A new year, a new Moto G series. In this review, we discuss the Motorola Moto G7 Plus, an attractive smartphone that offers great value for money. In fact, this is perhaps the best budget smartphone of 2019.
This is the Motorola Moto G7 Plus review
The Moto G-series has been around for years and is quite popular. That’s why it’s not surprising that Lenovo, which has owned Motorola since 2014, cheerfully releases new devices every year in the budget line. In 2019 there are no less than four Moto G phones: the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Plus, Moto G7 Power and Moto G7 Play. The Plus version is with 299 euros the most expensive, but also powerful phone of the bunch, and also the device that Motorola focuses on this year.
At first glance, the Moto G7 Plus is only a small improvement compared to the Moto G6 Plus, which appeared last year and is still being sold. Nevertheless, the G7 Plus is a big step forward and again one of the best machines in this price segment. We’ll tell you all about it in this Motorola Moto G7 Plus review.
The design has hardly changed
If you look at the design of the Moto G7 Plus, then little has changed compared to last year. The device again has a glass housing and therefore feels luxurious. The front and back are made of Gorilla Glass 3 and is embraced by a plastic frame. The phone feels expensive and sturdy, but is a bit slippery and scratch sensitive. Fortunately, Motorola provides a silicone case to protect the smartphone and provide extra grip.
The Moto G7 Plus measures 157 by 75.3 by 8.3 millimeters and is therefore slightly more compact than the G6 Plus, but a fraction thicker and heavier (176 instead of 167 grams). You will not notice that difference in practice. At the top and bottom is a speaker, which gives you stereo sound, and that sounds remarkably good. At the bottom of the housing is the USB-c port and (yes yes) the headphone connection.
New this year is that the Moto phone is available in red color, as you can see in the pictures in this review. Finally, the G7 Plus – just like previous Moto G’s – is not dust and watertight, but has a special coating that ensures that the device can splash against water. It is not a problem when you use the smartphone in the rain, although you have to worry about a splash in the toilet.
Large screen with drop-notch
Turn the phone over, then you see the large 6.2-inch screen. Motorola has thinned the edges around the display, leaving more than 80 percent of the front of the screen. Borderless, the front is certainly not: at the bottom is still a big bezel with the Motorola logo, and at the top is a notch. The notch has the shape of a drop of water and provides space for the front camera.
Such a ‘drop note’ is also included in the Huawei P Smart (2019) and OnePlus 6T, but is deeper at the Moto G7 Plus and therefore takes up more space. Very annoying this is not: while watching videos you hardly suffer from the notch and when checking your notifications or taking photos, the notch is automatically ignored by Android.
It is a little wrong with the screen. The IPS-LCD panel provides excellent colors and good viewing angles and the resolution of 2270 by 1080 pixels makes everything look pretty sharp. The maximum brightness is not great, but enough to read the screen even on sunny days.
Under the bonnet, the Moto G7 Plus does not differ so much from the ‘normal’ Moto G7. The device has 64GB of storage, of which over 50GB is available for the user, and 4GB of RAM. The Plus version does have a Snapdragon 636 chip, which is slightly more powerful on paper than the Snapdragon 632 of the G7.
The 636 is not a whole new chip – it is also in the older Nokia 7.1 and HTC U12 Life – but it performs well. In normal use, the Moto G7 Plus always runs smoothly and apps start immediately. Multitasking and playing reasonably graphically intensive games are also fine. Only if you are used to a high-end smartphone, you will notice that everything is just a bit slower on the G7 Plus.
The phone also has space for SIM cards and a micro SD card, Bluetooth 5.0 and stereo speakers. The cheaper G7 has only a single speaker and sound sounds significantly better from the G7 Plus. Furthermore unlocking quickly and smoothly with the fingerprint scanner on the back, although you can also use the built-in face recognition.
Android Pie with a side note
Motorola is known to deliver its devices with a virtually bare version of Android, and that is no different from the G7 Plus. The phone runs out of the box on Android 9.0 (Pie) with just a few adjustments from Motorola. About 90 percent of the software is exactly how you can find Android on the Pixel devices, and the most important innovations from Android Pie are all present.
Think of Digital Wellbeing to monitor your smartphone use, Adaptive brightness, Adaptable battery management and the operation based on gestures. The new controls work well on Googles Pixel devices, but Motorola has made its own version and it is simply not that nice and responsive. So choose the old but familiar navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen.
Although Motorola with its software has an edge on many competitors, the updated policy remains a thing. The Moto G7 Plus (and all other G7 phones) gets only one big Android update, in this case to Android Q. Nokia, another major player in the midrange and budget segment, gives its devices at least two Android updates and three year-long monthly security updates. Motorola releases these patches only once every two / three months, and only for two years.
That is not necessarily bad, but competitor Nokia has things in order in that respect. Motorola, on the other hand, generally offers better hardware, so it’s just what you find more important. A faster processor, better cameras, super fast charging and nice design of glass? Then you better take a Moto phone. If you attach a lot of value to the software support, Nokia clearly prefers.
Good camera for the money
The Motorola Moto G7 Plus in its price range also by the camera. At the back is a double camera of 16 and 5 megapixels, where the second lens is only there to gather depth information for portrait photos. Unique is that the 16-megapixel camera has optical image stabilization, a function that we usually see with more expensive devices.
Optical image stabilization provides less jerky images when you start filming but is also valuable when you are photographing in the dark. Photos in less light conditions are therefore better than those of many competitors but do not expect miracles. Although snapshots have a lot of detail, some parts are overexposed or too dark. It is not a perfect camera, but certainly one of the better ones in this price range.
During the day you do not have these issues and you make excellent photos with the Moto G7 Plus. Colors look truthful and a lot of detail is visible. Also portrait photos, where the background is blurred so that the foreground is extra prominent, look remarkably good. The function works better with people than with objects, but that is logical in this price range.
Motorola has some nice extras in his camera app. There is ‘Spot Color’, a function that lets you choose one color from the image and then makes the rest black and white, creating a beautiful effect. There is also ‘smile detection’: when everyone who is on the screen laughs, a picture is taken automatically.
Insanely fast charging
The battery of the Moto G7 Plus with 3000 mAh is slightly smaller than that of its predecessor (3200 mAh), and on the tight side anyway. Yet the battery life is certainly not below par: with normal use, you can easily end the day and often I could do about a day and a half with a full charge. The efficient processor and optimizations of Motorola do the G7 Plus well and make the battery life just fine.
Perhaps the best feature of the Moto G7 Plus also has to do with the battery. Motorola supplies the smartphone with a 27 Watt charger, which makes charging fast. The adapter is more powerful than that of, for example, the OnePlus 6T (20 Watt) and Huawei Mate 20 (22.5 Watt), and these devices cost hundreds of euros more. Phones in the same price range as the Moto do not even come close and often have much slower chargers.
We, therefore, tested the charging speed for a short time. When the smartphone had only a 25 percent battery, we put it on the power for half an hour. What turns out: after exactly 30 minutes of charging the battery was already 91 percent (!) Full. More than 65 percent after only half an hour of charging. Then the phone needed another 20 minutes to fully load to 100 percent. Loading from 0 to 100 percent takes less than an hour, and that’s great. For me, this would be one of the reasons for choosing the G7 Plus.
Conclusion Motorola Moto G7 Plus review
The Motorola Moto G7 Plus is not a very innovative smartphone, and yet again. The device mainly offers functions that you hardly find in this price range. Consider, for example, a camera with optical image stabilization, a function that in this case really ensures better photos. But also the super fast loading with 27 watts is impressive. In addition, the G7 Plus simply has smooth hardware, a beautiful design, and a good screen.
Yet there is still some work to do for Motorola, and that has mainly to do with the software. Although the bare version of Android is nice and the additions of the manufacturer are usually useful, the updated policy is lagging behind. Security patches appear sporadically and large Android updates are long overdue. Motorola clearly considers the hardware more important than the software, and hopefully hopes for a little more balance next year. But if you are currently looking for a new smartphone and have about 300 euros to spend, this is by far your best option.
Buy Motorola Moto G7 Plus
Have you become enthusiastic after reading this review and would you like to purchase the smartphone? The separate Moto G7 Plus has a suggested retail price of 299 euros and is available separately or in combination with a subscription. Check our price comparison for the best deals.