Motorola Moto G Play (2023) Review: Don't Buy This Android Phone

Motorola Moto G Play (2023) Review: Don’t Buy This Android Phone Leave a comment

In the previous week, I’ve borrowed my fiancée’s telephone roughly 4 instances. The first few have been after we visited The Met Cloisters museum in New York City. I like taking images, so I borrowed her Pixel phone to snap some fairly scenes. The subsequent time was after we determined to order some scrumptious buffalo rooster tenders in the course of a canine stroll. I do not carry my pockets once I stroll my canine and sometimes pay with my telephone, and I could not do this with the $170 Moto G Play (that additionally meant she paid, heh). 

The final time was yesterday after we each went to a Joe Hisaishi Candlelight live performance and heard the fantastic Highline String Quartet recreate lovely Studio Ghibli soundtracks (sure, even the traditional “Merry Go Round of Life” from Howl’s Moving Castle). I nudged her to offer me her telephone so I may report a brief clip of the final observe—the one one everybody was allowed to report.

It’s comprehensible {that a} sub-$200 smartphone will make compromises, particularly with its digital camera. The Moto G Play is extremely gradual, however it’s not the worst possibility in the marketplace, and I used to be in any other case in a position to get by. But I do really feel obligated to say that after I switched to a different low-cost telephone from Samsung, it is arduous to advocate. 

Play It Safe

Photograph: Motorola

The Moto G Play is a plasticky telephone that appears dreary, like most different price range handsets. At least plastic means the again will not shatter if you happen to drop it. This telephone doesn’t assist 5G networks, so that you’re relegated to 4G LTE, however it can work with each main US community. 

Motorola is powering the Play with MediaTek’s Helio G37 chipset with 3 gigabytes of RAM, which is identical processor it utilized in final 12 months’s Moto G Power 2022. I detested it once I tried it as a result of it was markedly slower than the prior mannequin, so it isn’t a lot of a shock to see the brand new Play performing in a equally irritating method. 

It has its moments the place it could possibly run simply tremendous, however too typically, you’ll wait a number of seconds for the keyboard to seem while you wish to sort one thing into the search bar. (It additionally likes to skip the primary phrase I swipe-type with the keyboard, prompting me to begin once more.) Switch apps and you may ponder whether the pause means the telephone froze, so you may swipe once more, just for it to all of the sudden register two separate swipes, and now you are in an app you did not wish to open. 

In my benchmark check, it delivered one of many lowest scores I’ve ever seen in latest reminiscence. Yes, I’ve been in a position to learn my emails, reply to messages, and browse Reddit in my downtime; simply add a dose of lag between most of these duties and that is the expertise.

If you’ll be able to stand that sluggishness, then you definitely may not discover an excessive amount of fault with the remainder of the {hardware}. The 6.5-inch 720p display doesn’t look too pixelated and has been tremendous to stare at for many duties, although it may be arduous to learn when it’s shiny out. There’s a 90-Hz display refresh price, however I’m not even going to hassle counting this as a optimistic—the telephone is not actually highly effective sufficient to constantly ship the “smooth” expertise you’re purported to get with a high refresh rate.   

The 5,000-mAh battery is the standout characteristic, as I’ve been in a position to get roughly two days on a single cost with common use (possible a bit extra if you happen to’re much more conservative). It’s very nice not having to plug in each night time. There’s a dependable fingerprint sensor on the again and even a headphone jack. It solely comes with 32 GB of inner storage, so you may wish to benefit from the microSD card slot—simply after one week of use I’m seeing “storage low” alerts, and that is with a bit over 100 apps (together with the preinstalled ones). 

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