Motorola’s productive release schedule over the past few years has been marked by ups and downs. With a few notable exceptions, such as the advanced Razr 5G, the company’s best phones tend to be the cheapest, and the $ 159.99 Moto G Pure is no exception. What sets the Moto G Pure apart from other cheap phones is its simplicity: Motorola focuses on getting the basics right here, and it does. With a vibrant display, strong battery life and solid performance for the price, the Moto G Pure is one of the best budget-friendly phones we have tested this year.
A simple, straightforward design
Moto G Pure has a discreet and usable design. It has a textured blue back panel that feels nice to the touch and does not easily scratch or collect stains. The phone measures 6.6 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.6 ounces; it is well balanced and easy to hold in one hand.
A 6.5-inch, 1,600 x 720 pixel LCD is interrupted by an oblique notch at the top of the selfie camera with a prominent frame at the bottom. The screen is light and sharp with excellent color accuracy, but you will notice some pixelation due to its relatively low resolution. That said, unless you really hold the screen right up to your face and take a closer look at it, that’s fine. Viewing angles are good, but the lack of anti-reflective coating means it’s best to look at the screen head.
The top of the phone is home to a headphone jack and a microphone, while a speaker, USB-C charging port and other microphone are located at the bottom edge. There is a SIM / microSD slot on the left, while a volume selector and a structured power button are on the right. The buttons are small but easy to recognize by touch and have a satisfying click.
On the back of the phone sits a sleek camera stack in the top left corner. A fingerprint sensor with the Motorola logo is also centered on the back; it is fast, accurate and easy to reach, even with small hands.
The screen is made of reinforced glass and must withstand scratches and minor scratches without any problems. G Pure’s durable plastic housing and chassis must also withstand everyday hardships. And although the handset does not have an IP rating (which is not common in this price range), it is resistant to splashes.
Fast LTE, sharp calls, okay speaker
Moto G Pure is available unlocked and through many conveyors. The unlocked version works on all major US carriers and has broad LTE support. If you buy the phone from an operator, it may be locked or may not be fully connected to other networks.
We tested G Pure on Verizon’s LTE network and recorded impressive results with an average speed of 97.7 Mbps down and 57.6 Mbps up. However, it does not have 5G. If 5G is important to you and you are not worried about super-fast mmWave speeds, the $ 279.99 Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is a better bet.
The call quality is solid. Maximum volume for earphones clocks in at 85dB, which is loud enough to carry on a conversation on a busy street. Test calls were clear and noise reduction worked well even in strong winds.
Dual-band Wi-Fi is on board, as is Bluetooth 5.0 for audio and portable connectivity. NFC is missing, but it is not expected at this price.
In short, the bottom speaker is fine for calling and scrolling through TikTok, but you’ll probably want to use a pair of headphones to listen to your Spotify playlist. The volume increases at 88dB and is high enough to fill a room, but it is not very impressive.
No inflated camera stack here
Moto G Pure has a 13MP primary camera sensor with an f / 2.2 aperture along with a 2MP depth lens for portrait function and bokeh. The phone’s front facing camera uses a 5MP sensor.
The rear camera’s performance is admirable in good light. Test images show excellent depth of field and color accuracy. Wallpapers are a bit soft, but you probably won’t notice it unless you examine full size photos. Portrait function struggles with fine details such as shoulder contours and hair tips.
Low light performance with the rear sensor is decent, but the depth of field is a bit low and the colors are muted. Noise correction is also excessively aggressive; it makes background details muddy and blurs details around glasses and other small objects in the foreground.
In good light, the front-facing camera produces solid images. Color accuracy is spot-on and details in the foreground are sharp. That said, the depth of field is low and it struggles to preserve some fine detail. Not surprisingly, the selfie camera fights in low light. The images are flat and blurry with prominent spheres and artifacts.
In the end, the cameras are what you would expect at this price; they are not incredible, but they work great for social media. If you’re a smartphone shutter release who wants to take great pictures in just about any lighting scenario, you’ll pay a lot more for a phone like the $ 449 Google Pixel 5a With 5G.
Excels at basic tasks
A MediaTek Hello 625 chipset and 3 GB of RAM drives the Moto G Pure. It has only 32 GB of storage space, of which 21 GB is available out of the box. You can add up to an additional 512 GB of storage space via the microSD card slot.
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The performance is excellent for an entry-level phone. G Pure excels at basic multitasking, though I did notice a bit of a lag when I opened apps and swiped between screens. Caching is also present when multiple browser tabs are open, but these disagreements are by no means deal-breakers.
That said, the G Pure is not a gaming phone. If you’re just playing Candy Crush or Words With Friends on your morning commute, that’s fine. But if you want to play PUBG: Mobile or Genshin Impact, this is not the phone for you.
At Geekbench, a benchmark that quantifies raw performance, the G Pure scored 133 single-core (SC) and 489 multi-core (MC). By comparison, the $ 169.99 Moto G Play delivered 255 SC and 1,269 MC, while the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G managed 501 SC and 1,678 MC. That said, benchmarks are not always an accurate indicator of how a phone will work for everyday tasks. We found that G Pure generally felt snapper compared to G Play.
G Pure has a 4,000 mAh battery. In our battery drain test, which streams HD video over Wi-Fi, it lasted 12 hours and 9 minutes, which should be enough to get most people through the day with no problems. It certainly can not be compared to Moto G Play (18 hours, 42 minutes) or even Samsung Galaxy A32 5G (13 hours, 1 minute), but it is still a respectable result. If you find your battery creeping into the red zone, be prepared to hang out while topping the phone as G Pure does not support fast charging.
Android 11 with a few tweaks
Moto G Pure runs Android 11 along with Motorola’s updated My UX interface. Motorola uses a light hand for its software overlay and adds motion and customization features to what is essentially stock Android.
Moto Actions is one of My UX’s best features, so you can use fast movements for some common tasks. For example, you can flick your wrist twice while holding the phone to turn on the flashlight, or tap the three-finger display to take a screenshot.
G Pure will receive two years of regular security fixes and eventually get an upgrade to Android 12. This time frame is not as generous as the two-three-year upgrade policy you get with most of Samsung’s A-Series phones, but it’s fine for the price.
A first-class entry-level phone
Solid performance, good battery life, a bright display and a durable construction make the Moto G Pure one of the better entry-level phones on the market. That said, Motorola has mastered the phone for under $ 200, and you have several choices in this price range with slightly different specifications and features, so it’s important to choose the one that suits you best. For Android 12, USB-C charging and a large display, the $ 159.99 Moto G Pure is way ahead. For the best battery life, the $ 169.99 Moto G Play has the edge. And if you’re just looking for the most affordable solution, we recommend the $ 149.99 Moto e, our Editors’ Choice winner for affordable phones. On the flip side, if you’re willing to look beyond Motorola and spend a little more, the $ 279.99 Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is a worthy upgrade that offers 5G connectivity, faster hardware, a more generous upgrade policy, and better cameras that it earns our Editors’ Choice award for a slightly higher price range.