With the Moto G6 having been released a matter of months ago, budget hawks now have their eyes fixed firmly on the horizon, in anticipation of the release of the Moto G7.
First released back in 2013, the Moto G series has become one of parent company Lenovo’s most popular, certainly under the ‘Moto’ brand. It is known for redefining the expectations of those shopping at around the $250/£200/AU$400 mark, offering more bang for your buck than almost any of the competition.
The Moto G6 family, with Plus and Play in tow, has been a particularly well-received addition to the clan – offering a tantalizing blend of premium design and reasonable price tags.
But what will the Moto G7 offer, and what will it need to succeed in what will likely be an even more difficult and saturated market?
News on the ground, given that the device is expected in March at the earliest, is sparse at the moment – this page will be updated whenever we hear anything new. But in the meantime we’ve taken some educated guesses at what the G7 will sport and come up with a wish list for what we want from it.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next numbered phone in the Moto G series
- When is it out? Probably March 2019 at the earliest
- What will it cost? Probably at least $250/£219/AU$399
Moto G7 release date and price
If recent years are anything to go by, the earliest that the Moto G7 will be announced is the period of March to April 2019.
Given that there are probably at least 7 months until any announcement will be made, barring a leak or unexpected announcement from the company, all that can be done is to speculate as to what might come.
This applies to the price, however the Moto G line has steadily become more premium in its aspirations, and so costs have risen accordingly.
The original device sold for around $180/£150, however it can be expected that the Moto G7 will launch with a price of roughly £250, £219, AU$399, given that this is what the Moto G6 started at.
Note however that before the Moto G7, we might get the Moto G6S. However, it’s now been almost a year since the Moto G5S and there’s no news of it, so don’t hold your breath.
Moto G7 news and rumors
It is likely that, barring a sea-change at Lenovo, the G7 will come with the same ‘glass sandwich’ design the G family first adopted this year. We can also expect an 18:9 aspect ratio, as adopted by the G6.
The microSD card slot will likely make a comeback, though nothing is set in stone when it comes to the headphone jack.
Smartphone manufacturers at the premium end have all but abandoned this venerable and beloved port, and this philosophy is beginning to creep into the mid and low-end markets as well. Those buying a G7 in 2019 may have to embrace the #donglelife.
As for the fingerprint scanner on the front, it may make a leap to the rear. Lenovo has been heavily pushing its gesture-based navigation, and with Android Pie offering on-screen options, we may see the scanner move in order to add extra screen acreage.
Coming to the inevitable notch discussion – this year the G family escaped unscathed, which is impressive given the momentum of this trend. Again, there’s no word regarding what 2019 might bring, so the hardcore notch-haters will be waiting with bated breath.
What we want to see
We don’t know anything about the Moto G7 at the moment, but based on our usage of the Moto G6 family, we’ve put together a few thoughts on what we feel the future should hold for the next main incarnation of the handset.
1. An AMOLED screen
The LCD vs AMOLED wars have raged on for some time now – but for pure crowd-pleasing color nothing can beat AMOLED. Typically reserved for more expensive devices, if Lenovo were able to bring a good panel – with infinite blacks and excellent contrast and sunlight legibility – to the G7 it would be a considerable coup.
Having increased contrast and color is not only more pleasing to the eye, it also makes content more immersive, which would seriously benefit the earlier move in 2018 to a larger display size.
Having AMOLED also allows for a ‘glance’ screen to be implemented and more, overall it is a very nice value add-on.
2. Front-firing speakers
For reasons unknown to science or common sense, in their early days phone speakers played music away from the person listening to it. Since that point, there have been various permutations, but it is usually those which fire towards the users that prove to be the best in both quality and utility.
With large bezels both top and bottom, if Lenovo were to move the fingerprint sensor to the rear and embrace a good pair of clear and bassy front-firing speakers, the Moto G7 could become the ultimate media machine for those on a budget.
While we did find the speaker on the G6 to be adequate in our review, its placement on the bottom of the device allows it to be all too easily muffled, and the single driver can’t manage much in the way of stereo separation. An upgrade here would be a real treat for the video-focused consumer.
3. A different second camera sensor
The two camera craze has brought with it a wide and wacky range of options for budding mobile photographers. From black and white sensors, to telephoto zooms and wide-angle lenses, manufacturers have a fun bag of tricks to play with.
So it’s a slight shame that in the Moto G6, this second sensor is used merely for ‘depth’ – i.e. it is used for the Portrait mode so beloved at the moment.
We would like to see Lenovo push the boat out slightly – offering a wide-angle effort such as that on the Moto X4, or a telephoto option to allow you to get closer to the action.
The big tech of last year is trickling down to the budget end, and the time is right to include it.
4. Better photo skills
The Moto G line has never been the home of those expecting the absolute utmost in photographic quality from their mobile snappers. Instead, it has offered respectable output and performance in most situations.
However the competition from the likes of Xiaomi is really heating up in this regard, and the time has come to really make a break and produce something interesting.
What does this mean? Better processing, a more refined camera app which works as quickly as those of the competition, better low light performance through the introduction of optical image stabilisation, all within Lenovo’s grasp and all to the benefit of the consumer, whether it is one or all of these chosen.
5. Better battery life
When it comes to battery life, the standard Moto G6 is no slouch, generally being able to make it through the day. However, when we saw the huge 4,000mAh battery included with the lesser model, the Moto G6 Play, we couldn’t help but feel slightly conflicted.
By including a larger battery with the new model, perhaps even removing the camera hump in the process by thickening up the phone a bit, Lenovo could really embrace the extra space included by having such a large screen.
Two days of battery life should be no problem with such a large pack included as standard across the line – and would really give owners something to brag about down the pub.
6. A more powerful chipset
The Moto G name is almost synonymous with the Snapdragon 400 series of chips, which has been used in most models since its inception. As the price has crept up however, so have the demands of the market and the consumer, leaving the Snapdragon 450 included with the G6 feeling slightly weedy in comparison to some rivals.
For example, the Nokia 6.1 (2018) includes the now-popular Snapdragon 630 chipset, which offers increased energy efficiency and power over the 450 included in the G6.
Moving to a slightly more powerful option would boost the premium fast feel of the handset, improve its longevity and benefit the overall experience of using it.
7. More color options
It is an old refrain – smartphone design has become boring. Everything released comes in white or black, or perhaps in muted gold, grey or blue.
This is the result of market testing, of knowing what sells, however injecting a little personality into the Moto G line could help open it up to previously unknown markets.
Much like the banana-colored Lumias of days past, it would be pleasant to see the maker of ThinkPad laptops transcend its heritage – let’s see a hot pink, a baby blue, or even better, a Huawei P20 Pro-style ‘Twilight’ option.
To really stick out from the competition, Lenovo could do little better than to splash out on a few spiffy paint jobs.