Formally launched in the country this June, the Motorola Moto C features entry-level specs and a pure stock version of the latest mobile operating system from Google, something amiss from other handsets in its price range. Is it worth the Php3,699 asking price? Find out in our full review.
Before we head into the main part, we’d like to clarify the Moto C version available in the Philippines is packed with a 1.3GHz Mediatek MT6580 chip, 8GB of internal storage, and 3G connectivity.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
The Moto C is reminiscent of recent Motorola designs. The front panel has the 2-megapixel front camera and an accompanying LED Flash, some front sensors, the call speaker, the 5-inch display, and three capacitive buttons that do not emit light.
The right side of the device houses the volume rockers and the power/lock button. The only differentiating factor between the front and back parts, given their monotone coloring, is their finishes — the front part is gloss-laden while the back exudes a textured feel.
At the top of the device are the microUSB port and the audio jack, while the microphone sits at the bottom part. The protruding rear camera module at the back of the device is also seen from this view. Once you flip the device over, you’ll see the 5-megapixel rear camera and its LED Flash just right below it, prodded inside a protruding circular module which has been a Motorola trademark since the Moto Z last year. The mono speakers are at the bottom, while the Moto logo is right in the middle.
The device still attracts a few fingerprint smudges and grime, but Motorola has made this device’s back plate in a textured pattern so it’s not that easy to notice. The bezels at the front do look a bit wide for its size, but it still can be used well in one-hand operation with a firm grip and lightweight profile that won’t wear your wrists when used for a long time.
Display and Multimedia
This Motorola handset has a TFT LCD display, and it’s not the best one we are to see. While the colors are good for usual viewing and the brightness is enough for good, its viewing angles suffer from the display panel getting a lot washed out or whiter on some angles, and it only has a maximum of two simultaneous touch points. It’s also not good for outdoor viewing on a high noon as glare resides when hit by sunlight. The phone can also accommodate up to two multitouch presses at a single time.
Multimedia is decent for the average listener. The loudspeaker grill is moderately loud and its notifications could be heard a bit faintly outdoors. Listening with its earphones offers a decent experience as well despite the lack of noise canceling.
The five-megapixel camera takes decent shots enough for uploading to social media. Though the controls may seem as easy and user-friendly with the Google camera app, the camera itself has its own moments where it does not focus on the subject at all. Nonetheless, the camera produces images with good color and saturation. The same goes with the front camera, too, where it does not Here are a few sample shots:
Videos, on the other hand, are restricted to only 720p recording. There’s no video stabilization feature present on the device to prevent camera shaking. Here’s a sample clip:
OS, UI, and Apps
A pure stock version of Google’s Android Nougat runs on the phone, and it’s refreshing to see it on a device priced this low. All of the original features are intact and can still be used despite the modest entry-level specs. With Nougat, the default launcher is the same one designed by Google for the Pixel series of smartphones which means that the access to the app drawer is just a swipe away.
While the OS only has minimal enhancements, a handful of common apps are replaced by the Google counterparts and are pre-installed in the system. For instance, a Gallery app is nowhere to be found, so you’re stuck with using Google Photos to browse all the photos in the device.
Armed with a measly 8GB internal storage, only 4.25GB is left for installing other apps via the Play Store. It’s great that you have a dedicated microSD card slot to alleviate the matter and still carry most of your other files as you can merge it with the internal storage.
Performance and benchmarks
Sporting 1GB of RAM and a quad-core Mediatek chip, the Motorola Moto C is decent for light to moderate use. You may play a few casual games here and there, but noticeably dropped rates occur on intensive ones happen such as on Hungry Shark Evolution. Gaming can push the Moto C’s hardware which results in heating which can be felt at the upper back part of the device. Here are results from a few benchmarks:
AnTuTu – 23,531
Geekbench CPU – 416 (Single-core), 1192 (multi-core)
Geekbench Compute – 778
3DMark (Ice Storm Extreme) – 1,998
PCMark Work 2.0 – 1,935
Connectivity and Battery
Motorola’s most affordable smartphone only bears 3G connectivity, which is present in most places we have visited so far. Signal strength was good and other connectivity are not an issue — WiFi connects really quick to known spots, the Bluetooth works fine, and its GPS can sometimes be a hit or miss given its MediaTek architecture. The call speaker has decent audio that can be heard on normal noisy environments and even inside the MRT.
The Moto C did need a recharge at least twice a day, especially if you’re very heavy on mobile data, a few games, and long calls and chats over SMS. We clocked the device at 7 hours and 55 minutes using PCMark Work 2.0, while our video loop test listed at 9 hours and 13 minutes. These scores are good for a battery rated at 2,350mAh, and Google’s new efforts on improving the battery life on its OS did just that.
Motorola’s comeback isn’t fully throttled without an affordable device in their portfolio, and the Moto C fits the mold with capable performance comparable to devices of its price range, not to mention the introduction of a pure Google Android mobile operating system that has been void since the Android One series.
That being said, this phone is more for basic tasks and some light apps on the side due to its hardware configuration. It’s not that much of a multitasking giant, but it gets the job done. Its pricing, too, at Php3,699 goes beyond the overall look and could make users want to purchase this as a starting smartphone or a secondary phone.
Motorola Moto C specs:
5-inch TFT LCD @ 854 x 480 pixels, 196ppi
1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580 quad-core CPU
8GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD, up to 32GB
5MP rear fixed-focus camera w/ LED flash
2MP front-facing camera w/ LED flash
GPS w/ A-GPS
2350mAh removable Li-Po battery
Android 7.0 Nougat
145.5 x 73.6 x 9 mm
Starry Black, Fine Gold, Metallic Cherry
What we liked about it:
• Affordable price tag
• Pure Android Nougat out of the box
• Good build
What we didn’t like:
• Display could be better
• Non-lit capacitive buttons