Moto G73 5G Review: Smooth and Secure

But what about everything else it's supposed to do?

Moto G73 5G Review: Smooth and Secure

The Moto G73 5G is priced at Rs. 18,999 in India

Highlights
  • The Moto G73 5G debuts the MediaTek Dimensity 930 SoC in India
  • The software experience is quite good, but there is some bloatware
  • Camera performance is lacking

As I pointed out in my first impressions of the Moto G73 5G, Motorola is basically aiming to hit two birds with one stone. This phone is positioned as an upgrade to the older Moto G62 5G and as a 5G alternative to the 4G-only Moto G72. 5G connectivity aside, Motorola's focus with the Moto G73 is also on three other areas – imaging, performance, and security – and it aims to deliver all of these at what appears to be a very attractive price point. Is the Moto G73 5G an all-rounder? I tested this smartphone for more than a week, and here's what I think.

Moto G73 5G price in India

The Moto G73 5G is available in a sole 8GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration in India. It is priced at Rs. 18,999 and is available in two finishes – Midnight Blue and Lucent White.

Moto G73 5G design

The Moto G73 5G's design appears subtle yet modern, and feels more in line with the brand's Edge 30 lineup than the older G62 5G. Its rear panel is flat towards the centre but curves along the edges. The frame of the phone is quite flat. The latter is made from polycarbonate while the rear panel is made from what Motorola refers to as ‘acrylic glass'. This material has two benefits. It manages to give the impression of glass with a premium look thanks to its matte finish, but since it's essentially plastic, it should be more resistant to shattering when dropped.

Moto G73 5G design side ndtv MotoG735G  Motorola

The Moto G73 5G has a matte-finished frame, made out of polycarbonate

 

What this material does not manage well is fingerprints. Despite having a matte finish, the phone is a dust and smudge magnet, and ends up looking quite messy with daily use. Since this is plastic, it's also quite difficult to wipe off these smudges from the rear panel.

The combination of a matte frame and rear panel also makes the Moto G73 5G slippery. Thankfully, Motorola includes a transparent TPU case in the box which makes it a lot easier to grip, but this also increases the overall thickness of the device, which is otherwise quite slim at 8.29mm.

Moto G73 5G design rear ndtv MotoG735G  Motorola

The phone can turn into a smudgy mess quickly

 

The hole-punch display on the front has thin bezels on the left and right sides, but not so much at the top and the bottom. The one at the bottom is the thickest and takes away from the otherwise chiselled appearance of the phone. Just like the rear panel, the display also picks up smudges easily. The Moto G73 5G does have an IP52 rating for basic dust and water resistance.

Moto G73 5G specifications and software

The Moto G73 5G has a 6.5-inch full-HD+ IPS LCD display with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. When launched, it was the first device in India to be powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 930 SoC. Almost a month later, at the time of publishing this review, it's still the only phone to offer this SoC in the Indian market.

There's 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Moto G73 5G also supports up to 1TB of expandable storage using a microSD card in the hybrid dual-SIM tray. The phone supports up to 13 5G bands in India, along with Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi ac, NFC and the usual satellite navigation systems. Also available are stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone port.

The fingerprint scanner is integrated into the power button and it turned out to be quite reliable. The phone has a 5,000mAh battery and can be charged using the 30W Type-C charger provided in the box.

Moto G73 5G software front ndtv MotoG735G  Motorola

Motorola's My UX offers good customisation options

 

The Moto G73 5G runs Motorola's My UX software which is based on Android 13. At first glance, the interface appears stock but there are a tonne of customisation options. These allow users to tweak everything from the theme, wallpaper, icons, font, sounds and more, which is nice. There are also the usual Motorola software features and gestures such as Peek Display, Fast Flashlight, Pick Up to Silence, and more.

While all these shortcuts worked as expected during my testing, I could not help but notice the growing number of Motorola apps. The company now preinstalls its own Moto app, Moto Hub (Swish), Moto Notifications, the new Moto Secure and Family Space apps, and a Games app (which basically shows all your installed games in one place). Add to this the two preinstalled third-party apps, Netflix and Facebook. After what was a pretty long bloatware-free run, Motorola seems to have finally given in. Also, of all the apps listed above, only Moto Hub, Netflix, and Facebook can be uninstalled.

On the bright side, I did not receive any spammy notifications from any of these apps during the course of this review.

Moto G73 5G software Moto ndtv MotoG735G  Motorola

The number of Motorola-branded apps is gradually increasing

 

The new Moto Secure app on the Moto G73 5G brings all of the phone's privacy and security controls under one roof. This, according to Motorola, should give users a better idea about the device's security status without having to dig into the different sections of the Settings app. The company also said that this app will be made available to older Moto phones with their Android 13 updates. I found the ‘PIN pad scramble' feature quite handy. This basically rearranges the numeric pad shown on screen when unlocking the device to make it more difficult for onlookers to decipher your PIN.

The Secure Folder and Network Protection features are said to be part of parent company Lenovo's ThinkShield security suite. While the Moto Secure app does give you a sense of security, I somehow wished that all of it could have been integrated into the Settings apps instead.

The Family Spaces app on the Moto G73 5G has one very interesting feature which lets you provide remote assistance to another known Motorola device. Motorola says that this feature will be available on all Moto phones running Android 13 and older phones should receive this feature via an update. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to test this in time for the review.

Moto G73 5G battery back ndtv MotoG735G  Motorola

The phone's rear panel is made of 'acrylic glass'

 

The Moto Hub app is basically an all-in-one app for the weather, news and mini games, and it has a massive widget that is visible on the homescreen by default. This shows you the news, weather and deals, which is fine, but it does all of this without explicitly asking for any permissions to access mobile or Wi-Fi data whatsoever, which is something I did not like. This only got weirder when I noticed that the app showed “no permissions” but was allowed to use background data by default.

Motorola promises a software upgrade to Android 14 for the Moto G73 5G, and up to three years of security updates, which seems a bit limited compared to what you'd get with the OnePlus CE 3 Lite 5G.

Moto G73 5G performance

The Moto G73 5G's IPS LCD seems like a downgrade from the Moto G72's pOLED panel. The G73 manages good colour reproduction but with slightly yellowish white tones when set to the ‘Natural' colour mode. Black levels are also lacking, as one would expect from an LCD panel at this price. The display gets sufficiently bright outdoors, and while this is enough for general use, it's insufficient for viewing photos or videos properly. Motorola claims that the display is capable of HDR10 playback but I could only view such content in the YouTube app, as Netflix did not seem to support it.

The Moto G73 5G's screen refresh rate is dynamic and switches between 30, 90 and 120Hz depending on the app being used. The display can also be forced to run at 120Hz if needed, but I chose to use it set to ‘Auto' for all tests.

I was eager to test the new MediaTek Dimensity 930 SoC on the Moto G73 5G, and the results were pretty solid when it came to raw performance. The phone managed a score of 4,22,824 points in AnTuTu and scored 918 and 2,260 points in Geekbench 6's single and multi-core tests respectively. Graphics performance was also as expected. In GFXBench, the phone achieved 69fps in the T-rex test, 32fps in Manhattan 3.1, and 18fps in the Car Chase test suite. Overall, performance was similar to that of existing competitors such as the iQoo Z7 5G, which managed similar benchmark scores with a MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC.

Moto G73 5G camera rear ndtv MotoG735G  Motorola

The Moto G73 5G has two rear-facing cameras

 

In real-world usage, I did not have any hiccups when using the Moto G73 5G's My UX software. The gaming experience with the high-quality stereo speakers was quite good. However, games such as Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9 Legends tend to run at lower graphics settings. For example, Call of Duty: Mobile is capped at ‘High' graphics, while Asphalt 9 Legends does not offer a 60fps mode. Touch sampling felt sufficient when playing FPS (First Person Shooter) titles.

The Moto G73 5G lasted 16 hours and 6 minutes in our HD video battery loop test which is average for this segment. With regular use, I managed to get through a full day, with the phone having about 20-30 percent left at the end. The 30W USB-PD charger managed to fully charge the battery in an hour and 17 minutes. While charging seems quick enough, I did notice that the phone gets quite hot while charging.

Moto G73 5G cameras

The Moto G73 5G has two rear-facing cameras, a 50-megapixel primary and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, which also functions as a macro camera and a depth camera (for Portrait mode). A 16-megapixel camera is in charge of capturing selfies. The camera interface is typically Motorola, with all important functions available within the viewfinder itself. The phone does get hot when using the camera outdoors and the heat can be felt on the display rather than the rear panel. While the camera interface runs smoothly initially, it starts to lag once the phone heats up.

Moto G73 5G daylight camera samples. Top to bottom: Primary camera, ultra-wide camera and macro mode (tap to see full size)

 

Daylight photos came out well with decent detail. Colour saturation was on the higher side, while dynamic range did not seem sufficient. Both rear cameras tended to overexpose a bit and ended up capturing clipped highlights and crushed shadows. The ultra-wide camera fell short on details and also showcased purple fringing around bright objects.

Selfies in daylight come out a bit oversharpened and showcase saturated colours. The front camera also tended to beautify faces, making them appear fairer than the actual skin tone. This was despite having all beautification features switched off. The camera app does have an AI optimisation mode which is enabled by default, but switching it off did not make any noticeable difference, when using both the front or the rear cameras. Edge detection in Portrait mode when using the selfie camera was fairly accurate.

Moto G73 5G low light camera samples. Top: Auto mode, bottom: Night mode (tap to see full size)

 

The camera's problems with colour saturation and dynamic range make things worse when shooting in low light. Photos looked quite saturated and the shadows turned into black patches. I honestly expected better given that phone has an auto-night mode like most premium devices. Switching to the dedicated Night mode improved the dynamic range but was still not able to capture better details.

Macro photos came out quite well showing good detail. This is mainly because the phone uses its ultra-wide camera for shooting macro photos.

Video performance was decent at best. Footage shot at both 1080p 30fps and 60fps appeared a bit brighter than it should and also lacked details, even with objects that were close to the camera. Focusing was a problem as well as the primary camera's autofocus system kept hopping making the video appear a bit jerky, even though stabilisation was decent.

The focussing issues only got worse when using the ultra-wide camera which was limited to 1080p 30fps. I also noticed skipped frames when panning the camera at 60fps which made the footage appear choppy. In low light, 30fps video shot using the primary camera looked noisy and lacked stabilisation. When shooting at 60fps using the same camera, video appeared more stable, but lacked detail in textures, making objects and people in the distance appear featureless and flat.

Verdict

With the Moto G73 5G, Motorola has focussed mainly on performance and security. The software experience is quite smooth and the gaming experience is also quite good, but it isn't a big leap over what most smartphones at this price point already offer.

Motorola could have done a lot more to make the Moto G73 5G stand out. Its design, despite being modern, is not exactly unique or different. Battery life is average, and the lack of an AMOLED display is disappointing. To add to that, camera performance is also inadequate, and Motorola is gradually losing its near-stock software advantage, which the brand had built as a selling point over the past decade. In short, it's hard to recommend the Moto G73 5G especially when the Moto G82 5G (Review) can be found for a similar price. It offers a camera with OIS and a larger battery, along with an AMOLED display, and is priced starting from Rs. 19,999.

While I would recommend spending a bit more and getting a Realme 9 Pro+ 5G (Review) instead, there's also the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G (Review), which offers better value


Smartphone companies have launched many compelling devices over the first quarter of 2023. What are some of the best phones launched in 2023 you can buy today? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Good build quality
  • IP52 rating
  • Smooth software experience
  • Good for mid-level gaming
  • Bad
  • Display isn't bright enough
  • Poor low-light camera performance
  • Average battery life
  • Relatively slow charging
Display 6.50-inch
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 930
Front Camera 16-Ultrapixel
Rear Camera 50-Ultrapixel + 8-megapixel
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 5000mAh
OS Android 13
Resolution 2400x1080 pixels
Comments

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Sheldon Pinto
Sheldon Pinto is based in Mumbai, and has several years of experience in reviewing smartphones and gadgets. As a Senior Reviewer at Gadgets 360, you will always find him deeply immersed in his reviews, switching from one phone to another. When the battery dies out, Sheldon is always browsing the web for a good sci-fi movie or reading up on cars and bikes. He also loves creating lists of interesting places to eat and travel. Sheldon is available on Twitter at @shellshocd, and you can mail him at ...More
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