The first couple of Moto G iterations were competitive, well-rounded and adequately priced. Things have changed since then, and the market is moving fast, that Motorola is forced to play catch-up. The Moto G30 and G10 are this year’s low-end smartphones in the company’s portfolio and are dangerously close to each other, price-wise.
The subject of this review is the Moto G10, the one that starts at around €150. It offers a budget Snapdragon 460 chipset, 4GB/64GB base memory configuration and a low-res 720p+ screen but big enough 6.5-inch diagonal by today’s standards. All the essentials are in place, too, such as a versatile camera setup with 48MP main and 8MP ultrawide cameras and a big 5,000 mAh battery.
Motorola Moto G10 specs at a glance:
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM model only)|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100|
|4G bands||1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 38, 40, 41|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2021, February 16|
|Status||Available. Released 2021, February 27|
|BODY||Dimensions||165.2 x 75.7 x 9.2 mm (6.50 x 2.98 x 0.36 in)|
|Weight||200 g (7.05 oz)|
|Build||Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Size||6.5 inches, 102.8 cm2 (~82.2% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~269 ppi density)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM4250 Snapdragon 460 (11 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×1.8 GHz Kryo 240 & 4×1.6 GHz Kryo 240)|
|MEMORY||Card slot||microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)|
|Internal||64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Quad||48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|Features||LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||8 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE|
|Positioning||GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO|
|USB||USB Type-C 2.0|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity|
|BATTERY||Type||Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable|
|MISC||Colors||Aurora Grey, Iridescent Pearl|
|Price||About 140 EUR|
|TESTS||Performance||AnTuTu: 140230 (v8)
GeekBench: 1139 (v5.1)
GFXBench: 9.2fps (ES 3.1 onscreen)
|Display||Contrast ratio: 11878:1 (nominal)|
|Camera||Photo / Video|
|Loudspeaker||-29.2 LUFS (Average)|
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You may think that this is what most of the other manufacturers will be offering too for such a low price, but you will be surprised by the set of features competitors have to offer in the sub-€200 category these days.
The Moto G10 advantages include the main 48MP camera with a fairly bright f/1.7 aperture, NFC for all markets, the water-repellent coating and the clean Android 11 experience with a few nifty extra features. But are they enough to convince the mass consumer? We investigate on the following pages.
Unboxing the Motorola Moto G10
The Moto G10 comes in a standard retail box containing the usual user manuals along with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable and a travel charger rated at 10W. There’s also a transparent silicone protective case that snuggly fits around the phone.
Unlike in the US market, where Motorola is one of the few makers to offer decent low-end to mid-range phones, the company is facing quite a bit of competition elsewhere. And since the Moto G10 can’t be found on US soil, at least for now, we can go on with competition originating from Asia, which is absent from the US, too.
The first phone to consider in the €140 ballpark would be the recently released Xiaomi Redmi 9T. To be honest, though, this is where we should probably end this review because the 9T has so much to offer for the same asking price. It has a brighter, higher resolution display, great-sounding stereo speakers, bigger battery (although it scored just a little better than the G10), faster charging, undoubtedly better camera performance and a set of useful features like an IR blaster, dedicated microSD card slot (not shared) and reverse wired charging to take full advantage of the huge 6,000 mAh unit. The overall design of the phone and ergonomics are also better, but that’s strongly subjective.
Another Chinese competitor worth mentioning is the Realme 7i, which matches the Moto G10’s screen resolution but offers a more fluid 90Hz panel giving you the impression of smoother operation. NFC is out of the question, and it’s a bit pricier, too, asking around €160-170.
Xiaomi Redmi 9T • Realme 7i • OnePlus Nord N100 • Motorola Moto G30
A more popular choice comes straight from South Korea – the Galaxy A21s. This device offers comparable hardware with superior camera performance and more mature One UI software. A considerably brighter screen is also ensured. Sadly, here’s where the advantages end because the Moto G10 excels in battery endurance and edges out in memory. The Galaxy A21s would give you just 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for the same asking price. The Moto will give you double that.
And then we have the Moto G30 representing in-house competition. The handset is priced just about €30 more, but we definitely think it’s worth it as long as you are dead set on getting a Moto-branded phone. The more expensive sibling offers a snappier chipset, similar battery life, brighter display with a higher refresh rate, faster charging and overall better camera performance. In short, despite being a bit pricier, the Moto G30 offers better value for your money. Lowering the price tag on the G10 will separate the two enough so users may start considering the G10 over the G30, but at this point in time, it makes no sense to prefer the former over the latter.
Want to stick with the burden-less Android feel? Why not give the OnePlus Nord N100 a try. We found this one outside of OnePlus’ official store for a lot less than €189. It’s priced just around the €140 mark at third-party retailers and offers similar hardware – 6.52-inch, 720p screen, Snapdragon 460, 4GB/64GB memory configuration and 5,000 mAh battery. But the devil is in the details. The display is 90Hz, the storage is of the snapper UFS 2.1 kind, the battery supports faster 18W charging, the front panel is protected by a Gorilla Glass 3, and there’s a set of stereo loudspeakers as a bonus. It’s hard to tell whether the camera experience would be any better given that we haven’t tested it, but we would guess it’s going to be about the same or somewhat inferior due to the aged 13MP main sensor with smaller f/2.2 aperture. There’s also no ultrawide camera, although that would not be enough to tip the scales seeing how the Moto G10’s ultrawide snapper performs.
The Moto G10 would have been a great all-rounder some time ago. But even the low-end smartphone market has evolved, and now the hardware at hand doesn’t impress. In fact, it seems to be lacking against some of the competition. And we are not talking about the pressure from the Chinese brands only. Sure, the Redmi 9T and the OnePlus Nord N100 are viable options to pursue, but we are mostly puzzled by the decision to space the Moto G30 and the G10 pricing by just €30.
Spending a few more bucks for the Moto G30 will get you a long way as it has a better camera, faster charging and a more capable chipset. That’s, of course, if you are dead set on Motorola. Otherwise, the Realme 9T offers a lot more for the same price as the Moto G10. So if Motorola wants this handset to sell well, it needs to introduce a price cut before we can recommend it to buyers over the competition.
- Nice, unorthodox design
- Amazing battery life
- Dependable main camera in daytime
- Clean Android 11 experience with a few value-adding extra features
- Video recording is above average for the class
- UI feels rather slow
- Slow charging
- You can get better performing chipsets in the same price segment
- Disappointing main camera performance at night
- Camera resolution management in the camera app is a mess