I must admit it’s been a long time since I’ve used a Motorola phone but the brand has held a place in my heart since my teenage years.
Although Motorola still frequently releases phones, this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to check out one of their latest.
I got my hands on the Motorola G30, which really appealed to me on paper as it seemed like an excellent all-rounder for those on a budget.
Overall a slick look
The device comes in two colours – pastel sky (a purple colour) and phantom black. I have the phantom black which in my opinion looks more like a cool oil slick.
It’s black at a glance but at different angles the phone shines green and purple. Although the phone is only made out of plastic I really love how this looks and the back has a matte finish which repels fingerprints extremely well.
As you start up the phone, I was surprised to hear that the device still says its catchphrase “Hello Moto” which was delightfully nostalgic.
The screen, however, also gave me a not-so-fun nostalgic feel with its 720×1600 pixel resolution. I am being really fussy here but it’s a lower resolution screen that I’m no longer used to, and I have such attention to detail that I can’t help but notice that the edges around the app icons are a bit rough.
It has a solid 90Hz refresh rate though (meaning scrolling is smooth and swiping is snappy) but its year-old processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 – sometimes lets it down a bit.
On the upside, there are some great basic features.
It has a face unlock and fingerprint scanner, a dedicated button for your Google Assistant, a 5000mAh battery (which easily lasts a day or more), the huge 6.5” screen, and the device has a ‘water-repellent’ design so it should survive a splash, small accidental spill or light rain (but can’t be submerged in water so it’s not waterproof).
Motorola has also included some really creative gesture controls in this device, which I loved using.
For example, hold three fingers on screen to take a screenshot, twist your wrist back and forth twice (while holding the phone) to open the camera app, or shake the phone twice in a chopping motion to turn the flashlight on or off.
You can even activate a split-screen mode by swiping back and forth on the middle of your screen to begin using two apps simultaneously (such as texting and watching YouTube at the same time).
The phone is equipped with a whopping 64MP back camera, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP Macro, 2MP depth and 13MP front-facing wide angle camera.
Plenty of great options here although this phone’s cameras are a little strange.
When you go to take a photo, the previewed image that you see on screen before you actually take a photo looks as though the camera will produce a subpar image. But, once the photo has been taken, the final product that appears in your album is often quite sharp, well lit and colourful.
Overall, I’d rate the photo and video quality as decent, with the occasional slightly blurred photo – even when I thought I was holding the phone still. That being said – if you generally only use your phone’s camera to take photos on holiday or at a family gathering, it will do the job nicely.
Who’s it good for?
This is the perfect phone for people who toss their phone into their bag from across the room on their way to work, text all day, play a couple of games on their lunch break, scroll through social media for hours or watch YouTube videos on the commute.
For the clumsy teen, the busy tradie, the grandparents or anyone who just needs ‘a decent phone’ that can be replaced for barely double the price of your average phone screen repair, it’s great!
These users won’t care about the slightly lower resolution screen, won’t be bothered by not having the best cameras on the market, or a phone made from plastic rather than premium glass.
The phone has a kind of charm to it, which gives a back to basics feel while simultaneously including the best basic features that people expect from a smartphone.
If you want a robust all-rounder, for $299, you can’t go past it.