Moto G9 series common issues and how to solve them

If Motorola (owned by Lenovo) has something going for it that’s the always solid G lineup that, slowly but steadily, improves with every new generation.

The G9 lineup is no different. It expands on the already-established affordable mid-range devices with a focus on the regular user instead of all bells and whistles flagships have (but they ditch some essential features like SD card support and headphone jack).

So, today, we made sure to cover this series and list all Moto G9 issues, along with issues reported on Moto G9 Plus, Moto G9 Power, and Moto G9 Play. Of course, we made sure to provide solutions, where possible.

Note: All the issues mentioned in this article are individually reported cases, which doesn’t mean any of the problems will occur on other devices. If you’re looking to buy this phone, DO NOT take these issues into account.

Moto G8 Plus common issues and how to solve them

1. Slow internet speed and Wi-Fi disconnecting

This seems to be an underlying issue that occasionally appears in the Moto G9 series. It concerns Wi-Fi connectivity which is, for some, too slow. For others, Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting and, of course, that’s a debilitating issue that can’t be overlooked. Again, this isn’t a common issue, just repeats infrequently on almost every recent iteration of Lenovo mid-range handsets. This year, users reported connectivity issues on the Moto G9 and Moto G9 Power.

Fix: WiFi connection doesn’t work on my Android device

If you are among users experiencing these issues, make sure to try the steps below:

  • Forget the network and connect again.
  • Reboot your phone and router.
  • Boot into safe mode and look for improvements.
  • Disable Bluetooth and Mobile Data.
  • Reset Network Settings.
  • Reset the device to factory settings.

2. GPS issues

GPS performance is another thing that periodically bothers Moto G9 Plus users. It seems that some users experience intermittent stops in location tracking. In previous iterations that had GPS issues, certain updates addressed the problem by bringing additional satellites to the list. This makes us believe that the same will be done with the device.

The first thing you can try is testing GPS with some third-party app, like GPS Test (get it on Play Store). Focus on the signal strength instead of precision to determine whether your Moto G9 or Moto G9 Plus is having reception issues.

You can try improving on Location services by enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning, but that won’t do you any good if the device simply doesn’t get a GPS signal. The best bet is to wait for the update and report the problem to Motorola support.

3. Moto G9 Plus Camera issues

As we already mentioned in the introduction, all phones in the Moto G9 series slightly but significantly improved in comparison to their predecessors. Although the camera setup is a bit underwhelming on 3 of them, with a solo main camera followed by two barely usable 2MP macro and depth sensors, it should be enough for most users. Especially if you install a GCam port.

How to install a GCam port on any Android phone

The last remark especially comes in handy as the stock camera app is failing to utilize more than capable hardware. Users report crashes when switching modes, the macro camera not focusing, photos being too cool (not in a positive way), various recording issues, bad selfie camera quality, etc.  This applies especially to budget options in the lineup which include the Moto G9, Moto G9 Power, and Moto G9 Play.

There’s not much you can do with the exception of installing Gcam and using ported Google software to improve the quality and mitigate bugs.

Also, due to many reports, we can only hope that updates are coming and the problems with camera performance will be addressed accordingly.

4. Lags and stutters on low battery

There are reports about lags, stutters, and overall performance issues on the Moto G9 series. However, the most common ones concern the device performance when the battery drops under 20%. That’s when, usually, the Battery saver kicks in and, probably, reduces CPU activity to reduce battery consumption.

For the time being, there are no applicable solutions, unless you want to try and reduce the strain on the CPU with a few tweaks. This won’t address the problem, but your device should perform better.

Here’s what to do to reduce lags and stutters on the Moto G9 devices:

  • Disable the Battery saver and re-enable it.
  • Reboot the device.
  • Limit the number of apps working in the background. You can do so in the Developer options, under the Background process limit.
  • Lower the Animations in Developer options.
  • Boot into Safe Mode and, if the device performs better, uninstall recently installed apps.
  • Reset your Moto G9 to factory settings.

5. No battery percentage in the Status bar

This might come as a surprise for some users who skipped on a few Android versions before upgrading. Most OEMs don’t provide battery percentages in the status bar by default. What you need to do is navigate to Settings and enable it yourself. It’s rather simple and shouldn’t take too much time. And, of course, it applies to all Moto G9 phones, including the Moto G9, Moto G9 Power, Moto G9 Play, and, last but not least, Moto G9 Plus.

Here’s how to add battery percentage to the status bar on your device:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Battery.
  3. Enable Battery percentage.

6. Power Button doesn’t work

This is a big one. The underlying issue with the Power Button and the physical one, at that. This is a bit more prominent issue that’s until now reported only for the Moto G9 handsets. It seems that the button needs to be pressed hard to work, and sometimes even that doesn’t help/

Sadly, there’s nothing you can do about that but ask for a replacement and hope that the next device doesn’t come with the proper hardware. Send the ticket or contact your seller/carrier as soon as possible.

7. Ghost touch

Ghost touch is usually a hardware issue with a faulty panel and, like the previous problem, the best way to address this is to ask for a replacement. Users report the screen reacting without a touch (ghost touch) along with the white lines appearing on the screen. You can try some troubleshooting steps, like rebooting your device or restoring your device to factory settings in case there are some software issues (a very, very rare occurrence).

Also, it seems that the problem, in this specific case, is related to the GSM radio module, so the bad network coverage causes the screen to go nuts. But, again, don’t wait too long rather ask for a replacement if you notice some misbehavior from the display panel.

8. Screen rotation issues

Some Moto G9 users are running into an issue with the screen rotation. It seems that, while in the landscape orientation (gaming, video streaming, etc.), the device switches on its own to portrait orientation on its own. It seemingly happens every couple of minutes. Of course, the user is not rotating the device.

For the time being, we can only recommend updating your device (updates usually bring fixes to bugs like this) or just toggling the auto-rotation off while consuming media or gaming. Of course, while in the landscape orientation. Just drag the Quick Access pane from the top and, while in landscape mode, turn off the auto-rotation lock.

9. Distorted speaker sound

The sound quality of the single bottom-firing loudspeakers on these devices is usually what you would expect in this price range. No stereo speakers and the single speaker will do just fine most of the time. However, some users are reporting sound distortion, especially at a high volume. In addition, sound quality fluctuates from good to bad in many apps and games.

We suggest resetting your device to factory settings, although, based on reports, even that doesn’t resolve the problem. Again, despite all the quality control, things can slip up in the serial manufacturing process. So, replacing your device is always an option, as long as it’s under the warranty.

10. Battery depletes quickly

Now, all devices from the Moto G9 series, like their predecessors, come with 5000 mAh batteries with the Moto G9 Power being an exception. That one packs an enormous 6000 mAh cell. Either way, based on sheer numbers, screen-on time, stand-by, and talk time should be exceptional. And, it usually is, based on many reviews but, some users can’t stand behind that.

Namely, it seems that (despite running close-to-stock Android), battery longevity is not the greatest. For some, the battery depletes too fast which is worrying considering the aforementioned battery size. In comparison to some other issues listed here, this definitely can be tackled by the end user. Some tweaks will help.

Here are some tips on prolonging battery life on your Moto G9:

  • Disable background apps. You can use a third-party app to do so. The one that comes to mind is Greenify.
  • Make sure your signal is stable. We encourage all our readers to check available bands before purchasing devices. Bad network coverage leads to constant signal-hunting which leads to battery depletion.
  • Disable Auto-brightness and set preferred brightness manually.
  • Disable Location Services and Bluetooth when you are not actively using them.
  • Reset your device to factory settings.

11. Video playback lags

While some Moto G9 users have sound issues during media playback, others experience severe lags. This can be attributed to the aforementioned lags and stutters when the battery is low. However, it doesn’t need to be the case. Snapdragon’s CPU on the Moto G9 is not the greatest and don’t expect miracles if you like playing demanding games. On the other hand, it’s strange that lags in videos are occurring.

To troubleshoot this, try the steps from the fourth solution. Also, make sure that your internet is stable and clear the cache and the data in the media player that’s not working properly. User reports had subsequent issues with the VLC Media Player, as soon as they try to play some local videos.

12. Moto G9 low volume in recordings and calls

Besides the aforementioned sound issues, it seems that the volume also is too low, even on the highest settings. This is especially noticeable during calls and in video recordings. Even when the volume is as high as possible.

For the time being, there’s nothing you can do except wait for an update to address this issue. Based on some reports, updates indeed fixed this problem so keep your device up to date and hope for the best.

13. Too high screen brightness after unlocking the device

The auto-brightness will, as we all know, dim or illuminate the screen based on sensor readings of the background. Quite simple. However, it seems that there’s a bug while the auto-brightness is being enabled. Some Moto G9 users run into a problem when unlocking the device, as the brightness will spike to the max.

Again, you should keep your device up to date to get bug fixes. However, you can also try fixing it on your own by disabling auto-brightness or using Device diagnostics from Settings, or entering the *#*#2486#*#* code into your dialer. Once there, you can try and calibrate the ambient sensor. Some even suggest disabling Haptic feedback on touch in Sound settings.

14. Google Backup is greyed out

Some Moto G9 and Moto G9 Plus users are unable to back up their data to Google Drive as the Backup option is grayed out. There’s a simple solution for this, and all you should do is just remove all security options (PIN, password, or pattern) and try again. Once the first backup completes, the problem shouldn’t occur again, even after you set security options again.

This is a common occurrence on many Android devices, a bug that often appears, especially if you restore system data during the setup from the cloud or an old device.

15. Common troubleshooting steps for Moto devices

Enter Developer Options

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select System.
  3. Open About phone.
  4. Tap on Build number 7 times. You should get a message informing you that you are now a developer.
  5. Get back to the main menu of Settings and, at the bottom, you should see Developer options.

Boot into Safe Mode

  1. Press and hold the Power button to bring out the Power menu.
  2. Tap and hold on to the Power off icon until you are prompted to enter Safe mode.
  3. Tap OK.
  4. To get out of Safe mode, just reboot your device again.

Reset Network settings

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose the Network & Internet.
  3. Tap on the 3-dot menu and choose Network settings reset.
  4. Choose to reset your Network settings.
  5. Tap Reset.

Reset the device to factory settings

Note: We don’t recommend doing this if you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing. If that’s the case, check out our article about factory resetting an Android phone for more info.

  1. First, navigate to Settings > System > Backup and back up all your settings and app data. Besides that, make sure to connect your device to a PC and back up all your media. You can also use Google Photos to back up all your photos from the device. You’ll need your Google Account password later.
  2. Once you are certain that everything can be safely deleted, in Settings > System > Advanced, choose Reset options.
  3. Select Erase all data (factory reset).
  4. Confirm the selection. Your device will reboot and after some time, you’ll start from scratch.

And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and make sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Also, if you are experiencing additional issues or have alternative solutions, make sure to tell us in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in January 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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