Review Verdict: Motorola tries to break into the saturated budget phone market in the Philippines with the Moto G31. While the phone does a fairly good job thanks to its AMOLED display and sub-Php 9K price point, it’s facing an uphill battle thanks to more affordable and feature-packed rivals.
- AMOLED display
- Capable internals
- Inconsistent camera performance
- Slow charging speed
Motorola Moto G31 Philippines Specs
- Mediatek Helio G85 processor
- 4GB RAM
- 128GB UFS 2.2 storage, expandable via MicroSD
- 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED Display
- 50-megapixel f/1.7 main camera with PDAF, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor
- 13-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera
- 4G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
- Dolby Atmos, Water repellent
- 5000mAh battery
- 10w wired charging
- Android 11, MYUI 2.0
Motorola wants a share of the lucrative budget under-Php 10k price segment and has officially released the Moto G31 in the Philippines. The phone has a decent AMOLED display for the price, but will that be enough to entice consumers blinded by similar offerings by its competitors?
Unboxing and packaging contents
The Moto G31 comes in a dark blue box with the Motorola logo and a Moto G31 logo at the bottom. It’s the same design that Motorola uses for its entry-level phones. The back of the box has a photo of the phone and highlights three of its key features: the AMOLED display, 50-megapixel main camera, and 5000mAh battery.
Inside the box, you have the phone itself with the silicone case preinstalled, documentation, headset, 10w charger, and USB-C cable.
The Moto G31 shares similar design cues with the Edge 20 Fusion, though its triple rear camera setup is laid out vertically. The LED flash is right beside the camera module, while the Motorola logo also serves as a fingerprint scanner. The polycarbonate back panel has a textured finish, making it fairly resilient against everyday wear and tear. It does have that budget phone look, as the bezels are rather thick.
Despite packing a 5000mAh battery inside, the Moto G31 looks sleek and doesn’t feel heavy in the hand. The headphone jack is on top, while the USB-C port and loudspeaker are at the bottom. The SIM card tray is on the left, while the Google Assistant button, volume controls, and power button are on the right. The power button has a textured finish that should save you from accidentally pressing the Google Assistant button.
Display and speakers
One of the more compelling features of the Moto G31 is that it is one of the few budget phones to have a Full HD+ AMOLED display for under Php 9k. While the refresh rate is capped at 60hz, the colors are vibrant, which is typical of what you’d find on most AMOLED displays nowadays. On top of that, the display is brighter than the HD+ IPS panel used on the Moto G50 5G.
Aside from the vibrant colors and deep blacks, the Moto G31’s AMOLED display is great for watching videos, and its Widevine L1 support makes it one of the more affordable phones that you can enjoy your favorite Netflix shows in Full HD.
When it comes to audio, the Moto G31 has a single loudspeaker that delivers a good audio output considering its price. You also have a headphone jack to enjoy using your wired cans.
The Moto G31 comes with a triple rear camera setup that consists of a 50-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and 2-megapixel depth sensor. It seems that the Moto G31 has the newer camera software that’s also found on the Edge 20 Fusion and Edge 20 Pro. This should explain why the shutter lag problem associated with some of the earlier Motorola phones released locally is not present on the Moto G31.
When it comes to camera performance, the 50-megapixel main camera delivers good details in photos but tends to overexpose in some shooting situations. Low-light shooting is a hit-or-miss affair: some shots appear usable, while others are not as good.
The 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera is not as detailed as the main camera in daylight shots, while images appeared murky when shooting in low-light.
As for its selfie camera, the Moto G31 does deliver good details but struggles in balancing exposure properly.
When it comes to video recording, the Moto G31 is limited to Full HD 30FPS shooting. However, you can shoot video using the Ultra-wide-angle and macro cameras.
Performance and Battery Life
Powering the Moto G31 is an Helio G85 processor that is paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB UFS 2.2 storage. While the Helio G85 is close to two years old, it is one of the preferred SoCs for budget phones nowadays. While it is not as power-efficient as newer SoCs like the Snapdragon 680, the Helio G85 performs better with gaming because of a better GPU.
While benchmark scores show that the Helio G85 lags behind the Snapdragon 680 and the newer Helio G88, the Helio G85 has better software optimization since a number of devices have been using this processor already.
The Moto G31 comes with Android 11-based MyUX, which has barely any bloatware save for a few Motorola-exclusive features. Motorola has a rather murky reputation when it comes to updating its phones to the latest Android version, but our review unit was updated with the latest security patch (January 2022) as of this writing.
The Moto G31’s 5000mAh battery lasted us for a little over 14 hours with PCMark’s battery test, which should translate to at least more than a day’s worth of battery life with moderate use. The downside with the Moto G31 is charging speeds, as it only comes with 10w wired charging. That will take it over 3 hours to fully top up the battery.
Wrap up and Conclusions
The under Php 10k segment is challenging for phone brands in the Philippines, and our review of the Motorola Moto G31 shows that they have something interesting to offer in the budget segment. Features like a bright AMOLED display, updated design, and capable internals makes the Moto G31 a good budget phone, though it has to catch up in other aspects like timely software updates, slow charging times, and camera performance.