Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Motorola Moto G9 Plus, hands on: Large screen, large battery, low price

Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributor

Motorola has three Moto G9 handsets -- the PlayPower and Plus. The Moto G9 Plus, reviewed here, is the most expensive of the trio -- although at £229.99 (inc. VAT) it's still firmly in the 'budget' camp. Like the Moto G9 Power, the G9 Plus is a 6.8-inch handset, and its LTPS panel has the highest resolution in the range: 2,400 by 1,080 pixels (386ppi). So there's plenty of screen real estate to keep video viewers and gamers happy, with HDR10 support a bonus. 

That 6.8-inch screen makes for a large and somewhat unwieldy phone, measuring 78.1mm wide by 169.98mm deep by 9.69mm thick and weighing 223g. The frame and back are plastic, and although there's no IP rating for dust/water resistance, Motorola says the G9 Plus has a 'water repellent design'. 


The 6.8-inch Moto G9 Plus is a hefty 223g handset based on Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 730G chipset with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (expandable via MicroSD if you sacrifice a SIM slot). It's powered by a 5000mAh battery, with 30W fast charging available.

Images: Motorola

To complement the large screen there is a 5,000mAh battery that Motorola claims is good for two days of use. What you'll get in practice depends, of course, on how you use the phone, and a 6.8-inch screen can be a big drain on the battery. Still, the provided TurboPower 30 fast charger will deliver up to 12 hours of power in ten minutes, so quick recharges are possible. In the PCMark for Android Work 2.0 battery life test, the Moto G9 Plus lasted for a creditable 16 hours and 3 minutes.

This isn't a 5G handset, and although it supports two SIMs you'll have to limit yourself to one of them if you want to augment the 128GB of internal storage with a MicroSD card. My review unit had a Navy Blue chassis, and there's also a rather more 'blingy' Blush Gold version. Motorola provides a transparent bumper that makes the handset feel even larger, although it does mitigate both the slipperiness of the backplate and its propensity to gather fingerprints.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The fingerprint reader is embedded in the power button on the handset's right edge, just below the volume rocker. There's a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left, a 3.5mm headset jack at the top and a USB-C charging/connection port on the bottom.

The Moto G9 Plus runs on Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 730G SoC, and despite having only 4GB of RAM I didn't notice any serious performance issues during testing. In the PCMark for Android Work 2.0 performance test, the Moto G9 Plus scored 7754. For comparison, flagship-class handsets based on the Snapdragon 865 chipset regularly score 12000 or more.

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 4

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi 400

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 400

Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro

Top ZDNET Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro

reMarkable 2

Top ZDNET Reviews

reMarkable 2


The OS is Android 10, with only a few embellishments. A Moto icon leads you to an applet that provides access to key tweaks such as gesture controls, setting up the handset for better gaming and audio experience, as well as personalising the look and feel. It's a smart way to accentuate what differentiates this handset and keep that accessible, so you don't have to hunt for things deep in the settings area.


The Moto G9 Plus in Blush Gold.

Images: Motorola

The 16MP f/2.0 front camera sits in an unobtrusive punch-hole in the top left of the screen. Selfies are of perfectly adequate quality. There are four cameras at the back: 64MP f/1.8 wide angle; 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (118°); 2MP f/2.2 macro (2.5cm focus distance); and a 2MP f/2.2 depth sensor. Photos are of reasonable quality considering the phone's price point. Point-and-shoot images are fine, although there's no telephoto camera.

Given its budget price, the Moto G9 Plus is never going to deliver much more than an average specification. Still, it does this intelligently and delivers some pleasant surprises, including good battery life, a large screen and some nice customisation features and controls.


Moto G9 Plus packs 64MP camera and low price tag (CNET)

Motorola Moto G 5G Plus review: A great budget smartphone, with added 5G support

7 must-have apps for your iPhone and Android smartphone

Google launches Android Enterprise Essentials aimed at SMBs

Galaxy Note: Samsung might ditch premium phone for 2021 over falling high-end demand

5G almost cheap: The best affordable 5G phones between $400 and $700

Read more reviews