Motorola Moto G30 Review: Safe All-Rounder

Motorola has added two new smartphones, the Moto G10 Power and Moto G30, to its popular G series in India. The Moto G30 is the more expensive device of the two, yet still has a budget-friendly price of Rs 10,999. Motorola seems to have stuck to the basics with the Moto G30, offering a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, a 5,000mAh battery, and a quad-camera setup. In terms of specifications, this phone seems to check a lot of boxes, but how good is it to live with? I put the Moto G30 through our tests and here’s my review.

 

Moto G30 design

The Motorola Moto G30 has a fresh design and looks different compared to older Motorola smartphones. The front is dominated by a 6.5-inch display with a dewdrop notch at the top. This display has a 20.5:9 aspect ratio which makes the phone narrow and easy to grip. While you can easily move a thumb across from one side of the panel to the other, reaching the top needs a stretch.

The frame of the Moto G30 is made of plastic and all the buttons are on the right side. I found the power button to be well-positioned, and the textured pattern on it makes it easy to distinguish. The volume buttons are higher, and the Google Assistant button is right on top, making it somewhat hard to reach, Motorola could have moved this button to the other side, which has only the SIM tray. There is an IP52 rating for water resistance and the tray itself has a rubber seal to help keep water out.

The gradient pattern on the back panel helps hide fingerprints quite well.

 

The USB Type-C port is at the bottom along with the primary microphone and loudspeaker, while the 3.5mm audio jack and secondary microphone are at the top of the frame. The back of the Moto G30 is flat but curves at the sides which makes gripping the phone comfortable. There’s a slightly raised quad-camera module in the top left corner and a fingerprint scanner next to it with Motorola’s ‘Batwing’ logo on it. I found the fingerprint scanner placement to be good, as my finger rested on it naturally while holding the smartphone.

Motorola offers the Moto G30 in two colours: Dark Pearl and Pastel Sky. I have the former for review, and it has a gradient design. The deep purple finish is hard to spot fingerprints on. You also get a transparent case with this phone. The Moto G30 packs in a 5,000mAh battery and weighs 197g. The weight of the phone is well distributed and it did not feel top heavy. Motorola bundles a 20W charger in the box.

Moto G30 specifications and software

Motorola has picked the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC which was also used to power the Moto G9 (Review). The company has launched the G30 in only one configuration, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. You can expand storage but only at the cost of a SIM card since the phone has a hybrid slot. The Moto G30 has an HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It is set to ‘Auto’ by default but you can switch between 60Hz and 90 Hz manually.

There is support for Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi, six satellite navigation systems, and NFC. Motorola ships the G30 with Android 11 out of the box which is now slowly becoming standard. You get the January Android security patch which is acceptable. Motorola has also equipped the G30 with ThinkShield, an end-to-end security layer which it hopes will be reassuring for individuals as well as enterprises.

Moto G30 ships with Android 11 out of the box

 

There aren’t major customisations with the operating system and it feels a lot like stock Android. While you get Android 11’s new features, Motorola has also added Moto Actions which are shortcut gestures. You can make a double-chop motion to turn on the flashlight, or swipe quickly to get into split-screen mode. The Gametime feature lets you block calls and notifications and also switch to your favourite apps quickly while you are gaming.

Motorola Moto G30 performance

The Moto G30 delivers decent performance for the price and it had no issue keeping up with my casual usage. I found the fingerprint scanner to be quick (though the unlock animation is a bit slow), and face recognition also worked as expected. Setting the display to 90Hz manually made the UI appear a lot smoother when scrolling through the menus. I found the display brightness to be strictly okay outdoors. Apps loaded quickly and I could multitask between different ones quite easily.

I ran a few benchmarks to see how the Moto G30 stacks up against the competition. In AnTuTu and PC Mark Work 2.0, the Moto G30 scored 1,77,595 and 6,220 points respectively. These scores were lower than what the Realme Narzo 30A (Review), powered by the Mediatek Helio G85 managed. In Geekbench 5’s single core and multi-core tests, the Moto G30 managed 305 and 1,278 points respectively. The Moto G30 returned 51fps and 13fps in GFXBench’s T-Rex and Car Chase benchmarks respectively. These scores were better than those of the Moto G10 Power and the Nokia 3.4 (Review), but the Realme Narzo 30A again stays in the lead in terms of graphics benchmarks.

The Moto G30 has a 64-megapixel primary camera

 

The Moto G30 ran Call of Duty: Mobile well and defaulted to the High graphics preset and medium frame rate. The game was playable at these settings without any stutter. After playing for 15 minutes I noticed a four percent battery drop. The Moto G30 was slightly warm to the touch around the camera module.

I did not have any issues with battery life, and the Moto G30 lasted me about a day and a half easily with my usage. In our HD video loop test, the Moto G30 ran for 19 hours, 43 minutes which is a good time albeit slightly lower than what the Moto G10 Power can manage. Since Motorola bundles a 20W charger in the box, charging was relatively quick. The smartphone got to 34 percent in 30 minutes and 63 percent in an hour.

Motorola Moto G30 cameras

Motorola has equipped the Moto G30 with a quad-camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The primary camera sensor uses pixel-binning and delivers 16-megapixel shots by default, but you can of course take photos at the full resolution. The camera app feels familiar and there are multiple shooting modes to choose from.

Daylight shots taken with the Moto G30 turned out well, with good details and fairly accurate colours. Text at a distance was legible. It seems that the phone sharpens images slightly. The AI was quick to detect any scene and enable HDR when required. Shots taken with the ultra-wide angle camera did not have as much detail but offered a much wider field of view. There was no barrel distortion in the output.

Motorola Moto G30 daylight camera sample (tap to see full size)

Motorola Moto G30 wide-angle camera sample (tap to see full size)

 

Close-up shots turned out sharp and had good detail. The Moto G30 was quick to lock focus and also applied a soft bokeh effect to the background. Portrait shots also turned out great and the phone managed good separation between the subject and the background. This phone also lets you set the level of blur before taking a shot. The macro camera lets you get super close to a subject but resolution is limited to 2 megapixels. I found the quality of macros to be average.

Motorola Moto G30 close-up camera sample (tap to see full size)

Motorola Moto G30 portrait camera sample (tap to see full size)

Motorola Moto G30 macro camera sample (tap to see full size)

 

In low light, the phone takes about three seconds to take a shot in the regular photo mode. The output is decent but detail was missing in the shadows. The AI also applied smoothening to reduce grain in the output. In Night mode, the Moto G30 needed about six seconds to take a shot and resulting images were too bright. The Mioto G30 was too aggressive with Night mode resulting in blown-out highlights, but these shots did have better details in the shadows.

Motorola Moto G30 low-light camera sample (tap to see full size)

Motorola Moto G30 Night mode camera sample (tap to see full size)

 

Selfies taken with the 13-megapixel selfie camera were good in daylight. Photos shot in a bright environment had aggressive HDR applied. Portrait mode is available for the selfie camera, and it does a good job of separating the subject from the background. Low-light selfies were acceptable but those taken with Night mode had better colours.

Motorola Moto G30 Selfie portrait camera sample (tap to see full size)

Motorola Moto G30 low-light selfie camera sample (tap to see full size)

 

Video recording tops out at 1080p for the primary rear camera as well as the selfie shooter. Video is stabilised, and this phone did a much better job in daylight than at night. The Moto G30 does try to stabilise footage at night but the output had a noticeable shimmer.

Verdict

Motorola has priced the Moto G10 Power and the Moto G30 quite close to each other, and choosing between them is not all that easy. The Moto G30 offers slightly better performance than the Moto G10 Power, but has a smaller battery. It still isn’t the fastest in this price range, and if you are looking specifically for performance, the Realme Narzo 30A (Review) offers better. If you don’t mind spending a little extra, the new Redmi Note 10 (Review) offers much better value for your money.

The Moto G30 doesn’t particularly excel at any one thing but manages to do a bit of everything right. It has good cameras, the software is free of bloat, battery performance is strong, and the high refresh rate display is a noteworthy touch. You can’t really go wrong with the Moto G30, but if you are willing to trade camera and overall performance for battery life, the Moto G10 Power could be worth checking out too.

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