Motorola Moto G Play (2021) In-Depth Review

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Motorola Moto G Play (2021) In-Depth Review Image Gallery

Author Ishan Bathla

Reviewed by Ishan Bathla

January 21, 2021

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What We Love About Motorola Moto G Play

  • Android 10
  • Affordable device
  • Large HD+ display
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Water-repellent design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Decent performance
  • Dual camera system
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Motorola Moto G Play Overview

Launched in 2021 as an entry-level device, Moto G Play is another addition to the Moto G series. Motorola Moto G series provides excellent budget devices, and the Moto G Play continues that trend. The device is the most affordable addition to the Moto G series in 2021. 

It has a large screen, captivating design, 3-day battery life, and a clean user interface. Although this budget phone runs on Android 10, Motorola has promised an upgrade to Android 11. With this decent set of specs, the Moto G Play is a reasonable device for users focusing on the fundamentals. Let’s get into the complete Motorola Moto G Play review to learn more.

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Motorola Moto G Play Unboxing

The device arrives in a blue package with Moto G Play branding on the front. The appearance of the box is similar to other Motorola devices. Opening the package reveals the device covered in a protective sheet. A quick start guide, SIM ejection tool, Type-C charging cable, and a 10W charging adapter are present underneath the cell phone. 

What’s in the box:

  • Motorola Moto G Play smartphone
  • Quick start guides
  • SIM ejection pin
  • USB Type-C charging cable
  • 10W charging adapter

Motorola Moto G Play Related Videos

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Motorola Moto G Play Design

The Moto G Play’s design is impressive considering its price. The phone’s front has a 6.5-inch ultra-wide screen with a teardrop-shaped notch in the top center. There’s a thick bezel at the bottom of the screen, while the other bezels are thinner. With dimensions of 66.59 x 75.99 x 9.36mm and weighing 204 g, Moto G Play fits comfortably in your hand. It is available in a single color – Misty Blue. 

The back has a squircle-shaped camera panel that hosts the two cameras and an LED flashlight. A fingerprint sensor is just below the camera panel. There’s a Motorola logo on the fingerprint sensor. As you get closer to the bottom, the blue color fades to black, which in fact, looks classy. Motorola claims that the device is water repellent, which means it can handle minor splashes, spills, or sweat. Thus, you can use the device while working out or in the kitchen. 

On the top, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack. The bottom edge hosts the microphone, USB-Type C charging port, and speaker from left to right. The SIM card slot is on the left, whereas the right edge hosts the volume rocker and power button. The power button has a texture for easy identification. Overall, the Moto G Play design will appeal to users looking for an entry-level device. 

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Motorola Moto G Play Camera

For capturing all the beautiful moments in life, the Moto G Play features the following cameras:

  • 13MP primary camera
  • 2MP depth camera 
  • 5MP selfie camera

The 13MP primary camera has Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), which allows ultra-fast focusing of subjects, resulting in good lighting and details in pictures. Portrait Mode uses the 2MP depth camera to create a beautiful blur effect in the background. The portraits under daylight came out looking decent with good colors and detail.  

The camera app has various other modes to add exciting effects to images. We liked the Spot Color mode, which allows us to keep one color and turn everything else in the image black and white. Then, there is Cutout mode, with the help of which you can completely replace the background. 

The camera automatically takes a photo when everyone in the frame is smiling, thanks to Auto Smile Capture. The 5MP front camera is good for video chat and capturing selfies with friends and family. The primary camera can shoot 1080p videos up to 60fps, whereas the selfie camera captures 1080p videos at 30fps. Overall, the camera performance is suitable for an entry-level device. 

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Motorola Moto G Play Display

Moto G Play has a large 6.5-inch display that we rarely get to see on budget devices. Motorola calls this Max Vision. Dive into your favorite show or movie on the screen that delivers a 720 x 1280 resolution with vivid colors. It has a 270 PPI pixel density. The display quality is good compared to other phones in this category, and we never faced any major issues.

We recommend keeping the Moto phone at full brightness under daylight. The screen is pretty much what we expect from a budget device: text and icons are easily readable, and you should have no problems with casual use. 

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Motorola Moto G Play Battery

Similar to the Moto G Power, the Moto G Play has a massive 5000mAh battery inside, so you can spend less time connected to a charger and more time getting things done. Motorola One 5G Ace which was released at the same time as Moto G Play also features a 5000mAh battery.

You can stream videos for 19 hours or browse the internet for 16 hours. According to Motorola, the device can last for three days. We used it for two days with heavy usage, but it could occasionally last to the third day with light usage. The phone supports fast charging and comes with a 10W charging adapter, just like the Moto G8. When in need, fast charging provides hours of fuel within minutes.

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Motorola Moto G Play Storage

Moto G Play offers decent storage to keep all your important files, Play Store apps, photos, movies, and music in place. Out of 32GB of internal storage, almost half of the memory is available for your personal use. The space is good enough for storing limited small files. However, if you need more room, you can expand the storage to 512GB with a microSD card.

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Motorola Moto G Play Performance

The Moto G Play comes with a responsive Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 processor that quickly lets you zip between your favorite apps and get the most out of your phone’s performance. Along with a decent processor, it has 3GB RAM. Similar to the Moto G Power, Moto G Fast, and Moto G Stylus, it runs on Android 10.

We didn’t experience any lag while tapping, swiping, and even scrolling on social media. However, you can still play heavy games at low settings. It also offers a near-stock Android experience which means less bloatware and a straightforward interface. Performance-wise, the Moto G Play sits right between the Moto E and the Moto G Power.

MY UX, Moto Gametime, and Moto Action are fantastic features of Motorola phones that set them apart from other brands. You can customize the phone settings according to your requirement with MY UX. Moto Actions includes simple gestures that make the phone easy and fun to use. Moto Gametime improves gaming performance. For instance, you can shake your wrist while holding the phone to turn on the flashlight. Overall, the Moto G Play is built with the basics in mind and easily gets you through the day.

Where to Buy

Final Words About Motorola Moto G Play

When it comes to budget smartphones, there is no shortage of options. For everyday smartphone users, it is difficult to strike a balance between price and specs. Motorola Moto G Play successfully manages to achieve that balance. Users who require a large display, a big battery, and an easy-to-use interface with cool Moto apps like Moto Action should go for the Moto G Play. The device is designed with minimalism in mind. In our opinion, the phone excels at delivering value to budget users.

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Motorola Moto G Play Specifications

  • Android 10 
  • 6.5 inches IPS LCD HD+ display
  • Pixel density: 270 PPI
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 610 GPU
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage
  • Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 166.6 x 76 x 9.4 mm (6.56 x 2.99 x 0.37 in)

Frequently Asked Questions About Motorola Moto G Play

The Nokia 3.4 and Samsung Galaxy A12 are in close competition with the Moto G Play.

Moto G Play came out on January 14, 2021.

Moto G Play isn’t waterproof, but it has a water-repellent design similar to other Moto G phones. As a result, it can withstand minor splashes or sweat.

No, the Moto G Play 2021 does not come with a stylus.

No, the Motorola Moto G Play does not support wireless charging as it’s a budget device.


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