Test: Moto G200 – Odd mix of top model and budget

The Moto G200 is an odd bird. Sales start in January, but it is probably rather last year’s last top model than this year’s first in that it runs the 2021 platform. Motorola also calls it part of the 11th generation Moto G series, but it also does not have much in common with other new Moto G mobiles. Most logical is the Moto G200 as a laggard to the cheaper top models that are usually launched this autumn by, among others, Xiaomi, Oneplus and Samsung. However, Motorola has made some very different and unusual choices.

The price tag of 5000 kronor feels in any case quite typical for this type of cheap top models. For that price, you have to reckon with one or two compromises, and we get compromises. On the whole, the Moto G200 is still a really successful phone.

Fast in every way

It is also a really fast phone, because here they have not compromised a bit. The platform that drives the phone is Snapdragon 888 Plus, the hot version of last year’s top chipset that is normally found mainly in gaming mobiles and other performance monsters. If anything, you usually choose a slightly slower chipset in this type of mobile. Other components also hold the same high class, such as the LPDDR5 type memory circuits that support the UFS3.1 standard, which speeds up read and write speeds. Mention may also be made of support for Wifi 6E, which is the latest and fastest wifi standard.

The screen is also fast, with an update frequency of 144 Hz, but here we come across our first compromise, because it is an LCD display, not an Oled screen that you would otherwise expect in a mobile for 5000 kronor and up.

You immediately notice that it is an LCD display on the color shifts that occur when you hold the phone at different angles and that the black never becomes really black. The display does not hold the same class as say Apple’s LCD screens did, before they switched to Oled, but it is not a bad screen either. In daily use, I quickly forget that it is not an Oled screen. Unfortunately, the LCD display also detracts from some of the benefits of a higher screen refresh rate, as the liquid crystals are drawn with some lag that the higher refresh rate can not remedy. I have seen worse examples of this and I still find it practically practical that the screen feels softer in scrolling when I set it at 144 Hz than at 60 Hz, so the function is not wasted.

In the package, in addition to the mobile phone itself, we find a transparent rubber shell and a charger of 33 watts. The phone is not as fast charging as some other top models, or even the fastest Motorola mobiles, but 33 watts is enough in any case so that it will not take half an eternity to charge the 5000 mAh battery. The rubber cover may not be needed to protect you from cracking the back of the phone, as it is made of plastic, but it protects against scratches and provides a slightly raised edge around the screen which provides some protection.

Missing in the box is the adapter for the headset socket, because the phone does not have a 3.5 mm socket for the headset. In any case, the phone follows some kind of sound standard because I have no problem finding a working adapter among the ones I have at home.

Plastic

The phone’s design is a bit plastic for better or worse, but I still like the original design on the camera island. The screen is in a slightly narrower 20.5 format, which in combination with being a large phone to begin with makes the Moto G200 a bit awkward and difficult to use with one hand. But the fingerprint reader is well placed in the on / off button on the side.

What I miss most about the phone is probably the memory card slot. In any case, when the pre-installed memory stays at 128 GB. I easily fill it with the pictures I want available locally, with games and with downloaded podcasts and TV series.

The camera set is as mixed as the phone itself. There are three cameras on the back and two of them do not impress. The wide-angle camera has relatively low resolution and difficulty with contrasts. The depth sensor helps a bit to create a blurred background for portraits, but it usually works well even without a special camera for it.

Top camera

The main camera, on the other hand, is the same as on Motorola’s top model Edge 20 Pro. It was Motorola’s best mobile camera so far and it’s just as good here. The camera does not quite reach the level of the best cameras from Samsung, Apple or Xiaomi, but at least with good light it takes excellent pictures. Normally, the 108 megapixels in the camera are combined down to a 12-megapixel image where the extra pixels improve the light sensitivity, but you can also choose to take a full-resolution image. It then gets noticeably better sharpness but poorer light sensitivity. The high resolution is also used for zoom. I try a few different zoom levels and notice that especially at three times the magnification, the images are sharp and detailed, even if it is not quite at the same level as, for example, the zoom camera on the Iphone 13 Pro Max. The phone allows you to zoom in digitally up to 10 times magnification, and the images will be acceptable even with this zoom.

There is no special macro camera on the mobile, we thank you for that because they rarely impress, but there is actually a macro mode anyway, which gives really good results via the wide angle camera.

The system in the phone is Android 11 with Motorola’s user interface My UX. So another compromise, because we can start counting on getting Android 12 in new mobiles now. Motorola also does not promise to upgrade the phone beyond Android 12.

Otherwise, My UX is a really nice user interface. Externally almost identical to Google’s interface, with few pre-installed apps, really fast, and with some smart added features and system tips.

If you want to use your mobile phone to watch movies with someone else, the mono speaker is a limitation, but it has at least decent sound to be able to do the whole job on your own.

Overall, I think Motorola makes good priorities in the Moto G200, although they may not suit everyone. Some might have switched to Oledskärm for a slightly worse camera, or a little less performance for more storage space. But Motorola has made the choices they have made, and they feel well thought out and provide a phone for 5,000 kronor with great value for money.

Questions and answers

How is the battery life? The screen time may be a little shorter than average, but you can run the screen update at 144 Hz without draining the battery much faster. Standby time is excellent.

What is the Ready For feature? It allows you to connect your phone to a larger screen and get a more computer-like mode. Samsung has a similar feature in its Dex mode. The function is well done but perhaps only important for a few.

What does the extra button on the page do? It’s a shortcut to the Google Assistant. You can not reprogram the button to another function.

An alternative

Cheaper top model: Xiaomi 11T costs the same but prioritizes better screen over a slightly slower processor.

Camera example

As long as the light is good, the camera result from the Moto G200 is often excellent.


Source: Mobil by www.mobil.se.

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