Motorola has unveiled this year's update to the company's midrange G series phone. The new lineup could spark an interesting debate for budget-minded Android users — pony up for the $299 Moto G7 and its premium-inspired features, opt for the prolonged battery life of the $249 G7 Power, or save some money with the $199 Moto G7 Play?
It's a more pressing question than usual if you're eyeing the G7 as your next smartphone. For the first time ever, all three G7 models are going to be available unlocked; previously, some G series variants were available only from specific wireless carriers. That means you've got a choice of which G7 to buy.
But which one of the three phones should you choose? While none of the G7 models are available just yet, we've gone hands on with the Moto G7 and Moto G7 Power to get an idea of how the phones are different and which features are the same.
Moto G7 Specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Moto G7||Moto G7 Power||Moto G7 Play|
|Screen Size (Resolution)||6.2-inch LCD (2270 x 1080)||6.2-inch LCD (1512 x 720)||5.7-inch LCD (1512 x 720)|
|OS||Android 9 Pie||Android 9 Pie||Android 9 Pie|
|Processor||Snapdragon 632||Snapdragon 632||Snapdragon 632|
|Rear Camera||12 MP/5 MP||12 MP||13 MP|
|Front Camera||8 MP||8 MP||8 MP|
|Battery||3,000 mAh||5,000 mAh||3,000 mAh|
|Size||6.1 x 3 x 0.31 inches||6.3 x 3 x 0.37 inches||5.9 x 2.8 x 0.32 inches|
|Weight||6.1 ounces||6.9 ounces||5.3 ounces|
|Color||Ceramic Black, Clear White||Marine Blue||Starry Black, Deep Indigo|
Price and Release Date
Anyone in Brazil or Mexico can already pick up one of the new G7 models. Here in the U.S., though, we're not expecting the phones until this spring. When they do arrive, the G7, G7 Power and G7 Play will all be available unlocked, though the G7 will also be sold through the Google Fi wireless network.
The G7 is the most expensive of the three new models, at $299. That's a $50 premium over the debut price of the Moto G6. For that same $249, you can now pick up a G7 Power and its supersize battery. The G7 Play is the least expensive model, coming in at just under $200.
The Moto G7 is clearly designed for people who want a premium-feeling phone that doesn't carry the accompanying premium price. This model offers a curved glass design with Gorilla Glass 3 encasing the phone. There's a metallic-looking chrome band around the G7, though the band is actually plastic — a design chosen to allow the handset's radios to work without having to use antenna lines on the case.
The G7 Power and G7 Play rely more on plastic for their design as opposed to glass, though we're fans of the Marine Blue finish on the G7 Power.
The G7 Play is the most compact of Moto's new phones, at 5.9 x 2.8 x 0.32 inches. The 6.1 x 3 x 0.31-inch G7 is slightly taller and wider; the G7 Power is the biggest of the three handsets, at 6.3 x 3 x 0.37 in. At just under 7 ounces, the Power is also the heaviest of the G7 models, all the better for housing its giant battery (more on that below).
All three phones feature notches, though the G7 goes about it in a subtler way. That model uses a small teardrop design to house the front camera. The G7 Play and G7 Power use iPhone X-style cutouts to contain both the front camera and earpiece.
The G7 and G7 Power offer matching 6.2-inch displays, though the screen-to-body ratio is slightly higher on the G7 (82.4 percent versus 78.65 percent) due to the different-sized notches. You'll also get full-HD resolution (2270 x 1080) on the G7 as opposed to the G7 Power's 1520 x 720 resolution.
At 5.7 inches, the G7 Play has the smallest screen of Motorola's new trio of handsets; however, it offers the same HD+ resolution as the larger G7 Power.
Some good news if you don't like making big compromises on performance: All the phones in the G7 lineup feature the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 mobile processor, which should be a step up from the Snapdragon 450 that powered last year's Moto G6.
Where you'll find a difference is in how much RAM comes with the new phones. The Moto G7 has the most memory, at 4GB, making this phone the best choice if you want to speedily switch between apps. The G7 Power has 3GB of RAM, while the G7 Play makes do with 2GB.
There's a difference in capacity, too. The G7 Play and G7 Power ship with 32GB of onboard storage, while the G7 doubles that to 64GB. All three phones include microSD slots that let you add up to 512GB of memory.
At least all three G7 models will run on the same version of Android, and since it's Android 9 Pie, you're getting the latest version of Google's mobile OS no matter which phone you buy. All three models will also receive the Android Q update after this year's version of Android is released and rolled out to existing phones.
The Moto G7 will be the device for people who place a premium on mobile photography. It's got a pair of rear cameras — a 12-megapixel main lense aided by a 5-MP depth sensor — while the G7 Power and G7 Play make do with lone rear cameras. (The Power gets a 12-MP shooter, while the Play's camera features a 13-MP lens.)
It's not just hardware, though. The Moto G7's camera software can pull off a few tricks that the other devices in the G7 family can't. A Hi-Res Zoom feature, for example, will turn to post-processing to fill in details in photos when you zoom in on a subject with the G7's cameras.
That's not to say the single cameras on the G7 Play and G7 Power won't be able to pull off some photographic tricks. Both phones will be able to offer depth effects on portrait shots, though they'll be using software instead of an extra lens to handle that trick.
Here's one area where the G7 doesn't feature the best possible spec. Motorola's most expensive G7 runs on a 3,000-mAh battery, which is the same size as the power pack in the G7 Play.
If you want the longest-lasting model, you're going to want the G7 Power, which features a 5,000-mAh battery. We won't be able to see how that translates to longevity until we have a chance to test this model, but for context, 2017's Moto E4 Plus also featured a 5,000-mAh battery; it lasted nearly 15 hours on our battery test.
MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life
Motorola is promising three days of battery life for the G7 Power under normal usage; the phone's Turbo Power charging feature figures to give you 9 hours of battery life after 15 minutes of charging.
Once we've had a chance to thoroughly test all three members of the G7 family, we'll be able to offer more-definitive buying advice . But based on what we've seen so far, it's clear to whom each of the three models will appeal.
If you want the most features you can pack into a phone for less than $300, the Moto G7 is is a stand compared to the other two handsets. It's got the most RAM, the biggest capacity and dual cameras. The G7 also boasts a premium feel despite its midrange price.
Bargain hunters who don't mind a single rear camera and smaller display will find the G7 Play more appealing, since it's a sub-$200 phone that runs on the same processor as its higher-priced sibling. The G7 Power's appeal lies in its 5,000-mAh battery and its promise of multiple days of use between charges.
We'll get an even better sense of how these three phones stack up when the new Moto G7 models arrive later this spring.
Credit: Tom's Guide