Motorola Moto G Power 2024 review: A good phone spoiled by bloatware

There are some phones that just feel nice, and the 2024 Moto G Power is one of them. It’s on my desk and even though I don’t have to do anything with it right now, I pick it up anyway. That soft back! The flat, yet slightly shaped edges! I turn it to look at the headphone jack on the bottom, just to remind myself if it’s there. If the battery is even slightly depleted, I place it on my wireless charging stand for power. All this on a $300 phone! To suggest!

But after spending a little more time with the Moto G Power, I’m coming back to reality. The LCD panel isn’t as nice and contrasty as an OLED (that’s forgivable). The camera is disappointing and suffers from Motorola’s unusual image processing tendencies (less forgivable). But then again, this is a $300 phone in a world where $1,000 is the standard rate for a top-tier flagship. Much can be forgiven!

Except for one thing: the bloatware.

Scroll through the app drawer and you’ll see a handful of automatically downloaded ‘folders’. They are not folders; they are apps. I first encountered them on last year’s Moto G Stylus 5G, and I hate them a lot.

There are three main offenders: Shopping, Entertainment, and GamesHub, and each of these apps acts as a little hub. Icons for apps you downloaded legitimately will appear in the corresponding ‘folder’. You’ll also find tons of other suggested apps to download – pages and pages of them! Apps as far as the eye can see!

If you close the suggested apps section, it will be replaced with a “Discover” section. In the shopping app, it invites you to “unlock the power of shopping” with links to buy things like kitschy Easter decor from TJ Maxx. Fortunately a switch to hide this section.

These apps are all created by a company called Swish, and you can’t opt ​​out of downloading it during the installation process. you can (and should!) Opt out of downloading a third-party lock screen from another service called Glance.

The more I dig into the software on this phone, the more I hate it. The pre-installed weather app is festooned with ads and even more suggested apps, plus pithy insights like “Gotta love air conditioning in this high humidity.” If you tap the option to remove ads, a pop-up will ask you to pay $4 for 1Weather Pro.

What feels particularly creepy is that all of these services are absolutely hungry for your data – they want to be able to send you notifications, track your whereabouts and download apps on your behalf – and it’s hard to tell which company exactly is behind these services. It. The “About” section in the weather app says it comes from a service called OneLouder. It turns out that OneLouder is owned by Pinsight Media, which was previously owned by Sprint and is now owned by a company called InMobi. To be clear, this app asks for constant access to your location. At the very least, it must be clear to which company exactly you are giving that permission!

You can get rid of all this junk – I’m actually begging you if you happen to buy this phone. You can download another weather app from a source you trust, or at least one you can identify. You can create your own damn app folders. But if you’re not tech savvy, you probably don’t realize you can do all this. That’s a shame, because underneath all this nonsense lies a good budget phone.

Photography by Allison Johnson / The Verge

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