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Motorola Moto M Unboxing, Initial Review: Missing Piece Of The Puzzle

Motorola, the Lenovo-owned subsidiary has officially launched a brand new mid-ranged smartphone in the PH today. Dubbed the Moto M, the new phone is poised to take on other mid-range smartphones already in the market. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle for Motorola’s lineup, as their previous supposedly mid-range phones pale in comparison to what the competition is offering.

Motorola Moto M specs

  • 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio P10 octa-core processor
  • Mali-T860MP2 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 16-megapixel PDAF rear camera with LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 3,050mAh non-removable battery, 10W rapid charge support

Packaging and contents:

The Motorola Moto M comes in a package that’s not unlike the one that came with the Moto Z. The box has the image of the phone in front, with the phone’s specs listed on the rear.

Once you open it up, you’ll see the normal accoutrements that come with a brand-new phone, namely the USB charger, Type-C cable and headphones as well as a SIM ejector. Motorola also threw in a a silicon case and a screen protector in the package to sweeten the deal.

Beautiful full metal unibody phone, but internals could be better

While this isn’t the first phone from Motorola’s stable that aimed at mid-range customers, it’s the first one that actually feels the part. Their previous G4 series of phones felt plasticky and cheap, while the Moto M is anything but.

While other phones in the same price range use metal bodies, it’s rare to see a mid-range phone use a truly unibody aluminum exterior. Most other phones at the lower end of the mid-range market make do with metal backs that have plastic inserts on the top and bottom, The jump in quality isn’t that big, but for people who care it’s a step in the right direction.

Of course that unibody construction means that the Moto M requires the use of rather prominent antenna bands on the top and bottom which is a stark contrast to the phone’s golden hue. The The body of the Moto M has gentle curves, and both edges have chamfers on them. As a result the Moto M is quite comfortable to use, even one handed. That’s not something we can say about most 5.5-inch phones in the market today.

Going around the phone you’ll see the 16-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and LED flash on the rear, with the fingerprint scanner located right below it. The volume and power button is on the right side of the phone, while the SIM/microSD slot is on the left side. The 3.5mm jack is on the top, while the speaker grilles and the USB Type-C connector is located on the bottom.

The Moto M uses a 5.5-inch full HD IPS display that has 2.5D glass layered on top. The display looks quite nice, though we’ll still have to see if it’s really a good display for the price.

Inside the Moto M beats MediaTek’s P10 octa-core processor, running at 2.2GHz and is paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The hardware is a little underwhelming for the price, considering that there’s already phones in the same price range that has better Qualcomm-made processors in them. Despite that the Moto M felt quick and fast during our short stint with the phone, and the chipset is generally a good performer most of the time with regular use.

Just like Moto’s other phones, the Moto M has vanilla Android 6.0 inside of it. We generally like vanilla Android but you do miss out on additional features that UI overlays that other brands offer. Motorola also says that the Moto M is splash resistant thanks to a special coating that they used, but we’d avoid dunking this in water since there’s no IP rating to be found anywhere.

That’s it for this hands-on and initial review, we’ll be using the Moto M in the next few days so stand by for our review till then.

The Motorola Moto M is priced at Php 14,999.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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7 Comments

  1. Until Motorola prices their phones competitively, they will have a difficult time with competition, especially in the mid range segment.

    1. They are competitive, a Moto G4 for example can be had for £150 here in the UK, whereas Sony charge the same price for an Xperia E5, a phone with no future updates and the specs of a Moto E!

      1. Well carl, i’m in the philippines and pricing here is different. Also there are a ton of brands here competing compared to the uk.

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