Motorola Moto G Play (2024) Review

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Image source: Iyaz Akhtar

In the world of smartphones, the quest for the perfect balance between affordability and functionality never ends. Motorola’s latest offering in this arena, the Moto G Play (2024), presents itself as a strong contender for those on a budget, boasting a large screen and expandable storage for less than $100. However, it does come with a few compromises, including the lack of 5G support and a mediocre camera system. This review will take a closer look at the new Motorola Moto G Play, analyzing its features, performance, and overall value to help you decide if this is the right smartphone for your needs.

Design and Build Quality

The Motorola Moto G Play (2024) sticks to a rather simplistic design philosophy, which is typical for budget-friendly phones. The device features a robust plastic back and frame, which, while not the most premium of materials, offers durability and a lighter weight. The phone boasts a 6.5-inch display, providing ample screen real estate for watching videos, browsing, and gaming. Its ergonomic design ensures it fits comfortably in the hand, which is enhanced by a slightly textured finish that helps with grip.

Despite its low price tag, the phone feels solid and well-built. It doesn’t have an IP rating for water and dust resistance, which isn’t uncommon in this price range but is something potential buyers should be aware of.

Display Quality

Image credit: Iyaz Akhtar

The 6.5-inch LCD screen of the Moto G Play (2024) offers HD+ resolution. While the display won’t wow you with ultra-sharp images or vibrant colors like an OLED panel would, it performs adequately for most tasks and entertainment needs. The brightness levels are sufficient for indoor use, though it may struggle under direct sunlight. For the average user, the screen will be more than satisfactory, especially considering the phone’s budget-friendly pricing.

Performance and Software

Under the hood, the Moto G Play (2024) is powered by a modest Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, paired with 3GB of RAM. This setup is fine for basic tasks like web browsing, using social media apps, and light multitasking. The phone runs on Android 12 with Motorola’s minimal custom UI on top. The near-stock Android experience is smooth and comes with fewer pre-installed apps, which is a plus for users who prefer a cleaner, more straightforward interface.

The device comes with 32GB of internal storage, but it supports expandable storage via a microSD card, which is a crucial feature for users who need more space for their files and apps. This expandability is a significant advantage in this price segment, where internal storage is often limited.

Camera Capabilities

The camera system of the Moto G Play (2024) is where the phone falls short compared to some of its competitors. It includes a single rear camera that delivers mediocre performance. In good lighting conditions, the camera can capture decent shots with acceptable detail and color accuracy. However, in low-light or dynamic range scenarios, the quality drops noticeably, with images often appearing grainy and washed out.

For casual photography, the camera is passable, but for those who often rely on their smartphone for capturing important moments, this might not be sufficient. The front-facing camera similarly performs adequately under good lighting but struggles otherwise, which is worth noting for avid selfie takers.

Battery Life and Connectivity

One area where the Moto G Play (2024) excels is its battery life. Equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, the phone can easily last a full day of use and even extend into a second day with lighter usage. This robust battery life is ideal for users who value longevity and don’t want the hassle of frequent recharges.

On the connectivity front, the absence of 5G might be a dealbreaker for some. As 5G networks become more widespread, the lack of support for faster connectivity could make this device feel outdated quicker than some users might like. However, it does include all the essential connectivity options like 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, which will suffice for most users’ needs.

Pricing and Value for Money

Priced at under $100, the Moto G Play (2024) is an attractive option for those on a strict budget. It offers a good screen size, satisfactory performance for everyday tasks, expandable storage, and excellent battery life. While it does have shortcomings like its basic camera setup and lack of 5G, these are compromises often seen in phones within this price range.

Conclusion

The Motorola Moto G Play (2024) represents a solid choice for budget-conscious consumers looking for a device that covers all the basics without breaking the bank. Its strengths lie in its large display, long battery life, and the pure Android experience it offers. However, potential buyers should be aware of its limitations, including its camera performance and lack of 5G connectivity.

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