Motorola Moto M review: M for Midranger

M for Midranger

GSMArena team, 13 January 2017.

5.5-inch FullHD IPS display

The Moto M comes with a 5.5-inch FullHD IPS display - you can't really ask for more in its segment. The subpixel arrangement is the standard RGB with an equal number of subpixels for each primary color.

Motorola Moto M review

The Moto M's isn't very bright at its maximum setting - 425nits is AMOLED territory, and we all know how LCD's can typically go brighter (and should). There's no boost in Auto mode either. The more affordable Moto G4 and G4 Plus are surprisingly superior in this respect. As for contrast, the Moto G4s have a slight edge as well, but the Moto M's 1400:1 isn't too shabby either.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Motorola Moto M 0.3 425 1417
Motorola Moto Z Play 0 371
Motorola Moto Z Play (max auto) 0 526
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek) 0.42 403 953
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 0.38 439 1158
Xiaomi Redmi Pro 0 408
Lenovo Moto G4 0.32 495 1560
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 0.33 478 1448
Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto) 0.43 587 1365
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 0 353
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor 0 484
Meizu m3 note 0.52 425 816
Meizu m3 max 0.46 449 976
Oppo F1 Plus 0 351
Oppo R9s 0.032 411 12844
Sony Xperia XA Ultra 0.50 531 1071

Sunlight legibility is okay on the Moto M. It's no match for the AMOLED panel on the Moto Z Play, but at least in this respect, the M is superior to the G4 and G4 Plus. The LCD-equipped bunch of the Chinese competitors can't match the Moto M's sunlight contrast, so there's that too.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Motorola Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

The phone's display isn't particularly accurate either. Certainly not to the point of being an issue, though - an average DeltaE of 5.9 is perfectly within reason, considering the Moto Z Play's 5.3 value. Then again the Moto G4 Plus posted an average DeltaE of 4.3 with a 7.4 maximum in its default mode, so again the cheaper phone scores higher.

Connectivity

The Moto M is a dual SIM phone by default (meaning there's no single SIM version), with the second SIM slot shared with the microSD card - so you can't have all three cards in at the same time. One of the SIMs gets to tap into 4G LTE networks, while the second one only gets 2G/3G connectivity. You can have both cards connected to 3G networks, too.

In the local connectivity section dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac is supported along with Bluetooth 4.1 LE. The Moto G4's Bluetooth is version 4.2 (should minimize interference with LTE networks), but the Moto Z Play is 4.1 as well, so there's not much of a price-Bluetooth correlation. There's GPS, but no NFC, so you can forget about Android Pay if it's even available in your country in the first place.

There is an FM radio receiver on board too, and we're sure that will please a wide demographic.

There's a USB Type-C connector for power supply and wired data transfers, and it supports USB OTG too, only be sure to have a Type-C adapter.

Motorola Moto M battery life

The Moto M is powered by a 3,050mAh battery. It may sound like a red flag for a 5.5-inch FullHD device with an Helio P10 at the helm, but the Oppo F1 Plus did a pretty good job with the same config and 200mAh less, so we kept an open mind going into the tests.

Well, it turned out a bit of skepticism would have been very much warranted. The Moto M posted average numbers in all of our tests, starting with 15 hours of 3G voice calls. The Moto Z Play can do double that, while other P10-equipped models (the above mentioned F1 Plus and the Meizu M3 Note) beat the Moto M by 'just' 6 hours in this discipline.

It's not getting any better in web browsing over Wi-Fi, where the Moto M barely passes the 7-hour mark before calling it a day. The Moto G4 Plus and the Meizu M3 Note can last well over 11 hours in this one, and even the Oppo F1 Plus manages to keep browsing for an hour more than the Moto M.

The M's battery struggles continue into video playback - not even 8 hours in our standardized test. The others we've been comparing to so far can last in the 11-12 hours ballpark.

The unimpressive individual figures inevitably lead to a lowly 55-hour overall Endurance rating.

Motorola Moto M

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Waste of money, it has very poor battery backup

  • R B

Very Very Very Very worst phone. I brought this phone for Rs 17000/- With in the first few months itself iys motherboard got down, I got it replaced then after some months its data cable got damage and also got replaced. After some months itd ba...

  • Anonymous

Moto m is waste phone Fully charged only 4 hours 15% charge sudden just 1 minute phone off