GadgetsSmartphonesMotorola Moto G71 review: the best of the rest

Motorola Moto G71 review: the best of the rest

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At the end of 2021, Motorola introduced an updated line of Moto G models. We have already tested the basic Moto G31 for ~$220, but now the advanced Motorola Moto G71 has fallen into our hands. There are still G51 and G41 between them, and we are planning tests in the near future. The Moto G200 is the current flagdhip. In short, the G71 is not the most impressive of the budget phones, it’s a relatively inexpensive phone for about $350. Let’s find out what is interesting about it.

Moto G71

Full specifications of the Motorola Moto G71

  • Screen: OLED, 6.4 inches, 20:9, resolution 1800×2400, 60 Hz
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 (6 nm, 8 cores with a frequency of up to 2.2 GHz)
  • Video accelerator: Adreno 619
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM, 128 GB ROM, without memory card slot
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Main Camera: 50 MP, 0.64µm, f/1.8, Quad Pixel technology + 8 MP wide angle lens 1.12µm, f/2.2, 118 + 2 MP Macro lens f/2.4
  • Front-facing camera: 16 MP, 1.12 µm, f/2.2
  • Data Transmission: LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4+5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS (A-GPS), GLONASS, Galileo, USB Type-C, FM Radio
  • OS: Android 11
  • Dimensions and weight: 161.2×73.9×8.5 mm, 179 g

Positioning and price

Here is a comparison table of the inexpensive Moto G 2022, to make it all clearer. It’s all fairly confusing.

Motorola Moto G71 Motorola Moto G51 Motorola Moto G41 Motorola Moto G31
Operating System Android 11
Screen 6.4″, Max Vision, OLED, Full HD+, 60 Hz 6.8″, Max Vision, IPS, Full HD+, 120 Hz 6.4″, Max Vision, OLED, Full HD+, 60 Hz
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 Pro MediaTek Helio G85
Memory 6/128 GB, without microSD 4/64 GB, microSD card 6/128 GB, microSD card 4/64 GB, microSD card
Main cameras 50 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP 48 MP with OIS + 8 MP + 2 MP 50 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP
Front-facing camera 16 MP 13 MP
Battery 5000 mAh, 33W TurboPower charging 5000 mAh, 10W charging 5000 mAh, 33W TurboPower charging 5000 mAh, 10W charging
Other 5G, USB-C, Wi-Fi ac (2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS with Galileo, Fingerprint Sensor, FM Radio, Dual SIM, 3.5 mm, NFC, IP52 protection USB-C, Wi-Fi ac (2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS with Galileo, Fingerprint Sensor, FM Radio, Dual SIM, 3.5 mm, NFC
Dimensions and weight 161.19×73.87 ×8.49, 179 g 170.47×76.54 ×9.13, 208 g 161.89×73.87 ×8.3, 178 g 161.89×73.87 ×8.55, 181 g
Price $450 $300 $280 $220

moto g

As you can see, the more expensive model (we do not take into account the G200, which costs more than $500) is distinguished by an OLED display. The two cheaper ones as well. And it also has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of ROM. The G71 also received a relatively productive Snapdragon 695 processor, 6 GB of RAM, 33-watt charging, IP52 dust and moisture protection, and support for fifth-generation networks. What is disappointing is that the refresh rate of the screen is only 60 Hz (fine for the $200 model, but not for 350). I would also like to see some more advanced set of cameras compared to the cheap G31. And for some reason, the Moto G41 received optical stabilization, but not the G71.

I will also note here that the new products of the Moto G 2022 series have not yet officially arrived in certain markets. Its expected arrival is most likely in the spring. But they are available on the European market, and our Polish editorial team have already reviewed it.

Read also: Motorola Moto G31 review: affordable OLED smartphone

What’s in the box

Everything is as usual — a charger (33-watt), a silicone case, a charging cable, a  SIM eject tool and documentation.

I liked the case, which feels expensive, protects the screen and cameras, and boasts matte non-slip sides. You don’t have to look for another one.

Design

The new G series differs from the old one in a slightly different design of the camera module. And for the rest, it is a standard budget phone that does not stand out from the others.

Moto G71

Until you turn it over.

Moto G71Nothing special at first glance, we have seen plastic panels shimmering in the light more than once. But it’s still beautiful. Every time is like the first time! Well almost… At least there is a visible difference with the G31.

But… while the ribbed surface of the G31 does not collect fingerprints and scratches, then the Moto G71 gets dirty literally from the first touches. I think the scratches will not keep you waiting.

Moto G71The way out is to use a case. But in it, the model no longer shimmers in the light and does not attract the eye so much. I guess beauty requires sacrifice.

Available body colors are Neptune Green, Arctic Blue, and Iron Black. Neptune Green, the one we are reviewing, is the most interesting option.

Moto G71

The bezels are relatively small. The upper and lower ones are wider than the side ones, but they look harmonious, especially for a budget device.

Moto G71

The front-facing camera is built into the screen and has a silver rim. The display did not receive Gorilla Glass protection, but I would like to see it in a $350 phone. The glass, of course, is tempered, but in theory it can quickly become covered with scratches.

Moto G71

On the left side of the smartphone there is only a slot for SIM cards.

Moto G71

On the right edge, at the very top, there is a Google Assistant call key (even if you don’t need it, there’s nothing else you do with it), below there is a dual volume control key (located at a convenient height), and then an on/off button with a ribbed texture.

Moto G71

The camera unit with flash is located on the protruding module. It sticks out quite a bit, does not interfere with anything. It differs in color a bit.

Moto G71

Moto G71

Also, the fingerprint sensor can be found on the back panel. That’s weak, Motorola! In the cheapest model of the G31 line, the fingerprint sensor was built into the side key, and here we have a less convenient and outdated solution. You can get used to it, the sensor is conveniently located, it works fine (although not always quickly), but still… OLED screen allows for a more modern solution.

Moto G71

On the upper edge of the smartphone there is only a microphone for noise cancelling. On the bottom side there is a 3.5 mm headphone output (it’s good that not all smartphone manufacturers abandoned it), a Type-C connector, another microphone, three speaker holes.

The smartphone is big — this should be borne in mind. But I won’t say that everything is bad with ergonomics. The device is light, thin. The screen is high, but narrow, you can control it with one hand (except that it is difficult to reach the upper elements without changing the grip). Personally, everything suits me — the content is more convenient to perceive from a large display.

The smartphone build quality is perfect. The materials of the case are plastic, but it does not look cheap, and it’s pleasant to the touch. The smartphone case has received protection according to the IP52 standard. The G31 had no certification, only a mention of a hydrophobic shell: another little thing to separate the models and explain why one is cheaper and the other is more expensive. Of course, the smartphone should not be immersed in water, washed under the tap, and so on.

Moto G71

Read also: Motorola Moto G60 review: Budget phone with 6000 mAh and 120 Hz!

Screen

Previously, the Moto G series from Motorola used IPS displays. Now the company has decided to bet on OLED. Such screens are installed in G71, G41 and even the cheapest G31. OLED displays give a richer color reproduction, better contrast, high black depth, better brightness.

Moto G71

And on the example of the Moto G71, this immediately catches the eye. Beautiful and at the same time natural color reproduction, juicy shades, perfect black (when using a dark theme, the bezels are not even noticeable). The resolution is also adequate, 1800 × 2400 pixels.

But there is also a minus — for some reason there is no increased update frequency. Only the bog standard 60 Hz. In the G31 review, I wrote that this is not critical, but I expect more from a $350 device. Competitors offer have both 120 and 144 Hz. Although we can forgive it that omission — reluctantly. After all, until recently, even flagships had standard 60 Hz and no one was bothered by it.

Automatic brightness works without misfires. There is an option to adjust the color temperature (removes cold shades in the evening), as well as three options for saturation.

It is difficult to check this in winter, but, apparently, the maximum brightness is high and the Moto G71 display will fade minimally in the sun.

Moto G71

Read also: Realme GT Master Edition vs Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE vs Samsung Galaxy A72: 2021’s hottest mid-rangers go head to head

Performance

A clear advantage over the two cheapest models of the line is the processor from Qualcomm, not MediaTek. And not just any random one, but relatively fresh (announced in October 2021) Snapdragon 695. By the way, the Moto G71 became the first smartphone running this processor. It is more productive than the older Snapdragon 732G and even 750G.

Moto G71

The chipset is based on 6 nm process technology, which is very energy efficient. It contains two Kryo 660 cores (Cortex-A78) 2200 MHz and 6 Kryo 660 cores (Cortex-A55) 1700 MHz, as well as an Adreno 619 video chip. And, of course, the chipset also stands out for 5G support.

As for performance, everything is fine. The smartphone definitely feels more “agile” in basic tasks than the recently tested Moto G31. 6 GB of RAM is enough in 2022, but barely. Unlike the G31, the smartphone does not “kill” all unnecessary applications in the background.

Recently, a soft RAM expansion function has appeared in the Moto shell.  1.5 GB of RAM can added to the existing 6 GB. Not the fastest option, but better than nothing.

As for the games, any will run, but still do not expect top performance. However, the G71 does not overheat even under heavy load.

The amount of storage (128 GB) is barely enough. At least it’s not 64, like the more affordable models of the series. However, for some unknown reason, the G71 was deprived of a memory card slot. A shame.

If numbers are important to you, then in Geekbench the phone got around 1950 points (multi-core), in AnTuTu it got 388546 points.

Read also: Moto Edge 20 Pro review – Not so Pro

Cameras

The set of cameras is the same as in the G31, which costs one and a half times less. I would like something more interesting, but we have what we have. If you need more outstanding cameras, you should look towards the G200 or Edge series.

Moto G71

The camera unit consists of three lenses: the main 50 MP module, an 8 MP ultra-wide angle and a 2 MP macro camera. Traditionally, the images are not saved in the maximum resolution, but the technology of combining four pixels into one is used, so the main sensor outputs a photo of 12.5 MP (4080×3072), not 50 MP. In the settings, you can also enable the maximum resolution of 8160 ×6144, but there is not much point in this — photos will just take longer. The color rendering will also differ, and not for the better. Here are examples, 50 MP resolution on the right:

I don’t even know what to write about cameras. Except to repeat what I wrote about G31. Cameras are cameras, they take pictures. With good lighting, everything is fine, most users will not find anything to complain about. In darkness expect numerous artefacts.

ALL PHOTOS IN THE ORIGINAL RESOLUTION

Photos in the dark are average. Quite blurry.

But the night mode, unlike the G31 (is it about the processor?) is much more aggressive! It highlights the photo too much and worsens the already bad photo. But the task of the night mode is not to make night photos light, like it’s the daytime, but to make them clearer, with less noise. Here are examples, night mode on the right:

Night mode is useful only if there are glowing signs you want to capture. They will be clear and readable. Night mode on the right:

The wide angle is normal. Yes, the color rendering is worse and it’s more blurry, but sometimes you need to fit more into the frame than the main module sees, and the phone will cope with it. Examples of photos, wide angle on the right:

There is also a macro lens. In cheap smartphones, it is there just for the sake if it. Forget about even acceptable quality. The pictures are blurry and pale. Hardly acceptable.

It is much better to use the main module for close-up photos. The colors will be better, the object will be clearer, the background beautifully blurred. Here, compare: photos from the main lens on the left, from the camera lens on the right:

All budget models have 13 MP front-facing cameras , but the G71 stands out thanks to its 16 MP (f/2.2, 1.0µm) lens! Although you and I know that megapixels are far from the main thing. It’s about the module itself, the optics, the post-processing. But 3 extra Mp will not make a noticeable difference.

As you can see, there are no problems with the camera and post-processing. Selfies are clear, with good color reproduction, balance, and dynamics. And even if the lighting is weak. The “beutifier” works fine, but it can be turned off.

The smartphone records video in 1080p at 30 or 60 fps. It’s a pity that there is no 4K. The quality is good, I note fast autofocus, good digital stabilization. You can watch a sample video from the Moto G71 at this link.

Motorola offers a slow-motion mode, “sports color” (highlighting one specific color on the recording), slow-motion video, as well as dual recording, which allows you to simultaneously record video from the front and rear cameras.

The camera interface is standard for Moto. Quite convenient. In addition to standard shooting modes, there’s also “selective color” (leaves one color on the photo), panorama, “live” photos, real-time filters, PRO mode with RAW support.

Read also: Motorola Moto G60s review — Big budget phone with super fast charging

Data

The standard set is 5G, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4+5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo. There is no compass (magnetic sensor). The Bluetooth version could be newer, at least 5.1, if not 5.2.

Sound

The main speaker is monophonic. Again, this is not an ultra-budget phone, and I expected more. In general, the sound is okay, very loud. The headphones have good quality sound (tested with wireless buds from Huawei). I am pleased with the presence of a 3.5 mm jack.

Last year’s Moto G Series had a built-in equalizer. The new models (at least G31 and G71) do not have it, but there is a Dolby Atmos mode with presets.

Motorola Moto G71 review: the best of the rest

Read also: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G review: Addictive foldable smartphone

Software

The Moto G71 runs on the basis of the latest Android 11 out of the box. The update to the current Android 12 will most likely be in February or March. But don’t count on the 13th version. Although security updates will come regularly for at least three years.

The traditional advantage of Moto is a nimble, “clean”, perfectly optimized Android without any shells. Only its own launcher is used, but it does not differ significantly from the usual Android.

There are some special features, for example, the Peek Display feature. This screen activates by itself if you take the device in your hands, with a dark background and minimal brightness for energy saving.

And, of course, we must not forget about the Moto Functions that are configured in a separate application. We are talking about gesture control, design themes and other features (for example, for gamers, or an active display, if you are looking at it, launching a flashlight with a shake, and so on).

It is possible to launch apps in a separate window during the game, but their choice is very limited. There are other tweaks for gamers as well.

The option to split the display into two parts is also available, but not all applications support it.

Read also: Moto Edge 20 Pro review – Not so Pro

Battery life

The battery has a capacity of 5,000 mAh, for the Moto G-series this is the “gold standard”. Also important is an energy-efficient processor and perfectly optimized software. During the tests, I always had enough of the device until late in the evening. At the same time, I am an active user and almost never let the smartphone out of my hands. On average, the phone offers about 7 hours of active screen at a brightness above average. The G31 had an hour more, but it has a smaller screen resolution. I think that a less active user than me will get a couple of days easily.

Motorola Moto G71 review: the best of the rest

Included with the phone is 33W charging. The same chargers come with the Moto G71 and the Moto G41. But the G31 and the G51 got a ridiculous 10 watts charger. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to fully charge the G71.

Moto G71

Read also: Motorola Moto G50 review: Extremely Affordable 5G Smartphone

Verdict

It is a little difficult to draw conclusions here. I liked the G31 — it has interesting features at an affordable cost. But the G71 is $130 more expensive, but not to say that it is so much better. The cameras are at about the same level (the night mode is even weaker), the OLED display is just as wonderful. Yes, of course, the drive is twice as large, there’s 6 GB of RAM, and there’s a fresh processor from Qualcomm. Charging is also better than 10 watts in the G31, but objectively 33 watts is not a record in the budget price range. Of course, there is still 5G, but not everyone needs it.

At the same time, the outdated fingerprint scanner on the back panel, the mono speaker, the lack of an increased refresh rate of the screen (which has become commonplace even in the budget segment), the lack of 4K video and memory card support, and very weak night photos disappoint.

Perhaps the only wow factor of the model is the beautiful back plate, but it’s also a terrible fingerprint magnet.

Moto G71

Summing up: Moto G71 is a smartphone for those who need a relatively inexpensive Motorola with a sufficiently productive — taking into account the cost — processor. In the end, we still have “Moto quality” – an excellent build, clean Android without shells and glitches, with minimal additions and regular security updates.

There are other models for about the same price from the other brands. For example, the realme GT Master Edition costs the same as the G71, is powered by a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G, is equipped with a 120 Hz display with a Super AMOLED matrix and on-screen fingerprint sensor. The battery is weaker, 4300 mAh, but it is not critical. The design is interesting, especially in the gray version.

realme GT Master Edition

It is also worth paying attention to the POCO X3 PRO, which in version 6/128 can be even cheaper than the G71. And version 8/256 is also available. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 860, has a memory card slot, a 120 Hz screen (IPS), an impressive 5160 mAh battery with support for 33 watts of charging, a convenient fingerprint sensor, as well as high-quality stereo speakers.

Read also:

If you pay a little (about $50) extra, you can buy such decent models as the OnePlus Nord CE 5G 8/128 (Snapdragon 750G, 90 Hz Fluid AMOLED display, fingerprint sensor in the screen, strong cameras) or the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G 6/128 (Snapdragon 780G, 90 Hz AMOLED, stereo speakers, nimble fingerprint sensor on the side) or the Xiaomi Mi 10T 5G 6/128 (Snapdragon 865 , IPS 144 Hz, 5000 mAh, excellent cameras with 8K video support, stereo speakers, fingerprint sensor in the side key) or the Redmi Note 10 Pro 6/128 (Snapdragon 732G, 120 Hz AMOLED, 5020 mAh). Don’t forget the OnePlus Nord 5G, which is now on sale.

OnePlus Nord CE 5G 8/128GB

The new Huawei Nova 8i is interesting as well. The device looks great and has received a very strong set of cameras, much better than the G71. Yes, it doesn’t have Google services, but they can be used on Huawei phones without any problems.

Read also:

Huawei Nova 8i

Well, I told you about the phone in detail. I have mentioned its competitors, and the choice is yours as usual. What do you think about the new Moto G71?

Motorola Moto G71 review: the best of the rest

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design
8
Materials, build quality
8
Ergonomics
9
Screen
10
Performance
8
Cameras
6
Software
10
Battery life
9
It is a little difficult to draw conclusions here. For example, I liked the G31 — it has interesting features at an affordable cost. But the G71 is $130 more expensive, but not to say that it is so much better. The cameras are at about the same level (the night mode is even weaker), the OLED display is just as wonderful. Yes, of course, the drive is twice as large, 6 GB of RAM, and there's a fresh processor from Qualcomm. Charging is also better than 10 watts in the G31, but objectively 33 watts is not a record in the budget price range. Of course, there is still 5G, but not everyone needs it.
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Olga Akukina
Olga Akukina
IT-journalist and editor with over 15 years of experience. I am especially interested in the topic of smartphones and other gadgets, I test all the latest innovations, I like to try new things and share my experience.

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It is a little difficult to draw conclusions here. For example, I liked the G31 — it has interesting features at an affordable cost. But the G71 is $130 more expensive, but not to say that it is so much better. The cameras are at about the same level (the night mode is even weaker), the OLED display is just as wonderful. Yes, of course, the drive is twice as large, 6 GB of RAM, and there's a fresh processor from Qualcomm. Charging is also better than 10 watts in the G31, but objectively 33 watts is not a record in the budget price range. Of course, there is still 5G, but not everyone needs it.Motorola Moto G71 review: the best of the rest