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7.4/10
Informr score
The Motorola Moto G Play (2021) currently has an Informr score of 7.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 8 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

Don’t expect to play the latest games, wow friends and family with your photography skills, or multitask all day. While the phone might work for light use or younger users, reviewers question the value compared to other phones in the 2021 Moto G line-up.

What's good

  • Amazing battery life
  • Affordable
  • Nice build design
  • The plastic back-plate won't shatter

What's bad

  • Mediocre performance
  • Lackluster camera
  • Limited software support

The Motorola Moto G family of phones has always offered an excellent blend of affordable pricing and features. The Motorola Moto G Play (2021) is like the younger sibling of this year’s model group. Its specs are lower, but so is its price. So what are you getting and -- perhaps more importantly -- what are you not getting?

Design

The Moto G Play (2021) proves that you can still have style without a huge price tag. No, it’s not the most premium phone. But reviewers found the design impressive nonetheless. Many considered the inobtrusive camera a particularly lovely part of the design. It doesn’t protrude out the back like many new phones these days. Also, because it is centered, the phone won’t wobble all over the table. The bezels on the front were a bit larger than what you might find on competing phones, but not in a way that reviewers found unattractive.

Display

Reviewers stated that the screen was one of the most obvious things that hinted at the phone’s lower price. Reviews were a mixed bag accordingly. Some found the display didn’t show up well outdoors, while others found it plenty bright.

However, a lack of definition and dull colors are things on which reviewers could agree. A 720p screen in today's market is rare already. By the time you stretch so few pixels (relatively speaking) across a 6.5-inch display, people will notice a difference when setting the phone next to virtually any other release in 2021.

Performance

This phone probably isn’t going to win any awards for performance either. True to its budget-friendly focus, reviewers found the phone handles everyday stuff like social media and browsing with ease. But when it came to games and intensive apps and multitasking, reviewers encountered stuttering and long loading times. The experience barely cut it in terms of enjoyability for most.

Software & Storage

Motorola ships the phone with Android 10. They also only guarantee one software update. Reviewers found that disappointing. Storage is also a bit lackluster, with only 32GB of internal storage on offer. However, the MicroSD slot allows you to add extra storage after purchase.

Cameras

Reviewers found a lack of dedicated night mode disappointing. Any picture taken in a poorly lit setting ended up grungy and murky. Even in good lighting, results only turned out so great, with the camera struggling with washed-out colors and low contrast. If you’re looking for a great photography or videography experience on a budget, this phone isn’t it.

Battery Life

Battery life sees opinions tick noticeable upward. Reviewers had nothing negative to say when it came to the phone’s endurance, with many getting multiple days of use out of a single charge.

Audio

As you can probably guess, the audio isn’t so great. That said, the phone includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, so grabbing your favorite headphones will quickly improve the listening experience.

Specs at a Glance

  • Plastic chassis
  • 6.5-inch 720p LCD display
  • Qualcomm SM4250 Snapdragon 460 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Android 10
  • 32GB of onboard storage with MicroSD card support
  • 13MP main lens and 5MP selfie camera
  • 5,000mAh battery

Bottom Line

The 2021 Motorola Moto G series phones are affordable for everyone, and the Moto G Play (2021) is particularly budget-friendly. It won’t win any prizes for its build quality or performance, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for someone looking for a basic phone for light use or younger users. Just don’t expect to play the latest games, wow friends and family with your photography skills, or multitask all day. Still, the rest of the line-up is reasonably affordable too. This leaves many reviewers questioning the value of the Moto G Play (2021).

Phone Arena states, “[The phone is] functionality is quite good, but the Moto G Power is a considerably better phone for only thirty dollars more. Those who don’t require much from their smartphones will find the G Play’s clean software and great battery life quite attractive, but for everyone else, there are better options within the market, even within Motorola’s own lineup.”

PC Magazine says, “For tight budgets, the Moto G Play is hard to beat, especially for performance and battery life. But if you can spend a little more, our money is on the Moto G Power.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.8 GHz
Screen Size
6.5"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


The Wirecutter

The Moto G Play has a huge battery that allows for three days between charges, an acceptable 720p display, and a clean version of Android with useful extras.

- Ryan Whitwam, The Wirecutter
The Verge

If you enjoy a very casual relationship with your phone, the G Play will do all of the things you need it to do. Everyday performance for the basics — light web browsing, social media, email, music — is sufficient. If you just use your phone camera for quick snapshots out and about and don’t expect...

- Allison Johnson, The Verge
Android Police

Others may take a different attitude, but updates aren't a matter of new features or fun. A phone isn't safe to use without them, period. With things like sending money online, mobile banking, and our lives tied deeply into the accounts signed into the devices in our pockets, regular security update...

- Ryne Hager, Android Police
PC Magazine

At $169.99, the Moto G Play is a solid choice for budget shoppers who are willing to make a few compromises. It offers admirable performance, a bright display, and incredible battery life. In return for the savings, however, you’ll have to live with disappointing cameras, and a dated version of Andr...

- Steven Winkelman, PC Magazine
Neowin

 The Moto G Play is by no means a perfect device, packing an unimpressive camera, sluggish performance, and a year-old version of Android, but for $169.99, it's impressive. It also looks and feels like something that costs more than it does. It comes in this pretty gradient shade of blue, and it's a...

- Rich Woods, Neowin


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


The Moto G Play (2021) price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Motorola Moto G Play (2021) prices from around the web here on The Informr.


Motorola backs up the Moto G Play (2021) with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Moto G Play (2021) has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Motorola support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Motorola's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
6.5"

The Motorola Moto G Play (2021)'s screen size is 6.5 inches with 720 x 1600 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.8 GHz

There is a Qualcomm SM4250 Snapdragon 460 (11 nm) Octa-core 1.8 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 10 operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 512 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
5000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 5000 mAh battery.

Moto G Play (2021) Specs

Overview
Release date January 13, 2021
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 10

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm SM4250 Snapdragon 460 (11 nm) Octa-core 1.8 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 5000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Misty Blue
Dimensions [H x W x D] 16.659 x 7.599 x 0.936 cm (6.6 x 3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 204 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating Unknown
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1600 pixels
Pixel density 270 pixels
Size 6.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 512 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 2.0
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
Yes
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Panorama, Self-timer, 2nd camera feature (2 MP, F2.4, Ultra-wide), HDR, Time lapse mode, Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 60 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Aperture F2.2, HDR
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, WMA, WAV
Radio Unknown
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Unknown
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Unknown
Document Viewer Yes
Weather Unknown
Stocks Unknown
Maps Unknown
NotePad Unknown
Voice Memos / Recorder Unknown
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments


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