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Moto G31: first impressions: packed to the brim

The popular Motorola Moto G series of smartphones recently featured five new models for global markets and are now starting to arrive in India. These phones range from the premium Moto G200 to the mid-range G71 and the budget G31. The Moto G31 is the first of five smartphones to arrive in India, priced at Rs 12,999 for the base 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant, while the 6GB RAM and 128GB variant is priced at Rs. 14 999.

I got the 4GB RAM variant in Meteorite Gray for review. There is also a Baby Blue finish, which is a mix of blue and purple. The polycarbonate one-piece body of the phone has a thin groove on the back that enhances grip. Although it’s made of polycarbonate, it doesn’t feel cheap and even has an IPX2 rating for water resistance. However, in comparison, the Moto G30 (Review) had an IP52 rating for dust and water resistance.

The Moto G31 has a dedicated button for invoking Google Assistant.

The 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top, while the single speaker and USB Type-C port is at the bottom. All buttons are on the right side. A dedicated Google Assistant button sits at the top, and below that is the volume rocker and power button. There is a Moto logo on the fingerprint sensor on the back. The SIM tray has a hybrid dual SIM setup with room for two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and a microSD card (up to 1TB).

The Moto G31 sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED punch-hole display, which is becoming common in smartphones in this segment. It does have a standard 60Hz refresh rate, though, which might seem like a downgrade compared to the G30’s 90Hz panel.

Motorola Moto G31 front display ndtv MotoG31 Motorola

The Moto G31’s AMOLED panel has a thick chin at the bottom.

Motorola switched from Qualcomm die in Moto G30 to MediaTek G85 SoC for Moto G31. This processor has a maximum clock speed of 2 GHz and is manufactured using a 12nm process technology. The 5000mAh battery capacity remains the same as before, and this goes for the 20W charger as well. Motorola included this 20W charger in the box specifically for the Indian market – a global variant was introduced with a 10W charger.

The Moto G31 has three rear cameras, while the G31 has four. There is a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultra wide-angle camera, and a 2MP macro camera. Selfies are performed by a 13-megapixel front camera. Motorola claims the 8MP ultra wide-angle camera doubles as a depth sensor, so it doesn’t need a dedicated sensor like the G30. The main camera has also dropped a bit in terms of resolution, going from a 64MP sensor on the G30 to a 50MP sensor, but actual photo quality depends on much more than just that number.

Motorola Moto G31 rear cameras ndtv MotoG31 Motorola

The 8MP ultra wide-angle camera doubles as a depth sensor in portrait mode.

The Motorola Moto G31 is packed to the brim when it comes to features, and you also get near-standard Android 11, which is hard to find in this segment. This phone has a slightly different design from its predecessor, but adds some practical touches like the AMOLED panel. At the rear, it has one less camera, but this is offset by a dual-function ultra-wide-angle camera. I also expect some performance differences when moving to a MediaTek processor, and this should also apply to battery life. So stay tuned for the Gadgets 360 and I’ll be opening the full review soon to see if the new hardware changes are worth it, and if the Moto G31 can build on the versatile appeal of the Moto G30 (Review).

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