Moto G9 Power First Impressions – with great power comes great challenges

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This year during Diwali season, Motorola didn’t announce any new smartphones, but now the brand has announced two phones back to back. After Moto G 5G, first impressions for which is available on our channel. Motorola is now continuing their 2020 journey with the introduction of Moto G9 Power. 

We have been using the new G9 Power for a couple of days now and you are watching our first impressions of the new Motorola smartphone. I am Vishal from Mr. Phone. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the specifics of Moto G9 Power. 

Moto G9 Power – Build and Design

The moment I took it out of the packaging, I was taken aback at the size of this phone. It is a thick boy at 9.6mm and weighs whopping 221g, which probably makes it the heaviest in this category, which is dominated by all the Redmi’s and Realme’s. Although, being thick-bodied, its build quality is kept quite sturdy. Its hulky design doesn’t bother me, but it might bother you if you have small hands. However, I’m not too fond of its ergonomics, one-handed operation is not pretty on this one.

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So yeah, first impressions of the in-hand feel is mostly positive, but you could see the hint of some negatives too. 

Let’s talk about the build. G9 Power uses plastic, but that didn’t reduce the weight of the phone. However, it has an aluminium frame. So build quality-wise, there is not much to complain except for this weirdly hollow plastic sound that the phone makes when you tap its back. Especially, around the fingerprint sensor. 

As for the design, this phone follows Motorola’s usual design standards, which is a beautiful clean textured back, and a Motorola ring with a fingerprint embedded in it. The only unusual design aspect of the rear is the extra real estate you get due to its tall design. It feels dragged-out. Motorola could have done a better job here. 

What I absolutely loved about its rear design is the smudge-free experience. No matter, how many times I lift it, I did not see my fingerprint smudges. It’s a fantastic design element. I love it that I didn’t have to keep a microfibre cloth for cleaning during product shoots. Further, it comes with a water repellent design, which has become the standard feature on the Moto G series phones.  

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As for the rest of the design, you don’t get stereo speakers, but a mono speaker with decent sound output. I remember, Moto E3 Power in 2016 came with front-firing speakers. Motorola could have at least given that. It would have elated the media consumption and gaming experience on that humungous screen. Nonetheless, it still sounds decent. The fingerprint scanner on the back is super fast. The volume rocker is comfortable to use. Plus, you get a dedicated Google Assistant button, which has again become a standard feature on Motorola phones. 

You get two microphones, one each at the bottom and top edges. A 3.5mm audio jack on the top, and a Type-C port on the bottom. All of this is great. Only if Motorola had found some workaround and reduced the size. 

Moto G9 Power – Display

Can we please get the AMOLED displays from Motorola in this price range? Well, I know, I am being too demanding, but a reviewer can have expectations, right! 

Speaking about the display, the G9 Power comes with a large 6.8-inch IPS LCD panel with 60Hz refresh rate. Motorola brings punch-hole to sub-12K category. Its sibling G9 came with a waterdrop notch. The company calls it a Max Vision display, it comes with a 20:9 aspect ratio for maximum viewing experience. This means that you can watch those cinemascope movies and trailers with zero black bars and it’s a unique experience to be able to do that on a smartphone.

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We’ve started seeing punch-hole cameras in a lot of phones, and I prefer them over notches that sit in the middle, given that they have been optimised well and remain as small as possible. With the Moto G9 Power, the punch-hole’s border is slightly thicker than I’d like and that’s, in fact, the case with the entire display that is covered by this thicker than usual bezel all around. Now, the good thing here is that Motorola had a reason for it and that was to control the light bleed. We will get into details in our full review. 

The one thing that I would have absolutely loved is a higher resolution display. With Motorola going with a mammoth display, it would have been nice to enjoy full HD content. 

Moto G9 Power – Performance and Software 

The performance duties are taking care of by the Snapdragon 662 chipset. This is Motorola’s second smartphone and overall the third handset in India to sport this processor. It sits in the sweet spot, between performance-intensive and costlier Snapdragon 7-series and Snapdragon 4-series. 

Coming to the real-world performance of the phone, I am having a lot of fun using it because of the snappy performance every day. The multitasking is buttery smooth, with a hint of tiny extra time for app loading. The RAM management is to be blamed for that, probably.  

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Motorola G9 Power comes with Stock Android, which is a geek’s dream, because of how clean and smooth it is. It’s a barebones OS with a few useful Moto tricks like the special gesture navigation, Moto actions, and an unchanged Moto ambient display. All that and more can be accessed by a single Motorola app. The device runs Android 10 out of the box and gets November security patch update as soon as you boot. My experience with it has been quite clean and vanilla, just the way I like it. In the software section, there’s barely anything I don’t like. 

We will be testing out the device in detail for the full review, so stay tuned if you want to catch that as well. That said, for my initial impressions, the performance of the Moto G9 Power is something you wouldn’t need to worry at all.

Moto G9 Power – Battery

The Moto G9 Power comes packed with a massive 6000mAh, ergo the moniker, Power. It’s sibling, G9 comes with a 5000mAh battery, and we were quite happy with the battery life on that smartphone. However, I’ve had no time to use it extensively to log the battery life. I did manage to charge the unit from 20 to 100 using the bundled 20W charger in 2hrs and 20 mins with the screen on, which is not too bad for a big battery. Hope it can last two days of usage on a single charge, though. 

We will be bringing out a battery test with smartphones in this price range. It is likely to be competing with Realme C15 and unannounced Redmi 9 Power. Let us know in the comments if you want battery comparisons with any specific phones.  

Moto G9 Power – Camera 

The G9 Power has a 16MP selfie camera placed carefully inside a machine cut hole inside the display. The back camera housing boasts a triple-lens setup, where the primary lens is 64MP (Sensor Name) sensor with f/1.7 aperture, 2MP depth sensor for portrait shots, and 2MP macro sensor for close-up shots. Motorola has always been better at final produce compared to what you see in the viewfinder. For the longest time, Moto phones have had average viewfinders which mean that when you point the camera to your subject the image looks average but once you click it and go back to the gallery to find yourself viewing impressive imagery. 

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Unfortunately, Motorola has not fixed this behaviour of their phones, but on the positive note, the camera app feels revamped with ease access to certain functions, which usually are accessible from Settings window only. 

Here are few shots were taken using the Moto G9 Power. We will reserve our thoughts on the camera output till the full review, we want you to take a look at these images for yourself. 

Full Resolution Link

Moto G9 Power – Closing Thoughts 

What challenges does Moto G9 Power has to face? With great battery life comes a challenge of long charging hours. With a humongous display, it is an ergonomic nightmare, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t mind big displays. I only mind a poor pixel density and lack of HDR support, especially when the DRM Info app shows Widevine L1 and HDR10 support. Which is not available from the brand’s end. 

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However, when you look at the Rs 11,999 price tag, you can forgive almost every flaw. Motorola knows its audience and very well knows how to turn them into their smartphone users.

This year, Moto One family has impressed me a lot, and after using Moto G 5G and now the Moto G9 Power, it has become clear that Motorola has hit a home run this year in its smartphone offering. Well, except for that one handset. If you know, you know. 

Anyhoo, stay tuned for the full review, but what do you guys think of the G9 Power? Do you like it? Let me know in the comments section below. Until next time, this is Vishal from Mr. Phone signing off. Goodbye and Godspeed my friends.

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Vishal Toshiwal
vishal.toshiwal@u2opiamobile.com

Vishal is the Swiss-knife at Mr. Phone, he takes pride at his behind the camera skills of shooting poor portraits. He’s a creative thinker who comes up with the weirdest ideas. You can find him posting on Instagram or tweeting his thoughts on south Indian music and cinema.