Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Moto G10 Power

Two-minute review

The Moto G10 Power is Motorola’s new addition to the Moto G line up in the sub Rs 10,000 segment. It comes with decent specs for the asking price of Rs 9,999. However, its biggest bet is on the software front. 

The company is providing ThinkShield for Android security with the Moto G10 Power and has promised two years of security updates. ThinkShield offers end to end mobile security and privacy solutions which offer protection at multiple levels starting from the supply chain, hardware security, OS, and system security. This is a unique security solution that no other smartphone maker offers, at least for now.

Another big highlight apart from the software is the big battery. The Moto G10 Power in India comes with a massive 6,000mAh battery which can last easily for two full days. However, be ready to plug in the device for more than 3 hours to completely charge.

Thanks to the stock Android experience and some nifty additions from Motorola, the phone runs better on the Moto G10 Power compared to the Realme and Redmi phones with the same chipset. But, it is still not as fast as you’d want your phone to be.

Apart from that, the phone comes with a dedicated Google Assistant button, and decent display with a low-resolution screen, and a single bottom-firing speaker which is loud. Lastly, the camera quality on the Moto G10 Power is good for daylight usage while the night performance is disappointing. 

At the end of the day, the Moto G10 Power tries to be one of the best phones in the segment with decent performance, stock Android, big battery, but, the phone is not the fastest and it could have done better in a couple of areas. 

Moto G10 Power price and availability

Priced at Rs 9,999, the Moto G10 Power is available in a 4+64GB variant via Flipkart. The device is available in Aurora Gray and Breeze Blue colour options. 

It is also worth mentioning that the Moto G10 Power is India exclusive variant, but it is just having a bigger 6,000mAh battery and slightly faster 15W charging capabilities as compared to the Moto G10 which has a 5,000mAh battery and 10W charging, which is available in the global market. 

Design

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Straight out of the box, the Moto G10 Power feels bulky, thanks to the massive battery it packs in. The phone weighs 220 grams and is also thick at 9.19mm. The device is available in Aurora Gray and Breeze Blue colour options. We used the former for the review. 

The Moto G10 Power brings a decent design that is not too eye-popping out flashy. The back of the phone comes with a texture pattern design which kinda resembles the WD MyPassport Hard drive design language. And, of course, the back is built out of plastic material, but Motorola has done well with the ridged surface, and it's comfortable to hold and easy to grip. It adds a touch of class and stops the phone from looking too cheap.

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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

On the right side, you get a dedicated Google Assistant button, volume rockers, and power button. To the left, you get a SIM slot (2 SIM + micro SD card). On the bottom, you get a Type-C charging port, speaker, and mic. On the top, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

The rear camera module on the back looks more premium than it is with three cameras vertically placed and a flash and fourth camera placed in parallel. The fingerprint sensor is on the back as well, under the Motorola logo – it's quite old-fashioned tech now compared with today's in-screen fingerprint scanners and side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner performance was good and it is accurate 9/10 times. In addition, you also get IP52 rated water repellent design. 

Overall, the phone is still bulky at the end of the day and it is hard to manage with one hand for a longer period of time. The design, however, is good – very simple yet appealing.

Display

Moto G10

(Image credit: Future)

Budget phones often suffer when it comes to the display segment and this is where companies try to cut corners. The Moto G10 Power’s display isn't going to blow you away in this department: it's just about good enough for movie watching and web browsing, but it has a low resolution (720 x 1600 pixels) and lacks HDR support, and it's rather dim too.

It has a 6.5-inch LCD panel which works fine for your video streaming apps in terms of the size of the canvas. The bezels are reasonably thin, though the bottom chin is on the large side; and there's a teardrop notch up at the top of the screen housing the selfie camera.

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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

We used the phone for our standard usage like scrolling through social media feeds to looking at photos to viewing video clips. Though there's absolutely no chance of you confusing this with a top-tier display like AMOLED screens you would find on mid-range devices. The screen refresh rate is also set to 60Hz which is expected for a phone that’s priced under Rs 10,000. The display is fine, really, but it gives away how little the phone costs. It is adequate for day to day usages. If the display quality really matters to you, it might be worth spending a little bit more.

If you want a phone with a high refresh rate, Samsung Galaxy M12/F12, Realme 7i, and Moto G30 - all offer a 90Hz screen for less than Rs 12,000. 

Performance

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Don't expect too much from the Moto G10 Power in terms of performance, because it's powered by a distinctly low-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 chipset and 4GB of RAM. We wish the Moto G10 Power had a 6GB RAM variant as the performance with Snapdragon 662 on other phones were average at best. You get 64GB internal storage, but it can be expanded through the microSD card slot built into the phone. 

As for the real-world performance, the Moto G10 Power is a fairly decent performer thanks to the clean stock Android experience that Moto is offering. The performance was better than the Narzo 20A and Redmi 9 Power which also fall under the same segment and are powered by Snapdragon 665 and Snapdragon 662 respectively. 

However, the performance is not as smooth as a mid-range phone. By no means the phone is unusable but be prepared for a few extra milliseconds of waiting while you switch between apps, load up videos, scroll down menus, wait for the keyboard to pop up, and so on. This is really a phone for people who stick to the basics rather than power users.

Geekbench 5 scores of 241 (single-core), 1094 (multi-core) and 267 (OpenCL) reflect the phone's low-level specs – in these benchmarks at least, it's outperformed by the Moto G9 Play that came before it. We tested the Moto G10 Power with a couple of reasonably demanding racing games, and found the phone managed fairly well – the games ran without too much trouble but were occasionally jerky in terms of frame rates and loading screens. Casual games will be fine on the handset, but if you're serious about Android gaming then you're going to want to upgrade to something a little more powerful.

In a nutshell, the performance is above average largely thanks to the clean stock Android experience. The phone is best suited for people who just want to use basic social networking apps, calls, and want a bloat-free experience.

Software

As with the rest of the Motorola phones, the Moto G10 Power runs on a near-stock Android. This is also Motorola's first phone with Android 11 OS out of the box. There are just 26 pre-installed apps which mainly include  the Google suite along with a couple of Motorola’s apps. The only additional app that comes out of the box is Facebook which can be uninstalled as well. 

It was refreshing to see a phone with so few apps after using phones from Redmi, Realme, and Poco in the past. Thanks to the pure stock Android experience, there are no spammy push notifications. We're fans of the approach taken on the Moto G10 Power and hope they stick with the approach forever. 

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Moto G10 Power Software

Pre-installed apps! (Image credit: Future)
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Moto G10 Power Software

Customizations (Image credit: Future)
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Moto G10 Power Software

Moto app (Image credit: Future)

The flip side is that you could accuse the Moto G10 Power of being a little on the dull side in terms of software, but for us, it's one of the highlights of the phone, and the inclusion of the latest version of Android is definitely a bonus. Motorola is usually fairly reliable when it comes to pushing out future Android updates too.

Even with the stock Android, the Moto G10 Power comes with a bunch of gestures and then there are Moto Gestures for quick capture, chop-chop to turn on the flashlight, three-finger screenshot, lift to unlock, flip to DND, pick to silence, and swipe to split. There is also a privacy screen where you can manage all the different permissions. 

Apart from providing stock Android 11 experience, Moto is also providing ThinkShield for Android security. ThinkShield is an end to end mobile security and privacy solution which offers protection at multiple levels starting from the supply chain, hardware security, OS, and system security. It works a level beyond the OS and a level below the OS as well to provide the best security possible. The company is also promising two years of security updates. 

Cameras

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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

The Moto G10 Power comes carrying an 8MP selfie camera on the front, and a quad-lens 48MP main + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth camera on the back. Quad cameras are pretty common in the budget space and Moto G10 Power also follows the same. The photo and video-taking capabilities of the Moto G10 Power are pretty much on par with what you would expect from a phone costing this much.

In other words, it takes some decent shots in decent light but falls apart when it comes to challenging shots in darkness or with moving subjects. In terms of the interface, the slower internal components of the phone are in evidence with an interface that can be quite sluggish and a shutter speed that isn't quite up there with the best in the business. 

If you're snapping shots to show off on social media then the Moto G10 Power's rear camera will do just fine – it is definitely capable of taking impressive photos if the framing is right and the sun is out, with colours looking natural and well balanced.

Issues with noise and blurring start to appear once you take a closer look at the detail of these snaps, but unless you're running a canvas print business then you're probably not going to bother.

There's no optical zoom, and we didn't find the digital zoom worth bothering with really. There is an ultra-wide camera, which works well enough, but seems to add to the problems with noise and blurring. The macro mode can also come in handy, but the rear camera occasionally seems to get confused when you're right up against your subject.

The Moto G10 Power comes with a night mode that boosts brightness and detail if you can hold the phone still for a couple of extra seconds. It works okay, and it's fair to say that you can get some usable night shots from the Moto G10 Power – even if you lose a lot of detail and sharpness in low light.

The phone is not for the ones with cameras as a top priority on the list. Selfies are handled fairly well during the day time, but at night times, the quality is pretty bad. Video recording is possible up to Full HD with decent experience in the day and sub-par experience at night time.

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Moto G10 Power samples

(Image credit: Future)
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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power samples

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Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Future)

Battery

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

One good thing about the budget phones is the fact that they now come with big batteries - 5,000mAh and 6,000mAh are pretty common these days in this segment. The Moto G10 Power’s biggest change from the global variant comes in terms of a bigger battery. While the global variant(Moto G10) packs a 5,000mAh battery, the Moto G10 Power comes with a big 6,000mAh battery. 

With the big battery in the house, Moto has packed a 20W charge in the box, however, the device supports only 15W fast charging via Type-C port. It takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes to charge the device from 5% to full, which is a pretty long wait time, especially during the day. It's the battery to charge the phone overnight as we found that to be an ideal solution. 

In terms of battery life, the results were excellent as the phone lasted two days easily between charge cycles. Sometimes, we go almost two and half days of battery life with one charge. The phone lost about 7% of battery an hour at maximum brightness, while gaming knocked down the battery level around double that. Even if you are a heavy user, you will get at least two days even if you are a heavy user.  

Verdict

Moto G10 Power

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Buy it if...

You want excellent battery life

With a massive battery packed it, the Moto G10 Power can easily last two days and it is also backed by a decent 15W fast charging for the price.

You prefer stock Android

With Moto’s clean Android look, you won’t be dealing with bloatware or even spam notifications. The phone runs on stock Android 11 out of the box and also comes with a bunch of nifty customization options. 

You don’t want to spend too much

For Rs 9,999, you get a clean stock Android, excellent battery and a unique security solution that no other smartphone maker offers at least for now. The Moto G10 Power can be a good secondary phone or a handy one for no so heavy users who can’t spend too much on a smartphone. 

Don't buy it if...

You want top speeds

The Snapdragon 460 is not so capable as a chipset and the device is suitable for only light to medium usage. Also, you are limited to 4GB RAM and 64GB storage with hybrid storage expansion. 

You want a good camera phone

The Moto G10 Power’s camera can do the job and get you some good shots, but it's worth spending a bit more cash if you want images that are really going to stand out.

You want a high refresh rate

Just for additional Rs 1,000 more, the Moto G30 brings a 90Hz screen, a slightly better Snapdragon 662 SoC, and a 64MP camera. Other options include Realme Narzo 30A and Redmi 9 Power.

First reviewed: April 2021

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