Motorola g82 5G – exceptional value/features (review)

The Motorola g82 is its top-of-the-g-series 5G phone, yet it costs a measly $499 (on special at JB Hi-Fi for $399). It offers unrivalled value with a Qualcomm SD695 5G SoC, a 10-bit, 1.07 billion colours, and a 120Hz AMOLED screen. It even has a rear 50(OIS)+8+2MP tri-camera and 16MP selfie.

Add a microSD expansion slot, 3.5mm jack, Wi-Fi 5 AC, BT 5.1, NFC, stereo speakers, 5000mAh battery, 33W fast charger, and it is a complete package.

I have been thoroughly impressed with this latest round of new 2022 Moto models. From the excellent not quite flagship Edge 30 and 30 Pro, the rock-solid g-series and value e-series.

The Motorola 2022 phones currently include

  • e32 64GB (was $229 now $183)*
  • g22 128GB (was $299 now $239)
  • g50 128GB 5G (was $299 now $250)*
  • g51 128GB 5G (normally $349 now $279 on special)*
  • G62 (was $399 now $319)
  • Edge20 Fusion 128GB 5G (was $449 now $359)*
  • G82 (This review was $499, now $399)
  • Edge20 128GB 5G 128GB ($479)*
  • Edge30   128GB 5G (normally $699 now $559l)
  • Edge20 Pro 256GB 5G (was $899 now $719)*
  • Edge30 Pro 128GB 5G (was $999 now $799)

* These are 2021 runout models, and new models are coming soon. In any case, there are some real bargains there.

Motorola g82 5G 6/128GB, Dual hybrid sim, Model XT2225-1

WebsiteProduct Page
Price:$449 but on special at JB for $399
ColoursMeteorite Grey or White Lily
From:Special prices from JB Hi-Fi (*)
Warranty:12-months ACL
Country of Manufacture:China
CompanyOwned by Lenovo (Est 1984) – a multinational technology company with its primary operational headquarters in Beijing and Morrisville, North Carolina. It is the world’s largest PC maker, and it purchased Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014. Most of Lenovo’s smartphone business is now under the Motorola brand, with grand plans to become a ‘top five’ smartphone maker.
MoreOther CyberShack Motorola news and reviews

Deep-Dive review format

A five-minute overview precedes a 300+ line database-driven spec, including over 70 tests to support our findings. It also helps us compare different phones and features.

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

* Better buy genuine, or 5G won’t work

This is exclusive to JB Hi-Fi, so to buy elsewhere means it is grey market.

Look for the RCM C-Tick on the box end, and under Settings, About phone, Regulatory Labels. The only memory/storage option for Australia is 6/128GB.

We strongly warn you to buy a genuine model with Australian firmware if you want to use 5G. Read Don’t buy a grey market phone to ensure you get the Australian model.

Motorola g82 first impression – Exceed

Yes, it is another glass slab, but it is a rather nice one with a nicely patterned PMMA (acrylic glass) back. It looks premium, and it fits nicely in hand.

Screen 6.5” 2400 x 1080, 1.07b colours, 120Hz AMOLED – Exceed

A 6.6” 2400 x 1800, 1.07 billion colour, 120Hz AMOLED at $399. The gods must be crazy. But it is a luscious bright, colourful screen that you tend to find only on phones twice the price.

You can read it outside in daylight; you have colour and temperature adjustments and a choice of Auto, 60 or 120Hz screen refresh. On Auto mode, it steps from 48/60/90/120Hz depending on content. It has L1 Widevine for SDR video streaming, although it supports HDR10 levels. Like most AMOLED, it has a peek display (always on display) and an attentive mode that keeps the display on when you view it.

We don’t measure lower-cost screens for nits, contrast, or colour gamut, and Motorola does not publish figures either. It is bright (around 400 nits), has infinite contrast, and looks like it supports the DCI-P3 wide colour gamut for 1.07 billion colours.

In short, it is a great screen and wipes the floor over the Samsung S22/+ AMOLED screens.

Processor – Qualcomm SD695 5G – Pass+

Qualcomm makes (using an analogy) 4-cylinder (4-series), 6-cylinder (6-series), 6-cylinder turbo (7-series) and V8s (8-series) systems on a chip.

This has heaps of power for Joe and Jane Average with no log and smooth screen scrolling even under load. It is fine for casual gameplay too. To put it in perspective, it has impressive Geekbench single/multi-core scores of 670/1929, whereas the Flagship SD8 Gen1 has 1190/3542. Similarly, the GPU (graphics) OpenCL and VULKAN scores are 1398/1299 versus 6173/7546 – serious gamers will appreciate the latter but will be paying twice as much.

What I like is that it has a microSD (Hybrid dual sim slot) to 1TB, and its sequential read/write speed is 85/25MBps which is quite fast. It can also mount an external portable SSD, but the USB-C 2.0 interface limits speed to about 32/24MBps.

Throttling – Exceed (in the best way)

It has 190,419 GIPS (billion instructions per second) versus the SD8 Gen1 at 312,596. But where this shines is no throttling under 100% load over 15 minutes. The SD8 drops to 223,818 or 23% throttling.

Comms – Pass (remember this is a $399 phone)

Wi-Fi 5 AC reaches 433Mbps speeds with excellent, usable 5Gz signal strengths out to 10m.

Bluetooth 5.2 has the full suite of Qualcomm aptX codecs, making it easy to get the best from whatever ear/hear/phones or speakers you use.

4G and 5G Phone – For all city and suburban use – Pass(able)

It has all the Australian 4G and 5G bands. But signal strength is an issue. It found the first tower at reasonable signal strength; the second tower was verging un unusable, and the third tower was very sporadic. No fourth tower.

This is usual for a Motorola g-series using a Qualcomm SoC and reflects economies in antenna design. If you need better reception (particularly indoors), the Motorola Edge 30 and 30 Pro are best.

Battery – 2 days and fast charge – Exceed

It has a 5000mAh battery and a 33W charger inbox for a full charge in just over 1 hour – superb at this price. Video loop was 21.5 hours, PC Mark 3.0 Modern Office Battery life was 16.5 hours (typical office use), and Accubattery confirmed all figures. As we ran all tests in Auto screen refresh mode, the fixed 120Hz impact should be well below 20% in time reduction.

Sound – Stereo but too odd to be passable

We have had issues with all the g-series (and Edge 30 series) with odd sound signatures. We had some more time to investigate. We put this down to the CrystalTalk A1 setting that focuses on voice from 1-4kHz at the expense of all else. The problem is that it does not significantly improve the sound signature even when you turn it off.

The best way to describe the sound is overly harsh, crisp, and generally unpleasant for music but excellent for clear voice.

Let’s just say that if you want to listen to music, use BT earphones and take advantage of the vast selection of Qualcomm aptX codecs.

You can read more, including our test tracks – How to tell if you have good music (sound signature is the key – guide.

Build – Pass

It is well-built but lacks significant IP protection (IP52), and there is no front glass protection.

A plastic frame does not bother me, and PMMA (acrylic glass) is acceptable for the back. It is nice and slim, feels excellent in hand and is a keeper. It comes with the 33W charger, buds, and a bumper cover.

But the warranty is only one year, and you can find two years for similar OPPO phones.

Android – almost pure – Exceed

It ships with Android 12 and Motorola’s overlay My UX 3.0. You can reasonably expect two years of quarterly updates.

Android is almost pure, and the MY UX adds things like a camera app and Moto gestures. See the table at the end for all features.

Missing – no deal breakers

  • A better IP rating would make this a killer device
  • Screen protection, even Panda or Dragon glass, would be good
  • More generous OS upgrade and security upgrade policy

Motorola g82 5G camera

The 50MP Samsung S5KJN1 sensor is the flavour of the month, but Motorola has added OIS (optical image stabilisation) for more stable still and video shots.

The 8MP Ultra-wide and macro Samsung SK54H7 sensor is also quite common in lower-priced phones and does a creditable job. A 2MP depth sensor is for Bokeh only.

The front selfie is also quite common – our only issue here is its limited low-light capability.

Camera Summary

  • 1X Day Primary sensor – the colours are excellent with good dynamic range. Good details in the background, shadows, and highlights.
  • 2X Day Primary sensor – colours are excellent with good dynamic range. The background is getting noisy.
  • 5X Day: Primary sensor – pushing the limits
  • 10X Day: Primary sensor: Forget it
  • Ultra-wide: S8MP sensor: Good colour and details, although you can tell it is a different sensor to the primary.
  • Macro: The 8MP UW sensor takes reasonable macro shots, but as usual, 4cm focus is critical
  • Indoor office light: Colours are a little muted, and dogs’ face/ears are grey instead of deep black
  • Bokeh Depth: A 2MP sensor helps for bokeh shots. It has helped bring out the dark black ears foreground and sharpened the background, and has issues with definition around the ‘dog’s black ears.
  • Dark <40 lumens: The standard (not night mode) is quite good with excellent details, although there is some noise.
  • Night mode brings up the detail, saturates the colour, and removes a lot of noise
  • Selfie: The 16MP selfie has natural skin tones and details and a range of filters to enhance any image. Best in day and office light
  • Video (we are not video experts): You can shoot at 1080p@30fps with some OIS (optical image stabilisation

CyberShack’s view – the Motorola g82 brings new meaning to the value segment

The Motorola g82 is the top-of-the-g-series, meaning that the Motorola Edge 30 is the next step (although there is probably an Edge 30 Lite we have not seen here). So, the comparison is not between a $499 ($399 at JB) or $699 ($599 at JB) phone but whether the extra $200 is worth it.

Both have excellent 1.07 billion colour screens (take that, Samsung!), Decent 6 and 7 series Qualcomm processors, 6/128/microSD ad 8/128GB/no microSD; the g82 has a bigger battery and 50+8+2MP versus 50+50+2MP cameras. So, if you have an extra $200 spare, the Edge 30 looks attractive and has about twice the performance.

But the Motorola g82 has a 3.5mm jack, microSD expansion and everything you need, so perhaps save that $200.

Competition

Frankly, the 1.07 billion colour AMOLED is so far class-leading that there is no real competition. But you must ask if you really care about 16M or 1.07 billion colours. After all, we have been using that for years.

We mentioned that there are some 2021 Motorola runouts, so the Edge 20 Fusion at $359 is worth a look. Vivo has a 2022 Y52 at $379. Then you jump to $499 for the 2022 Samsung Galaxy A33 ($499 no competition), 2021 A52s ($529) and 2022 Samsung A53 ($549)

No, the Motorola g82 is the clear class leader and gets our unreserved buy recommendation.

Motorola g82 details test and specs

BrandMotorola
ModelMoto g82 5G
Model Number XT2225-1 Software version retapac
Price Base6, 128GB
   Price base$499 (JB Special $399)
Warranty months12-months ACL
 Tiermid-range
WebsiteProduct Page
FromJB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Officeworks, Big W
White Lily
Meteorite Grey
Country of OriginChina
CompanyOwned by Lenovo (Est 1984) – a multinational technology company with its primary operational headquarters in Beijing and Morrisville, North Carolina. It is the world’s largest PC maker, and it purchased Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014. Most of Lenovo’s smartphone business is now under the Motorola brand, with grand plans to become a ‘top five’ smartphone maker.
Test date10-22 July 2022
Ambient temp9-15°
Release1, 06, 2022
Other models not for Australia (Don’t buy)Only approved resellers – any other outlet is likely to be grey market.

Screen

Size6.6″
TypeAMOLED
Flat, Curve, 2D, 3DFlat with centre o-hole
Resolution2400x 1800
PPI402
Ratio20:9
Screen to Body %87.70%
Colours bits10-bit 1.07 billion colours
Refresh Hz, adaptiveAuto, 60 or 120Hz. Auto steps from 48, 60, 90, and 120Hz dependent on content
Response 120Hz
Nit typical test500 approx.
Nits max, test700 approx.
ContrastInfinite
sRGB100 approx.
DCI-P382% NTSC, which is about 60% DCI-P3 1 billion colours
Rec.2020 or otherNatural and saturated plus temperature adjustment
Delta E (<4 is excellent)<4
HDR LevelCapable of HDR10 playback scaled to screen capability
SDR UpscaleNo
Blue light controlYes
PWM if known250Hz quite low
Daylight readableYes, but it lacks enough brightness for direct sunlight
Always on DisplayYes
Edge displayNo
AccessibilityAll Android 12 features
DRML1 for HD HDR playback – No FHD HDR yet
GamingUp to 240Hz finger touch response and 13ms G-t-G
Screen protectionNot stated
CommentExcellent 10-bit, 1.07 billion colour screen with greater subtleties in colour than Samsung S22, +. Adaptive stepping usually sits at 48 or 60Hz.

Processor

Brand, ModelQualcomm SD695 5G
https://www.qualcomm.com/products/application/ smartphones/snapdragon-6-series-mobile-platforms/ snapdragon-695-5g-mobile-platform
nm6nm
Cores2×2.2GHz + 6×1.7GHz
ModemX51
AI TOPSEstimate 15
Geekbench 5 Single-core670
Geekbench 5 multi-core1929
LikeSimilar to SD855
GPUAdreno 619
GPU Test
Open CL1398
LikeLike SD732G
Vulcan1299
RAM, type6GB
Storage, free, type128GB
micro-SDHybrid slot to 1TB
CPDT internal seq. Read MBps500
CPDT internal seq. write MBps362
CPDT microSD read, write MBps85/25 and mountable as storage
CPDT external (mountable?) MBps32/24 OTG
CommentAll are fit for purpose and price, and microSD is a nice bonus.

Throttle test

Max GIPS190,419
Average GIPS186,229
Minimum GIPS180,898
% ThrottleNil
CPU Temp50°
CommentExcellent thermal management

Comms

Wi-Fi Type, modelWi-Fi 5 AC WCN3990 2×2 MU-MIMO
Test 2m -dBm, Mbps-24/433
Test 5m-44/433
Test 10m-56/433
BT Type5.2
GPS single, dualDual, Accuracy <10m
USB typeUSB-C 2.0 480Mbps
Alt DP, DeX, Ready ForNo
NFCYes
Ultra-widebandNo
Sensors
   AccelerometerYes -combo with Gyro is overly sensitive
   GyroYes
   e-CompassYes
   Barometer
   Gravity
   Pedometer
   Ambient lightYes
   Hall sensor
   ProximityYes
   OtherFingerprint on the power button
CommentExcellent Wi-Fi signal stability

LTE and 5G

SIMHybrid dual sim 1 x 5G and 1 x 4G with microSD
   ActiveOnly one active at a time
Ring tone single, dualDual – excellent for travellers
VoLTECarrier dependent
Wi-Fi callingCarrier dependent
4G Bands1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 66
CommentAll Australian 4G bands
5G sub-6Ghzn1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41, 66, 77, 78, 78
CommentAll Australian 5G sub-6 and low bands
mmWaveNo
Test Boost Mobile, Telstra
   UL, DL, ms33/24/39ms
   Tower 1 -dBm, fW or pW-89, from 2-4pW
   Tower 2-103 from 500-1pW
   Tower 3-106 from 30-50fW
   Tower 4No
CommentReception is not as good as expected, only finding the first two towers (usable) and the third (unusable).

Battery

mAh5000
Charger, type, supplied33W 5V/3A/15W, 9V/3A/27W, 11V/3A33W, 12V/2.5A/30W
Supplied USB-A to USB-C cable supports <3W.
 PD, QC levelPD capable – Overcharge protection may influence results
Qi, wattageNo
Reverse Qi or cableNo
Test (60Hz or adaptive screen)
   Charge % 30mins40%
   Charge 0-100%1 hour 3 minutes
   Charge Qi, WN/A
   Charge 5V, 2A5 hours 38 minutes
   Video loop 50%, aeroplane21 hours 30 minutes
   PC Mark 3 battery16 hours and 35 minutes (Accubattery 18 hours)
   GFX Bench Manhattan batteryWould not run
   GFX Bench T-Rex486 minutes (8.1 hours) 4583 frames
   Drain 100-0% full load screen on4 hours 26 minutes (Accubattery 4 hours 24 minutes)
   Watt full load1300-1500mA
   Watt idle Screen on291-396mA
   Estimate loss at max refreshAuto mode maximises battery life, so we expect about a 20% penalty should you fix on 120Hz
   Estimate typical useGreat battery life and should have two days of typical use between charges.
CommentNice to see a 33W charger inbox and for a lower-cost phone to have this fast charging.

Sound

SpeakersTop forward, up-firing, and bottom down-firing stereo.
Tuning?
AMPQualcomm Aqusitic sound
Dolby Atmos decodeDolby Atmos decode to 2.0 speakers
Hi-ResNo
3.5mmYes
BT CodecsSBC, AAC, aptX (HD, Adaptive, TWS, LDAC, LDHC (V1, 2, 3)
MultipointCan connect to two devices
Dolby Atmos (DA)Yes – auto, movie, music, voice, and games mode
EQNo
MicsDual with noise cancelling
Test dB – all on EQ flat DA off
   Volume max80
   Media (music)72
   Ring80
   Alarm80
   Notifications72
   Earpiece55
   Hands-freeDual mics and some noise-cancelling and adequate volume.
   BT headphonesExcellent left-right separation and DA make quite a difference with DA content.

Sound quality

Deep Bass 20-40HzNil
Middle Bass 40-100HzNil
High Bass 100-200HzExtremely late start and slow build
Low Mid 200-400HzSlow build to 400Hz then dips at 500Hz
Mid 4000-1000HzStill building to 1kHz
High-Mid 1-2kHzFlat but choppy
Low Treble 2-4kHzFlat and less choppy
Mid Treble 4-6kHzPeaks at 5kHz and then declines
High Treble 6-10kHzDeclines
Dog Whistle 10-20kHzDeclines
Sound Signature typeOne of the oddest, almost indescribable sound signatures. It has virtually no upper bass, poor low-and-mid-mid, strong high-mid (clear voice 1-4kHz) and some low-treble for some crispness. We tested with and without Dolby Atmos, and it was worse still with the latter. We suspect it is to do with Moto’s Crystal Talk AI to clean up voice between 1-4kHz, and it does that at the expense of all else.
   SoundstageNarrow and DA settings do not expand the sound stage. Left/Right separation is poor, with a distinct bias to the bottom speaker
CommentThe sound signature is poor with no low, mid, high-bass, no real mid and the only flat section is low-and-mid-treble. Fortunately, the headphones do take advantage of Dolby Atmos! But conversely, voice is crisp!

Build

Size (H x W x D)160.89 x 7.99 x 74.46mm
Weight grams173g
Front glassGlass – protection level not specified
Rear materialPMMA
FramePlastic
IP rating52 – light rain
ColoursMeteorite Grey
White Lily
Pen, Stylus supportNo
In the box
   Charger33W
   USB cableUSB-C to USB-C 3W capable cable
   BudsYes – USB-C
   Bumper coverYes – USB-C
CommentIt has a charger in the box (Samsung does not), buds and a bumper cover. Well made.

OS

Android12 – almost pure Android
Security patch date1-Mar-22
UIMy UX 3.0
Personalise: Styles, Wallpapers, Layout
Display: Peek Display, Attentive Display
Gestures: Power Touch, Quick Capture, Fast Flashlight, Three-finger screenshot, Pick up to silence, Screenshot toolkit, Media controls
Play: Gametime Audio
OS upgrade policyNo
Security patch policyRegular security patches for at least two years
BloatwarePure Android – all Google Apps. You can uninstall Facebook.
OtherNo
CommentThere is a lot of added functionality in MY UX, which leaves the underlying Android alone.
Security
Fingerprint sensor location, typeOn power button – 8/ 10 test
Face IDYes, 2D not tested
OtherLenovo Think Shield security for registered businesses – not for consumers
Comment

Motorola g82 camera

Rear PrimaryWide
  MP50MP bins to 12.5
   SensorSamsung S5KJN1
   FocusPDAF Omni Directional
   f-stop1.8
   um.64 bins to 1.28
  FOV° (stated, actual)(63)
   StabilisationOIS
   Zoom8X digital
Rear 2Ultra-wide
   MP8
   SensorSamsung SK54H7
   FocusContrast Autofocus
   f-stop2.2
   um1.12
  FOV (stated, actual)118
   Stabilisationno
   ZoomNo
Rear 3Macro
   MP2
   SensorGalaxy Core GC02M1
   FocusFixed 4cm
   f-stop2.4
   um1.75
  FOV (stated, actual)88.8
   StabilisationNo
   ZoomNo
   Video max1080p@60fps
   FlashLED
   Auto-HDRPrimary lens, sensor only
Burst Shot, Auto Smile Capture, AR stickers (via future Play store update), Spot Colour, Smart Composition, Shot Optimization, Active Photo, Dual Capture, Live Filter, Portrait Mode, Panorama, HDR, Night Vision, Pro Mode, 50MP High-Resolution Mode, Super Resolution
   QR code readerVia Google Lens
   Night modeAI

Motorola g82 Front

FrontSelfie
  MP16MP
   SensorOmnivision 16A1
   FocusFixed
   f-stop2.2
   um1
  FOV (stated, actual)70.3-82.7°
   StabilisationNo
   FlashScreen fill
   Zoom8X digital
   Video max1080p@30
    FeaturesBurst Shot, Gesture Capture, Auto Smile Capture, Group Selfie, Selfie Animation, Spot Colour, Shot Optimization, Active Photo, Dual Capture, Live Filter, Face Beauty, Portrait Mode Beauty, HDR, Auto Night Vision
Comment• 1X Day Primary sensor – the colours are excellent with good dynamic range. Good details in the background, shadows, and highlights.
• 2X Day Primary sensor – colours are excellent with good dynamic range. The background is getting noisy.
• 5X Day: Primary sensor – pushing the limits
• 10X Day: Primary sensor: Forget it
• Ultra-wide: S8MP sensor: Good colour and details, although you can tell it is a different sensor to the primary.
• Macro: The 8MP UW sensor takes reasonable macro shots, but as usual, 4cm focus is critical
• Indoor office light: Colours are a little muted, and the dog’s face/ears are grey instead of deep black
• Bokeh Depth: A 2MP sensor helps for bokeh shots. It has helped bring out the dark black ears foreground and sharpened the background, and has issues with definition around the ‘dog’s black ears.
• Dark <40 lumens: The standard (not night mode) is quite good with excellent details, although there is some noise.
• Night mode brings up the detail, saturates the colour, and removes a lot of noise
• Selfie: The 16MP selfie has natural skin tones and details and a range of filters to enhance any image. Best in day and office light
• Video (we are not video experts): You can shoot at 1080p@30fps with some OIS (optical image stabilisation

Motorola g82 ratings

Features9
Top-of-the-g-series with an SD695 5G processor and AMOLED screen
Value10
If you can get it at $399, it is the clear value and feature class leader.
Performance9
Decent performance but remember it is half the SD8 speeds
Ease of Use9
My UX adds some value to stock Android
Design9
It is a glass slab with no distinguishing features
Rating out of 109.2
Final commentThe overall class leader even at $499 RRP – even better at $399
Pro
1
2
3
4
5
Con
1
2

Motorola g82, Motorola g82, Motorola g82

Motorola g82 5G

RRP $499 but $399 at JB Hi-Fi
7.4

Features

9.0/10

Value

1.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Ease of use

9.0/10

Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Great FHD+ 1.07b 144Hz AMOLED screen
  • Thin, light, and premium finish
  • Great battery life and charging speeds (33W charger inbox)
  • The camera is excellent, but video is so-so
  • Good for city and suburban phone use

Cons

  • IP52 is barely adequate
  • Missing optical zoom


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