The Moto G series of Android phones has often been considered the best bang for your buck when it comes to budget friendly smartphones. The 2022 version of the Moto G Power steps things up with a 50Mp (kind of) camera, and a new texture on the case's plastic, as well as a different layout of the cameras on the back. We've also got a storage bump with the 64Gb on the low end and a 128gb option for $50 more. The 3 day battery life is the big seller on the Moto G Power series though, and that's a huge advantage over those iPhone users that we often see begging for power outlets at the restaurants.
What's in the Box
The included accessories for the Moto G 2022 is minimal as usual these days, but not so minimal that it doesn't include a charger, thank goodness. You'll also get a SIM card tray removal tool.
We're going to start with talking about the battery on the Moto G Power 2022 because that's the big stand out feature. The 5,000mAh battery will get 2-5 days of battery life. My first charge only got about 2 days probably because it was installing a lot of apps. Subsequent charges lasted a lot longer, but the usage was less as well. This is similar to the Moto G7 Power, though I think it's a bit less than the battery life of that model.
I like to complain about non-removable batteries on phones since the ones that are removable are so easy to simply pop-out and pop-in a fresh one to keep the phone going for the rest of the day. With the Moto G Power 2022, I can kind of forgive the non-removable battery, except for the fact that I've seen numerous Moto G Power phones with expanding batteries that push the back open and cause cracks on the sides; something that would be easily fixed with a user-replacable battery, but will destroy the entire phone when it's glued inside the plastic. Will that happen with this model after a year or two? We don't know, but you probably won't be able to inexpensively fix it if it does.
The Moto G Power 2022 has a MediaTek Helio G37 processor with 4Gb of RAM and
64gb or 128Gb of built in storage. There's a MicroSD card slot for upgrading the
storage up to 512Gb. The dimensions of the phone are 167.24 x 76.54 x
9.36cm and it weights 203g. The screen is a 6.5" HD+ 1600x720 pixel IPS TFT LCD
display with 269ppi and a 90Hz refresh rate. There's a 5000mAh battery
that supports 10W charging. For water resistance, it has an IP52 rating.
The phone radios support 4G LTE Cat 13, UMTS/HSPA+ 3G and GSM/EDGE 2G on the
following bands: AT&T/Cricket:
4G: LTE band 2/4/5/12/13/14/30/66/29 | 3G: WCDMA band 1/2/4/5/8 | 2G: GSM band 2/3/5/8
4G: LTE band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/25/26/38/41/66/71| 3G: WCDMA band 1/2/4/5/8 | 2G: GSM band 2/3/5/8.
Hardware and Design
The 2022 Moto G Power isn't especially impressive in terms of hardware. It is meant to be a budget friendly device after all. The plastic certainly doesn't feel premium, but it's totally fine.
The back has a new wavy texture which looks good and hides the fingerprint grease marks.
The "M" logo on the back is a fingerprint scanner for logging into the device and turning it on. There's a really nice option that you can turn on which will show the notifications listing if you swipe down on the fingerprint scanner. I think that should be on by default, but it's an easy option to set.
The bottom edge has a USB-C port along with the microphone hole and speaker grill. This does not have high-speed charging, so you'll have to remember to schedule your charging time twice a week.
On the top edge we actually have a 3.5mm headset jack, which is great. You can actually plug headphones into this device! The headphones can also be used as an FM radio antenna for the FM radio software included on the device. It's great to be able to listen to the radio for free without having to stream it over the internet sometimes.
The right edge is where the power button and volume rocker are of course. The power button nicely has a different texture to it so that you can feel the difference without having to look at it with your eyes or feel for its position relative to other buttons. This is the smart way to do buttons.
On the left side is the SIM card tray which also includes a space for a MicroSD card in order to expand your storage. This is another thing that's nice to see as many phones have been losing that feature capability as well.
Performance wise, the Moto G 2022 is totally acceptable. It will handle all of the basic smartphone tasks without issue. Web browser, movie watching, streaming, emails... all have no problems.
The Moto G Power 2022 comes with a mostly stock Android 11 and all Google Apps. There aren't any custom email programs, music programs, or browsers that you might get with other brands.
There are a few customizations from Motorola though and they're good ones that genuinely improve the Android interface. Motorola adds their nice gesture controls such as "flip for do not disturb", "Pick up to silence", "Fast flashlight", "Quick capture - twist to launch camera", etc. One annoying thing is that the Moto G Power's version of Android 11 launches with the awful sausage button at the bottom for touch gesture navigation. The classic three button interface is much easier to use since it requires less muscle movement and less cognitive energy for memorizing invisible gestures. It's much easier to associate the visible square, triangle, and square buttons with specific functions since they're visually there all the time and only require a simple tap. Of course, using actual words as buttons require even less cognitive energy since all humans learn to read words at a very early age.
Peek display is still here and that's great. It's similar to Nokia's old Glance Mode where it will just show a little information on the screen in a very low-power mode so that you can quickly see things like the battery level, date, time, and even some little notification icons which you can tap & hold for more details and response actions.
When I first inserted a T-Mobile SIM card, the phone started automatically installing T-Mobile software. During this process, things crashed a few times and the phone shut down without warning. After all of these aparent mandatory software installs finished, it was back to a more stable state.
The Moto G Power 2022 has a 50Mp f/1.8 camera on the back along with a 2Mp f/2.4 Macro camera, a 2Mp f/2.4 depth sensor, and LED flash. The 50Mp camera is quad pixel, so that's really only about 12Mp of actual ouput data.
The included camera software is fine, but it doesn't save photos in RAW DNG format, so I installed "Open Camera" to have some more professional grade features to use with the 50Mp camera. The dynamic range on the 50Mp camera is very narrow, clipping highlights fairly often. That means you're going to have to be very selective about lighting in order to get good photos.
The depth sensor is just about as useless as it is on all of the other phones. The background filter masking is messy with plenty of mistakes, but to be fair that's the same problem with all of the phones that try to do this.
The macro camera is slightly more useful than the depth sensor camera, but the 2MP resolution and image quality is very bad. You know, it might have been acceptable 17 years ago.
The front camera is the only other one that can output to RAW DNG format in Open Camera, and it has the same low dynamic range issues as the rear camera. Photos will often turn out overexposed or blurry due to its slow speed.
Pricing and Availability
The Moto G Power 2022 is available for $199 with 64Gb of storage or $249 with 128Gb of storage. That's a pretty good price for a good 3-5 days of battery life!
The Moto G Power 2022 is a decent upgrade to the G Power series, but it doesn't bring anything super new and spectacular to the table for the same very budget friendly $200 price tag. The awesome 3 day battery life is certainly great, but we had that with the Moto G7 Power a few years ago. Still, those old phones wear out, so if you've got an older Moto G Power who's battery is starting to buldge, maybe it's time for the new model. It will probably last just as long as a much more expensive phone who also has a sealed in battery that can't be replaced. Final verdict? For $200 the Moto G Power 2022 is totally fine for most people.