Moto G31 First Impressions: Packed to the Brim



Motorola’s popular Moto G series of smartphones recently saw five new models being unveiled for global markets, and they are now starting to come to 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 the 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 storage option is priced at Rs. 14,999.

I received the 4GB RAM variant for review in the Meteorite Gray finish. There’s also a Baby Blue finish, which is a mix of blue and purple. The phone’s polycarbonate unibody has a fine-groove-like pattern at the back that adds to the grip. While it’s made of polycarbonate, it does not 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.

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The Moto G31 features a dedicated button to summon the Google Assistant

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

The Moto G31 features a 6.4-inch AMOLED hole-punch display, which is becoming common for smartphones in this segment. However, it has a standard 60Hz refresh rate, which might seem to be a downgrade compared to the G30’s 90Hz panel.

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

Motorola has switched from the Qualcomm silicon in the Moto G30 to a MediaTek G85 SoC for the Moto G31. This processor has a maximum clock speed of 2GHz and is manufactured using a 12nm fabrication process. The 5,000mAh battery capacity remains the same as before, and that goes for the 20W charger too. Motorola has included this 20W charger in the box especially for the Indian market –  the global variant was unveiled with a 10W charger.

The Moto G31 has three rear cameras even though the G31 had four. There’s a 50-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel macro shooter. Selfie duties are handled by a 13-megapixel front-facing camera. Motorola claims that the 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera does double duty as a depth sensor, so it doesn’t need a dedicated one like the G30 had. The primary camera is also a bit of a downgrade in terms of resolution, going from a 64-megapixel sensor on the G30 to a 50-megapixel sensor, but actual photo quality depends on much more than just this number.

Motorola Moto G31 back cameras ndtv MotoG31 Motorola

The 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera does double duty as a depth sensor when in Portrait mode

Motorola’s Moto G31 is packed to the brim when it comes to features and you also get near-stock Android 11, which is hard to find in this segment. This phone features a slightly different design compared to its predecessor, but adds some practical touches like an AMOLED panel. It has one less camera at the back, but has made up for that with a dual-role ultra-wide-angle camera. I’m also expecting some differences in performance with the switch to a MediaTek processor, and that should apply to battery life too. So, stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for my full review, coming up soon, to find out whether the new hardware changes are worth it and if the Moto G31 can carry forward the all-rounder appeal of the Moto G30 (Review).