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

There are some phones that are good to pick up, and the 2024 Moto G Power is one of them. It's on my desk, and even though I don't need to do anything with it right now, I pick it up anyway. That soft touch back! Flat but slightly defined edges! I turn it around to look at the headphone jack on the bottom edge, just to remind myself if it's there. If the battery is a little low, I put it on my wireless charging stand just for fun. All this for a $300 phone! Imagine!

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

Except for one thing: bloatware.

If you enable the notification panel in your shopping app, you'll come face to face with a user's privacy nightmare.

Scroll through the app drawer and you'll see a few automatically downloaded “folders.” They are not volumes; They are applications. I first encountered them on the Moto G Stylus 5G last year, and I hate them so much.

There are three main culprits – Shopping, Entertainment, and GamesHub – and each of these apps acts as a mini-hub. Icons of applications you have legally downloaded will appear in the corresponding “folder”. You'll also find plenty of other suggested apps to download — pages and pages of them! Applications as far as the eye can see!

See also  The price of the Google Pixel 8 could be much higher

Rejecting the Suggested Apps section replaces it with a Discover section. In the shopping app, it invites you to “unleash the power of shopping” with links to buy things like Easter decor from TJ Maxx. Fortunately, there is Toggle to hide this section.

Moto got the hardware right. The program is another story.

All of these applications They're created by a company called Swish, and you can't opt ​​out of downloading any of them during the setup process. You Can (And you should!) Opt out of downloading a third-party lock screen from a different service called Glance.

The more I looked into the software on this phone, the more I hated it. The pre-installed weather app is filled with ads and more suggested apps, as well as pithy insights like “I must love air conditioning at these high levels of humidity.” If you click on the Remove Ads option, a pop-up will appear asking you to pay $4 for 1Weather Pro.

Apparently, ad-free weather forecasts cost $4.

Honestly, I'm good at personal recommendations.

What seems particularly scary 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 know exactly which company is behind which of these apps. He. She. The About section of the Weather app says it comes from A service called OneLouder. It turns out that OneLouder is just that Owned by Pinsight Mediawhich was formerly owned by Sprint and is now owned by A company called InMobi. To be clear, this application requests Continuous access to your site. At the very least, it should be clear exactly which company you are giving this permission to!

See also  Playnote Studio is a great DSi Flipnote Studio app for Playdate

You can uninstall all this garbage – I'm begging you in fact, if you buy this phone. You can download another weather app from a source you trust, or at least from a source you know. You can create your own damned application folders. But if you're not technically proficient, you probably won't realize that you can do it all. That's a shame, because there's a good budget phone underneath all this crap.

Photography by Alison Johnson/The Verge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *