Motorola Moto G7 review: the best budget phone is now even better – CNET

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Flagship phones like the iPhone XS, Pixel 3 or Galaxy S10 are easy to attract. Each has an innovative design and a wealth of functions, but also a high price. Even the more value-oriented phones from Apple and Samsung, like the Galaxy S10E and the iPhone XR, will bring you $ 750. Therefore, it is undoubtedly impressive that the Motorola Moto G7 ($ 158 at Walmart) costs only $ 300. It offers the best balance between design, features, and price for pretty much every phone sold today.

The Moto G phone family has always been full of well-considered necessities, which come with an attractive price. Over the past two years, the Moto G5 Plus and Moto G6 have shown us how nice a cheap phone can be. And this year's Moto G7 goes in the same direction with a body similar to the Moto G6 and a longer battery life, a faster processor and a larger display.

I have been using the Moto G7 for the past few weeks and it is clear that this is the best budget phone out there.

The Moto G7 costs $ 50 more than last year's Moto G6, which is a significant increase, but I think all the improvements are worth it. The Moto G7 is already on sale. Google sells it for $ 249 when you activate the phone on GoogleFi, And there's a $ 30 discount coupon if you buy it directly from the Motorola website.

And since it's Moto, be sure to check out ours Verizon's 5G network live test with the Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod.

A bigger screen in a slightly larger body

The Moto G7 looks neat. Similar to the G6, the front and back of the Gorilla Glass 3 give a modern touch. But the G7 deserves an award for being so easy to find in fingerprint stains. It ranks there with the OnePlus 6 ($ 289 at Amazon) or Galaxy S9 as far as stains. Seriously, watch out, CSI and Law and Order.

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The front of the Moto G7 is dominated by a 6.2-inch screen with a dewdrop recess for the selfie camera.

Angela Lang / CNET

While the Moto G6 had a 5.7-inch display, the G7 is able to pack a 6.2-inch display in a similarly sized case. A dewdrop notch brings the screen closer to the edges, whose frames are thinner than those of the iPhone XR. The display has a nice contrast and looks good in most situations. You will definitely not be thrilled if you like screens from midrange or premium phones.

The corners on the screen are much more pronounced than the tiny corners on the Moto G6. And while most apps sometimes adapt to them, like when I played PUBG, the game fills the bottom two corners of the display, but has a black bar at the top. It's a little strange, and if you're sensitive to such things, it could drive you crazy.

The fingerprint reader has been moved back from below the screen. Its position is easy to find and use. The tiny Motorola logo on the fingerprint reader is cute.

Aside from the Motorola name on the lower front of the phone, the Moto G7 has an appealing design. It has both a headphone jack and a USB-C port. There's a single speaker on the bottom that played a little Louis Prima in the kitchen while I was preparing dinner, but it often sounded thin. The Moto G7 has protection class IP54 for dust and water resistance. You can't dip it in, but a little splash should be fine.

Two cameras on the back, 4K video and slow motion on a $ 300 cell phone

There are two rear cameras (a 12-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel depth camera). You won't be able to keep up with sizes like Pixel 3, iPhone XS, or the more modest OnePlus 6T. But the Moto G7 offers a solid C-camera experience – and that's not a blow. The cameras are impressive for $ 300, especially considering that they can take 4K videos, portrait mode photos, and slow motion videos. Overall photos of the G7 have decent picture quality. However, Motorola seems to follow Samsung's belief that brighter photos are better. This is also in line with the blind camera test that Marques Brownlee carried out in December, in which mostly lighter photos were selected as the best photos.

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I was surprised at how many decent photos I took with the Moto G7.

Patrick Holland / CNET

HDR mode has definitely improved the photos in most situations. However, the live view can be frustrating because it previews the photo in low quality that doesn't match the final HDR image, which almost always looked better. Every time you press the shutter button, you have to put a lot of trust in Moto's camera mojo. It seems that the processing could be the culprit here.

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In good light, the Moto G7's cameras are able to take some good photos.

Patrick Holland / CNET

Some photos showed signs of moire, a ripple effect that appeared on patterns or textures. Photos taken in poor lighting conditions can look picturesque due to the Moto G7's noise correction.