There was a time when Moto G was synonymous with good and cheap cell phones. Without spending so much money, you had the essentials in the palm of your hand: it wasn’t the most powerful hardware, the brightest screen or the most amazing camera, but it served a good part of consumers. Ten generations later, the Moto G line became a boat that houses all segments. The Moto G100 is the most complete (and expensive) of the new phase.
With Snapdragon 870, 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of space, 5G connection and a lot of cameras, the Moto G100 wants to win over those looking for a big engine, but are not keen to spend money on premium finishes or infinite megapixels. Is it worth it? I have tested the Moto G100 in the past few weeks and I will share my impressions below.
Video review of the Moto G100
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The Moto G100 was provided by Motorola on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica
Design and canvas
Despite costing R $ 3,999 at launch, the Moto G100 has the same design that you would expect from a simpler phone, two thousand reais. It is all built in plastic, has compact edges but not so much around the screen and does not carry any IP certification for water resistance. This does not mean that the device looks cheap or is ugly; the blue back with purple accents pleased me a lot. However, it is clear that to cut the price, Motorola cut out superfluous details.
Where else would it be possible to cut costs? On the screen, of course, the most expensive piece of all. The 6.7-inch panel with Full HD + resolution and 90 Hz refresh rate is not disappointing, thanks to the strong brightness, great definition and satisfactory contrast, within the limits of the LCD. The problem is just that: as good as an LCD is, it will never achieve the contrast of an AMOLED, which makes a difference for those who have had contact with a superior quality screen, something common in this price range.
On the other hand, the Moto G100 gets it right in detail that some ultra-smart smartphones are missing. The headphone jack remains here at the standard 3.5 mm, the curves at the rear and the smaller width make the grip more ergonomic and, of course, the charger is included in the box. Motorola even sends a case, very simple, but enough to protect the device during a fall.
The Moto G100 runs Android 11 with the same clean interface that comes with other Motorola devices. The extra features are concentrated in the Moto app, which allows you to configure gestures to open the camera, change the background or activate audio effects. The big news is Ready For, a Motorola platform similar to the Samsung DeX that allows you to use your phone on a large screen.
With the help of a USB-C to HDMI cable, you can connect the Moto G100 to a monitor or TV. A traditional desktop interface, with floating windows on a desktop, immediately appears on the big screen. Not all Android apps are adapted for this mode, but the situation is much better than it was three or four years ago, when the feature first came out in the competition.
I liked Motorola’s implementation for showing, right off the bat, what Ready For is capable of: besides breaking the branch when you’re without a computer nearby, it can turn your old TV into a smart TV, make calls on video using the rear camera and serve as a game center. If you don’t have a mouse nearby, no problem: the screen itself works as a trackpad. All that was needed was a wireless mode, to transmit the image on the big screen without requiring a cable.
Something difficult to swallow is Motorola’s update policy, which has gone from one of the best on the market to one of the worst in a few years. As a rule, the company promised two new versions of Android for the most expensive devices, which was little considering that Samsung has been guaranteeing three generations even in middlemen. But the Moto G100 only has promise until Android 12. And it’s good not to complain, because the Moto G10 will die on Android 11 anyway.
Obviously, there is no plausible reason to believe that a phone with Snapdragon 870 and 12 GB of RAM is unable to receive at least two major Android updates, especially considering that Samsung and Nokia offer three years on simpler devices. And Motorola’s security patch policy also doesn’t help get that bad taste out of your mouth: the support time of just two years, while competitors offer up to four, is very little.
In terms of lenses, the Moto G100 does not disappoint: there are two at the front and three at the back. To take selfies, you can choose either the standard or ultrawide camera, which fits the background better. At the rear, we have a main camera of 64 megapixels, a depth sensor and an ultrawide that also serves as a macro. The fourth circle, which looks like another sensor, is actually a laser autofocus.
In good lighting conditions, the Moto G100 takes quality photos with the main camera, showing decent dynamic range, low noise and balanced colors, with a small gain in saturation just to keep the image from dull. The wide-angle lens suffers a little with chromatic aberration, but the problem must go unnoticed with the resolution and compression typical of social networks.
The macro camera, which was never a strong point at Motorola, is good on the Moto G100, as the 16 megapixel sensor can capture good details and has great dynamic range, solving a critical problem with the brand’s old 2 megapixel sensors. It can focus on short distances and is aided by the ring around the lens, which lights up like a ring light, which is a great catch.
The night mode, which I criticized on previous Motorola phones, seems to have been recalibrated on the Moto G100 and I liked it more, since the lighting is a little more natural, without the old light show. Anyone who wants an even clearer image can touch a button after taking the photo. The noise is appearing with greater intensity, but until it is controlled for a cell phone without great photographic pretensions.
Selfies have satisfactory quality in the standard frame, with good definition and correct colors. The crop in portrait mode is not the most convincing, especially considering that we are talking about a dual camera, but it passes the year. And the wide-angle lens breaks the branch, and can be useful for capturing a group of friends (when the pandemic is over!), But not impressed by the sharpness.
Hardware and battery
The Moto G100 is all about power and does not make a mistake in its main feature. The Snapdragon 870, which is a turbocharged version of the Snapdragon 865 Plus, is Qualcomm’s second most powerful processor, second only to the Snapdragon 888, present in ultra-thin cell phones. This chip would already be unusual in a Moto G, but it still comes with 12 GB of RAM, an exaggeration of memory that not even the Galaxy S21 + has.
Performance is what you would expect from a high-end phone. The 90 Hz screen helps in the feeling of fluidity in everyday life, while the Adreno 650 graphics chip can handle any game with graphics at maximum and constant frame rate. I didn’t face any signs of choking on multitasking, and the 256 GB of space is enough for most people. If not for you, that’s fine: the Moto G100 has not abandoned its origins and still has a memory card slot.
The 5,000 mAh battery, a number that has become standard at Motorola, can handle the powerful hardware of the Moto G100. In the quarantine pattern, with three hours of Netflix, one hour of browsing and half an hour of Asphalt 9, always with maximum brightness and connected to Wi-Fi, the charge went from 100% to 52%, a result slightly lower than the Motorola Edge +, but that should not let you down.
The hardware set is completed by a fast fingerprint reader on the side, an NFC chip for making payments with Google Pay and a 5G modem, which leaves the Moto G100 ready for the future, supporting both the 5G DSS currently in operation in major cities as the future 5G 3.5 GHz, which will still be auctioned by Anatel.
The Moto G100’s proposal is clear: to offer the most power for the least amount possible. The launch price of R $ 3,999 is not low, but it fulfills the promise of the giant specifications, which is clear when we see what the competition offers in the same range: the Galaxy A72, for example, landed for R $ 3,799, two hundred less, with a much lower processor, half the RAM, half the storage and nothing 5G.
But it is obvious that Motorola made several sacrifices in the rest of the device. The design is the same as you would have on a half-price phone, with no water resistance. The cameras do not look bad, but they are nothing impressive and are noticeably inferior to the tops of lines found at lower prices, such as the Galaxy S20 +. But, for me, the screen is the most affected point: although the definition is good, it is easy to find a good quality AMOLED in the same segment.
The Moto G100 follows the recipe of Chinese brands, such as Poco, and has top-of-the-line performance without being top-of-the-line. It is even more powerful than Motorola’s most expensive smartphone, the Edge +, which was launched at twice the price. Together with a battery that lasts, a 90 Hz screen and connectivity to spare, it is the perfect phone for gamers and people who like to have the best hardware possible, but don’t care much about the camera or design.
The only detail that clashes with this proposal is the lack of a good update policy on a device that would have all the conditions to receive new versions of Android for a long time. But if all you want is a big engine, this could be the ideal smartphone.
Motorola Moto G100
- 5,000 mAh battery lasts a long time
- Flawless performance in the price range
- Ready for 5G and already compatible with DSS
- It is worth mentioning: Snapdragon 870, 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of space
- No water protection
- Poor update policy for a cell phone in this category
- If the screen was better …
- Screen: 6.7-inch LTPS LCD with Full HD + resolution (2520 × 1080 pixels), HDR10 and 90 Hz refresh rate;
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 octa-core up to 3.2 GHz and Adreno 650 GPU;
- RAM: 12 GB;
- Internal storage: 256 GB (with microSD expansion of up to 1 TB);
- Front cameras:
- Main: 16 megapixel (f / 2.2) with 73 degree field of view;
- Ultrawide: 8 megapixels (f / 2.4) with 118 degree field of view;
- 1080p video recording at 30 fps;
- Rear cameras:
- Main: 64 megapixel (f / 1.7) with a 79 degree field of view;
- Ultrawide and macro: 16 megapixels (f / 2.2) with 117 degree field of view;
- Depth: 2 megapixels (f / 2.4) with 83 degree field of view;
- 6K video recording at 30 fps;
- Battery: 5,000 mAh with 20-watt TurboPower fast charge;
- Connectivity: 5G DSS, 5G sub-6, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac / ax, NFC and 3.5 mm headphone jack;
- Dimensions: 168.4x74x9.7 mm;
- Weight: 207 grams.