Moto G10 and G30

Motorola Moto g10 and Moto g30 go head-to-head (review)

SBA
8.7

The Motorola Moto g10 and Moto g30 have a $50 price difference. This is a head-to-head review to see if the extra for the g30 is mandatory. Apart from a different Qualcomm processor and camera, they are almost identical twins.

We start with the statement from Motorola Australia

Motorola is more committed than ever to pushing boundaries. Our Motorola 2021 e-and-g series embody our mission to bring exceptional value and outstanding features to Australians”.

Does it succeed? Absobloodylutely – if all you have is $249/299 to spend, then these are exceptional devices backed by Motorola’s quality and service. And given the Moto g10 and Moto g30 similarities, I suspect many will opt to save $50 for the g10.

Motorola Moto g10 and Moto g30

  • Moto g10 Model XT2127-2 4/64GB website here
  • Moto g30 Model XT2129-2 4/128GB Website here
  • Price: $249 and $299
  • From JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Officeworks, Big W and the Motorola online store
  • Warranty: 12 months ACL if purchased from an authorised reseller or Motorola online.
  • Country of manufacture: China
  • Company: Owned 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. It purchased Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014. Most of Lenovo’s smartphone business is now under the Motorola brand, and it has grand plans to become a ‘top five’ smartphone maker.
  • Other Motorola news and reviews here

Beware of dodgy parallel grey market imports

Its warranty only applies to genuine Australian stock with certified RETAPAC firmware (Settings>About phone>Software channel) if purchased from its partners or Telstra, Vodafone or Optus.


First impression – another glass slab

The Moto g10 and Moto g30 look similar – sorry, Moto, but nothing is exciting about a 6.5”, 1600×720 phone. These are big glass slabs – both the same size. The g10 is 180g, and the g30 is 200g. Both come with a rear ‘batwing’ fingerprint sensor (where it should be), a camera bump top left (where it is too easy to place a finger over when shooting in landscape mode), a 3.5mm combo port (great) and clear TPU bumper covers – it saves you buying a cover.

So, no – apart from g10’s Aurora Grey and Sakura Pearl and g30’s Phantom Black or Pastel Sky – these are glass slabs. And at that price, it is the quality, not a fancy paint job, that counts.

Screen – 6.5” 1600X720, 269PPI, 20:9 IPS TFT

The g10 has a 60Hz refresh and a centre teardrop selfie slot, and the g30 has a 90Hz refresh. The g30 actually feels smoother in 60Hz mode as few apps support the higher rate.

Neither are very bright or contrasty – about 300nits typical and 400nits maximum; although the g10 looks a little brighter, the g30 has more saturated colours. You don’t expect colour accuracy (about 90% sRGB, which is surprisingly good), even screen brightness (<90%) or, for that matter, 720p displays are typical at this price.


Side-by-side, the g30’s 90Hz screen made no appreciable difference and probably explains the battery life differences.

Processor/RAM/Storage

  • G10 – Qualcomm Snapdragon 460, 11nm, 600MHz Adreno 610 GPU,
  • G30 – Qualcomm Snapdragon 662, 11nm 950MHz Adreno 610 GPU,

While these have two different series – 4XX and 6XX, the real difference is not apparent. GeekBench 5 single/multi-core for g10 is 248/1140, and the g30 is 305/1271 – a 10% difference is not perceptible to the user.

The GPUs are the same, with the g10 clocked at 600 and the g30 at 950MHz. Open CL tests are 263/380, and Vulcan tests are 359/508, so there is quite a difference in screen processing speed (and that also relates to camera post-processing).

Games – forget it unless they are browser-based or have very low frame rates. That is why I was surprised that the g30 has a 90Hz rate when both devices tend to max out at games at 30fps. There is a chip comparison here, but overall, the differences are minor. Further analysis shows both use the same ‘Bengal’ platform, which means both are identical inside save the memory and camera configs.

  • g10 – 4GB LPDDR4X and 64GB (40GB free) EMMC and micro-SD to 1TB
  • g304GB LPDDR4X and 128GB (97GB free) EMMC and micro-SD to 1TB

Androbench tests

Both record approx. 300/235MBps, which is pretty fast for eMMC flash.
Using our external Orico iMatch 1TB USB-C 3.2/Gen 2 drive (9.4/10), the results were pretty dismal. Why? because Motorola uses a USB-C 2.0 with a maximum speed of 480Mbps half-duplex (30MBps each way). Suffice to say that micro-SD at 150/80MBps is a better backup!


Throttling

The g10 reached 89° CPU temp, and the g30 exceeded 97°, which is too hot. It shows a lack of cooling, so don’t rely on this for heavy work or lots of video recording. It is fine for general use.

  • g10: 125,775GIPS, Average 121,498GIPS loss of 5%
  • g30: 150526GIPS, Average 143,610GIPS, loss of 12%

During 100% screen-on battery drain tests, the g30 stopped when it reached over 50°. The answer was to place it on a cool stone benchtop, that wicked away heat. But remember that you don’t buy these phones for gaming and heavy loads.

Comms

Wi-Fi 5 AC on both, but a 1×1 5Ghz stream means maximum connect speed is 433Mbps (233Mbps each way). Not surprisingly, they both performed similarly – the g30 being a fraction quicker to for download. Neither will hold a decent 5Ghz signal past 10metres, but you get usable 2.4Ghz signals to 20m.

  • BT 5.0 – for music and hands-free
  • NFC – yes for Google Pay only
  • GPS – single band accurate to <30m – OK for turn-by-turn driving
  • Sensors: Combo LSM6DSO accelerometer/gyroscope, Ambient Light sensor, Fingerprint reader, Proximity sensor  
  • Missing e-Compass

This is average for this style of device.

4G – tests on Telstra band 28 in a 3-bar reception area

Both are dual hybrid sim with the micro-SD and support dual ring tones.


  • g10 band 1/2/3/5/7/8/18/19/20/26/28/38/40/41
  • g30 as above minus 41

Signal strength

  • g10 -105dBm/50.1fW
  • g30 -107dBm/47fW

These are city/suburbs phones or regional cities with moderate coverage.

Downloads/Upload

Both were approx. – 11/7.7Mbps/46ms ping. Fit for purpose.

Sound – mono – meh

Both have an earpiece speaker for phone use and a down-firing mono-speaker for music, ringtone and notifications. They both use using the Qualcomm Aqistic amp and reach about 80dB.

It is not fair to expect anything other than a clear voice sound signature, and Moto delivers. There is no bass or low-mid. Mid starts very late at about 400Hz and builds to 600Hz, then becomes flat (good) to about 16khz. The g30 has a slightly less harsh tone at maximum volume as its treble is slightly more recessed.

BT 5.0 is courtesy of the Qualcomm SD SoC and has SBC, AAC, aptX/adaptive, TWS and LDAC. The feed is loud and clean. The g10 with a single mic at the base is fine for voice, but you need to be pretty close for effective hands-free. The g30 has two mics and is a little better for hands-free.

Battery – both have 5000mAh, but the g30 has faster charging

The g10 has a 5V/2A/10W charger and does not support fast charging. The g30 has a 5V/3A, 10V/2A and 12V/1.67A/20W charger and supports faster charging. Tests (all at 60Hz – expect 90Hz to reduce by 20-30%)


Item and hoursg10g30
100% Load screen-on4.54.5
Video loop 720p, 150nits, airplane mode1820
Video 720p SDR, Netflix, Wi-Fi1519
General Use1516
Drain screen on idle (mA)1817
Drain screen off (mA)4038
Charge time 0-100%Nearly 3.5 hoursNearly 2.5 hours
GFX Bench Manhattan 3.1 long term performance742.7min
1159 frames
383.1min
1598 frames
GFX Bench T-Rex579.4min
2035 frame
367.2min
2876 frames

The g10 may have a 10W charger. The g30 has a 20W charger – it is logical that the same battery will take less time to fill on the g30. Given typical use, both should give two days of use.

Build

The front uses a toughened Panda Glass. It is similar to Gorilla Glass 3, although not as scratch-resistant. The frame and the back are plastic with a nice painted textured finish. Both have an IP52 water repellent design.

Android 11 and My UX

We cannot be sure of the OS upgrade policy, so it is wise not to expect to go to Android 12. You can expect regular ‘every other month’ security patches -0 at test it was 1/1/21. Motorola provides its MY UX, which is a feature set enhancement to Android. It runs with Android rather than replace boot loaders etc., and makes the phone easier to upgrade. There is no bloatware.

My UX features:

Personalise: Styles, Wallpapers, Layout
Display: Peek Display, Single tap to wake
Actions: Screenshot toolkit, Flip for DND, Pick up to silence, Media controls, Attentive display, Lift to unlock, Swipe to split, Gametime, Tips
Gestures: Swipe fingerprint for notifications, Jump to the camera, System navigation, Lift to check phone, Prevent ringing, Fast flashlight, Three-finger screenshot


Moto g10 and Moto g30 camera

Note that apart from the primary sensors, the other sensor models are best guesses.

Until recently, you would not have seen a quad camera, let alone using the Samsung ISOCELL sensors for anywhere near this price. Basically, it is a choice of 48MP (binned 12MP) versus 64MP (binned 16MP).

Logically the g30 will have more AI processing power.

 Camera g10 primary
48MP
bins to 12MP
g30 primary
64MP
Bins to 16MP
G10 and g30
ultra-wide
8MP
Macro
2MP
Depth
2MP
G10 Selfie
8MP
g30
Selfie
13MP
SensorSamsung GM2Samsung
GW3
Samsung
S5K4HA
OV2680same Samsung
S5K4H7
Samsung
S5K3L6
Lens       
FocusSuper PDAFSuper PDAFContrast
AF
FFFFContrast AFContrast AF
F-stop1.7same2.22.42.42.22.2
Pixel size um.8 bins to 1.6.7 Bins to 1.41.121.751.751.121.12
FOV° and cropped(68.4) 118  (68.8)(68.8)
Video
Stabilisation
EIS @30fpsGyro EISEISEIS   
FlashSingle LEDsame   Screen fillsame
Zoom       
Video Max1080
@60/30
same1080
@30fps
  1080
@30fps
1080
@30fps

Daylight, outdoors

Moto g10 and Moto g30
g10 1x – natural colours and good detail
Moto g10 and Moto g30
g30 has more processed colours and a slight loss of detail
Moto g10 and Moto g30
g10 uses the 8MP wide-angle with good natural colour
Moto g10 and Moto g30
g30 uses the 8MP wide-angle and has over-processed the colours and a loss of some detail – it was an overcast day
Moto g10 and Moto g30
g10 – 8X digital zoom – again fairly natural colours and reasonable detail
Moto g10 and Moto g30
g30 8x digital zoom but AI has over-processed colours (a green forest)
. In doing so it has lost some detail.

Indoors Office Light (400 lumens)

Macro

Low light (room with <40 lumens)


Moto g10 and Moto g30
g10 struggles a little in low light but the shot is excellent in terms of detail and shows the monitor screens very well
Moto g10 and Moto g30
g30 is using AI to ramp up brightness and colours it in doing so it washes details from the monitors.
Moto g10 and Moto g30
g10 night mode is excellent preserving details while increasing brightness and colours without introducing noise
Moto g10 and Moto g30
g30 brings up the light and colours but there is considerable noise (white wall left) and above the monitor

Selfie – both take quality selfies daylight and outdoors. Low light needs the screen fill.

Video – [email protected] is as good as you can expect with good daylight performance. But the 30fps is what you will use, and it is just average. Both exhibit over-post-processing that reduces noise at the expense of detail. EIS at 30fps will counter walking movement and give smoother pans.

Camera summary. If you saw these pictures alone – without g10/g30 comparison, you can’t help but be impressed. But what we have found is that the g30 over-processes courtesy of its SD662 -processor. The g10 takes more natural images. I am sure Moto will fix this agressive g30 AI via future firmware updates.

GadgetGuy’s take

Moto g10 and Moto g30 – almost twins, personality differences aside.


When we discovered that both devices used the same Bengal platform with essentially only a different processor and primary camera, we felt it was safe to do a dual review. Motorola has come a long way since its Lenovo purchase. It has done that in a considered, responsible way avoiding bling and flashy stuff and focusing on user pain points. My UX is a key to that, and I like it. The question is whether to spend $249 on the g10 or $299 on the g30? The answer is that you would be pleased with either, and the g30 polishes a few g10 specs that you would not miss.

From our perspective, they are both workers phone. No airs and graces – just good honest phones that frankly are all that anyone needs. More and more, I question why any average person needs a phone costing 5-6 times as much. Snobbery or perhaps justified for prosumer photographers.

So I eschew reviews that say a 720p screen is so yesterday or that you get XYZ elsewhere. It is about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, and both Motos do it quite well. Both meet or exceed our test paradigms, so start at an 8/10. From there, we add points for camera quality (well above what you expect), build (solid), extra features (My UX), battery life (5000mAh), warranty and support.


Motorola Moto g10 and Moto g30
Moto g10 and Moto g30 – almost twins, personality differences aside.
Features
8.5
Value for money
9.5
Performance
8
Ease of use
9
Design
8.5
Positives
Good battery life
Decent camera
Motorola quality and warranty
Negatives
G10 has relatively slow charging
8.7