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review with features, price and specifications

25 mayo, 2021

After several rumors and leaks that pointed to a possible Moto G9 Plus, Motorola finally decided that the first model of the new generation of the Moto G family off the Moto G9 Play. The successor to the Moto G8 Play was officially unveiled at the end of August and went on sale shortly after for 199 euros.

Compared to its predecessor, this new Motorola model has better cameras, more memory and more battery, in addition to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 662 processor. After spending a few days with him, we have been able to see how he behaves in each of the sections. Here are our conclusions.

Moto G9 Play data sheet

Moto G9 Play


6.5 inch LCD
HD + resolution


Snapdragon 662




64 GB + MicroSD up to 512 GB

Frontal camera

8 MP f / 2.2

Rear camera

48 MP f / 1.7
2 MP f / 2.4 bokeh
2 MP f / 2.4 macro


5000 mAh
20W fast charge

Operating system

Android 10


4G, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB-C, 3.5 mm jack


Button to launch the Wizard
Rear fingerprint reader

Dimensions and weight

165.21 x 75.73 x 9.18 mm
200 g


199 euros

Motorola Moto G9 Play - 6.5 Max Vision HD + Display", Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, 48MP triple camera system, 5000 mAH battery, Dual SIM, 4 / 64GB, Android 10 - Color Blue

Motorola Moto G9 Play – 6.5 “Max Vision HD + screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, 48MP triple camera system, 5000 mAH battery, Dual SIM, 4 / 64GB, Android 10 – Color Blue

I jump in design, but not on screen

Moto G9 Play 05

The Moto G9 Play has a plastic body, with good finishes, a slightly curved rear and pronounced edges that facilitate its grip. Its 200 grams does not allow to speak of a light device, although it is true that in the hand does not convey the feeling of being too heavy. The unit that has passed through our hands is the blue one (Sapphire Blue) and we have to admit that it is quite attractive, but, yes, you will have to get used to the constant presence of fingerprints.

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The protection against splashes is appreciated (be careful, it is not submersible), as well as the existence of a dedicated button to activate Google Assistant on the right side, just above the volume control. However, it is located so high up that it is quite difficult to reach it with one hand. At the top, we have a headphone jack, while the bottom edge, we find the USB-C port and the speaker.

Moto G9 Play 06

At the back, as is customary for the brand’s phones, Motorola has embedded the fingerprint reader in the logo, with a square module on top that houses the three lenses and the main camera flash. That module barely sticks out of the body, so the phone remains completely stable when we leave it face up on a surface.

Moto G9 Play 04

The front is dominated by an IPS LCD screen that has gone from 6.2 inches of the previous generation to 6.5 inches, but maintains its HD + resolution (1,600 x 720 pixels), a figure that seems insufficient. True, it offers good viewing angles, but the overall experience is clouded by low color reproduction, cold and with an automatic brightness that, on many occasions, darkens it too much. What is effective is its oleophobic treatment.

The screen has a very effective oleophobic treatment, but it has an automatic brightness that, in many cases, darkens it too much

When it comes to sound, the speaker at the bottom offers sound with acceptable quality for a model in this price range and a volume that has pleasantly surprised us. We do not advise raising it to the maximum so that it does not distort, but it is possible to raise it much higher than in other models. It does not bring its own headphones, but with the ones we have tested it, wireless and without cable, the experience has been satisfactory.

Smooth performance with outstanding autonomy

Moto G9 Play 03

For this generation, Motorola has abandoned MediaTek and has opted for Qualcomm, specifically, for the Snapdragon 662 processor. This mid-range chipset works well and shows no signs of weakness Unless we put it to the test with heavy 3D gameplay. In everyday tasks (surfing the web, watching YouTube videos, playing simple titles, or consulting social networks), he can handle himself with ease.

In this generation, Motorola has abandoned MediaTek and has opted for Qualcomm, specifically, for the Snapdragon 662 processor

The combination of that brain with the 4 GB of RAM makes the transition between applications occurs smoothly, and that the presence of lag and sudden closures is non-existent. Here are the results of the most common benchmarks:





OPPO A5 (2020)


Snapdragon 662

Snapdragon 720G

Exynos 9610

Helio G80

Snapdragon 665






3 GB








315 / 1,427

546 / 1,607

347 / 1,338

386 / 1,322

312 / 1,306







Moto G9 Play Benchmarks

As we are used to by Motorola, the Moto G9 Play runs an almost clean version of Android with some slight modifications that enrich the user experience. In this case, Android 10 has been improved with Moto gestures, which allow, for example, to take a screenshot with three fingers or activate the flashlight by shaking the phone. There are other useful features too, like the smart screen or the attentive screen to keep it on while you look at it.

The preferred customization layers of the Xataka Android editors

It is true that we do not have as many customization options as in the layers of other manufacturers (MIUI or ColorOS, without going any further), but, in return, we enjoy a clean Android experience no duplicate or third-party apps. In addition, of the 64 GB of internal storage that the Moto G9 Play has, about 48 GB are free to start, which can always be expanded with a microSD card.

Let’s talk about biometric identification systems, which the Moto G9 Play completes with a fingerprint reader on the back and facial recognition. The sensor is conveniently located to locate and index on it, also contributed by the border of the Motorola logo; its operation is fast and efficient, recognizes our finger practically always and in an instant. Facial recognition, however, is slower and erratic at times, especially in low light.

Moto G9 Play Battery

We now turn to one of the strengths of this phone: its battery, which has gone from the 4,000 mAh that we had in the previous model to the 5,000 mAh that we have in this generation. The result? Just charge it once every two days, and with average use, it easily reaches 11 hours of screen on. In addition, it supports 15W fast charging and comes with a 20W charger that, in just half an hour, gets you 33-35% power. To charge it to 100%, it takes just over 2 and a half hours.

Acceptable quality at night, optimal during the day

Moto G9 Play 02

The Moto G9 Play’s main camera is made up of a 48-megapixel f / 1.7 wide-angle sensor with Quad Pixel technology, which is flanked by two other 2-megapixel f / 2.4 sensors, one for depth readings and the other for macro photography. Instead of the latter, a secondary telephoto or ultra wide angle would have been a better option, since, in our tests, the macro has not produced good results in terms of focus and color representation.

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One of the positive aspects of this photographic equipment is that it offers multiple options to “play” with images. In fact, it has automatic smile capture, intelligent composition, scene optimization, augmented reality stickers, animated photos, cinemagraphy, a manual mode, selective color, panoramas, live filter, possibility to capture in RAW, integration with Google Lens , etc.

Moto G9 Play Camera

The camera app is quite simple and intuitive, and it has shortcuts to select photography, video, Google Lens and the front camera. It also includes buttons for HDR, flash, timer, manual / automatic mode and animated photos. In our opinion, a shortcut for the most common shooting modes, especially for portrait and night vision, would not have hurt.

Moto G9 Play Day 02 Auto Photo mode with HDR on

If we talk about image quality, the Moto G9 Play performs without problems in favorable lighting situations (outdoors and during the day), with a good level of detail and an acceptable dynamic range, although in some scenes, the colors are somewhat flat with a tendency towards cold tones.

Moto G9 Play Dia Auto Photo mode with HDR on

Lacking a telephoto lens, it is better not to resort to digital zoom because the quality is greatly reduced. As for HDR, our advice is to keep it on Automatic because, without being a marvel, it does is able to rescue some detail from the darkest areas when we face a sunset or even backlight.

Moto G9 Play Hdr Auto Photo mode: without HDR (left) vs with HDR on (right)

Portrait mode, on the other hand, does not give bad results and allows adjust the background blur to your liking, although it is not convenient to take it to the maximum because the cutout of the foreground is somewhat artificial.

Moto G9 Play Portrait Auto Photo mode (left) vs Portrait mode with maximum background blurring (right)

Image quality it drops a lot when the light falls, so you have to use Night Vision mode. Yellowing, loss of detail and the presence of noise are inevitable, creating the dreaded watercolor effect, but it manages to better focus the lights and save the photo in night scenes.

Moto G9 Play Night 02 Auto photo mode (left) vs Night Vision mode (right)
Moto G9 Play Night Night Vision Mode

We move on to the front camera, which has a single 8 megapixel f / 2.2 sensor, allows you to take selfies with a gesture and inherits most of the functions of the rear camera, including automatic smile capture, portrait mode, HDR, manual mode, RAW capture, timer, animated photos, live filter and selective color. Also, add the possibility of applying a facial beautifier -adjustable- and to capture a group selfie. Be careful with this last option because the self-portraits appear much darker.

Moto G9 Play Front Day Front Camera Auto Photo Mode with HDR Enabled

By day, this camera generates quality selfies with optimal level of detail and dynamic rangeplus fast and effective AF. In the…