The Moto G7 Play has a 13 MP snapper behind f/2.0 lens and with 1.12µm pixels. The camera supports phase-detection autofocus and has a single-LED flash that should be more useful as a flashlight rather than low-light photos, but still.
Hardware-wise, we can't say we're all that impressed. However, Motorola has made a habit out of trying its best to improve the overall camera experience, as best it can, sprinkling on extra features. Often, rather surprising ones.
For instance, 4K video recording is rather surprising to see on a budget phone. Then there is EIS available for the 1080p clips. And the Portrait mode has made it to the G7 Play, too, even though there isn't a depth sensor.
The Manual mode is surprisingly full-featured and includes shutter speed and ISO controls, even manual focus.
The camera supports Auto HDR and it comes with this enabled by default. When shooting in Auto HDR the phone will always stack multiple images for a clearer picture with boosted dynamic range.
The pictures we shot with the camera's default settings - meaning Auto HDR - turned out pretty great for the class. The 13MP shots have enough detail, tolerable noise levels, and lively and accurate colors. The dynamic range isn't spectacular, but it's quite decent especially the shadow detail.
If you turn off the HDR, the camera shoots mediocre photos at best. They are always noisy, and the resolved detail suffers from that, while the dynamic range is quite limited.
Snapping photos with HDR takes about two seconds, while without HDR - it's a bit faster. But we still don't recommend opting out of the Auto HDR.
Auto HDR is useless in the low-light scenes, at least on the Moto G7 Play. The images are very noisy and lack detail, but the exposure is pretty even.
Once you're done examining the real-life samples you can have a look at our Photo compare tool for some studio shots. We've pre-selected the Moto G7 and the Huawei P Smart 2019 but you can pick any other set of phones to compare once you're there.
There is a dedicated portrait mode on the Moto G7 Play even though there is no depth camera. The edge detection is alright when certain conditions are met, but nothing super accurate. All the shots look blurry and noisy, so there is that. We can't see many people using this mode unless they have a portrait-friendly haircut and background.
Just like the Moto G6 Play, the Motorola G7 Play relies on an 8MP f/2.2 camera, complete with a dedicated LED flash for selfies.
The 8MP photos we snapped with the front snapper turned out pretty good with lots of resolved detail, good sharpness, high contrast, and true to life colors.
You can snap portrait shots with the selfie camera, too, and surprisingly those came out better than the ones we took with the main snapper. The edge detection is mostly fine, the blurred background looks nice and the transition between the subject and the blur isn't abrupt.
The Motorola Moto G7 Play can record videos at up to 4K@30 fps. It also has a surprisingly good EIS algorithm working in the background for the 1080p@30fps clips. You can toggle that stabilization off, in case you really need to use the entire frame, without any crop or have a tripod handy.
Videos shot on the Motorola G7 Play in 4K and 1080p resolution at 30 fps get saved in a rather standard configuration of a 17-ish Mbps AVC video feed and a 48kHz stereo AAC audio track, inside an MP4 container. The frame rate remains pretty steady at 30 fps.
Quality is actually quite good with plenty of detail for the class, high contrast and lively colors. The dynamic range is about average.
The 1080p at 60fps videos have the same bitrate as the 30fps ones and thus they lack in detail, but match everything else - contrast, colors, dynamic range.
The last stop is, of course, our Video compare tool where you can compare the Moto G7 Play's output against other phones we've tested. We've pre-selected the Moto G7 and the Realme 2 Pro, but a different set of devices is only a few clicks away.