The Under 20K Smartphone price segment is getting heated with the launch of Moto G9 Play. We already had devices like Redmi 9, Redmi 9 Prime and POCO M2 at this price segment, but as we all know, these three devices are more or less similar to each other. Then what does Motorola Moto G9 Play bring from its side to stand in the market with these price-to-performance giants? Let’s find it out today in this article. I will be sharing Moto G9 Play Review after using it as my primary device for More than ten days.
Moto G9 Play Full Review
Build and Design
Let’s start with the build and design as that’s the first thing you will experience. Like any other device in this segment, Moto G9 Play is also built entirely from plastic with a glossy back. The device was not very heavy at 200g even after housing a 5000mAh battery. At the front, we had a 6.5-inch HD+ display with the dewdrop notch at the top.
Moving around the device we get a triple camera setup at the back inside a square camera hump with an LED Flash. Just beneath that, we get the Moto Logo which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner was quick and accurate, and I was happy with its performance. At the bottom, we get a Primary microphone, bottom-firing speaker and a Type-C port.
Talking about buttons, on the right side, we have a Google Assistant button at the top, which to be honest, I didn’t use much. Just below that, you get volume rockers which are quite tactile. At last, we get a power button. We have a hybrid sim-slot for two SIM or single sim and a micro SD-card at the left. While at the top we have a 3.5mm headphone jack and secondary mic for noise cancellation.
Display and Speaker
The display on Moto G9 Play is just average. Here we have a 6.5 inch HD+ IPS LCD panel plan with 720 x 1600 pixels resolution and ~269 PPI density. It’s a 60Hz panel but didn’t feel smooth like any other 60Hz display as it had some ghosting issues. Other than that, it’s a big display for media consumption with decent color and contrast. You also get an option to change the color profile between Natural, Boosted, and Saturated.
In the Moto G9 Play, there were various display related features like, Peek Display, which would turn on your display as soon as you pick the device to show time and notifications. Another one was, Attentive display when this feature was turned on, your display would not go dim or to sleep till you were looking at it. These were little and handy features making the user experience fluent.
Talking about the speaker, we have a single bottom-firing speaker with decent output, which is acceptable from the device at this price point. The performance of the earpiece was good, and I didn’t face any issues while on calls.
Moto G9 Play packs a triple camera setup at the back with a 48MP f/1.7 primary camera along with a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor and a 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor. While at the front we have an 8MP f/2.2 shooter. Now, keeping the specs aside, let’s talk about the real-life performance of these optics.
The 48MP primary camera shoots 12MP pixel binned images and images that are surprisingly good considering the device’s price. With camera features like Auto HDR and spot colors, you can take some good looking shots. The camera did an excellent job while handling dynamic range. However, the colors in the images are less processed and come out with natural colors. Also, the video output was better than the competition as it can record up to 1080P at 60fps compared to just 30 on the POCO M2.
Talking about that 2MP depth sensor, it does an excellent job of differentiating between the foreground and background with a decent blur. While I am not a fan of the 2MP macro lens in smartphones, you want to try some macro shots you can through this lens.
The 8MP camera at the front is okay, I would say. You get satisfactory results under optimum lighting conditions. But while doing video calls, the result was not so good. The video was noisy and lacked sharpness.
I would like to point out that Motorola provides good sets of camera features in this budget device like a dedicated Night Mode, which is quite rare in this price category. Other features are cutout mode, which removes your picture’s background as soon as you click them, slow-motion, cinematography, and much more. But, the Camera UI needs some improvement. It looks dated, and you have to dig inside settings to enable 48MP mode. So, I would like to see improvements in the camera UI in the next Moto device, or it can even be done via a Software update.
Performance and Gaming
Moto G9 Play is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC with Adreno 610 GPU. It is an octa-core CPU with 4×2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver cores. It is the latest Qualcomm chip for entry-level devices. We saw the same SoC on Realme 7i, which we reviewed recently. Along with this, we get 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Talking about the benchmarking scores, Moto G9 came up with 315 Single-core scores and 1375 Multi-core scores.
During day-to-day use, I didn’t encounter any significant issues regarding Moto G9 Play’s performance. It was efficiently performing tasks like web browsing, social media surfing, and streaming youtube. The 4GB of RAM was doing a decent job while multi-tasking between the apps and showing some hiccups while opening large apps and games. Devices tend to get warm while playing games, but there are no such issues as overheating.
Talking about gaming performance, you can efficiently run titles like PUBG and COD Mobile. Also, the games run quite smoothly while playing at the default low setting. As soon as you crank up the graphics and increase the frame rate, you will notice lags and stutter. I even tried some video editing with Kinemaster; it was smooth while using layers and cutting and cropping. But I was only able to render the video at 720P. So, the Moto G9 has a good performance but still lacks a bit while looking at the competition.
Battery life and Charging
Moto G9 Play packs a 5000mAh battery. With its HD+ display and not so power-hungry SoC builds at 11nm, Moto G9 did a great job in battery life. The device used to easily last more than one and a half days at a single charge with a screen on time of somewhere around 8 hours. My daily use consists of Youtube streaming and social media surfing and browning the web and taking Zoom classes.
Moto G9 comes with a 20W turbocharger inside the box at the charging front while the device supports 15W quick charge. The device took somewhere around 2 hours and 20 mins to fully charge at 15W.
Software and UI
This is the USP of Moto devices as they come with almost stock android and zero Ads and bloatware and Moto G9 Play is no different. Here we get Android 10 out of the box with an almost stock Android experience. We get a few additional features from Moto like a twist to turn on the camera or a karate chop to trigger the flash. Also talking about updates, I got the November security patch with some bug fixes and improvements.
Though the device runs stock android, the software needs some improvement here and there. The experience was not very fluent, but it’s not a deal-breaker and can be fixed via a software update.
Motorola packs an overall feature sets with the Moto G9 Play. I would easily recommend this device to someone who wants a clean Android experience with no Ads and bloatware. If you are looking for the best battery device under 20K, you should check out the Moto G9 Play. Also, it has one of the best Primary cameras at this price point. Other than that, if you want an FHD+ display, ultra-wide camera, and slightly better performance, then Poco M2 is also a great choice.
Moto G9 Play Review – Pros & Cons
- 48MP f/1.7 Primary Camera
- Stock Android with no Ads and Bloatware
- 5000mAh Large battery
- Lightweight and comfortable to hold in hands
- Overall User experience
- HD+ Display
- Lacks Ultra Wide Camera
- Ghosting in Display