Motorola Moto G7 Power review: This is the budget phone you're looking for

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  • Editors' rating
    8.3 Excellent

Pros

  • Phenomenal battery life
  • Solid performance
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Photo quality
  • Display is only 720p

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Motorola's Moto G7 lineup consists of several models, each one designed to meet a price point and offer different features. The $299 Moto G7 is at the high-end with dual-cameras, 65GB of storage, and 4GB of memory. The $199 Moto G7 Play is the most affordable option for anyone, evident by Boost Mobile offering the G7 Play for $49.

Then there's the $249 Moto G7 Power. Its spec sheet is nearly identical to the G7, but with a single 12-megapixel camera, 32GB of storage, and 3GB of memory. The biggest difference between the two is battery size. The G7's battery is 3,000mAh, while the G7 Power has a 5,000mAh battery. In theory, you're giving up some system performance in exchange for battery life.

In daily use, that theory is accurate. After using the G7 Power, I can say the overall experience is similar to the G7, and the battery life is phenomenal.

Design

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The G7 Power has the same core design as the rest of the G7 line, but instead of a teardrop notch at the top of the 6.2-inch screen, it's a black bar. The bezels around the top and bottom of the Power are slightly thicker than that on the G7. That goes, too, for the overall thickness of the G7 Power -- which is noticeably thicker than the G7. Its exact dimensions are 159.43 x 76 x 9.3mm, or 1.3mm thicker than the standard G7. The phone weighs 198 grams, up from 172 grams for the G7.

Inside the G7 Power is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 632 processor, 3GB of memory, 32GB of storage, a 5,000mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, and 802.11a/c. At 1520 x 720, the lower-resolution display isn't going to win any awards, but I felt as if the display was clear, crisp, and had proper brightness and saturation.

On the back of the phone is a 12-megapixel camera, with the Motorola logo just beneath it. That logo doubles as a fingerprint reader. On the right side of the phone, you'll find the volume rocker and a sleep/wake button. The bottom of the phone features a USB-C port for charging and is compatible with Motorola's TurboPower charging.

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The Moto G7 Power (left) next to the Moto G7. As you can see, there's a slight increase in overall size. 

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

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On top of the phone, you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the SIM card/mircoSD card slot is found on the left side. You can use up to a 512GB microSD card with the G7 Power, adding to the somewhat small 32GB standard amount of storage. Motorola doesn't offer an upgraded model with more storage, so your best bet is to invest in a microSD card.

Motorola used the same P2i nano-coating water repellent, as it did with rest of the G7 line. As I said in my review of the G7, I'd love to see Motorola increase the dust and water protection to IP67 or IP68 for the added peace of mind.

Marine Blue is the only color Motorola offers of the G7 Power. It's a mirror-like finish that's dark and shiny. I like it.

Overall, the G7 Power doesn't feel anything like a phone that costs $249. It has a premium feel, and the added weight from the increased battery size is something that's missing from most phones.

Performance

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

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Battery life is the headlining act when it comes to the G7 Power. It's what this phone is built to maximize. Heck, it's included in the name! And boy does it deliver. Motorola claims up to three days of use off of a single charge. I wasn't able to achieve that, but I did get right around two days of use before the battery gave out.

With battery use being such a subjective feature based on usage habits, I decided to run Geekbench 4's battery benchmark test on the G7 Power and the G7 and compare the results.

The G7's battery lasted on average 6 hours and 14 minutes in the benchmark test with its 3,000mAh battery. The G7 Power more than doubled that number in the same test, lasting 14 hours and 21 minutes. ZDNet's Sandra Vogel has run the same benchmark on the G7 Plus ,with a result of 6 hours and 22 minutes.

During daily usage, I didn't notice any hiccups or feel as if the phone took a performance hit compared to my experience with the G7. It's not near as fast as the Galaxy S10 or an iPhone XS Max, but that's expected with entry-level phones.

Photos I captured with the camera are of the same ilk as the G7. That is to say, in ideal lighting conditions, photos were clear and crisp, if not a little overexposed. But in lighting bright or dim lighting conditions, the camera suffers.

Motorola's Android software tweaks are present, but not overbearing. Moto Actions make it easy to turn on the camera or flashlight with gestures like twisting the phone or quickly flicking the phone in a chopping motion.

Conclusion

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

I enjoyed using the two Moto G7 models I tested, but I gravitate toward liking the G7 Power the most. Performance is a non-issue, and the battery life is nothing short of amazing. I'll gladly give up a second camera on the back of a phone and a little bit of added weight and thickness in exchange for an extra day's worth of use -- and the phone is $50 cheaper. The camera is a clear weakness, but, to be fair, that comes with the territory when you're looking at sub-$300 phones.

You can't go wrong with any of the G7 variants, but for me, my money's on the G7 Power.

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