Moto G22 review: a clean, minimalistic budget approach

Here is the full review of Motorola's latest budget offering called the Moto G22 which is priced at Rs 10,999

Review Summary

Expert Rating3.5/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Clean software
  • Decent camera performance in daylight
  • 90Hz display on a budget
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Performance could be better
  • Poor photos in low light

The Motorola brand continues to be a strong one in the smartphone segment and as always, its popular G series is a key pillar. While the budget segment is mostly dominated by OEMs like Realme and Xiaomi, Motorola is looking to tip the scales in its favour with the Moto G22. Priced at Rs 10,999, the device packs in several signature features that the company is known for. With a lot of competition vying for the value-for-money title below the Rs 12,000 mark, it’s time to see in this review where the Moto G22 stands.

Verdict

The Moto G22 takes a holistic approach to the budget user’s requirements. It has the battery life, display metrics, cameras, and software capabilities one can generally associate with the device’s price point marred, with performance being the one key area that could leave one wanting more.

The lowdown

  • The Moto G22 offers a standard budget build with a plastic unibody chassis that is light in the hand although not as grippy as I would’ve liked due to the flat edges. There is a subtle grey tone to the matte finish that I prefer over the horde of glossy dual-tone gradients employed by several OEMs. The headphone jack finds its way to the top while the USB C port and speaker grille retain the bottom positioning. As for the oval camera housing, it has a unique look as compared to previous G series phones and the quad-lenses are arranged vertically with the macro shooter adjacent to the depth sensor.
  • Motorola has offered 90Hz refresh rate on the G22’s 6.5-inch LCD panel but has capped the resolution at HD+. There is a sizeable punch-hole on the top of the display with a certain amount of backlight bleeding visible. The phone offers a typically budget viewing experience in terms of colour accuracy and viewing angles, which is to say pretty average. There is a raise-to-wake functionality that triggers the display if the phone is moved even a millimetre and should be avoided to prevent unnecessary battery drain. In terms of brightness, the G22 has 500nits of peak brightness but in Delhi’s blistering afternoons, the luminosity levels appeared a bit dim. Unsurprisingly, the panel also does not have WideVine L1 certification for HD OTT content.
  • Optics-wise the Moto G22 has a 50MP camera as the primary shooter, supported by an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, a rarity in this price segment, along with the usual combo of a 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor. Motorola is not highly rated when it comes to cameras, but for the price, the G22 seems to have done a decent enough job. Daylight shots are slightly undersaturated but still vivid enough for my liking. Details are as sharp as they can be while the exposure meter does a good job of letting in the correct amount of light. Focusing speeds are snappy and shutter lag is absent. Low-light shots are plagued by the usual buggy image processing that is prevalent in the budget segment. Noise is abundant and highlights are a lot less defined than the required norm on a sub Rs 12,000 phone. Even so, I’m happy with the ultra-wide shooter which brings more of the scene into the frame while maintaining correct colour temperatures. Both the macro and depth shooters are nothing out of the ordinary. On the front, there is a 16MP selfie camera that is serviceable for daylight usage.
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  • The Moto G22 is the first device to come with MediaTek’s Helio G37 SoC but in terms of raw performance I think it’s less than impressive. Switching between a few heavy apps is almost always jittery while navigating through the UI or just browsing the Facebook feed tends to bog down the refresh rate. There is only a single variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage with the external microSD card offering additional storage up to 1TB. Gaming is not the device’s forte and as an example, BGMI can only operate at Balanced graphics settings with frame rate locked at a maximum of 30fps. 
  • The bottom-firing speakers on the device are pretty average although there is the headphone jack placed unconventionally at the top. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor is fast enough while the 4G LTE mobile network speeds on Jio’s Noida circle were acceptable. In terms of software, the device comes with the almost stock Android 12 UI which is free of bloatware and excessive customisation options. 
  • As for the battery life, the Moto G22 packs in a 5,000mAh cell that has 20W charging support. As the SoC is not particularly power-hungry, the G22 manages to easily run past the one-day mark on moderate usage. PCMark’s Battery test returned a healthy score of 15 hours 58 minutes. The device takes upwards of 2 hours to completely charge with the 20W speeds.

Final verdict

As an overall package, there are only a few faults with the Moto G22, the biggest of which is its processing capabilities. Even for a sub Rs 12,000 phone, the does lag a fair bit. In any case, the phone’s decent battery life, wide array of cameras, clean software, and 90Hz refresh ratedisplay can make the G22 an option worth considering for budget users.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros:

  • Clean software
  • Decent camera performance in daylight
  • 90Hz display on a budget
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

  • Performance could be better
  • Poor photos in low light