The Moto G Fast is stuck in the middle. For $199.99, Motorola’s latest affordable phone offers excellent performance, good battery life, and a near stock version of Android 10 at a very reasonable price. For $50 less, however, the $150 Moto e has a sharper display and better audio quality, making it a better buy for budget seekers. And for $50 more, the $250 Moto G Power delivers superior performance pretty much all around, making it a stronger choice for midrange value.
Design, Display, and Durability
The Moto G Fast is attractive, but it doesn’t look quite as sleek as the Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus. It measures 6.37 by 2.98 by 0.36 inches (HWD) and weighs 7.02 ounces, placing it on the larger side.
The front of the phone is dominated by a 6.4-inch LCD with a small notch for the selfie camera. Resolution comes in at 1,560 by 720 pixels, for a density of 268ppi. While the display is bright and has excellent color accuracy, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of clarity compared with the 399ppi Moto G Power (and even the 271ppi Moto e is ever so slightly sharper). Images and text appear a bit soft and can cause eye strain over longer periods of use.
The back of the phone is home to a white plastic panel that does a good job of hiding fingerprints. A triple camera stack sits in the top left corner, while a fingerprint sensor is in the center, behind the Motorola logo.
The top edge of the phone is home to a headphone jack, while a USB-C charging port and a speaker sit on the bottom. A hybrid SIM/microSD slot is on the left, across from a textured power button and volume rocker on the right. The buttons are easy to identify by touch, but are positioned fairly high so that people with small hands might have trouble reaching them.
Durability is fine, but nothing to write home about. The Gorilla Glass 3 display should be able to withstand scratches and minor drops. The plastic back panel and frame should also be able to handle similar accidents. And while the G Fast is splash proof, it’s unlikely to survive an accidental drop in the sink or tub.
Audio, Call, and Network Quality
The Moto G Fast ships unlocked and works on all major US carriers. It supports LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/14/17/18/25/26/29/30/38/41/66/71. It lacks a few bands you’ll find on the more expensive Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus, but unless you’re a frequent international traveler, this is unlikely to have a significant impact.
We tested the Moto G Fast on Verizon’s network and saw good speeds averaging 53.9Mbps down and 23Mbps up.
Call quality is also solid. Earpiece volume peaks at 88dB, which is loud enough to hear in almost any environment. There’s no noticeable latency and conversations sound crisp and clear, with good noise cancellation.
Speaker quality, on the other hand, is mediocre. The bottom-firing driver has a maximum volume of 88dB, and audio sounds flat, with too much mids and zero bass.
Bluetooth 5.0 and multi-band Wi-Fi are supported. Like the rest of Motorla’s affordable phones, there is no NFC or wireless charging.
The Moto G Fast appears to have the same rear camera stack as the Moto G Power. There’s a 16MP primary sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide lens with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 2MP macro lens with an f/2.2 aperture. The front-facing camera is a bit different, coming in at 8MP with an f/2.2 aperture compared with the Moto G Power’s 16MP.
The primary lens takes the best shots of the rear sensors. Our daylight test photos show excellent color accuracy and depth of field, though there’s some loss of clarity in the background. Low-light photos are acceptable, but there’s noticeable background blur, lens flare, and noise around the edges images.
The front-facing 8MP camera does well in good light. Our test shots look crisp, with solid depth of field. Low-light photos, on the other hand, are bad. Our test shots are littered with noise, colors look muddy, and there’s unnatural blurring in the foreground.
The macro and ultra-wide lenses fail to impress, so you’re better off sticking with the primary sensors. And if you’re looking for better camera performance at this price, you’re not going to find it. For the best camera quality on a relatively affordable phone, you’ll still have to spend a lot more on the $399 Google Pixel 3a.
Specs and Performance
While the Moto G Fast is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset as its G series siblings, that’s where the hardware similarities end. There’s 3GB of RAM here compared with 4GB on the Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus. Storage has also been cut in half, to 32GB, of which nearly 20GB is available out of the box. One the plus side, you can add up to an additional 512GB of storage with a microSD card.
See How We Test Phones
In testing, it was hard to tell a difference in performance between the Moto G Fast, Moto G Power, and Moto G Stylus. We were able to multitask with more than a dozen apps and Google Chrome tabs open simultaneously without any slowdown.
The Moto G Fast also offers solid gaming performance for the price. We tested the phone by playing Asphalt 9 and PUBG: Mobile. While the games were slower to load than on the Moto G Power, we didn’t experience any crashes or skipped frames.
On the PCMark 2.0 benchmark, a suite of tests that emulate common smartphone tasks, the Moto G Fast scored 6,964, somehow coming out slightly better than the Moto G Power (6,751). That said, the difference in scores is essentially negligible, and any number of factors could have contributed to this discrepancy. Ultimately, the good news is that the Moto G Fast delivers solid performance for the price.
Battery life is also solid. In our battery rundown test, which streams HD video over Wi-Fi at full brightness, the phone’s 4,000mAh cell lasted 14 hours and 24 minutes. With more conservative use, you might be able to make it two days between charges.
When you find the battery running low, the Moto G Fast supports fast charging at 10W. That’s not quite as fast as you get with the 15W charger for the G Power, but it definitely beats the 5W Moto e.
The Moto G Fast ships with Android 10 along with Motorola’s new My UX interface. Out of the box, the phone offers a nearly stock Android experience. My UX simply allows you to customize some settings to match your style and preferences.
With Moto Actions, for instance, you can enable gestures to quickly access frequently used features. Need to take a screenshot? Just tap the screen with three fingers. Forget to turn on do not disturb mode before a meeting? Just flip the phone over and all notifications will be silenced.
Moto Gametime allows you to customize notification and performance settings while gaming. You can even access it in the middle of a game by swiping in from the left side of the screen.
Motorola has yet to announce if any of its G series phones will get the Android 11 treatment when it comes out. That said, Motorola has a pretty solid track record of offering at least one major OS update on its phones, which you can’t say for many other low-cost handset manufacturers.
The Motorola Moto G Fast is a good $200 phone that sits in an awkward place. For $50 less, the Moto e offers many of the same features, while for $50 more, the Moto G Power offers better performance all around. If $200 is the absolute top of your budget, the Moto G Fast is a perfectly fine choice, but if you can spend a little more, we recommend going for the for the Moto G Power. With better battery life, a stronger speaker, and a significantly sharper display, it’s much more likely to keep you happy over the long run.
Motorola Moto G Fast Specs
|Operating System||Android 10|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 665|
|Dimensions||6.4 by 3.0 by 0.4 inches|
|Screen Size||6.4 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1,560 by 720|
|Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)||16MP, 8MP, 2MP; 8MP|
|Battery Life (As Tested)||14 hours, 24 minutes|