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Motorola moto G9 power review: A reliable phone with mind-blowing battery life

The Independent
The Independent
 26 days ago

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Motorola fills us with warm, techie emotions. We still consider the original Motorola razr to be the pinnacle of phone aesthetics.

Smartphones might have revolutionised what we use our handsets for, and might still be developing at a rapid pace (foldable screens, anyone?), but throw us that flip phone, and we’ll be happy. For a few minutes of intense nostalgia, anyway.

Unlike our tastes, the brand has moved into the modern world seamlessly, with a wide range of smartphones for most budgets. One that occupies the middle of the road is the moto G9 power, a sub-£200 smartphone with promising specs for the price, and one major advantage: a frankly outrageous 6000mAh battery that promises up to 60 hours of life.

With that sort of lasting power, the G9 should be firmly on your list of considerations for your budget. However, do the rest of the phone’s features live up to this impressive juice?

How we tested

We approached the G9 the same way we would with any smartphone, judging its performance regarding processing power and speed, gaming capability, sound, screen, connectivity and battery life.

We also focused on the G9’s general feel – did it give the impression of being a premium phone? How did it feel in the hand? One major question remained in our minds throughout: is it a handset that we could see ourselves using for a prolonged period?

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Motorola moto G9 power

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Buy now £179, Bt.com

Rating: 8/10

  • Dimensions: 172.14 x 76.79 x 9.66mm
  • Display: 6.8in display, 720x1640
  • Weight: 221g
  • Battery: 6000mAh, up to 60 hours battery life
  • Chipset: Qualcomm snapdragon 662 mobile processor
  • Camera: 64MP rear triple camera, 16MP front camera

Design

No surprises in the shape of the G9. In fact, it’s rather chunky for a smartphone in 2021, coming in at 221g, due to the large screen and even larger battery. It certainly could be slimmer and lighter, and does feel a little cumbersome in the hand when we’re used to ever slimmer handsets. While you might not need deep pockets to afford the G9, you’ll need them to carry it without it poking out of the top of your jeans like an Alcatraz escapee. All this does mean that the G9 feels sturdier, and capable of taking a few heart-stopping drops.

The back of the phone offers a pleasing textured effect, infinitely preferable to the grease-magnet cases of previous phones in the “power” range. The G9 is a simple phone, but one that owns this, with subtle colour schemes containing just enough gloss to give off a more premium look. The fingerprint sensor is nicely indented in the back, with the nostalgia-inducing Motorola logo making an appearance here.

Read more: 10 best tablets from Apple, Android and more

Phones at this price usually come down to little additions that you wouldn’t necessarily think of. One such addition of note is the options of choosing your home search engine, a refreshing move in the era of Google – especially as the G9 runs on Android. Fingerprint security is also available, which isn’t always a given at this price, and the still relatively-novel moto gesture navigation doesn’t take long to get used to. It’s pretty intuitive and genuinely useful in some instances, although we struggled on apps such as YouTube without a visible “back” button.

Performance

The takeaway word for the G9 is “solid”. It’ll do a good job for you in most situations, with clean, simple software and ease of use. However, the winning aspect of the phone is something under the hood.  The “power” in the name comes from the aforementioned 6000mAh battery, comfortably one of the biggest batteries in a phone at this price and above. To get 60 hours of life out of a smartphone is ludicrous, but that’s what you get: a weekend without needing a charge is the stuff of dreams, made reality here.

The general performance is one to be expected at this price point. The 60Hz LCD screen is vibrant enough for video and gaming, but the resolution – 720 x 1640 – is disappointing for the cost, and might put some more dedicated gamers off the purchase. Full HD is now attainable elsewhere below £200, providing a marked improvement on the clarity shown here. Despite this, the snapdragon 662 chipset is decent at this price and will deal with most mobile games.

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The rear cameras perform well in good lighting, and the macro setting produces decent close-up shots, but limited features and slow reactions to shots on the move let the set-up down somewhat. The front camera is much of the same, producing perfectly good selfies for this level of smartphone.

It’s a similar story with sound quality, which does the job when watching videos or listening to audio, but retains a slightly tinny element, and is very much mono when in landscape, due to the speaker at the bottom of the phone. All of this, however, is mitigated by the remarkable size and life of the battery. For those who need a simple phone that lasts for days at a time, this is top of the tree.

The verdict: Motorola moto G9 power

This phone is a laster. Up to 60 hours of battery life is seriously impressive, especially in the context of both low price and decent specs. While the G9 power doesn’t have the flip phone thrill of the razr, its moto approach is one of reliable performance that continues to impress.

There are slight flaws to the G9 power: the camera leaves a little to be desired, the display isn’t as good as some others in the same bracket, and the sound struggles to make it past “tinny”. However, as a budget smartphone that’ll perform everyday tasks, while lasting you the weekend without the need of a plug or portable charger, the moto G9 power is pretty much unbeatable.

Buy now £179.00, Bt.com

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Want more from Motorola? Here’s our review of the moto G50 smartphone – but does it deliver for under £200?

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