Forget iPhone SE: Motorola's new phone packs massive battery for half the price

Moto G9
(Image credit: Motorola)

The iPhone SE is one of the best cheap phones around, offering a blazing A13 Bionic processor and a great camera for $399. But it also doesn’t last very long on a charge and its screen is just too small for some.

Enter the Moto G9, which will be called the Moto G9 Play in global markets and sell for around $210. The Android handset boasts a huge 5,000 mAh battery, compared to a mere 1,821 pack for the iPhone SE.

As reported by 9to5 Google, the Moto G9 also sports a 6.5-inch HD+ display, which dwarfs the 4.7-inch LCD on the iPhone SE.  Another plus? The Moto G9 comes with a fast 20W charger in the box, while you need to spring for an optional fast charger on the iPhone SE.

On the Tom’s Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over cellular, the iPhone SE lasted just 9 hours and 18 minutes. The handsets on our best phone battery life list all last over 11 hours. 

For example, the Moto G Power, which also features a 5,000 mAh battery, lasted an epic 16 hours and 10 minutes on our test. So we would expect the Moto G9 to at least clear 11 hours.

The Moto G9 is not a speedster by any stretch, as it’s powered by a Snapdragon 662 processor and 4GB of RAM. You also get 64GB of storage, which you can expand via a microSD card.

Motorola has the iPhone SE outgunned in terms of cameras, but the sheer number of them doesn’t mean the image quality is better. The Moto G9 has a 48MP main camera paired with a 2MP macro sensor and 2MP depth sensor. Up front is a 8MP selfie camera.

The iPhone SE has a couple other advantages, too, including water resistance and wireless charging support. But we would expect those types of trade-offs in this price range.

It’s not yet clear whether Motorola will launch the Moto G9 in the U.S., but it looks like it could be one of the best cheap phones yet.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • kittenofd00m
    I bought 2 Moto G7 Power phones for the battery life mostly, and I regret it.

    The battery life is still great. We go 3 to sometimes even 5 days on a single charge. But that's mostly because we don't use these phones as much as we did our Note 5 phones. And that is because of the other issues that you will only realize after using Motorola's cheap phones for a while yourself.

    The camera is awful when it comes to focusing. When it does finally focus, the moment is gone most of the time. Macro images and night shots? Forget about those on these phones.

    Additional storage from an SD card sounded nice...until you realize that most of your most important apps either won't run at all from external storage, or run so slow that you must move them to internal storage to get anything done.

    Doing anything is slower. While we knew that going in, after several months it just grates on your nerves to the point that you start looking at flagship phones again.

    Most frustrating is Motorola's complete contempt for those that buy their phones. From day one we have had an issue with the (already poor) speaker. Every single first ring or notification sound is so low as to be almost muted. Hundreds (of not thousands) of Moto G7 Power users have complained for months about this - only to be entirely ignored by Motorola. This doesn't sound like a big deal until you miss a few important messages because you didn't hear the notification.

    Buy a Motorola if you are really cash strapped and your old phone no longer works at all. But, if you can wait and save up the money for a real phone, I'd suggest doing that.