Motorola does have a special place in my heart as back in the 2000’s I used to own one of the 3G versions of the popular Razr flip phone.  I have owned and reviewed a fair few Motorola smartphones over the years and have been intrigued at what the company has brought to its core market of the budget and mid-range devices and been pretty pleased overall.

So when I attended Moto’s briefing on its 2021 lineup, I was intrigued by the Moto G30 and the capabilities and features Moto is bringing in, so I wanted to give it a tryout and see what it can do in a typical day.

So does the Moto G30 stand up to my daily life? let’s find out shall we.

In the box and the Design

The box contains the device, a 1m USB-C cable and charger base, headphones and a soft, clear case which I do like the addition of.

The design of the Moto G30 is to me a somewhat classical design – it has been seen before, but for the G30, it’s a proven design that works, is cost effective and is user friendly.

The 6.5-inch display is 720 x 1600 269p and is certainly very bright and clear. Granted it’s not a full 1080p HD but it still offers some great screen viewing. The front facing 13MP camera is located in a teardrop housing in the centre top which is certainly going to capture some great selfies for those Instagram, TikTok posts.

The top of the G30 has a 3.5mm audio jack for those that still prefer the old school corded head/earphones, alongside a second microphone which is used for audio checking, ensuring both microphones are picking up the same audio to help reduce background noise whilst on the phone.

The right hand side of the Moto G30 has 4 physical buttons, the top button being a dedicated Google Assistant, useful should you not wish to utter those infamous words – ‘Hey Google’. The  Moto G30 also has a rear fingerprint sensor just to the left of the quad camera and an LED flashlight. The fingerprint scanner was a little fiddly at best. Sometimes it would unlock the device and sometimes it would just direct me to log in either via the passcode or pattern unlock.

The internals

The Moto G30 is powered by an Octa-core Qualcomm SM6115 Snapdragon 662 processor chipset that includes Adreno 610 GPU. This combination, whilst might seem on the low-ish point of performance, can still be able to play games like PUBG and Asphalt 9, albeit with a lower resolution. The game mode did handle most of the load when it comes to being able to play games that are graphic intensive.

When it comes to everyday needs like checking social media, drafting and checking emails and playing videos on YouTube, the Moto G30 was able to handle these everyday tasks quite well. I did notice some lag slightly occasionally occurring when going between apps, but this was just a minor issue.

In terms of storage, you get 128GB onboard storage which is quite a lot, but you can expand this to 1TB via MicroSD should you prefer to save pictures, movies, videos and music offline instead of in the cloud.

Lights, Camera, Action!

The Moto G30 comes with a rear quad camera set up that comes with a 64 MP sensor that offers a 16 MP output, an 8MP wide lens, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP depth sensor lens.

Features of the camera include Photo, Video, Spot Colour, Panorama, Live Filter, Cutout, Cinemagraph, Ultra Res, Portrait, Night Vision, Group Selfie and Pro modes. There are also AR Stickers, Time Lapse and Slow Motion.

I did find taking pictures with the macro lens to be tricky if not a little bit frustrating. Whilst I get some people would prefer this to be included, I find this feature to be extremely hard to take decent pictures with.

Otherwise, photos taken with the rear cameras were quite good, a little soft and colours not as vibrant as I would have liked, however, there was a strong contrast which did make the pictures quite good. In low light and night view, the photos taken can be a bit hit or miss – either be too dark or too bright meaning some detail and clarity of the photos can be lost.

In low light, there is a fair bit of graininess and darker shadows in the pictures, which I did expect but was hoping that Moto’s camera software would compensate for that more than it did. Similarly, when the light was overly bright there was a fair bit of overexposure and no real software compensation to correct it.

The front facing camera lens is made up of a single 13MP camera lens that certainly does offer some great almost insta perfect selfies. Again, in low light, the front facing camera did struggle and there were more shadows and some graininess added to low light selfies.

MY UX, Android and Connectivity

Previous Motorola devices really used stock Android or Android One software, Motorola has this time decided to run its own UX over the top of Android 11 and I have to say the UX is much lighter than say other devices I have reviewed from OPPO, realme or Vivo.

The UX allows you to personalise the device, changing wallpapers, styles, the layout of the home screen and app draw. It also provides additional and quite unusual actions, such as flipping the device to activate do not disturb for calls, pick up to silence calls, lifting the device to unlock, along with additional media controls, attentive display, and my personal favourite, swipe to split the screen into two, allowing you to, for example, run game time while also viewing tips and guides.

There are also additional gestures that enable you to swipe the fingerprint to display notifications or jump straight to the camera, three finger screenshot (which can be a little tricky at times) fast flash and system navigation around the device.

The Moto G30 is running Android 11, with one major security update immediately available. Motorola has stated they are guaranteeing at least two years of firmware and security updates, although there has been no word of any potential update to the next Android version. At this state at least this is unsurprising since we are yet to hear of the next version from Google.

Connectivity wise, the Moto G30 doesn’t offer a 5G connection which, whilst a shame, I honestly didn’t expect since 5G is very much still in its infancy here in Australia. However, the G30 does offer 4G connectivity alongside 3G, although, as we have reported, the major telcos have either terminated or are in the process of shutting down their 3G services.

The Moto G30 comes with Wi-Fi standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot capabilities and Bluetooth 5.0.

Should you consider buying one?

I have to say, the Moto G30 does offer some great features for the price tag and I am pretty impressed with the phone in general.

The Moto G30 does offer some great specs for those who don’t want all the bells and whistles that come along with a hefty price tag, if you are looking for a good low to mid-range phone at a reasonable price, the Moto G30 is worthy of consideration.

The Moto G30 can be purchased from the Motorola website, alongside retail partners such as Officeworks, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, MobileCiti, AllPhones and Amazon, with pricing around $300 (+ any associated delivery costs) in either Dark Pearl or Pastel Sky.

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John

I grabbed one of these a few weeks back as I was looking for an affordable phone just for a year or two to bridge the gap until 5g is in full swing. I’m not a gamer at all and can only state it’s an impressive device for the price if you really only do the basics on your phone. In fact, I’m even reconsidering if I need a high end phone at all given my personal use case. Another plus is the device isn’t loaded with bloat which you may expect such a cheap device to be. The battery… Read more »