I’m cell phone crazy and went extra crazy this Christmas. I bought my daughter an iPhone 11 Pro and the OnePlus McLaren Edition for me. Because I have two extra free T-Mobile lines and a cloned SIM (intended for a smart watch), I like to have extra phones. I use my old phones as spare phones or to let friends test T-Mobile, but these were very outdated.
I decided to buy the unlocked Moto G7 Power because it supported band 71 on T-Mobile. This is the 600Mhz frequency, which has better building penetration and can go further distances. This frequency also supports T-Mobile’s new 5G network, but is not the same as their 5G network. In other words, a phone with band 71 is not a 5G phone on T-Mobile.
I also wanted a phone that was inexpensive since it was a spare. For the features, this phone was inexpensive at $219 on Amazon. Here are the features:
- 6.2″ display, 720 x 1570 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~279 ppi density). This is not a high pixel density compared to higher end phones, but this is an inexpensive phone and I think it looks just fine. I also love that the screen is flat! I am so sick of curved edges.
- 3GB of RAM. This is about as low as I would want to go these days, but this phone runs just fine. The phone is not as snappy as my OnePlus McLaren, but that phone has 12GB of RAM and cost $900.
- 32GB of onboard storage. This is the minimum onboard storage I would recommend, but this phone can use a MicroSD card. This is getting rare on most new phones since Google was never in favor of using removable storage. I ordered a 128GB Samsung EVO MicroSD card to boost the storage.
- Android 9 (Pie), which is not bad since 10 came out a few months ago. I don’t know if this phone will ever see Android 10 since Android updates frankly suck.
- Android on this phone is very close to being stock Android, and that’s a huge bonus in my opinion. I hate Android being highly altered or a bunch of bloatware added. This phone has a couple Motorola apps, which I haven’t even used, but not much else. Facebook was preinstalled, but the phone allowed me to uninstall it.
- 12MP camera. I have not tested it and I don’t plan on taking a lot of photos with this phone.
- The 5000 mAh battery is bigger than most phones, hence the name “Power” in the model name. The battery adds weight to this phone, but is welcome if I can get a couple days use.
- This is an unlocked phone, which means it is not locked to a wireless carrier. You can use this phone on any cellular provider by popping in your SIM card. Just beware that Verizon and Sprint tend to make this process difficult. You can see carrier compatibility here.
As you can see from my bullet points, there were some trade-offs to keep the price low on this phone. I still feel this phone offers a lot of features for the price. I can see this phone being more than acceptable for anyone other than power users. If this phone is a bit too heavy for some users because of the large battery, there are other Moto G7 models, some of which also have band 71. Just be careful ordering from Amazon because their descriptions suck and most listings do not show the phone frequencies. Also beware of the international models, which are a bit cheaper, usually do not have a warranty, and may be lacking some US frequencies. You may need to contact sellers to get the exact model number so you can research the phone on the Motorola website or GSM Arena.
The Moto G7 Power is a solid buy. After a few days of use, I am very happy with this phone. I will highly consider buying a more expensive Motorola phone if they make one compatible with T-Mobile’s 5G service. Their combination of close to stock Android and build quality is impressive.