Moto G Pure Review: For What iIt’s Worth | Digital Trends

At night, the camera is borderline unusable. Photos lack focus and any kind of definition. Highlights are blown out, dark colors are a mess. This is the same for video as well. Speaking of video, day video capture is better but there is zero stabilization in either the main camera or selfie camera. If you’re walking and shooting video, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

One other high point on the camera comes in the form of a feature called “spot color.” This mode allows you to select a single color in the frame and turn the rest of the photo into black and white. It’s a pretty neat effect and one that I had quite a bit of fun with. My only qualm with the effect is the fact that it requires two hands to use. While holding the phone on your subject, you need to tap on the screen to pick the color you want to keep. Once you do, the camera will show you in real-time what your photo will look like.

The Moto G Pure has a textured backplate.

None of this is particularly surprising considering the price point of the phone. In fact, the only surprising points are the pleasant surprise in the daytime performance and the spot color effect. Cameras that come on $160 phones are almost entirely dependent on the light you have available and the Moto G Pure is no exception.

Pricing and availability

The Moto G Pure will hit the market at $160 available for preorder starting October 14. The phone can be purchased from Best Buy, Walmart, B&H Photo, Amazon, and directly from Motorola. Verizon will also carry the phone exclusively until later this year when T-Mobile and Metro are expected to offer it as well.

Our take

This phone feels more like a Moto E, except it borrows from the Moto G series with the larger screen, fingerprint sensor, and decent camera. Make no mistake though, this is a budget phone with all the compromises you can expect like laggy performance, slow launching apps, and a camera that only takes good photos in good light. This year is a special one in that it’s almost difficult to buy a bad phone. This is not a bad phone. But it is by no means a good phone either.

But there are some pleasant surprises here, which is about all you can realistically ask for when you’re paying $160 for a smartphone. It won’t be a beast, it won’t be a champ. It does take some decent photos and last a really long time between charges. Sometimes that’s good enough.

Is there a better alternative?

There is no shortage of smartphones that can be had for under $100, many of them Motorola’s own devices. As I mentioned above, it’s actually hard to find a phone that is bad in 2021, and those sub-$100 phones are no exception. Also noteworthy is the new Nokia G300, which is HMD’s cheapest 5G phone at $199. We haven’t tested it yet, but that’s a compelling price for 5G connectivity.

How long will it last?

Motorola has a history of building tough phones and provides the standard one-year warranty, which is good. But Motorola also has a history of poor software support, which is not good. You’ll get Android 12 on this phone, but that’s it. Security updates will stop after two years in 2023.

Should you buy it?

No. While this is the cheapest Moto phone you can buy, Motorola and HMD have options that include a larger battery and even 5G connectivity. While the camera is a nice surprise on this phone, it’s not enough to justify the relatively high price tag this phone commands. A few extra dollars will get you even more functionality within the Moto G line, to say nothing of less expensive phones from other OEMs.

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