Motorola, the Lenovo-backed smartphone company, has been checking a lot of boxes lately. Not only has the company focused on providing consumers with a variety of options, but it has also been able to price them fairly. Moto smartphones are available in a wide range of price points, from mid-range phones to affordable premium phones.
The Motorola Moto G31 is the latest addition to the list, striving to combine an AMOLED display with long battery life in a compact body at a reasonable price. The phone is designed to compete with the Redmi Notes and Realme Narzos, and it does it admirably. Although this phone cannot be described as a perfect mid-range smartphone, it performs well given its constraints. However, despite its promise on paper, is the Motorola Moto G31 as good in reality as it appears? Let’s dive straight into this and find out the answer.
In India, the Motorola Moto G31 is available in two variants and starts at Rs. 12,999. The base variant has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and costs Rs. 12,999, while the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant costs Rs. 14,999.
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Apart from the Moto G31, users will get the following inside the box:
- 20W Charger
- Sim Ejector Tool
- USB Cable
- User Guides
Before we talk in detail about the Motorola Moto G31, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.4 inches AMOLED
- Chipset: MediaTek Helio G85
- RAM & ROM: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM
- Software: Android 11
- Rear camera: 50 MP (wide), 8 MP (ultrawide), 2 MP (macro)
- Selfie camera: 13 MP
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Weight: 181 g
- Dimensions: 161.9 x 73.9 x 8.6 mm
The Motorola Moto G31 resembles the Moto G30 in appearance. It is made of polycarbonate and has a solid-feeling unibody build. It has a small groove-like pattern on the back that offers excellent grip, and it’s only 8.54mm thick. It has an IPX2 water resistance rating, which is a step down from the G30’s IP52 rating for dust and water resistance.
The smartphone did not collect fingerprints due to the texture on the back and the matte finish. During the review period, its display was also clear of smudges. I had a hard time finding the barely recessed fingerprint scanner on the back under the Motorola logo, but it quickly unlocks the phone. Only one speaker is there, and it is placed at the bottom of the device, next to the primary microphone and USB Type-C port.
In comparison to the Moto G30’s notched display, the Motorola Moto G31 has an AMOLED display featuring a hole-punch cut-out for the camera, which looks more modern. While the top, left, and right borders appeared to be thin enough, the bottom border is substantially thicker.
The Motorola Moto G31’s physical button arrangement did not impress me. The Google Assistant button is located towards the top right corner of the device, above the power button and volume controls. Since this smartphone cannot wake up and do tasks when locked in response to voice requests, the Assistant button makes little sense given its awkward location. However, it may come in handy.
The Motorola Moto G31’s 6.64-inch Max Vision OLED display with Full HD+ resolution is one of the device’s standout features. The majority of mid-range smartphones come with either an IPS LCD or an AMOLED display. The Moto G31, on the other hand, sports an OLED display, which improves the smartphone’s entire experience. The Motorola Moto G31 OLED display has a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels, a 60Hz refresh rate, a 20:9 aspect ratio, and a pixel density of 409ppi. The phone’s screen-to-body ratio is 88.8%, offering consumers a lot of screen real estate to work with. I used the Motorola Moto G31 for video streaming, internet surfing, and gaming, among other things. The OLED panel offers the path for brighter colours and greater contrast. Motorola enables the saturated colour profile by default, which brightens the user interface, social media feeds, and web shows on OTT platforms. I was able to watch Full HD episodes on Prime Video and Netflix with Widevine L1 support, and the watching experience has been excellent so far; especially for a phone of this class. Even with extended mobile playtime, the design and display complement one another. When it came to gaming, the display’s smooth touch responsiveness improved my experience on both heavy and light titles like BGMI and Candy Crush. When compared to the smooth 90Hz displays in this segment, the 60Hz refresh rate is acceptable for everyday users, but gamers may find it choppy.
Compromises had to be made somewhere because of the AMOLED display! Motorola has chosen a MediaTek Helio G85 processor with eMCP storage, up to 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. You’ll get a Moto-tweaked version of Android 11, but Motorola claims that Android 12 will be available soon. When it comes to performance, the Motorola Moto G31 is capable of managing your everyday smartphone tasks.
The Helio G85 isn’t a very powerful chipset, but it’ll serve as long as you stick to basic smartphone tasks like running social media apps and watching youtube videos. In reality, it performs well in everyday situations – open Gmail or use Snapchat; the Moto G31 is up to the mark. It clearly benefits from the clean, burden-free Android UI.
Most games can be played on the smartphone with low graphics settings, but nothing more. It’s when you get a little too demanding on the device that the chipset starts to struggle. Call of Duty: Mobile, BGMI, and Shadow Fight 4: Arena are just a few of the games that make the phone gasp for air after a time. These games can still be played with low-medium graphics, but the experience is far from enjoyable. After roughly 30 minutes of gaming, the phone warmed up, and performance suffered after that. Indeed, this is a smartphone designed mostly for doing simple tasks and playing casual games.
So far, call quality has been decent, and I’ve been getting consistent Internet connectivity speeds in my neighbourhood on Jio’s 4G network. Returning to the typical use scenarios, the Motorola Moto G31 shines. The Moto G30’s smooth 90Hz display will be missed by upgraders, but the performance was solid and apps stayed in memory for a long period.
The Motorola Moto G31 comes with a near-stock version of Android 11. It does allow for some customization, such as changing the accent colour, font, and icon shapes. There are also the standard Moto gestures, as well as the Moto peek display, which allows you to engage with notifications while the device is locked. There are no third-party apps on the software interface, as we find on most competing devices, although there is a Dolby Atmos app that enhances the audio experience.
Take note of the Motorola Notifications app. If you leave it turned on when setting up the phone, Motorola ads will appear in the notification tray. None of them has been as annoying as the Realme and Oppo phones’ browser-based advertisements. These notifications can be turned off in the Motorola Notifications app, and the device will no longer display them.
The Motorola Moto G31 is the smartphone for you if you don’t like the extra bloatware that arrives with other devices. However, you will be missing out on a few extra features. There is no separate Gallery app, for example, and all of your pictures are saved in the Google Photos app. In any case, I liked the Moto G31’s stock Android experience, especially because it allowed me to install apps of my choice instead of the ones that come preloaded.
On the Motorola Moto G31, Motorola has reduced the number of rear-facing cameras. There were four on the Moto G30, including a dedicated 2-megapixel depth sensor. When capturing images in Portrait mode on the Moto G31, the 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera doubles as a depth camera. The primary camera has been changed to a 50-megapixel sensor from the Moto G30’s 64-megapixel sensor, and there’s now a 2-megapixel macro camera. A 13-megapixel front-facing camera is in charge of selfies.
The camera app UI is usual Motorola, with a customizable list of camera modes shown in a very simple layout. The gear icon hides the majority of the options. Surprisingly, there is no option to select the video recording resolution, and there is no logo or icon to indicate what resolution the camera is recording at.
Photos taken in ambient daylight have a good dynamic range and mostly natural colours. Because of the intense HDR, most of the shots I took ended up looking a little dreamy, but it also ensured excellent detail in the darker regions of each frame. The ultra-wide-angle camera did not perform well, and it frequently overexposed pictures, resulting in blurry details and obvious barrel distortion.
When capturing close-ups of objects, autofocus locking was a little delayed. These images were detailed, but they had overexposed backgrounds and blown-out highlights. Macro photos lacked detail, so I chose to use the primary camera, which captured clearer, more detailed images that could be cropped. Selfies turned out fine as long as I avoided Portrait mode, which frequently led to blown-out backgrounds.
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Photos taken in low light came out rather blurry. The Night mode improved the sharpness of the images, but they lacked detail. In low light, the Portrait mode never seems to work. The video quality was pretty average, with exposure shifting drastically when moving. The video quality was poor in low light.
A 5,000 mAh battery powers the Motorola Moto G31, which also supports 20W fast charging. Motorola’s TurboPower rapid charging technology has been integrated into the phone, allowing you to charge it more quickly. I noticed that it takes around one and half hours to fully charge the smartphone, but I can get it up to 80 per cent charge in about 40-50 minutes. The Motorola Moto G31, according to Motorola, can last 36 hours on a single charge. However, this would be highly dependent on the apps you’re using. On average, the Motorola Moto G31 can last a day on a single charge, which includes basic smartphone tasks like texting, surfing, social media, and gaming. In general, the Moto G31’s battery is good and will last the entire day.
Despite the fact that the phone only has one loudspeaker, the audio quality is decent for a smartphone at this price. The audio output through the headphone jack is great and using Dolby Atmos audio only improves the experience.
4G LTE, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5, and multiple satellite navigation systems are present as connectivity options. The Motorola Moto G31 has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor beneath the Motorola logo that quickly unlocks the phone.
- AMOLED Display
- Clean Android Experience
- No Ads
- Good Camera Setup
- Solid Battery Life
- 3.55mm Audio Jack
- MediaTek Helio G85 SoC
- Stock Camera App need improvement
- Single speaker
- 60Hz refresh rate
- Unspecified Display Protection
Given that 5G services are still a ways off, the Motorola Moto G31 appears to be a capable handset that’s ideal for those who don’t want to get on the 5G bandwagon. You get a feature-rich smartphone with a beautiful display, a large battery, and a small form factor. Motorola’s near-stock Android os arrives with minimal bloatware, allowing for true performance from a budget handset. However, it does have some downsides, like the 60Hz refresh rate, which some may see as a disadvantage, while others may see it as a reason for the phone’s somewhat longer battery life.