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Moto G9 Power review: The budget Moto phone to buy

The Moto G9 Power is a great phone, especially at its price point.

Moto G9 Power
Moto G9 Power (Shweta Ganjoo/HT Tech)

Brand: Motorola

Product: Moto G9 Power

Key specs: 6.8-inch display, 6,000mAH battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC, 64MP primary camera

Price: 11,999

Rating: 4/5

The G-series smartphones have been the backbone of Motorola’s budget smartphone offerings in India. In the past couple of months, Motorola has strengthened the presence of its G-series smartphones in the market by launching a number of devices under this banner such as the Moto G9 and the Moto G 5G, which is the company’s cheapest 5G-enabled smartphone. In addition to these, the company has also launched the Moto G9 Power smartphone in India.

The Moto G9 Power costs 11,999 and in theory, it is the ‘Pro’ version of the Moto G9 that was launched in India at a price of 10,999.

Now, the difference between the Moto G9 Power and the Moto G9 might seem insignificant, at least in terms of the price, but when you dig deeper into the details you would realize that the Moto G9 Power packs in more punch compared to its smaller sibling. 

It has a bigger and better display, it has an even bigger battery, and it has a better camera setup as well. But the question remains, is the Moto G9 Power as good as it seems? Read on to find out...

Design

First, let’s talk about design.

The Moto G9 Power measures172.14x76.79x9.66mm and it weighs 221grams. The Moto G9, on the other hand, measures 165.21x75.73x9.18mm and it weighs 200grams. 

The statistics say it and so do I, the Moto G9 Power is huge and it’s heavy. Hold it side-by-side with the Moto G9 and the phone almost seems like a baby in front of the Moto G9 Power. While using the Moto G9, I found the phone’s heavy weight to be a bit of a problem while using it for a prolonged period. But the Moto G9 Power definitely triumphs that. It’s clunky and you know it the first instant you hold it.

Clunky design aside, the Moto G9 Power features the same aesthetics that we saw in almost all of Motorola 2020 smartphones, a square camera module and a separate button for invoking Google Assistant. 

While there are some similarities, there are differences as well, even in the way these features have been implemented. The Moto G9 Power comes with a triple rear camera module that is housed inside a square-shaped camera module, which is placed towards the left side of the phone’s back. This camera module comes in the Metallic Sage colour (that’s the colour variant that I am using) and sits diagonally from the phone’s rear-mounted fingerprint sensor towards the top. In the case of the Moto G9, this camera module was placed on top of the fingerprint sensor (like I said similarities and differences).

Motorola has stuck to its design scheme when it comes to the placement of the fingerprint sensor, but the tall design of the phone makes it difficult to access the fingerprint sensor at times. It takes time getting used to access it at a place that is a little higher than your fingers would normally drift to.

Similarly, the Google Assistant button is placed on the left side of the phone under the SIM card tray while the volume rockers and the power button are placed on the right side. In the case of the Moto G9, all these buttons were placed on the right side.

Moto G9 Power
Moto G9 Power (Shweta Ganjoo/HT Tech)

On top, you get that old best friend, that is, the 3.5mm jack, and at the bottom USB Type-C port along with speakers. Moving on to the back of the phone (again), the Moto G9 Power features a plastic body with fibre-esque design and metallic finish. It is shiny yet subtle and it looks almost regal in the Metallic Sage colour variant that I used. 

One of the many things that I liked about this design is its gradient finish. Unlike the Moto G9, which was a fingerprint magnet, this one stays spotless clean without any efforts, unless of course you dip your hands in butter and use it. But don’t worry in case you, the phone ships with a silicon cover.

All in all, the Moto G9 Power has got a great design but, in my humble opinion, it could surely lose some weight.

Display

The Moto G9 Power comes with a 6.8-inch Max Vision IPS display with an HD+ resolution of 720x1640 pixels and an aspect ratio of 20.5:9 (now you know what I meant when I said it is tall). The Moto G9, on the other hand, features a smaller 6.5-inch display but of a similar 720x1600p resolution.

Coming back to the Moto G9 Power, it features a full-screen display with a punch-hole that is stacked towards the left side of the screen. This punch hole houses the phone’s front camera. By comparison, the Moto G9 comes with dewdrop notch on top.

Numbers and details aside, the display of the Moto G9 Power is tall. The colours are bright and vibrant but jarring. They are pleasant and subtle, which is akin to all Motorola phones. Speaking about the clarity, although the display of the Moto G9 Power is marginally better than that of the G9 on paper, in practice, there’s not much of a difference between the two. I have spent quite some time on YouTube on this phone and it is mostly good. What I do like about the phone is that it responds to the sun better and faster than its so-called vanilla sibling.

All in all, the Moto G9 Power has a decent display if not a great one.

Camera

Now, the cameras.

The Moto G9 Power comes with a triple rear camera setup. You get a 64MP primary sensor with quad pixel technology, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP depth. You get a similar camera specification in case of the Moto G9 as well with the exception of a 48MP primary camera.

The rear camera setup of the Moto G9 Power offers all three things colour, clarity and depth. The colours captured by the phone are bright and vibrant with an ample amount of contrast. There is clarity that remains intact even on zooming the images several times. Thanks to the depth sensor, you also get ample depth in the images, which helps in distinguishing every element in an image, especially in outdoor light. These characteristics are maintained in indoor lighting conditions as well. Overall, the phone captures sharp images and eye-pleasing images under ample lighting conditions.

Moto G9 Power
Moto G9 Power (Shweta Ganjoo/HT Tech)

What I like about it is that it performs surprisingly well in low light conditions as well, especially for a phone in its price range. In general mode, the phone captures a decent amount of light along with some noise. In Night Vision mode, the images get brighter but there is more noise than there in the general mode.

Coming to the front camera, the Moto G9 Power comes with a 16MP selfie camera, which is bigger than the Moto G9’s 8MP selfie camera. It’s also better than it. The phone manages to capture decent selfies with detail and clarity. You can see the freckles and the worry lines on your face without it looking all too awkward. The clarity is such that every strand of hair can be distinguished in bright outdoor light. This quality, however, is significantly reduced in indoor lighting conditions. The phone clicks decent selfies in low light conditions as well though they absolutely lack clarity and finesse.

Performance

Lastly, the performance.

The Moto G9 Power is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor that is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space. This is exactly what you get in case of the Moto G9 as well. Simply said, if you have tried one, you know how the other feels like.

The phone is a decent performer. It is designed to meet all your daily needs with ease. Whether you are a workaholic who never gets off the phone or a college student who loves to shuffle through various social media platforms, the Moto G9 Power handles everything without a hitch. 

During my time with the phone, it never threw me a nervous fit as I transitioned between apps. The overall experience remained mostly smooth. This includes the biometrics, that is, the fingerprint sensor and the face recognition system, as well that unlocks the phone in less than a second each time.

After the performance, comes the interface. The Moto G9 Power runs on Android 10 with the company’s My UX on top. It is definitely one of the cleaner user interfaces that I have used. Motorola has done an excellent job at maintaining the essence of the original Android experience. You hardly spot any bloatware. All you get on the phone is tons of Google apps. That said, the overall experience is a bit laggy. But hey, the phone costs just over 10 grand. There’s not much to complain about.

Lastly, the battery. The Moto G9 Power comes with a 6,000mAh battery with support for 20W turbo power charging technology. The Moto G9, on the other hand, gets a smaller 5,000mAh battery with a 20W charger. 

The battery of the Moto G9 not only looks better on paper but it is good in usage. It lasted for almost two days on a regular workday for me, which typically involves 9-10 hours of messaging time, two-three of calling and social media time, endless emails and 2-3 hours of video time. On weekends, when my activity level was seriously questionable barring the occasional messages and five to six hours of video viewing time, it lasted even longer. It got from 0 to 100% charged in less than two hours.

Moto G9 Power
Moto G9 Power (Shweta Ganjoo/HT Tech)

What I like about it is that it performs surprisingly well in low light conditions as well, especially for a phone in its price range. In general mode, the phone captures a decent amount of light along with some noise. In Night Vision mode, the images get brighter but there is more noise than there in the general mode.

Coming to the front camera, the Moto G9 Power comes with a 16MP selfie camera, which is bigger than the Moto G9’s 8MP selfie camera. It’s also better than it. The phone manages to capture decent selfies with detail and clarity. You can see the freckles and the worry lines on your face without it looking all too awkward. The clarity is such that every strand of hair can be distinguished in bright outdoor light. This quality, however, is significantly reduced in indoor lighting conditions. The phone clicks decent selfies in low light conditions as well though they absolutely lack clarity and finesse.

Performance

Lastly, performance.

The Moto G9 Power is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor that is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space. This is exactly what you get in case of the Moto G9 as well. Simply said, if you have tried one, you know how the other feels like.

The phone is a decent performer. It is designed to meet all your daily needs with ease. Whether you are a workaholic who never gets off the phone or a college student who loves to shuffle through various social media platforms, the Moto G9 Power handles everything without a hitch. During my time with the phone, it never threw me a nervous fit as I transitioned between apps. The overall experience remained mostly smooth. This includes the biometrics, that is, the fingerprint sensor and the face recognition system, as well that unlocks the phone in less than a second each time.

After the performance, comes the interface. The Moto G9 Power runs on Android 10 with the company’s My UX on top. It is definitely one of the cleaner user interfaces that I have used. Motorola has done an excellent job at maintaining the essence of the original Android experience. You hardly spot any bloatware. All you get on the phone is tons of Google apps. That said, the overall experience is a bit laggy. But hey, the phone costs just over 10 grand. There’s not much to complain about.

Lastly, the battery. The Moto G9 Power comes with a 6,000mAh battery with support for 20W turbo power charging technology. The Moto G9, on the other hand, gets a smaller 5,000mAh battery with a 20W charger. The battery of the Moto G9 not only looks better on paper but it is good in usage. It lasted for almost two days on a regular workday for me, which typically involves 9-10 hours of messaging time, two-three of calling and social media time, endless emails and 2-3 hours of video time. On weekends, when my activity level was seriously questionable barring the occasional messages and five to six hours of video viewing time, it lasted even longer. It got from 0 to 100% charged in less than two hours.|#+|

Conclusion

Now the question that you all have been waiting to know the answer to -- should you buy the Moto G9 Power or not? 

In one word: Yes. 

But the answer is a little more complicated than that.

The Moto G9 Power is a great phone, especially at its price point. It’s a decent performer. The cameras are great. Biometrics work flawlessly and the battery is also a winner. My issue is primarily with the design. For a phone that is designed to be used for long periods, the Moto G9 Power is uncomfortably big and too heavy to hold. It seems it is not designed keeping in view the needs of the people it is targeting. But if you can bear with that then it is a decent budget buy.

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