Moto G71 5G review: some hits, some misses

The G71 5G is the first phone that comes powered by the Snapdragon 695 SoC

Review Summary

Expert Rating3/5

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

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Clean software interface
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • SD 695 offers stable performance

Cons

  • Display is capped at 60Hz
  • No dual speakers
  • Gaming performance not the best

Motorola is well and truly back in action and to kickstart the new year, the company took the wraps off a compelling mid-ranger in the form of the G71 5G. The smartphone has a lot going for it and is the first device in India to be backed by Qualcomm’s brand-new Snapdragon 695 processor. But, is that enough to sway buyers over to the brand’s doorsteps in the cutthroat sub Rs 20K price segment? Well, let’s find out in this review.

Verdict

The Moto G71 5G is the latest mid-ranger from the company’s stables. The handset does little to set itself apart though, and falters on key aspects like display and cameras. That said, it scores well on its near-stock Android experience and good battery life, and could work for you if these matter to you.    

The lowdown

The Moto G71 5G doesn’t stray too far from the company’s G-series design ethos. In fact, the smartphone has been stylised like the Moto G51 (review) my colleague reviewed a while ago. To that note, the device features an elliptical camera module towards the back which houses the phone’s camera sensors. If you ask me, the camera module acts as a unique identifier for the revamped Moto G series and adds a touch of character to the phone’s otherwise conventional design. That’s not all, as the phone is available in two tasteful colours, namely Arctic Blue and Neptune Green. Both the hues offer a smudge-resistant, matte finish, which is great. Furthermore, much like its more affordable sibling, the G71 5G has also been constructed out of polycarbonate.

Despite that, the phone feels quite sturdy and the build quality doesn’t come across as cheap or inexpensive. What’s more, the G71 5G can be comfortably used with just one hand. For one, the device is quite compact and ships with a relatively narrower frame. Furthermore, the back of the phone curves subtly into its frame, which betters the user’s in-hand grip as well.

If anything, I would’ve liked to see the phone’s rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor embedded within the power button, or placed underneath the display. As things stand, I had to constantly readjust my grip to unlock the phone. Thankfully, the device supports facial recognition too, which worked well during the day. At night, however, I had to resort to using the phone’s fingerprint sensor.

I/O-wise, the Moto G71 5G ships with a power button, a volume rocker, and a dedicated Google Assistant hotkey on its right-hand spine. The toggles are satisfactorily tactile and the power button features a distinctive texture too, thereby ensuring users don’t confuse one input for the other. For audio, the device comes equipped with a bottom-firing mono speaker that gets plenty loud for movie-watching. Now, I did miss a dual-speaker setup whilst daily driving the phone, though the G71 5G somewhat made up for it by shipping with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Unfortunately, the smartphone’s display is nothing to write home about. Specs-wise, the handset ships with a 6.4-inch, Full HD+, AMOLED screen. Notably, the panel offers good viewing angles, gets sufficiently bright at 700 nits, and exhibits vibrant colours. Furthermore, the screen’s touch responsiveness was to my liking and the display even comes with a Gorilla glass-equivalent protective layer on top that should mitigate scratches and scuffs to a certain degree. On the flip side, the panel is capped at 60Hz, which could be construed as a deal-breaker for many. Moreover, while the phone can stream content in HD quality from OTT services, the handset cannot relay HDR media. Correspondingly, if you were in the market for a phone that can relay HDR content via say, Netflix, you’ll have to look elsewhere. All things considered, movie-buffs will be left wanting more from the Moto G71 5G in the display department.

As prefaced previously, the Moto G71 5G is the first phone in the country to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 695 processor. The SoC works alongside 6GB of LPPDR4x memory and 128GB of uMCP storage. So, how does the phone perform? Well, the Moto G71 5G is a capable handset that can hold its own in the performance department. In fact, the SoC offers extremely stable performance and despite stress-testing the phone for an hour, the processor throttled to just 91 percent of its peak performance. With that said, while the SoC’s Kryo 660 CPU performs admirably, the chipset’s Adreno 619 GPU leaves a lot to be desired.

Case in point, BGMI, which maxes out at HD graphics and High FPS presets. Making matters worse, the smartphone cannot run the game at 60fps even with the graphics set to the ‘Smooth’ preset. The scenery remains unchanged whilst running Call of Duty Mobile on the phone too, with the game maxing out at High graphics and Max FPS, or Very High graphics and Very High FPS preset respectively.

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That’s not to say that stepping up to a 7-series processor will net gamers better performance. In fact, the Snapdragon 695 SoC performs akin to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 750G chipset which you might’ve seen on devices like the OnePlus Nord CE 5G (review). That said, opting for a Snapdragon 765G chipset or better will pay dividends, especially in the gaming department. For instance, the SD 768G-backed iQOO Z3 (review), which retails for around the same price as the Moto G71 5G, can run games at much better graphics and FPS settings. Rest assured, while the Moto G71 5G is more than capable of handling day-to-day tasks, the device isn’t geared towards hardcore gamers. On the bright side, the Moto G71 5G’s 5,000mAh battery comfortably saw me through the end of a heavy workday. What’s more, the handset ships with a 33W turbo charger in the box that allowed me to top-up the phone from 3-100 percent in just 45 minutes.

Moto has for long, offered a vanilla Android experience with its devices, and the G71 5G is no exception. To wit, the smartphone ships with little-to-no bloatware and boots the company’s MyUX interface. Unfortunately, the device still boots Android 11 out of the box. That’s a tad disappointing, seeing how I expect Moto to be at the forefront of speedy software updates. What’s more, while the interface doesn’t task the device all that much, it doesn’t offer a whole lot of customisation features either. Thankfully, the unit supports the bare necessities, including a built-in call recorder as well as a dedicated dark mode.

Moving on, the smartphone features a triple camera setup at the back comprising a 50MP Samsung sensor which works alongside an 8MP ultrawide angle shooter and a 2MP macro snapper. For selfies, the device gets a 16MP front-facing camera. Now, for the most part, the Moto G71 5G can output serviceable images during the day. In fact, the handset’s post-processing brings out the details in the shadows admirably. That said, the photos were, at times, a tad overexposed. Furthermore, at a closer crop, the shots exhibited a lot of noise too.

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The wide-angle images, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired. For one, the photos turn out quite grainy, even with ample light around. Moreover, the photos appear hazy at a closer crop and lack definition around the edges of the frame. On the flip side, the phone snaps quality closeups with authentic colours. You can edge quite close to the subject by switching to the phone’s macro sensor too, however, you will be left wanting for more sharpness from the photos. As for selfies, the device clicks passable, albeit beautified self-portraits. As an example, in the sample image attached above, you can tell that the phone lightened the orange hue of my hoodie quite a bit. Furthermore, at a closer crop, the selfies tend to lose their sharpness as well. Similarly, the lowlight shots look good and the phone’s night mode brings out perceptibly more details in a scene. That said, in doing so, the smartphone also introduces a lot of noise in the frame, so you win some and you lose some here. 

Final verdict

The Moto G71 5G retails for Rs 18,999 in India and for the price, offers a stylish design and a solid battery backup. Unfortunately, Motorola has cut quite a few corners and the smartphone’s display is simply put – not up to the mark. What’s more, the handset is competing in the dog-eat-dog segment that’s replete with more well-rounded offerings as well. Consequently, the Moto G71 5G, while good, is a tough sell and will only appease those that are looking for a phone with a near-stock Android interface.

Editor’s rating: 3 / 5

Pros:

  • Stylish design
  • Clean software interface
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • SD 695 offers stable performance

Cons:

  • Display is capped at 60Hz
  • No dual speakers
  • Gaming performance not the best

Key Specs

Moto G71 5G
RAM6 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 695
Rear Camera50 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.4 inches
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Moto G71 5G Price
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Rs. 18,900.00
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