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Amazon Launches Smaller, Cheaper Echo Show 5

If you like the idea of a mains-powered tablet portal into buying Amazon services and making awkward video calls, here you go
Amazon has announced the Echo Show 5, so named thanks to its 5.5in display. It joins the more expensive Echo Show as part of the company’s smart display line-up with its Alexa voice assistant.

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Moto G7 Review: Hands-on

It might cost a little more than before but the Moto G7 looks like it’ll be worth it for the quarter of the price of an iPhone XS. Here’s our hands on review

Should I Buy The Moto G7?
The G series has always been good value and it remains so even as its price continues to rise. An outstanding display, clean Android 9 Pie with thoughtful Moto additions and improved cameras means this will likely be the best G series phone yet.

There are three other G7 phones in the series but, as ever, the G7 will be best for most people. Tad annoying it’s an Amazon exclusive, though.

Price When Reviewed
  • $299
We’ve always loved the Moto G series. It has long represented true smartphone value, and still does in an age where the high end now tops out at over £1,000 or dollars. Yikes.

Much more reasonable is the £239 Moto G7. The flagship device of a four-phone G7 line up that all have notches (G7 Play, G7 Power and G7 Plus are the others - we compare all four in our Moto G7 comparison review), it promises better cameras and more new features besides.

We went hands-on with the Moto G7 on launch day. Here’s what we think before we decide if it's one of the best mid-range phones you can buy. 

Price And Availability
Unlike any of the other G7 series phones the G7 itself is an Amazon exclusive in the UK. This is a tad annoying if you were planning on getting the phone on contract as it means you can only buy it outright and SIM free.

On the plus side, hopefully you stretch to £239. It’s a good price and gets you a lot of phone and you’re not tied into a long term contract.

It’s available from 1 March 2019.

It puts it at the same price as the Honor 8X and £20 more than 2018’s Moto G6 (we compare the G6 and G7 here).

Feature Heavy
More so than ever this G series phone proves you can spend half or even a quarter of other phones out there and still get absolutely everything you could want, even if it is at slightly lower quality.

But in our time so far with the G7 it’s hard not to be bowled away with how good it is. Our first impression of the display was incredulity at how great it looks for the price. It’s a 19:9 6.2in Full HD+ screen and wouldn’t look out of place on a phone that cost tons more.

There’s 4GB RAM and 64GB storage which is the same as the Google Pixel 3, a phone that costs at least £400 more.

There’s a teardrop notch at the top of the screen for the 8Mp camera with dual 12Mp + 5Mp sensors on the back. For the first time the main rear camera has optical image stabilisation (OIS), a great feature that does what it says and makes photos less blurry particularly in low light.

We’ll test it out in our full review but with an impressive f/1.8 aperture results should (continuing the theme) be excellent for the price.
Glass Act
You might not expect a premium glass construction for the price, but it’s what you get.

It doesn’t feel cheap by any means and is Gorilla Glass on front and back, so you might want a case to protect it - and you get one in the box. Nice one, Moto.

On the back are the dual cameras with a circular M logo that doubles up as a fingerprint sensor and is a fine piece of product design. Yes, we are nerds. But it also means the fingerprint sensor on the front of the G6 that took up screen space now makes space for, yup, more screen on the G7.

USB-C is good to see and there’s a 15W fast charger in the box. Add to that a headphone jack and the G7 is a well stocked device in a year where flagship phones have no headphone jack or case in the box.

It’s things like wireless charging that the G7 cuts, along with waterproofing (though it does have a water repellent coating). But really, you can live without these two things.

There’s NFC for mobile payments, Dolby audio for the first time on a G series phone and fun additions like smile detection on the selfie camera to take the photo when you bare yer gnashers.

Smooth Operator
But one of the best things about the G7 is the software. Not only does it seem to run excellently on the adequate and by no means low end Snapdragon 632 processor, but it runs Android 9 Pie, the latest version that some high end phones don’t even have yet.

Moto wisely only adds neat touches to a very stock experience that you can turn off if you don’t want them. We’re a million miles from the heavily changed skins of Huawei here.

We like things like raise to face unlock, double twist to open the camera and flip to mute but this is just the surface of how to interact with the G7, all customisable within the preloaded Moto app. It’s an impressive set of extras on a phone of this price.

Oh, and one of the low key best things about our time so far with the G7 is the vibration haptics. They are amazingly good for a cheap phone and rival LG's superior buzzing in its V40. We're not quite at iPhone levels of good haptics here but this is hands down the best on any phone under £500, which is amazing. 

Verdict
We’re already pretty sure Moto is onto another winner here with the G7. While its more expensive phones tend to not justify their higher prices, the G series is a bastion of smartphone consistency.

With better cameras, a fine display and an efficient but not underpowered processor we think the G7 could be one of the phones of the year. It’s just a shame that it won’t get many column inches in comparison to phones that cost four times as much.

Spoiler: those phones don’t do an awful lot more useful than the G7 does for £239.

Specs
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 6.2in, 19:9, 1080 x 2270, IPS LCD
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 Octa-core
  • Adreno 506
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage (expandable to 512GB)
  • 12Mp + 5Mp dual rear cameras, f/1.8 aperture
  • 8Mp front facing camera
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Nano-SIM
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • Fingerprint scanner (rear)
  • 3000mAh battery with 15W TurboPower charging
  • USB-C
  • 157 x 75 x 8mm
  • 172g
  • Ceramic Black, Clear White


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