Review | Moto M water-resistant mid-range smartphone

Last February, we wrote about a Lenovo smartphone storming into stores tagged as “Moto M” – a water-resistant mid-range handset meant to help Moto herald its comeback. Now it’s here, let’s take a look at what this smartphone can do to help its brand revive the familiar name.

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Design

The Moto M is the best-looking mid-range smartphone there is. Its thin, gold metallic body and buttery curved edges would push its competitors to the edge without a sweat. It feels more ergonomic than the others, fitting into our hands well even with the free crystal case hooked on its back.

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The SIM tray on the left edge can hold up to two nano-SIMs, with the second slot offering a space for a microSD card. On the other side are the textured volume and power keys. Right below the LCD line is a space for the “Moto” logo, placing the navigation keys on screen. We felt like the extra space could have featured more functional element, like speakers, navigation keys, or maybe a fingerprint sensor.

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Apart from the inviting appearance, the 5.5-incher also displays dynamic images on its IPS LCD Full HD (1080 x 1920) screen, pulling itself closer to the standards of flagship phones. Pitting the Corning Gorilla Glass-protected Moto M against other smartphones in the same price range would be a walk in a park for the returnee.

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Flipping the phone over shows its fingerprint pad and the 16-megapixel camera. Comparing it against its cousin, the Lenovo K6 Note, Moto M’s fingerprint sensor recognizes as fast but unlocks the phone slower. However, this could be a disparity between their RAMs (3GB of our demo unit vs K6 Note’s 4GB RAM). At the foot are the drilled speakers and a USB Type-C port, a step ahead for this mid-ranger.

Performance

The Moto M runs Android Marshmallow, eliminating the bloatware while featuring Google products more. However, the handset lacks built-in music and gallery apps, forcing us to use the Google Play Music and Google Photos instead. In the Philippine setting, though, Google Play Music is not yet fully functional and may need a stable replacement app from the Play Store. This handset may seem to be oversimplified for allowing less tweaks on the Settings panel.

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There are two variations of the handset: a 32GB ROM version with 3GB RAM, and a 64GB ROM with 4GB RAM. We got the 32GB version and we couldn’t ask for more. For the Antutu benchmark result, check out its score below:

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The Moto M is water-resistant, which means it can resist splashes and sprinkles.

An 8-megapixel front camera assures superb selfie photos with 1.4-inch sensor carrying the load. It means that the front camera captures more details than the other smartphones’ main rear shooter – a plus when taking photos in dim-lit environment.

Selfie Cam

Unfortunately, today’s mobile gaming puts 4000 mAh batteries in the pedestal and may overlook the Moto M’s 3050mAh. Nevertheless, the Moto M can endure a day of 4G data and typical Internet activities backed up by its rapid charger.

Conclusion

The Moto M shows remarkable performance in a sleek, gold suit while proving to be worthy of its P14,999 price tag with its water-resistant feature and USB-Type C connector. It comes in Gold, Gray, and Silver colors.

The Good

  • Sleek and slim design for a mid-range phone
  • USB-Type C
  • Cheaper price tag

The Bad

  • Extra space beneath the LCD
  • Few tweak-friendly features
  • No built-in music and gallery apps

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