Motorola Moto G7 Play review

GSMArena team, 3 March 2019.

Clean Android Pie with a few Moto sprinkles

Motorola has always opted for a near-stock Android versions and the G7 series is no different.

Motorola Moto G7 Play review

The Moto G7 Play continues the purist tradition with its Android 9 Pie ROM, that, for the most part, is almost identical to what you would find on a Google Pixel device.

Lock screen - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Home screen - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Folder view - Motorola Moto G7 Play review App drawer - Motorola Moto G7 Play review
Lock screen • Home screen • Folder view • App drawer

We get a standard looking interface - the Pie notification shade, quick toggles area, the new Pie task switcher and its multi-windows capabilities, and even the list of recent apps in the task switcher that can be expanded into the app drawer - Android Pie through and through.

Notification shade - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Quick toggles - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Editing Quick toggles - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Recent apps - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Split screen - Motorola Moto G7 Play review
Notification shade • Quick toggles • Editing Quick toggles • Recent apps • Split screen

The launcher does also include an optional Google feed screen on the far left and lends itself to a certain degree of customization, like editing number or rows and columns and toggling things like notification dots, app suggestions and home screen rotation.

Google feed - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Launcher settings - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Launcher settings - Motorola Moto G7 Play review
Google feed • Launcher settings

There are, however, some tweaks, sprinkled in a really subtle manner. We appreciate Motorola's efforts to keep the Moto assistant additions tidy and well organized under one roof - the Moto app.

The familiar customizations like Moto Display and Moto Actions are available all within the Moto app.

Motorola Moto G7 Play review

With Moto Display you can enable the Peek Display - it shows the clock and notifications upon lifting your Moto G7 Play. Attentive Display, when turned on, won't lock the screen while you are looking at it, but it may affect the battery life.

In Moto Actions you can enable Lift to unlock, Fast flashlight, Quick capture, Pick to silence, among other useful gestures. One-button nav is also available and it's closer to Google's own implementation than the full-screen gestures of other makers. Basically, you swipe left on the bar to go Back, swipe right to quickly switch between the last two apps, swipe up for the task switcher, tap the bar to go Home, and tap-hold for Google Assistant.

Moto app - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Moto Actions - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Moto Actions - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Moto Display - Motorola Moto G7 Play review
Moto app • Moto Actions • Moto Actions • Moto Display

The Moto G7 Play has an always-on fingerprint sensor on its back, but if Face Unlock is your thing, you can go for it but it's not as secure.

Fingerprint and security options - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Fingerprint and security options - Motorola Moto G7 Play review
Fingerprint and security options

There are pretty much no additional pre-installed apps on the Motorola G7 Play which are worth mentioning, and that's the way we prefer it. You pretty much get the Google app package and if there is anything else you need, it is easily attainable via the Play Store.

Photos - Motorola Moto G7 Play review Play Music - Motorola Moto G7 Play review FM radio - Motorola Moto G7 Play review
Photos • Play Music • FM radio

There is an FM radio receiver and an app to go with it.

Performance and benchmarks

The Motorola Moto G7 Play rely on the modest but still perfectly acceptable Snapdragon 632 chipset. It has an octa-core Kryo 250 CPU with 4x Gold and 4x Silver cores all working at 1.8GHz.

Motorola Moto G7 Play review

There is one very familiar Adreno 506 GPU to handle the graphics. The Play and the Power models have lower-res 720p displays to go with their Adreno 506, which will give them an edge in real-life onscreen performance, while the high-res 1080p Moto G7 Plus has the upgraded Adreno 509 GPU.

Finally, the G7 Play comes with just 2 gigs of RAM.

Now, let's see what the benchmarks tell us.

GeekBench is always our first stop and it shows that there is nothing worrisome about the G7 Play's processor. While both the single- and multi-core performance are trailing behind the Realme and Redmi competition - that's to be expected as the CPU has a lower clock than those. But the processor is still more than capable and seems future-proof enough.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Realme 1
    5741
  • Realme 2 Pro
    5531
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    5411
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    4927
  • Motorola Moto G7
    4755
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    4625
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    4534
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    4388
  • Motorola One (P30 Play)
    4183
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    4160
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    4154
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3972
  • Xiaomi Redmi 6
    3639
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    2328

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    1650
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    1617
  • Realme 1
    1511
  • Realme 2 Pro
    1462
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    1334
  • Motorola Moto G7
    1255
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    1252
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    1199
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    882
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    881
  • Motorola One (P30 Play)
    867
  • Xiaomi Redmi 6
    820
  • Motorola Moto G6
    754
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    639

The Adreno 506 has been around since the dated Snapdragon 625 chipset and while it had some nice punch, it just can't keep up with the 1080p tasks today.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    15
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    15
  • Realme 2 Pro
    14
  • Realme 1
    12
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    10
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    9.8
  • Motorola Moto G6
    9.3
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    6.9
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    6.9
  • Motorola Moto G7
    6.9
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    6.5
  • Motorola One (P30 Play)
    6.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi 6
    5.9
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    4.6

3DMark SSE 3.1 Unlimited

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    1409
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    1380
  • Realme 2 Pro
    1291
  • Realme 1
    1072
  • Motorola Moto G7
    569
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    567
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    562

Luckily, the G7 Power and G7 Play have 720p screens and the GPU handles everything effortlessly, even some demanding games. Nice!

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    14
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    14
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    14
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    13
  • Motorola One (P30 Play)
    13
  • Realme 2 Pro
    12
  • Realme 1
    12
  • Xiaomi Redmi 6
    11
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    10
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    9.7
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    9.3
  • Motorola Moto G6
    8.8
  • Motorola Moto G7
    6.4
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    6.1

The Moto G7 Power scored a respectable score on the compound AnTuTu benchmark and it clearly shows the potential of the Snapdragon 632 when coupled with an HD screen. The G7 Play has less points than the G7 Play because of its halved RAM.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    139075
  • Realme 1
    138524
  • Realme 2 Pro
    132958
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    130927
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    117829
  • Motorola Moto G7 Power
    107495
  • Motorola Moto G7
    106292
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play
    97230
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    90263
  • Motorola One (P30 Play)
    81024
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro)
    77964
  • Xiaomi Redmi 6
    75182
  • Motorola Moto G6
    70845
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    58757

The Moto G7 Play isn't as snappy as the Redmi Note 7 or Realme 2 Pro, which are some of its direct competitors. But it's powerful enough to last you a couple of years without worrying too much for the performance of upcoming apps and games. It's not a powerhouse, but it handles pressure very well and that's more than enough for its price.

We observed no warm spots on the G7 Play's body even in long benchmark sessions and there is no performance throttling at all.

Finally, Android Pie seemed to run fine on the Play and app startup times were okay. However, the 2GB of RAM turned to be insufficient at times and longer than usual loading times do happen, even stutter is possible here and there. Google Chrome crashed a couple of times, too.

Reader comments

  • Tyler

The Snapdragon 632 whips through most games without issue. The lower level Adreno 506 kind of let's it down if you're getting it for games. Still it'll handle almost anything you throw at it.

  • Anonymous

does the phone support at&t HV Voice ?

  • Thermo

I bought this phone Moto G7 play in Dec 2019. I don't mind the phone but find the volume sucks is there any way to "'boost the volume on this device???? Plz tell me there is!!! 🤬