Flagship Performance on a Budget
The Moto G200 is about as close as Motorola is getting to a flagship smartphone – in the UK at least – with impressive specs including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 Plus, a 6.8in 144Hz display, a 5000mAh battery and a 108Mp camera, all for less than £400.
But while the Moto G200 is a competitive mid-ranger, there are a few minor complaints that may put some off. After all, the mid-range market is way more competitive than it once was, so expectations are high. Here’s what I think of the Motorola Moto G200.
Design & build
- Large dimensions
- Hard to use one-handed
- Good-looking camera bump
While the iPhone 13 Pro Max is generally one of the largest smartphones out there – thanks in part to a wider aspect ratio than most Android smartphones – the Moto G200 looks to steal that crown.
Measuring in at a not-insignificant 168.1 x 75.5 x 8.9mm and a weight of 202g to match, the Moto G200 is about as wide and even taller than Apple’s biggest iPhone thanks to a tall 20:9 aspect ratio. Amazingly enough, it’s shorter than the 21:9 aspect ratio of the Moto G100, but you wouldn’t notice that in the hand.
That means you might struggle to use it one-handed and reach the top of the display to access notifications – I certainly did, and I’ve been told that I have larger than average hands. If you’ve got smaller mitts, you might struggle without a Pop Socket to help.
Dimensions aside, you’ll find a Power button and volume rockers on the right of the phone, with the former doubling up as a fingerprint scanner. It’s a smart move, powering on the display and scanning the fingerprint in a single motion, and it works about as well as you’d think – it’s not a new technology, after all.
You might miss it (I know I did at first!) but there’s also a tiny Google Assistant button on the left side of the smartphone. It’s not remappable – as usual – and it’s not something I tend to use with a magnitude of ways to access Google on Android, but it’s there if you need it.
The bottom is where you’ll find the speakers, microphone and the USB-C port used for charging. There isn’t a 3.5mm headphone jack to accompany it, however. That’ll likely disappoint some, but the explosion in Bluetooth headphones and earbuds over the past years means it’s not quite as big an issue as it once was.
Flip the Moto G200 over and you’ll find a completely plastic rear with a reflective design that gives it extra depth in certain light. It’s not the nicest feeling in the hand, but it’s at least more durable than the glass rear of most premium alternatives, and it looks great. It’s available in two finishes – Stellar Blue and Glacier Green – with the former photographed here.
What’s more interesting is the camera bump, which seems to disappear into the body of the smartphone itself. It’s an interesting look that differs itself from the large camera bumps we’re seeing of late, but one that can only be appreciated when not in a protective case.
There’s also IP52 protection, but it focuses more on dust than water resistance. It might survive a trip to the beach, but we wouldn’t recommend dunking it in the water.
- Large 6.8in display
- 144Hz refresh rate is perfect for gamers
- LCD tech, not OLED/AMOLED
Measuring in at an impressive 6.8in, the big display of the Moto G200 is almost identical in dimensions to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. That makes the tall 20:9 screen ideal for gamers, those that watch a lot of video or people that like to split-screen apps (although there probably aren’t many of the latter!).
Of course, it can’t quite compete with Xiaomi’s top-end Mi 11 Ultra in the resolution department, capping out at 1080 x 2460 – otherwise known as FHD+ – but it’ll suffice for the majority of users.
There’s also a boosted 144Hz refresh rate on offer, which again puts the Moto G200 firmly in ‘gamer’ territory, matching the popular PC refresh rate.
It’s an interesting addition, especially when the competition tends to opt for the slower 120Hz and that it’ll have a knock-on effect on battery life, but there’s no denying that it produces a gorgeously smooth scrolling experience.
It’ll also translate to more frames in games, but with a vanishingly small list of games that officially support 144Hz, you’ll likely be capped to 60Hz in most mobile titles.
You’ll also notice a centrally-placed holepunch camera at the top of the display, but the combination of the aspect ratio and sheer size of the display, it doesn’t ever really get in the way.
The only real chink in the Moto G200’s display armour is the tech that powers it; the relatively high-res, high refresh rate display runs LCD tech, not the AMOLED or OLED generally used by smartphone makers in 2022.
That translates to a more muted colour palette, and contrast isn’t quite as impressive as it could be, but that’ll only be noticeable if you’ve been using an OLED/AMOLED smartphone before the move to the G200.
- Snapdragon 888 Plus performs close to standard 888
- Ideal for mobile gaming
- Great real-world performance with no lag or stutter
One of the main selling points of the Moto G200 is the Snapdragon 888 Plus at its heart. In fact, it was the most powerful chipset on the market until Qualcomm revealed the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in December 2021. Still, it’s more powerful than top smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Xiaomi Mi 11 – on paper, anyway.
That Snapdragon 888 Plus is paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage, and the modem is 5G compatible for fast mobile browsing too.
Interestingly, it seems like the benchmark results don’t quite gel with the spec.
Take Geekbench 5 for example; while standard Snapdragon 888 Plus phones achieve a multi-core score somewhere in the region of 3500-3700 (like the 3693 Red Magic 6S Pro), the Snapdragon 888 Plus of the Moto G200 managed just 3311. That’s almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy S21 (3323) and its standard Snapdragon 888.
It’s a similar story across most benchmarks, which you can see here:
Of course, benchmarks only paint a part of a picture. In real-world use, the Moto G200 is as snappy as you’d imagine. Apps load near-instantly, scrolling in media-heavy apps like Facebook is stutter-free and the phone has no issues running AAA mobile titles like Call of Duty Mobile with maximum graphics enabled.
The 144Hz refresh rate of the display also helps, making everything feel smoother and more responsive. If you’re a keen gamer, the Moto G200 could meet your needs – although it doesn’t quite have the ecosystem of accessories that the likes of the Asus ROG Phone 5 offer.
- The main 108Mp snapper takes great images
- The ultra-wide camera is a downgrade on last year
- 8K video available, but 4K provides better results
The Moto G200 has a camera offering that’s both a significant upgrade and a downgrade compared to its predecessor.
Let me explain; the Moto G200 has a 108Mp f/1.9 main snapper, and that’s a big step up from the 64Mp equivalent on the G100, and it has the same 2Mp f/2.4 depth sensor and 16Mp f/2.2 front-facing selfie camera as its predecessor.
However, when it comes to the ultra-wide lens, the Moto G200 offers an 8Mp f/2.2 sensor while last year’s model boasted a 16Mp ultra-wide – and that has a knock-on effect on overall performance.
Photos taken with the main rear-facing camera are unsurprisingly sharp and bright in most environments, thanks to the combination of a wider aperture and higher resolution. Performance does depend on which shooting mode you opt for though.
Motorola has included 9-in-1 pixel binning tech that combines pixels to capture light in a scene, resulting in a smaller resolution image with more light and detail than the original. It also means an improvement to nighttime photography, with marginally less grain than previous Moto phones, but it’s still not the best available for low-light performance.
If you prefer, you can also opt for full 108Mp images – though with no expandable storage, it could fill up fairly quickly.
Resolution aside, the colours are occasionally a little off, but that’s nothing a bit of editing can’t fix.
The ultra-wide camera, despite the drop in resolution, still has the capability to take fairly detailed images, although they can appear a little soft once you zoom in. There also seems to be notable distortion along the edges of the lens not present in other ultra-wide lenses in 2022. It’ll suffice for larger group shots in well-lit areas, but it’s not a camera I found myself using often during testing.
The front-facing camera is more than capable of capturing a decent selfie for Instagram or Snapchat, but without a secondary camera or depth sensor, the Portrait mode is very hit-and-miss with poor edge detection. This isn’t such a problem on the rear camera, however.
In terms of video, you’ve got the option to film in 8K, but with low frame rates and no image stabilisation available, we’d recommend sticking to [email protected] or lower. 4K performance is much better, with improved stabilisation and smoother frame rates, and you can drop it to 1080p for faster frame rates ideal for slow-mo capture.
- 5000mAh battery
- All-day battery life, but not enough for multi-day use
- 33W charger in the box
The Moto G200, like many in the Motorola portfolio, sports a large 5,000mAh battery with the aim of keeping the phone going for longer periods. Of course, it doesn’t always work that way, with factors like display size, resolution, refresh rate and even processor efficiency having a knock-on effect on battery life.
Still, when it comes to the Moto G200, battery life is respectable. It comfortably lasted all day during testing with standard use – texting, scrolling, watching the occasional video – but it wouldn’t quite squeeze into the second day, so charging every night is still recommended for all but casual users.
When it does come to topping up, the 33W fast charging should get you untethered fairly quickly – although it’s far from the super-fast 65W charging on offer from the likes of the OnePlus 9 Pro.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll get the 33W charging brick in the box, so you won’t need to fork out for a more powerful charger as you do with the likes of the iPhone 13 and Galaxy S21.
- Comes with Android 11
- Close to stock Android, only small Moto tweaks
- Future updates unconfirmed
The Moto G200 comes running something close to stock Android 11, lacking the custom design and functionality that many of its competitors use – but in our eyes, that’s great. It allows you to use the software as Google envisioned it, with only a few notable Motorola tweaks on offer.
Moto Actions are designed to make accessing certain features and functionality – like the torch – much easier by integrating gesture-based controls. This allows you to perform functions like karate chops to turn on the torch, or twisting the phone to bring up the camera app.
There’s also Moto Styles, an app that lets you tweak the system-wide theme, and Ready For, the company’s answer to an Android-powered desktop experience.
Aside from that, you’ll get the stock Android 11 experience, and you can expect the upgrade to Android 12 too. However, unlike competitors promising multi-year OS upgrades, Motorola is staying relatively quiet on the future of the G200 post-Android 12.
Price and availability
The Motorola Moto G200 is available to buy in the UK following a November 2021 release, and it comes in at a cool £399 and it comes in a single 8GB/128GB configuration. That’s £50 cheaper than its predecessor, but when you factor in the Ready For stand and cable bundled with the G100 that isn’t present with the G200, it balances out a bit.
The spec of the Moto G200 puts it up against big hitters like the Samsung Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9, and considering the premium price of those heavy hitters, the Moto G200 offers decent value for money. It’s available from Motorola itself, and it looks like stock will be hitting Amazon UK soon too.
US availability is yet to be confirmed, but we’ll update this section once we know more.
For more inspiration, take a look at our selection of the best mid-range phones.
Despite not quite offering the level of performance expected from the Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset, the Moto G200 represents great value for money at just £399.
The 6.8in display offers a rapid 144Hz refresh rate and FHD+ resolution perfect for mobile gaming, although the LCD tech may put off OLED purists. It’s tall and wide, which might make it a struggle for some to use, but there are ways around it if you’re determined.
The camera offering is, overall, an improvement on its predecessor, but the ultra-wide lens needs a little more TLC before it becomes a go-to snapper. The 8K video recording made possible by the SD 888 Plus is present and accounted for, but the better experience is at [email protected]
Battery life is excellent, with a 5000mAh battery providing all-day power even at high refresh rates, although it doesn’t quite squeeze to a second day like some rivals.
There might be a lot of small complaints about the Moto G200 then, but it’s still one of the stronger mid-range smartphones available in early 2022 with an equally tempting price tag.
Motorola Moto G200: Specs
- 168.1 x 75.5 x 8.9 mm
- 6.8in 144Hz LCD display
- FHD+ resolution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- Rear camera: 109Mp wide, 8Mp ultra-wide, 2Mp depth
- Front-facing 16Mp camera
- 5000mAh battery
- 33W fast charging