've seen Verizon users having issues getting 4G LTE connectivity on their Moto G7 Power.
If you are a Verizon customer, and were looking to get the Moto G7 Power, you may want to hold off until Motorola fixes this. Unless you're okay with using 3G - which you really shouldn't be, as it is dog slow and being phased out by Verizon.
With software, don't expect to get Android Q anytime soon on the Moto G7 Power. Motorola has really dropped the ball in the past few years when it comes to software updates. It used to be one of the first to push out updates, this was largely thanks to it sticking with a stock Android approach to software. But in recent years (after being acquired by Lenovo), things have changed drastically.
This phone was on the January 1, 2019 security patch up until this week, a full three weeks after we received the phone and started using it for this review. When it was then updated to the March 1, 2019 patch. Still outdated, but not as outdated as before. So if you're hoping to get Android Q on the Moto G7 Power this year, don't hold your breath.
A few other minor things that are missing with the Moto G7 Power, but still worth mentioning. There is no NFC support. This means that you are unable to use your phone for doing mobile payments with Google Pay. You also cannot transfer pictures and files by touching your phone to another one. Though these are features that not a lot of people use, it's still worth mentioning.
Then there is also the fact that there is no waterproofing available on this phone. In typical Motorola fashion, it is water repellent, not water resistant or water proof. What that means is that it will repel water. So if you are caught in the rain, you can still use your phone without worrying about it dying. But it cannot take a dip into the pool (or worse, the toilet). This is a feature that we see on just about every other smartphone out there, but for some reason Motorola is not adding it to really any of its phones - no matter the price.
There needs to be a 64GB Moto G7 Power
Out of the box, nearly half of your storage is already used. This is due to the system needing some storage, and the pre-loaded apps also using space. But having this use up nearly half of the storage, on a 32GB smartphone, is not a great experience. The bright side is, the fact that the Moto G7 Power does support Adoptable Storage. So you can toss in a micro SD card and store some apps and games there, as well as your photos, music, etc.
The Moto G7 Power does have a lot going for it. In this price range, it does hit all of the boxes it needs too. That includes the battery life and performance boxes, but it does fall short in some other key areas. Like the display and the camera departments. It's not the perfect smartphone, and that is expected, considering the fact that this is about a quarter of the price of most other flagship smartphones.
This is not a phone for everyone, but it is a phone for those that long battery life. And if you are able to put up with the poor camera performance, the semi washed out display and updates that may or may not come, then this is still a decent option for many.