Motorola G82 5G review: A lot to like

(Pocket-lint) - Motorola isn't afraid to have a wide lineup of phones, and in that spirit it recently launched a few more, including the G82 5G, which sits right in the mid-range bracket, but with some undeniably impressive specs for its price.

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We've been using the phone for a few weeks, so read on to find out our verdict on what appears to be a pretty strong contender if you're looking for an Android phone that doesn't break the bank.

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Our quick take

The Motorola G82 5G is a really solid mid-range phone, albeit one that doesn't quite spark joy on the design side. It looks a little generic and is a little bit unwieldy to use at times.

If you can get past that, though, or you're used to bigger phones anyway, you'll find a list of specs that lands some pretty solid punches. The cameras are extremely decent, while the screen is one we'd frankly expect to see on a much fancier handset.

It comes together into a pretty good package, one that feels good to use and has some noticeable perks.

Motorola G82 5G review: A lot to like

For

  • Great screen
  • Solid performance
  • Good cameras

Against

  • Macro camera once again pointless
  • Quite generic-looking

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Standard design

  • 161 x 8 x 74.5mm
  • Weighs 173g
  • IP52 water repellent

Motorola's new design language for its smartphones is in full swing now, as is evidenced here by the camera bump on the rear of the G82. After all, the camera bump is now basically the most significant point of variation between phones.

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It's rounded off and really not too large, with a bit of branding to let you know about the 50MP main shooter, and with a shiny finish that stands out a little from the rest of the phone's rear.

That rear has a sort of dot matrix finish to it, although it's entirely plastic so doesn't feel all that solid in the hand. It's shiny and reflective, and a little bit of a fingerprint magnet, although nothing that'll get too annoying as you use it.

The Motorola G82 isn't the thinnest phone on the market, or even the thinnest mid-ranger Motorola has released this year, so it does feel a little sizeable in the hand. Again though, it's pretty much right in the middle of the phones we've tested in the last couple of years, as is the case with its weight.

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This does all mean that it might not be the best pick for someone looking for a lightweight and slimline phone that doesn't cost a bomb - Motorola's own Edge 30 might be a better option if that's the priority.

Its water resistance also isn't the best, with an IP52 repellent rating. That means it's not quite as durable as some other options on the market, although if you're a somewhat careful owner, this is the sort of thing that might never bite you.

Display and performance

  • 6.6-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1800) AMOLED display
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G

Another really strong showing comes in the form of the Motorola G82's display, which is identical on the specs front to the more expensive Edge 30.

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It's an FHD+ AMOLED panel that looks really impressive, with nice deep blacks and great colours making it great for watching videos or browsing the web.

It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, making for a really smooth experience. While this price point is seeing more and more higher refresh rate displays, it's still great to get one of this quality at this price, underlining that this is a good-value option.

The display isn't the brightest, though - you'll notice that on sunny days, you might find it a little dim outdoors. This is hardly a unique malaise, but it's a shame it couldn't be countered.

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Performance more widely is similarly solid, although the Snapdragon 659 powering everything isn't exactly a champion chipset.

You'll be fine when swapping between less demanding apps and using social media, but it means that gaming performance isn't much to write home about and the 120Hz screen is unlikely to often be used to the fullest.

Still, for a fair price, it's hard to have many complaints about how the Motorola G82 holds up to extended use.

Solid cameras

  • 50MP main shooter (f/1.8 aperture)
  • 8MP ultrawide (f/2.2 aperture)
  • 2MP macro (f/2.4 aperture)

The array of cameras brought to the table by the Motorola G82 isn't revolutionary, but it does very much get the job done (with one exception).

We'll get the bad news out of the way first - and it'll be no surprise to those who know the market right now. The macro lens on the G82 is basically pointless. It doesn't yield great results, and the occasions when you would think to use it are super rare in the first place.

That's hardly a huge turn-up, but thankfully the other two lenses here are very solid. The main shooter pulls out some really solid shots in a range of conditions, with decent crisp detail and good colour balance, especially when shooting something vivid.

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Low-light shots are mediocre but in a way that almost any phone under £400/$400 matches, with a little bit of fuzziness creeping in, but by and large the results are very good for this price range.

Similarly, the ultrawide lens is nice and solid, and unlike the macro lens, we found ourselves using it plenty, since it's great at capturing whole scenes.

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Swapping things around, the hole-punch selfie camera won't win any awards, but in decent lighting conditions it can spit out very creditable selfies. Portrait mode is solid enough, with edge detection that actually punches slightly above its weight.

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Motorola's camera app is a little barebones, and some settings do need tweaking ("why is beauty mode on by default?", we'd ask), but by and large the camera performance, in what is a very mid-range phone, is to its credit.

Decent features

  • 5G compatible
  • 30W charging
  • 5,000mAh battery

There are a fair few little extra features to run through for the Motorola G82, not the least of which comes in the form of how you unlock the phone. Motorola has opted for a fingerprint reader on the power button, something that we think yields mixed results.

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As this is a big phone, anyone without sizeable hands might find it a little unwieldy to unlock one-handed depending on the situation, and while there is facial recognition and you can delay the phone re-locking, neither are totally seamless.

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Compared to a good under-display reader, this does feel a little retrograde, although that's a matter of taste - whatever reader placement you choose, the most important thing is that it works quickly and reliably. On both counts, the G82 could use improvement.

Still, the Snapdragon chipset means you get 5G on board, which is a welcome bit of futureproofing at this price, and 30W wired charging means you can power the phone up with decent speed when required.

A 5,000mAh battery, meanwhile, is extremely capable and means that we generally got almost two days of use from the phone before we felt we needed to charge it to be safe. That's a bar that a whole heap of flagship phones can't clear, so this is great for those who want a long battery.

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Motorola's iteration on top of Android 12 is fairly minimal, although there are a few pop-up tips and such to turn off when you first start using the phone. The lack of unnecessary extra apps is welcome, though.

Finally, the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is always welcome - while we've transitioned to wireless, many people haven't, and there's no downside to having the option in a pinch.

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To recap

The Motorola G82 is an interesting mid-range Android phone with an excellent display given its price, and a very solid main camera that should make it easy for most people to use happily. Performance is decent, and while we don't think it'll win any design awards, it slots in as an interesting option in the market.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Britta O'Boyle.


Source: https://www.pocket-lint.com/phones/reviews/motorola/162310-motorola-g82-5g-review