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Moto G22 Review: A performance lapse!

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The budget smartphone segment is growing rapidly and most of the manufacturers are betting on offering more features at a lower cost. One such company is Motorola. For some time now, Motorola has been involved in the competition to launch smartphones faster. Some new handsets have been added to its Moto G series, one of which is also Moto G22.

This recently launched smartphone claims to offer a lot on-paper. It also includes 50MP quad cameras, 5000mAh battery and 90Hz display. The price of the phone is Rs 10,999 and it Realme C31 (Review) and Redmi 10 Prime (Review) like smartphones. For those who want more features in the budget segment, this phone has a lot to offer, but is its performance equally good? Let’s find out.

Moto G22 price and variants

Moto G22 Comes in a single variant in India in which the company has given 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Officially the price of the phone has been kept at Rs 10,999 but I have also seen it listed on Flipkart and Motorola’s own online store for Rs 9,999.

Design of Moto G22

The styles of smartphones in the budget segment have changed now. Now more premium design and build is seen in this segment. Talking about the Moto G22, its back panel is made of plastic which looks quite attractive. Especially liked its cosmic blue color which I had with me. The phone is also available in Iceberg Blue and Mint Green colours, which looks quite good in the photo.

Instead of the typical design of Motorola’s curved back panel, it has a flat design as we get to see in the iPhone 12. Fingerprints fall on the phone but are more visible only when viewed from a particular angle. The phone feels good in the hand and the edges are not sharp, so the phone remains comfortable in the hand even when used without a protective case.

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The quad camera setup in its rear has a slightly different finish from the rest of the back panel. It has a metallic texture but it seems to blend well with the entire body design, at least in the black variant. The camera module protrudes slightly from the panel, due to which the phone is not stable when kept on a flat place.

The phone has a tall display with a hole-punch cutout for the front camera. The bezels are quite thin on the sides but in the top portion it eats up some part of the screen. The bottom chin is also a bit thick. The phone is light in size and weighs 185 grams. The weight is well balanced and there is no problem in using it with one hand.

Its power button and volume rocker are on the right side. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. In the bottom part, you get USB Type C port, speaker grill and primary microphone. The SIM tray is located on the left side of the phone, which has space for two nano SIMs and a microSD card of up to 1TB. In the box you get a protective case and TurboPower 20W charger.

Moto G22 Specifications and Software

The MediaTek Helio G37 SoC has been given in the Moto G22 which is based on the 12nm fabrication process. It is an octa-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz. There is also an IMG PowerVR GE8320 GPU with a maximum frequency of 680MHz. It supports 90Hz refresh rate which is used well by its 6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD display. ,

For connectivity, it has support for dual band Wi-Fi ac, 4G LTE, GPS / A-GPS, and Bluetooth 5. The device does not have an official IP rating, but the company says that it has a water-resistant coating, so that the phone cannot be easily damaged in light splashes. The device packs a 5,000mAh battery with 20W charging feature.

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Motorola is known for its near stock Android software and the same applies to the Moto G22. The device comes out-of-the-box with Android 12, which is not seen much in this price segment. The June 2022 security patch was given in my review unit. The company promises three years of security updates for the phone.

The Moto G22 comes with bloatware in the form of apps like Josh and Dailyhunt, but you can also block them from being installed during setup. Inspired by Xiaomi and Realme, Motorola has also brought the Glance wallpaper feature but it can also be disabled from the Settings app.

I’ve always loved a clean user interface (UI) experience and with the Moto G22 that’s all possible. You can navigate easily throughout the UI and it is very easy to find anything. The home screen and lock screen can also be customized with Theme Engine. This allows the widgets and app icons to pick up the theme color of the wallpaper which looks great and blends into the UI.

Motorola smartphones are known for their classic gestures that feature a karate chop action – with the help of which the flashlight can be activated. Screenshots can be taken with the help of three finger gestures and the camera can be launched with the help of twist gestures. You don’t get a dedicated Gallery app on the Moto G22, so you’ll have to either use the Google Photos app or download a third party app.

Moto G22 performance and battery life

Both the fingerprint scanner and facial recognition options have been given for phone security in the Moto G22. The fingerprint scanner is placed inside the power button, which is easy to access. The fingerprint scanner successfully unlocked the phone every time but it was taking a while. The tactile feedback of the phone’s buttons was good. Face Recognition was never working even if the light was full enough. Even after recognizing the face, the phone took several seconds to unlock.

The Mediatek Helio G37 SoC is an energy efficient chip but despite the light and slim UI of the Moto G22, it was not able to handle simple tasks well. Apps like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were also running lightly. Even after setting the display to 90Hz, it didn’t get the smooth scrolling experience I would have liked.

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Multitasking and switching between apps also seemed like a heavy task for the phone. At times even unlocking the phone seemed like a headache as apps and widgets were taking a long time to appear on the home screen. During the review, the back panel of the phone started feeling slightly warm after using even basic apps like Instagram for 15 minutes.

Talking about the benchmark scores, the phone scored only 114,222 points on AnTuTu. It scored 170 and 955 points in Geekbench’s single and multi-core respectively. The phone only scored 5.6fps in GFXBench’s Car Chasing test and only 5,683 in the PCMark Work 3.0 test. These scores were much below average and I expected more. The Realme C31 phone available at the same price with the Unisoc T612 SoC brings better scores.

Although the phone is not made for gaming, I tested some heavy and light games in it to find out the phone’s capability. In this, Legends Mobile and BGMI could not be played even at lower settings, which was not surprising. Call of Duty: Mobile ran fine on low settings. Asphalt 9: Legends was locked on performance mode and the game ran fine. The Moto G22 was able to handle lite games like Temple Run and Subway Surfers with ease.

High resolution is not available in the phone but it is available as much as the rest of the devices in this price range. It has 720×1600 pixels display. Each app icon seemed to have low resolution around the corners and text. Colors look balanced on the display and watching movies and TV shows on it was a great experience.

There was no visible shift in colors when viewing the content from different angles. The display has Widevine L1 certification but Netflix did not appear to support it. Even on Amazon Prime Video, I was able to watch movies in 1080p resolution only. There is an option to choose between saturated and natural for colors. The speaker quality of the phone is decent.

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With a bit of gaming and streaming a few movies, its battery lasts for a little over a day. In our HD video loop test, the phone lasted for 20 hours and 10 minutes, which is quite impressive. With the included 20W TurboPower charger, it was charging 36 percent in half an hour and 59 percent in an hour. It took 2 hours for the phone to be fully charged.

Camera of Moto G22

Quad camera setup has been given in the phone. Camera module of Moto G22 includes 50-megapixel primary camera with f/1.8 aperture, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture with 118-degree field of view, 2-megapixel depth camera with f/2.4 aperture. With aperture and 2-megapixel macro camera with f/2.4 aperture is provided.

On the front, there is a 16-megapixel camera with f/2.45 aperture. The camera interface is straightforward and clean. You have all the necessary shooting modes and settings within reach. It also has a dual capture mode for photos and videos, which is also useful. Various types of filters and beauty modes are also given. However, the camera app crashed several times while using it, especially when switching between modes in the UI.

The primary camera captures photos of 9.4 megapixels by default. In the settings, you also get the option to select in 6 megapixels or higher resolution. Photos taken from the phone looked good from above, but on zooming, there was a lack of enough details. One thing that I really liked about the primary camera was that it kept the colors consistently neutral, which leaves a lot of room for experimentation in editing.

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The main camera was cropping the photo too much for my liking. With the ultra wide angle camera, the details in the photo were reduced significantly and cool tones started appearing in the image. However, there was very little distortion at the edges, which is a good thing.

Macro photos were average as it lacked details due to the low resolution lens. Portrait shots looked good and the phone was able to lock focus quickly. The camera app also gives you the option to choose the blur level before shooting.

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The main camera of the phone took average photos in low light. There was a lot of noise in most of the low light photos. The details were fine in the ultra wide angle camera but the photo was just usable. In Night Vision mode, the photo became brighter but the noise increased in some parts.

The details in the photos taken with the front camera were good. In the selfie, the camera was overexposing the photo background to the light coming from behind. Portrait shots did not turn out well every time as the camera was missing the blur level several times. Selfies taken at night were of below average quality.

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The Moto G22 can shoot 1080p and 720p videos in 30fps. In daylight, the video recorded simple and details were scant. Grains were visible even in adequate light and stabilization was lacking. There was a lot of noise in the video captured in low-light. You can record video with the ultrawide camera but cannot switch to another camera while recording.

Conclusion

The Moto G22 grabs a bit of attention with its quad cameras and design. Its near stock Android experience and the promise of three years of security updates make it different from other devices in this price segment. The 5,000mAh battery is quite useful and the 20W charger on it is a bonus. 90Hz refresh rate and Android 12 are also its positive points.

Unfortunately, all these features don’t make up for its poor performance. Moto G22 does not give smooth experience in everyday use, the phone seems to get stuck even in basic tasks. If the company had focused on giving a smoother Android experience instead of offering quad cameras in it, then this device could have been a recommendable phone in this price segment.

If you want something in its option then Realme C31 and Redmi 10 Prime are good options. If clean software is your priority, then you can also take a look at the Nokia G21.


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