At the end of March Motorola presented two new mid-range products in Europe: the Moto G100 and the Moto G50, one expensive and one cheaper. We were able to test both models, starting with the G100 with a powerful processor, decent cameras, 90Hz screen, 5G support and desktop connection to a monitor. However, the cheaper model also has 90 Hz and 5G, but more about it later.
The Moto G100 is already on sale in Europe for around 500 euros. This is a very interesting new flagship of the G line from Motorola. Let’s see if it’s worth the hype.
Motorola Moto G100 full specifications
- Screen: LTPS, 6.7 inches, 21:9 aspect ratio, 2520×1080 resolution, 90 Hz update, HDR10
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
- Video accelerator: Adreno 650
- Memory: 8 GB RAM, 128 GB UFS 3.1 ROM, MicroSD card slot up to 1 TB (combined – either a second SIM or memory card)
- Battery: 5000 mAh, 20 W fast charging
- Main camera: 64 MP, f/1.7, 1/2.0′′, 0.7μm, Quad Pixel + wide-angle lens 16 Mpx, f/2.2, 117 ̊, 1.0μm + 2 Mpx, f/2.4, 1.75μm + ToF sensor
- Front-facing camera: dual, without autofocus, 16 MP, f/2.0, 1.0μm + 8 MP, f/2.4, 1.12μm, 118 ̊
- Communications: LTE, 5G NR (n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n28/n38/n41/n66/n77/n78), NFC, Wi-Fi 6 (a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4+5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.1, GPS (A-GPS, LTEPP, SUPL, GLONASS, Galileo), USB Type-C, FM Radio
- OS: Android 11
- Dimensions and weight: 168×74×10 mm, 207 g
- Price: about 500 euros
What’s in the box
Usually I find it pointless to describe the box in the reviews. Who chooses a phone based on the appearance of the package, and what difference does it make how it looks? But here it is worth emphasizing, because the box is huge. Not heavy, but huge.
The secret is simple – the main box contains two independent ones. One with a phone, the other with a Ready For cable. Moto G100 has a rare feature – when connected to a monitor or TV with a special cable, you can use your phone as a computer, similar to Samsung’s DeX. We’ll talk more about this mode later. And here I will just show you the cable itself – it’s solid, well made, with metal “ends” and caps to protect the connectors. The length is about a meter.
Most of all, I was surprised by the box – massive for such a small accessory.
Let’s move on to the smartphone itself. In the box with the G100 you will find a 20-watt charger, a USB type-C cable, a SIM eject tool, a quick guide, and a brochure about the Ready For cable.
And, of course, the protective case looks familiar. Thin, silicone, with bumpers above the screen and cameras. Interestingly, it has a grayish tint. I believe that when it turns yellow (like any silicone), it will not be noticeable just because of the shade.
Moto G100 design
The phone is big and beautiful. I think this format is optimal when the display is elongated in height and at the same time quite narrow (aspect ratio 21:9). It is convenient to use with one hand, a lot of information fits on the screen.
The Moto G100 is not thin and light, it is rather massive, but we must not forget about the 5000 mAh battery. In any case, the hand does not get tired even when I turn on the zombie mode and keep walking without looking up from the phone.
Before us is not a full-fledged flagship, but nevertheless the device is more affordable, so we will not scold for the lack of a glass case. Moreover, the plastic of the back is unusual, made of several layers, while the top layer is transparent. This creates the effect of depth and complexity. Of course, this is nothing new, but it’s still beautiful.
Add to this an unusual color – my model shimmers in the light from blue to purple, you can admire it endlessly. Here’s a video proof:
There are also light gray and dark gray versions of the G100, but I have not seen them in person. The back panel is glossy, but surprisingly doesn’t collect a lot of fingerprints. Scratches also do not appear if you use it carefully (at least for 2 weeks of testing and keeping it in a woman’s purse with a thousand little things). The front panel is also very sturdy, but the prints do appear.
I won’t be calling the display bezel-less here, since the bezels are quite noticeable. But let’s not forget that it’s not an expensive flagship.
First of all, two front cameras draw attention to the front panel. I already wrote in the review of the previous generation Moto G 5G Plus that the decision is controversial. I heard opinions that they should at least be combined, like, for example, in the Huawei P40, reviewed by Yuri Svitlik. I myself don’t know which is better – one elongated “hole” in the screen or two single ones. For me, one front camera is generally enough. Yes, there is a difference in focal length. And one can take decent selfies, and the other group selfies, if the monopod is not at hand. But is it worth having two notches?
Due to the fact that the two front cameras take up a lot of space in the corner, most apps have a stripe at the top. Although in the settings you can choose which should run in full screen mode. This does not always work; for example, Instagram does not start like that, but many games do.
The rear panel contains a raised block of 4 cameras. Below it is an LED flash and a microphone for recording video.
On the left side of the phone there is a slot for SIM cards and memory cards and a separate call button for the Google Assistant. You cannot reassign it, but you can disable it in the settings.
On the right side there is a double volume rocker and a power/lock button. The latter is recessed into the body and contains a fingerprint sensor.
I have already come across this solution in the Moto G 5G Plus and the Moto G9 Plus, it is convenient. At first it seemed that the key was too sunk into the case, but I got used to it. When you pick up the phone, your thumb rests on the fingerprint sensor, unlocking is quick and error-free. In my opinion, it is no worse than an in-screen scanner, especially since they have so far learned to embed it only in OLED screens, and here we have LTPS/IPS.
There is also a trick – double-tapping the lock key (not pressing, but only touching) brings up a customizable menu with program icons for quick launch.
At the top of the smartphone there is a microphone that acts as a noise suppressor. On the bottom is another microphone, speaker, Type-C charging connector, as well as a 3.5 mm headphone output (it’s good that not all smartphone manufacturers refuse to use it).
The Moto G100 case has a hydrophobic shell, it is not afraid of drops of water and rain (protection level IP54). Nothing big, but it’s still nice.
Display – like the previous Moto G – LTPS/IPS, Motorola prefers not to spend money on OLEDs. Color reproduction is good, there is support for HDR10 and DCI-P3 color gamut, sufficient black depth, high viewing angles and brightness, excellent contrast. This, of course, is not OLED, and it’s not as juicy or black. But taking into account the cost, the quality is quite sufficient, the layman will not find anything to complain about.
The resolution of the Moto G100 screen is 2520×1080, 6.7 inches. The aspect ratio is 21:9. As I said, a narrow and tall screen is convenient. Also, we have an increased refresh rate of the display (90 Hz) which is much better than standard 60 Hz we got used to. The picture is smoother and there is even a feeling that the smartphone works faster in comparison with the 60 Hz rivals. There are three modes of operation – automatic (the phone will set itself depending on the app and charge level), 60 Hz or 90 Hz.
Automatic brightness change works without misfires. There is an option to adjust the color temperature (removes cold tones in the evening). There are three color saturation options. The readability in the sun is good.
Hardware and performance of the Moto G100
It is not for nothing that we are calling it “almost a flagship”. The processor is Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, which is actually a tuned version of last year’s Snapdragon 865. There’s 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB (fast type UFS 3.1) of storage. There is also a slot for SD cards up to 1 TB, but a hybrid one, which means you have to choose either two SIM cards or a SIM + microSD card.
I’m not a fan of running synthetic tests on phones, in my opinion, these mean absolutely nothing. But I did launch a couple.
Personal impressions are much more important. I can say that the performance of the device is excellent,, there are no delays or lags, even in the most demanding tasks or games. When used to the max, the device becomes warm, but not at all hot.
Moto G100 cameras
The Moto G100 has 4 camera “eyes” on the rear panel: the main 64 megapixel module, the 16-megapixel wide-angle, the 2-megapixel depth sensor and ToF.
The quality of shooting has improved when compared with last year’s mid-budget Moto models. Yes, there are smartphones that shoot better, but taking into account the cost, the quality of the G100’s pictures is decent, most users will be satisfied. With good light, photos are sharp, with excellent color reproduction. If there is less light (at least home lighting), then blurring and fuzziness appear.
The main lens takes 16MP photos by default, combining 4 pixels into one for better quality. There is a high-resolution shooting mode with a real 64 megapixels, but the picture is not created immediately, you need to hold the phone in one position. And the difference in clarity is so scant that I don’t see much sense in using this mode. View photos from the Moto G100 in ultra-resolution.
In the dark, the footage is acceptable, but there is noise. There is a special night shooting mode, but it has the same problem as in other models of the brand – most often the picture is too highlighted, as a result the photo looks unnatural. Look at the comparison, on the left is the normal mode, on the right is the night mode.
The wide-angle lens is fine, it does not produce noise or strong distortion. But it’s better not to use it in low light since the quality will noticeably drop. Another comparison: on the left is a photo from the regular module, on the right from the wide angle.
An interesting solution: thanks to the presence of laser autofocus, the ultra-wide angle allows you to take macro photos. Pay attention to the appearance of the camera modules: three have borders, and one does not. This is because it houses the backlight diodes, to make close-up photos look better in low light.
Macro photo quality is good. Although, in most cases, I would prefer a photo with the main lens, shot at close range. And the clarity is good, and the colors and the background are gracefully blurred. Here is a comparison, on the left is a normal module, on the right is a macro.
The video quality, in my opinion, is average. Not the best clarity and color rendering, with some jerky footage. Here’s a video from the Motorola Moto G100 camera.
I have already mentioned the front-facing cameras. There are two of them – 16 and 8 megapixels, normal and with a wide viewing angle. The difference in focal length is noticeable, it is quite possible to take a selfie with a group of people stretching out your hand. The quality is decent in both cases, although it is still better from the non-wide angle. When shooting with the selfie camera, a circle pulsates around the one that is currently being used. The left photo is the regular module, the right photo the wide-angle one.
The camera interface is standard for Moto. It’s logical and convenient.
In addition to standard shooting modes, there is also a selective color mode (leaves one color in the photo), panorama, live photos, filters in real time, and PRO-mode with RAW support.
Data transfer and Ready for desktop mode
Everything is fine here – Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, 5G (various bands are supported, including the new European n1, n38 and n78). There are no issues with the work of the modules.
But what is more interesting is the Ready for mode. It allows you to connect the Moto G100 to a monitor/TV using a dedicated docking station or via a USB-C to HDMI cable. The cable, as we have already found out, is included in the box. Thus, the phone can be conveniently used as a computer, a game console, or a camera or a microphone for distance education.
The cable connects to the Moto G100 via a USB-C connector to a monitor or TV via HDMI or USB-C (optional). If you add a wireless mouse and keyboard to this set, you get a computer that is always with you.
The solution is rare, there are not so many of them on the market. There’s the Samsung DeX. And LG Screen+, but LG is gone from the mobile market. But the idea is not new. Back in 2013, Motorola produced special smartphones and docking stations for them, allowing you to turn your phone into a small laptop. Back then everything worked slowly, but now is another matter. And no special accessories, except for the cable, are needed. However, you can use the sleek docking station, which also charges the phone, but must be purchased separately.
The Ready for mode supports 4 modes of operation:
– video call
The first variant adapts the Android mobile interface for a large screen. First of all, it becomes easier to work with different applications at the same time, you can open several windows.
When you select the second option (TV), the smartphone automatically selects the apps responsible for all types of streaming. And they are fully adaptable to large display formats. Any interference in the form of notifications or calls can be completely turned off while watching the video, if you wish.
The game mode, as you might guess, allows you to play comfortably on the big screen. It is important to note that app that are not adapted to work with a horizontal screen orientation (checkers, for example) will be displayed only on a part of it. But games that are already created for landscape orientation (different shooters, racers, etc) work great. You can connect a wireless controller and imagine that you own a gaming console.
The video chat mode supports various messengers, for example, WhatsApp, Google Duo, FB Messenger. It allows you to use the main cameras for better quality. If you want to chat as a group, you can switch to the 117-degree wide-angle.
Ready For is a handy and interesting feature. It is rarely found in smartphones and especially in cheaper models. At the same time, it is thought out and implemented wisely. The interface is user-friendly, and I observed no issues with its work.
Moto G100 sound
The main speaker is monophonic (which is a pity), it’s loud, does not wheeze. The sound quality is excellent in headphones. The 3.5 mm jack is not forgotten, which is also great. The system has an equalizer that allows you to customize the sound to your liking.
Moto G100 runs on fresh Android 11 right out of the box. The traditional advantage of Moto is a nimble “pure” Android without any shells.
Add-ons include Moto Functions, customizable in a separate app. We are talking about gesture control and other features (for example, an active display, if you are looking at it).
You can run apps in a separate window during the game. But their choice is very limited. Still, a curious feature.
There is also an option to split the display into two parts, but not all apps support it.
Moto G100 battery life
The battery has a capacity of 5,000 mAh, which is a kind of gold standard for Moto. With such a smartphone, you can be sure that the phone will work for the whole day. During the test, I charged the device once every couple of days, while using it actively.
There’s support for 20 watt fast charging. It takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes to fully charge, half an hour is enough for 35-40%, 15 minutes for 25%. But there is no wireless charging, but nobody expects it from a mid-ranger.
In general, the Moto G100 offers 12 to 17 hours of screen time, depending on the task. And this is at maximum brightness and with 60/90 Hz adaptive screen refresh mode! You can play a 3D game for up to 7-8 hours without taking a break. Before us is a very tenacious smartphone.
Read also: TWS OPPO Enco X Review: Almost Perfect + ANC
The new model of the Moto G series left the most positive impressions. The Moto G100 is a powerful device with good cameras and support for fifth generation networks. Almost a flagship, with small “concessions”. The screen is LTPS LCD, not OLED, but the color reproduction is nice and the 90Hz refresh rate makes a good impression. The design and colors are good, even if the case is plastic. The speaker is mono, but there is an output for 3.5 mm headphones. Add to that the excellent battery life and you get a great smartphone worthy of our recommendation.
Of course, there is something to criticize, for example, the quality of the photos could be higher (especially with imperfect lighting). Also, stereo speakers, faster charging, wireless charging, better moisture protection would be nice. But this is more of a nit-picking.
As noted in the introduction, the model costs about 500 euros and has not yet been officially supplied to many European markers. Of course, this is not the most affordable price, but if you look at the cost of the flagships, it seems quite adequate. Undoubtedly, there are many competitors and you can find interesting options from Xiaomi, OPPO, Realme, but Moto has Moto pros like “pure” Android, attention to detail and the Ready for mode, which the aforementioned Chinese devices do not have. No wonder the brand still has an army of fans.
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