I’ve always been a big fan and user of the products of the series Notes by Samsung, and I often happened to ask me if a product that share the main feature, i.e. the nib, but at a price that is significantly less, could be successful. Here, Motorola the test this year to give me an answer, bringing on the Italian market the new Moto G Pro: the version for the european market (it has been added to the NFC), the Moto G Stylus launched in February in the USA together with the G8 Power, which you can find here our review.
In hindsight, Motorola would have maybe been able to keep the same nomenclature used for over-ocean. The latter shows better the specific most important product and does not leave space to interpretation too optimistic about the experience of using a smartphone is still primarily intended for users with basic needs. But we do not get lost in other chatter, and let’s just find out how it behaves this Motion, the G Pro.
DESIGN AND MATERIALS
HARDWARE AND PERFORMANCE
I will start by telling you about the one that is the distinctive feature of this product, namely the nib. Better to put things immediately clear: if you expect to find the experience of using a Galaxy Note don’t be fooled, we are on an entirely different scale. It does not mean that you will never get that level of integration, but the technology used here is different, and even the functions are very limited. We hope it’s only a first experiment because the road is the right one, and could have a future.
Let’s go with order. We’re facing a stylus capacitive, there is then a digitizer, and lack of recognition of the palm and the levels of pressure; any touch unintentionally is received by the display and the trait does not vary in size depending on the force that you exert. When you take notes, in short, you must be so careful not to touch the display with the palm or other parts of your hand, otherwise you will find yourself with the signs involuntary on the page. Net of this, the stroke is recognized quickly, there is a slight delay in the appearance of the sign on the panel, but we are in the order of thousandths of a second, and you’ll get use to it soon.
You can certainly improve the ergonomics. The nib is very thin and lightweight, details that do not allow you to have to equip it like a normal pencil. The housing is made so that you can place it in the shell only, and only in one direction and there are mechanisms to release the shot, you simply pull out and push in to put it in its place.
I have to admit that to be the first attempt of implementation, Motorola has worked well, especially at the software level. The tuning and the extra features are, as usual, well integrated in the system, and it is natural to get familiar with them immediately, without complications.
Pulling out the pen locked smartphone, it automatically opens a note that you can compile and then save, all without unlocking the phone. Doing the same operation to the smartphone unlocked, it appears a bubble floating that, when touched, opens a sub-menu where you will find the extra features related to the use of the pen. The first allows you to capture a screenshot of the screen and score over it with a clipboard, the second opens notepad Motorola, while the third link is to the notes you Keep. Of course, this menu can be modified and customized by inserting other applications or removing unused ones.
Within the setup menu, we can also act on the tool that warns us of the absence of the stylus from the slot for a long time , or that records the location where you extracted the stylus for the last time. Once again, Motorola, without great pretensions, shows knowing how to integrate their extra features in a simple but also practical and functional, just what many other manufacturers do not make or fail to make.
From the aesthetic point of view, this Moto G Pro incorporates all the stylistic elements used by Motorola in its latest solutions, say, One Action and One Vision forward. The shell is made with a polycarbonate nice hard that feels like glass in the rear and metal to the frame. This is surely not a high quality material like these two, but, if we look to the substance of the plastic, if of good quality, as this helps to make the whole solution less prone to breakage in the event of a fall. The front is instead a layer of glass to cover the display.
In terms of size and weight are not talking about a little phone, but compared to the last top of the range display, 6.7-inch, and in addition, the 6.4-inch of this Motion, the G Pro are quite easy to handle. I have no hands huge but I manage to cover the whole surface of the keyboard while holding the smartphone with one hand. The grip is discrete, but in the box we find a silicone case transparent, always handy to protect from the outset the product. Moto G Pro weighs finally 192 grams, who are not few, but are well distributed and do not get out of balance during use.
I liked so much the coloring. Gives without doubt a touch of personality in a smartphone that otherwise might appear quite anonymous. In the back we find three cameras which could seem to be four if, as happened to me, do you initially fooled by the last button at the bottom that actually contains the sensor for the laser focus. The configuration of the traffic lights is not one of my favorites, but in this case, the optics are not very prominent and when we support the smartphone on the table wobbles too much. Always on the back, in the center of the cover, we find the reader for the recognition of fingerprints, which works well, is fast, and always recognize the touch.
From the front we have the display of 6.4 inches with a frames not thin , and with a front-facing camera that is inserted into a hole in the top left corner. Along the frame we find the power key and volume adjustment, the audio jack 3.5 mm, the USB-C 2.0 without video output, microphones, and one of the two speakers: the other is inserted in the capsule headset. The audio produced by this dual system is very good as far as the volume, a slightly improved level of quality: the bass are not very present. The good news, considering the high volume, is that there are no distortions.
In closing this chapter I want to spend two words on the trolley for the SIM card that is located on the left side and offers housing two SIM cards format Nano or a SIM card plus a memory card MicroSD for storage expansion. The internal memory is 128 GB and it should be sufficient for the needs of most users.
As already mentioned above, in the back cover we installed 3 cameras. The main module provides a sensor 48 megapixel standard lens with aperture of f/1.7 and the laser focus; the second camera is instead an ultrawide sensor with 16 megapixel resolution and lens with angle of view of 117° and reserved to the video mode “Action Cam”; and the third is a simple Macro 2-megapixel as now we see many in this price range.
From the point of view of the interface there is nothing new; it is the classic Motorola, very clean, with just a few commands, clear and precise and the learning curve is really very low. The peculiarity of this system of cameras is of course the mode of Action Cam in the section dedicated to the video. The wide angle camera may be used only for this function and unfortunately can not take photos. A very particular choice and that is hardly acceptable, however good they may be the results in the video. The mode, Action Cam lets you use the phone in portrait to shoot video in 16:9 with a resolution of fullHD, taking advantage of the wide-angle lens and stabilization is very effective, just as if you had your hands on one action cam. I have tried this mode, hooking up your smartphone to the scooter and the result is what you see below.
But back to the standard camera that day and take photos really appreciable. The sensor, as mentioned above, is a 48-megapixel but in reality there are going to take never at this resolution. By default, in fact, we find it set to 4:3 mode at 12 megapixels and also going to comb through the settings, we have the possibility to change the size but not the resolution. This is because the camera uses technology Quad Pixel, which combines pixels in groups of 4 to capture more light and get better shots.
The photos captured are fitted with a good definition, brilliant colors, fast focusing and an excellent performance of the HDR. I will tell you more, in some difficult situations, like the photo you see below with the rays of the sun filtering through the branches of the trees, this Motion, the G Pro has me pleasantly surprised. Now it is difficult to find a smartphone that makes bad images in the presence of good light, but here the results are even better than expected.
In the evening, or, however, in the presence of a least amount of light, the results are obviously less convincing. It remains in the average of the segment of the market, and while there is the night mode to give a hand the obtained results are certainly not astonishing. Also leveraging the software to improve the situation, the photos remain tend to be poorly lit and often have a background noise quite pronounced. Pretty good management of the high lights that still manage to be properly limited in their tendency to burn everything that surrounds them.
The macro from the 2 megapixel camera works well with a lot of light while I use it when the light is low. It is not a camera that you will use frequently, although I have to admit that it offers a point of view with a very special with whom you can do to create fun compositions going to highlight details normally not visible.
From the front you will find a module with a sensor 16 megapixels and a lens with f/2.0 aperture. It is a camera with sufficient performance, which takes good photos in most conditions. There is no portrait mode, but we have the ability to activate the classical filters beauty now available on all smartphones.
Finally, let’s talk cameras talking about the video, which can be shot up to a maximum resolution of 4K at 30 fps. The results obtained are discrete, the stabilization is sufficient, but not at the height of the mode, action cam, while the focus is fast enough and the exposure adjustment is precise and sudden. Here we are in the middle of the other products in this price range.
The display of this Motion, the G Pro measure as a said 6.4″, is a IPS in the format 19:9 and offers a resolution of 2300×1080 pixels. We are facing technical specifications completely aligned to most of the competition in the same market segment. I would have definitely preferred an Amoled display, but I have to admit that I have never had any problems in the display information on the screen, even outdoors under direct sunlight.
The panel is indeed very bright, and it exceeds 450 cd/sqm and offers a contrast ratio of about 1500:1. The treatment oleofobico is good, on the display, leave a few footprints that are still removed easily with a quick pass over the mesh.
From the point of view of color reproduction is definitely not the display more accurately seen up to here. Our measurements with a colorimeter and the software Calman shows a coverage of the sRGB standard of 92%, and Delta, And high enough for the grey scale for the colours. In both cases, we are more than the value by which the human eye is unable to perceive a difference in pitch compared to the reference but let’s say that for the majority of users, this results only in colors, loads and saturated. In short, only a trained eye will easily notice this “defect”.
And here we are to tell what is hidden under the body of this Motion, the G Pro. The heart of the solution is a Qualcomm Snapdradon 665, supported by 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage. Talk about a chip now pretty dated but still can’t guarantee to still experience sufficient to meet the needs of most users. The 4 GB of RAM is now the minimum wage to afford to keep running 3 or 4 applications at the same time and as long as you remain within this limit also the multitasking is handled properly.
We obviously are not to the levels of a top of the range, some small lag occasionally you will definitely see some applications with particularly heavy-duty (ed. read: written with the feet) is struggling to move fluidly. But, let’s be clear: if we limit ourselves to use the social networks, Whatsapp, some mail, Telegram, browsing, and some Youtube videos, there are no major problems. Nothing new because in the end, this is the intended use for which it is designed. For this reason I believe that Motorola would have done better to keep the name Moto G Stylus, avoiding inconveniencing the adjective PRO which makes immediately think of a destination professional.
I have already said that we have the ability to use two SIM at the same time but I have not yet spoken of the quality of reception that is good and does not regret end smartphones even higher. Well also, the audio quality in call is in relation to the capsule that hands-free. In the european version has been added to the NFC and we can then pay by virtualizing our credit cards. There is no 5G, for the good of the plotters, the WiFi is dual band and the Bluetooth is in version 5.0.
TECHNICAL MOTO G PRO
- Display: Max Vision 6.4″ FHD+
- SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
- 4GB of RAM
- 128GB internal, expandable up to 512GB
- Dual SIM: yes
- Connectivity: 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 ac, dual-band, NFC, USB-C, GPS, Glonass, Galileo
- Front camera: 16MP, pixel 1um, f/2.0
- 48MP with technology, Quad Pixel, pixels, 1.6 um, f/1.7
- 2MP Macro Vision (2cm), f/2.2
- 16MP wide angle 117° Acrion Cam, pixel by 2um, f/2.2
- ToF Laser AF
- video up to UHD @30fps sensor main
- Battery: 4,000 mAh with fast charging 10W
Dimensions and weight:
- 192 grams
- OS: Android 10
- Audio: 2x stereo speaker Dolby
- Other: coating hydro-repellent
Instead, I enjoyed, as always, for the rest, the optimization of the software. We speak of course of the Android 10, in version One, and then basically stock. Ok, I’m a little, if I could, I’d like the stock Android on all smartphones, but the slight customization of Motorola, as always, is timely and accurate. Is there when and where you need it and does not burden unnecessarily the system with a lot of features that for the 99.9% of the users are basically useless.
There are, of course, the Bike Action, there is the always on display which is able to compensate well for the lack of the notification LED, the navigation via gestures, optimizations for the audio produced in collaboration with Dolby and, last but not least, the Bike Gametime, with the ability to mute notifications, and optimize the performance when running a game.
Before pulling the sums we close the analysis by speaking of the battery and autonomy. The module inside the Moto G Pro offers a capacity of 4000 mAh that are definitely not a record, but that, combined with the hardware just described, and then to a SoC that looks more to save energy than to squeeze every drop of power of its core, lead to have an autonomy great. With standard use you get dinner with a quantity of residual charge that is greater than 50% and allows us to deal with without too many problems a good part, if not all, of the second day of use.
Also, by adopting a pattern of more intense use it at night without problems, and if we were to find ourselves in an emergency in the middle of the day we still support fast charging up to 15 W that fully charged this Motion, the G Pro in about 90 minutes. Unfortunately there is no wireless charging but in this category of product is a characteristic that is virtually impossible to find even in the competition.
If we put aside for a moment the name, as already said Stylus would have been much more true Pro, this smartphone Motorola does what it promises without too many frills. Leads to all the effects of the stylus in a price range much lower than the competition, although the implementation is very elementary, but sufficient for the needs of most users.
It’s not perfect: the technology used does not enable recognition of the palm and there is the variation of the shape of the stroke depending on the pressure levels, but the extra features can be activated with the extraction of the stylus however, they are useful and designed for this type of use without claims. If you are looking for a smartphone with a stylus integrated into the case that you will not require to spend exorbitant amounts in this Motion, the G Pro is probably the only alternative that you have at the moment.
The list price is of 349 euro, probably 50 to 70 euros more than I would pay. Notes 10 the Lite is, in fact, currently available for around 400 euro and, for only 50 euros more, it offers an experience far more complete and integrated. We know, however, how does the smartphone market and what is usually the trend in the price of the smartphone Motorola; keep your eyes open, because through the wall of 300 euro may be easier than you expected.