The Motorola Moto G22 aims very high with this smartphone and packs it with great specifications in the price range. But how exactly does it fare in real-life experience? Find out in our full review.

The entry-level smartphone market in India is becoming a victim of inflation. According to reports, the average selling price (ASP) in India’s smartphone retail market grew by a whopping 14 percent in just FY21. In simple words, it means getting a cheap yet feature-rich smartphone is becoming a rare phenomenon. And that is why when Motorola Moto G22 leaks started making the rounds before its launch, it immediately grabbed attention because of the promises it made.

The Motorola Moto G22 offered a 50MP camera, Android 12 out-of the box and a HD display with 90Hz refresh rate – all at a price of Rs. 10,999. To make things even more interesting, the smartphone is completely free of adware and bloatware, which many affordable smartphones, especially Xiaomi and Realme carry to offset the cost. It seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? In our first impressions, we said that the smartphone punches above its weight. And while we still hold onto that opinion after using the device for 10 days, there are a few downsides you need to know about before making the eventual decision whether to invest in this smartphone or not. What are they? Read on to find out.

Motorola Moto G22: Design

The design is probably one of the two trump cards of the Motorola Moto G22. From the moment I picked the smartphone in my hands, it never felt like a Rs. 11,000 smartphone. The smartphone has a premium feel to it. The body is made of plastic and the back panel has a glossy finish, which looked great on the Cosmic Black variant I had. Although the four corners have a curved edge, the front and back side has somewhat sharp edges. It does not feel uncomfortable while holding however. The back is not entirely smudge free but due to the colour, it is a lot less noticeable.

The camera panel is significantly raised and can cause the smartphone to wobble on a flat surface. The volume and power buttons are designed with very minimal lift and they feel very comfortable to use. The power button also houses the fingerprint scanner, which to my surprise is fairly fast. The display has a punch hole cut out design for the selfie camera. The camera hole is quite small, which makes it less distracting. For reference, Realme 9 5G SE has a comparatively larger camera hole which makes the display a little less attractive. In summation, even though the smartphone is placed in the budget range, its design and build quality definitely gives a premium feel. 

Motorola Moto G22: Display

Interestingly, even though it is an entry level smartphone, Motorola opted to keep an IPS LCD display instead of a TFT LCD display, which means better viewing angles and lesser power consumption. Another surprise addition to the 6.5-inch display is a 90Hz refresh rate which makes the smartphone feel snappy and fluid. The brightness is a little less at 500 nits, and when I used the phone in bright daylight, it was a bit of a struggle to see the screen properly. But considering the price range, it is a minor inconvenience at best.

The display is not comparable to the higher end smartphones but then again, to do so would be foolish. In its price range, the Motorola Moto G22 offers one of the best displays possible. 

Motorola Moto G22: Performance

The Motorola Moto G22 is equipped with a MediaTek Helio G37 chipset and hence, it is the country’s first smartphone to use this processor. To be completely fair, the smartphone at times feels a little slow and sluggish, especially when moving from one app to the other or multitasking. But other than that, the smartphone’s performance is quite decent when I used everyday apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Google Chrome etc. Considering how RAM intensive Chrome and Facebook can get at times, I was pleasantly surprised that the phone did not slow down when moving from one page to the other.

Another plus for the smartphone is that it operates on the Android 12 OS which is very rare for smartphones in this price range. On top of that, the classic Motorola near-to-stock-Android experience with ad-free interface makes for a delightful experience. Now, there are a couple of pre-installed apps (a new thing for budget Motorola phones) but you can delete them easily and none of them give any notification of any kind.

And while that in itself is a huge plus point for the smartphone, the second trump card for Motorola Moto G22 in my opinion is its gaming experience. Now, I was not expecting much from this smartphone when it came to gaming given that it is an entry-level smartphone. But the large 6.5-inch display, a small punch hole cut out, and the Helio G37 combine together to create quite a nice atmosphere for gaming. I played BGMI and COD Mobile on the device and even though I had to be content with low graphics and medium frame rate, the gameplay was quite smooth and I never faced any incidents of glitches or the phone freezing up.

The smartphone comes with a single speaker but it is loud enough. Just like gaming, watching videos on the smartphone was fun with its wide viewing angles and large display.

Considering its price, what it offers in performance is quite incredible. Again, I must reiterate that the smartphone will not be able to compare with a Rs. 20,000 smartphone but considering what you pay for it, you definitely get a lot more value out of it. 

Motorola Moto G22 Camera

The smartphone sports a quad rear camera setup with a 50MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. Motorola has offered a diverse and functional camera in the smartphone, which with enough daylight can take sharp images with good dynamic range. The colour reproduction is decent for a phone of this price, although they lean a little towards the warmer tones.

The ultra-wide images are a little softer and less detailed but it is still quite serviceable. On the front, it has a 16MP selfie camera and the shots are decent. The disappointing part was low light photography. In low light conditions, the camera goes from above average to below average in seconds. The shots get blurry and even the night vision does not improve the picture quality much.

Over and all, the cameras are decent for this price range and do a good job provided you can find enough light.

Check out some sample shots taken from the camera to get a better idea of its performance. 

Motorola Moto G22: Battery

Motorola Moto G22 comes with a large 5,000 mAh battery along with a 20W charger which the company has released specifically for India. I used the phone quite extensively with hours long voice and video calls, gaming, and watching videos and general usage and it still lasted me an entire day with a minimum 20% charge left. The charging speed is also decent with the smartphone taking just under 2 hours to go from 0 to 100. 

Motorola Moto G22: Verdict

In my first impressions, I said that the Motorola Moto G22 punches above its weight and after a full review it still feels like an understatement. The smartphone checks all the right boxes and despite its performance and hardware limitations, gives an experience which does not feel entry-level at all.

That being said, while it is a multipurpose smartphone that does everything pretty decent, including running COD Mobile, it should be remembered that it is still a budget smartphone which will struggle with apps with large size, multitasking and taking high-quality Instagram-worthy images. If you are used to a Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 20,000 smartphone, it will feel like a downgrade, but if you are aware of what you usually get in its budget range, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Display
  • Battery life

Cons

  • Multitasking
  • Low light photography
  • Ultra-wide camera