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Motorola Moto G22, hands on: Affordable, but better value is available

Motorola's Moto G22 is a well-made budget smartphone with good battery life, but its entry-level chipset, low-resolution screen and slow charging speed let it down.
Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributing Writer

Motorola Moto G22

pros and cons

  • Affordable
  • Decent cameras
  • Good battery life
  • No bloatware
  • Low-resolution display
  • Poor performance
  • Slow charging
  • No 5G support

Budget handsets are a key part of Motorola's smartphone portfolio, and its G range currently includes several models that cost less than £300 in the UK. At the start of the year I looked at the Moto G200, whose price tag of £399 at the time has now come down to £319.99. The Moto G22, which does not offer 5G, is even more affordable, costing just £129.99 (reduced from £149.99). It comes in two colours: Cosmic black, which I was sent to review, and Iceberg Blue. 

Motorola Moto G22

Motorola Moto G22: 6.5-inch IPS screen (1600 x 720, 268ppi), entry-level MediaTek Helio G37 SoC, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage (expandable via Micro SD card).

Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNET

There is nothing wrong with the look and feel of the Moto G22. It has a plastic chassis with a mildly reflective backplate. The screen sits in noticeable bezels, particularly at the bottom edge, but the bezels are by no means huge and are not especially off-putting. For the record, Motorola claims a screen-to-body ratio of 89.03%, although our calculation puts it at 83%. 

The Moto G22 is a bit on the thick side at 8.49mm, but the remaining measurements are fine -- 74.9mm wide by 163.95mm deep and 185g. Many users will be pleased to see a 3.5mm headset jack in the top edge. There's a USB-C port on the bottom edge for charging and PC connection, and in lieu of an IP rating, Motorola claims a 'water-repellent design'.

Motorola Moto G22: Cameras

Moto G22 rear cameras: 50MP wide angle, 8MP ultra-wide angle, 2MP macro, 2MP depth.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNET

The rear camera setup is pretty good for a budget handset: 50MP f/1.8 wide angle, 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (118°), 2MP f/2.4 macro and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. On the front there's a 16MP f/2.45 selfie camera sitting front and centre in a punch-hole at the top of the screen.  

With admittedly little testing time, I found that the 50MP wide angle and 8MP ultra-wide cameras both took decent photos. However, the macro lens has a fixed focus and isn't particularly useful. The best you'll do when it comes to video is FHD resolution at just 30fps. 

The Moto G22 runs Android 12 and there's no UI overlay or bloatware, so it delivers a straightforward user experience right out of the box. 

Battery life is good. With a 5000mAh battery the Moto G22 should keep going beyond a full day, and might, for some users, even stretch into a second day. Motorola claims 37.8 hours, which seems optimistic. 

When the battery runs low, you're are stuck with a 15W charger. This is interminably slow by today's standards, and it's not possible to deliver a quick burst while you're getting ready to go out, for example. Charging is a deliberate process that will take time. When I plugged the handset in with the battery at 34% it took 15 minutes to get to 44% and another 15 minutes to get to 54%. 

The 6.5-inch IPS screen has a 90Hz refresh rate, but the resolution is just 1,600 by 720 pixels (268ppi) which leaves text looking sonewhat blurred; reading web pages, emails and so on is not a satisfying experience. 

The handset is powered by a MediaTek Helio G37 SoC which, as noted earlier, does not offer 5G support. The combination of this entry-level chipset and 4GB of RAM makes the Moto G22 feel distinctly under-powered: I noticed tardy responses to screen taps, hesitation while web pages resolved, and a general feeling that even the simplest of tasks -- like doing a search in settings -- was too much for the phone as it stuttered to deliver results. Everyday use could prove challenging for the impatient. 

In the Geekbench 5 CPU test the Moto G22 delivered average single core and multi core scores of 172 and 942 respectively. These are low scores, and reflect the overall real-world performance of this handset. By way of comparison, flagship handsets register over 1000 (single core) and over 3200 (multi core) on Geekbench 5. 

The Moto G22 has 64GB of internal storage space, of which 13GB was used out of the box, leaving 51GB free. The SIM caddy accommodates a pair of Nano-SIMs and a MicroSD card, so users can add more storage if necessary. It's good to see the ability to add storage without sacrificing a SIM card. 

Overall, Motorola's Moto G22 is a well-made budget smartphone with good battery life, but its entry-level chipset, low-resolution screen and slow charging speed let it down. You'll find better value elsewhere. 

Motorola Moto G22 specifications

OSAndroid 12
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G37
Storage64GB, 128GB
MicroSD card slotyes
Display6.5-inch IPS LCD, 90Hz
ResolutionHD+ (1600 x 720, 20:9, 268ppi)
Screen to body ratio (claimed)89.03%
Rear cameras50MP f/1.8 wide angle • 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (118˚) • 2MP f/2.4 macro •  2MP f/2.4 depth
Front camera16MP f/2.45
Audio1x speaker, 1x mic, 3.5mm headphone jack
Networks2G GSM, 3G HSPA, 4G LTE
SIM slots2x Nano-SIM
Wi-FiWi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Battery capacity5000mAh
Battery life (claimed)37.8h
Battery charging15W
Securityfingerprint reader (side-mounted), face unlock
Sensorsproximity, ambient light, accelerometer, gyroscope, e-compass, SAR
Dimensions74.94mm x 163.95mm x 8.49mm
IP ratingno ('water repellent design')
In the boxMoto G22, 10W charger, USB-C cable, guides, SIM tool
Price£129.99 (reduced from £149.99)

Alternatives to consider

As the cost of living spirals, many smartphone buyers will either be hanging onto their existing handsets for longer, or looking to the affordable end of the market for their next purchase. Two phones that, in our opinion, offer better value than the Moto G22 are Poco's 5G-equipped M4 Pro 5G (£159, down from £249) and Motorola's (non-5G) Moto G31 (£129.99, down from £169.99).


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