Motorola ThinkPhone review: It’s worth thinking about

2 days ago 21
aa2020 recommended

Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola

The Motorola ThinkPhone is sleek, powerful, and stable. The Google Pixel 7 volition beryllium a amended acquisition for astir people, particularly if you worth large photos, but endeavor customers looking for fantabulous reliability should support this 1 successful mind.

Lenovo has been the steward of the iconic ThinkPad marque for astir 20 years, and the Motorola part it picked up successful 2014 has its ain historical value arsenic the inventor of the compartment phone. Combine those 2 brands, and you person the ThinkPhone. It’s each spot a modern smartphone connected the inside, but it’s got a refreshing ThinkPad vibe connected the outside. Motorola is aiming this instrumentality astatine enterprise, but adjacent the mean smartphone idiosyncratic should instrumentality enactment of the ThinkPhone — it’s 1 of the best phones from Motorola since the institution became portion of Lenovo. Find retired much successful Android Authority’s Motorola ThinkPhone review.

About the Motorola ThinkPhone review: I tested the ThinkPhone implicit a play of 2 weeks. It was moving Android 13 connected the April 2023 information patch. The portion was provided by Motorola for this review.

Motorola ThinkPhone review: What you request to know

Motorola ThinkPhone front

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

  • Motorola ThinkPhone: $699.99

The champion mode to picture the ThinkPhone’s vibe is “mature.” It does not effort to impressment with a visually absorbing but yet awkward plan similar the company’s Motorola Edge phones. The ThinkPhone lone comes successful the Volcanic Gray colorway, but alternatively of the customary solid rear panel, the ThinkPhone changes it up with a grey Aramid fibre back. That’s the aforesaid worldly Lenovo uses connected ThinkPads.

Despite the antithetic look and the awkward authoritative “Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola” moniker, this is inactive a Motorola phone. The mentation of Android 13 has immoderate insignificant modifications to the interface and settings, but it’s overmuch little heavy-handed than Samsung oregon adjacent Google these days. Motorola is pushing its ReadyFor capabilities arsenic a boon for concern customers. This bundle lets the telephone nexus with your Windows PC for record sharing, app streaming, and notification management. You tin adjacent usage the ThinkPhone arsenic a high-quality webcam with ReadyFor. This diagnostic works connected each Windows 10 and 11 machines, but you’ll request to get the ReadFor app from the Microsoft Store.

The ThinkPhone is simply a mature-looking instrumentality that's priced somewhat little than Motorola's mainline flagship phones.

Moto besides emphasizes its ThinkShield information suite, which is enabled by default connected the ThinkPhone. The strategy claims to forestall malware and phishing attacks, portion besides hardening the strategy against information theft. However, Motorola is coy astir providing details oregon comparing ThinkShield to the information features of different Android phones. The aforesaid features are progressive connected the company’s non-Think-branded phones, too.

The ThinkPhone is priced somewhat little than Motorola’s mainline flagship phones, but it’s not built connected a fund telephone platform. It has a Qualcomm chipset; Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 alternatively of the newer Gen 2. There’s besides 8GB oregon 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There’s nary microSD paper slot, and Motorola doesn’t connection further SKUs with much space.

We’re starting to spot phones motorboat with Wi-Fi 7 support, but the ThinkPhone tops retired astatine Wi-Fi 6E. Likewise, it doesn’t person the fastest millimeter question 5G. Those networks person precise constricted sum and necessitate further antennas, truthful plentifulness of non-carrier phones skip it. Yes, the ThinkPhone doesn’t person a bearer spouse to propulsion it, which is antithetic for Motorola.

You tin prime up the ThinkPhone from Motorola for $699.99. Business customers tin besides get the telephone done endeavor channels. It volition beryllium supported with bundle updates for up to 3 years and volition person information patches for 4 years.

What I similar astir the Motorola ThinkPhone

Motorola ThinkPhone side

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

Motorola has released immoderate of the slipperiest phones successful past with its Edge series, but the ThinkPhone is simply a joyousness to hold. The Aramid fibre backmost is brushed and grippy, but it won’t sorb tegument oils. Aramid is simply a durable worldly that resists scuffing and cutting, and champion of all, it won’t shatter erstwhile dropped similar a solid panel. There’s nary 3.5mm headphone jack, but the stereo speakers (earpiece and down-firing) are perfectly serviceable.

There’s inactive plentifulness of solid connected the beforehand that could interruption if you driblet the ThinkPhone. Under the Gorilla Glass Victus sheet is simply a ample 6.6-inch OLED, clocking successful astatine 2,400 x 1,080 with a 144Hz refresh rate. It looks sharp, vibrant, and has cleanable viewing angles. You tin archer it’s lone 1080p if you’ve got a 1440p oregon 4K surface to comparison side-by-side, but I was ne'er excessively fussed astir the solution considering the wide quality. Outdoor brightness is nary problem, either, and it gets suitably dim successful a acheronian room. However, the low-brightness opposition takes a deed compared to Samsung phones.

The ThinkPhone is simply a joyousness to hold

The ThinkPhone has a level OLED, arsenic opposed to the curved OLEDs Motorola continues to usage connected its Edge flagship phones. That means less accidental touches portion holding the phone, and it’s feasible to scope astir of the show connected the ThinkPhone owed to the constrictive bezels — they’re besides adjacent to symmetrical each the mode around.

Beneath the show is an optical fingerprint reader. It volition airy up a acheronian country similar each different phones utilizing this benignant of sensor, but we recovered the ThinkPhone’s to beryllium precise accelerated and reliable. If you spot a digit implicit the optical sensor portion picking the telephone up, the telephone volition astir apt beryllium unlocked earlier you’ve adjacent raised it each the way.

Motorola ThinkPhone peek display

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

The fingerprint sensor is simply a spot little than we’d prefer, but it leaves country for Motorola’s Peek Display. This diagnostic has existed since the archetypal Moto X a decennary ago, but it’s inactive fantastic. Instead of waking up your telephone and looking astatine notifications, you tin assistance oregon pat the surface to get the Peek interface. It shows you the existent notifications with the enactment to expand, open, oregon disregard them with a speedy swipe gesture. Motorola’s physique of Android 13 includes different useful features, astir of which are astir arsenic aged arsenic Peek Display. I got a batch of mileage retired of the speedy flashlight motion — a speedy chop-chop question turns it connected and off. I besides admit that Motorola supports Material You colors successful Android 13 for immoderate bully UI customization options.

In keeping with the ThinkPad style, there’s a agleam reddish broadside cardinal adjacent the apical of the phone. You tin configure this fastener to motorboat immoderate app oregon shortcut with a azygous press, but double-press is dedicated to turning ReadyFor connected oregon off. The cardinal isn’t successful the astir convenient place, but it adds a amusive popular of color, and we’re not going to reason astir easier entree to important features.

The ThinkPhone is super-reliable. The lone clip it needed a restart successful much than 2 weeks of investigating was aft an OTA update.

The ThinkPhone is simply a rock-solid device, owed possibly to its absorption connected endeavor and the usage of an older chipset. It’s much than accelerated capable for each your wide smartphone tasks, and contempt its business-ready exterior, it tin tally each the latest games with aplomb. I didn’t brushwood immoderate superior bugs, app slowdowns, oregon crashes. The lone clip the telephone needed a restart successful much than 2 weeks of investigating was aft an OTA update.

The ThinkPhone has a emblematic 5,000mAh battery, but the artillery beingness is unusually strong. The telephone volition easy past 2 days, adjacent with heavier usage. It should negociate 8 to 9 hours of surface clip successful a azygous time if you tally it particularly hard, but it’ll recharge accelerated acknowledgment to the bundled 68W charger. So fewer phones travel with plugs anymore that it’s refreshing erstwhile 1 appears, and this 1 is precise fast. You tin get wholly recharged successful little than an hour, and I had bully luck hitting the advertised speeds with third-party USB Power Delivery plugs.

What I don’t similar astir the Motorola ThinkPhone

Motorola ThinkPhone surface  outside

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

We’ll get into the middling camera show later, but the imaging hardware hints astatine what’s successful store. You get a 50MP superior with a 13MP ultrawide. Those are the lone utile cameras, but determination are 3 backmost there. The ThinkPhone besides has a 2MP extent camera erstwhile astir phones get by without one. We usually spot these basal 3rd sensors erstwhile OEMs conscionable privation to person 3 lenses connected the backmost to marque a telephone look much expensive.

Most of ReadyFor's features are replicated successful the Microsoft Phone Link app, which works connected each Android smartphones.

Motorola is aiming to marque ReadyFor a halfway portion of its smartphone experience, and determination are immoderate utile features nether this umbrella. I appreciated being capable to nonstop files and clipboard contents betwixt a PC and the phone, and notifications worked precise well. However, astir of ReadyFor’s features are replicated successful the Microsoft Phone Link app, which works connected each Android smartphones. So, ReadyFor isn’t overmuch of a differentiator. I besides had occupation getting the ReadyFor lawsuit installed connected 1 of my trial machines (the Store conscionable gives a generic mistake message).

Perhaps the biggest occupation for the ThinkPhone is price. It’s not objectively overpriced — $699 is just for the specs, features, and bundle you get. However, Motorola wasn’t capable to lucifer the Pixel 7‘s terms of $600, and that makes the Moto a pugnacious sell. The ThinkPhone does person immoderate advantages, similar the 144Hz surface and 68W charging, but the Pixel has amended software, faster updates and longer support, and a overmuch amended camera.

Motorola ThinkPhone camera review

Motorola ThinkPhone camera module

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

Motorola says the ThinkPhone has a wholly redesigned camera phone experience, but if you’re hoping for a large leap successful quality, deliberation again. The 50MP superior camera tin instrumentality immoderate decently elaborate photos (binned to 12.5MP), provided you person ample light. We were blessed with astir of the shots we took outside, and adjacent those successful agleam indoor lighting looked bully overall.

Dynamic scope is simply a occupation for the ThinkPhone. While a likewise priced Pixel oregon Samsung Galaxy S tin bring retired item successful airy and acheronian areas to an astir supernatural degree, the ThinkPhone’s photos usually look overmuch “flatter.” Exposure times besides skyrocket indoors, making it hard to seizure moving subjects. The ISO goes beauteous precocious (over ISO 1000) successful astir indoor shots, too, but the telephone does negociate to support sound to a minimum.

The 13MP ultrawide camera does its job, with a wide 120-degree tract of view, bully colors, and precise small borderline distortion. We applaud Motorola for adding autofocus to the ultrawide camera, which makes it suitable for macro shots. These crook retired amazingly good compared to images changeable with dedicated macro cameras, which are often tacked onto fund phones for nary crushed different than to summation the fig of cameras.

That’s not to accidental determination are nary throwaway sensors — this instrumentality sports a 2MP extent sensor adjacent to the superior and ultrawide cameras. This module is expected to assistance successful representation mode photos, but a telephone successful this terms scope shouldn’t request a dedicated sensor for that. Regardless, the representation mode shots aren’t thing to constitute location about. The Pixel, which doesn’t person a extent sensor, produces amended results.

Video tops retired astatine 4K and 30fps, and the communicative is overmuch the aforesaid arsenic inactive photos. Video signaling is competent, but it’s not going to wow anyone, particularly astatine specified a choppy framework rate. In bully light, you volition get passable clarity and somewhat muted colors, but you’d expect to spot 4K/60fps astatine this terms arsenic standard.

Motorola ThinkPhone specs

Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola


6.6-inch pOLED
Full HD+


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1




UFS 3.1
No expandable storage


5,000mAh battery
68W wired TurboPower charging
15W wireless charging


- 50MP wide, 1/1.5-inch sensor, OIS, f/1.8
- 13MP ultrawide, 1/2-inch sensor size, f/2.0

- 32MP, f/2.45


Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port


NA: azygous SIM
International: 2 nano-SIM


Aramid fibre backmost panel
Gorilla Glass Victus display
Aluminum frame
IP68 rating


In-display fingerprint reader


Android 13
3 years of Android updates
4 years of information patches

Dimensions and weight

158.7 x 74.4 x 8.2mm

188.5 grams


Volcanic Gray

Should you bargain the Motorola ThinkPhone?

Motorola ThinkPhone and accossories

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

The improvement of flagship smartphones has converged connected a proven formula: a metallic frame, a large solid sheet connected the backmost with a fewer camera cutouts, and a large solid surface connected the other. There’s thing incorrect with this, but it tin beryllium a small yawn-inducing. The Motorola ThinkPhone has a antithetic vibe acknowledgment to its ThinkPad roots. Add to that tremendously unchangeable bundle and utile Windows integrations, and you person a telephone that mostly lives up to the arrogant contented of the ThinkPad.

While it’s not afloat ruggedized, Motorola touts MIL-STD-810H compliance. There’s nary established modular for that term, truthful it’s up to companies to trial arsenic they spot fit. That said, the ThinkPhone has held up well, with nary disposable harm to the Aramid fibre back. The surface and aluminum framework are besides flawless. There’s besides IP68 certification, which does person steadfast investigating standards: the ThinkPhone volition past 30 minutes nether 1.5m of h2o without drowning.

The Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola lives up to the arrogant contented of the ThinkPad and is simply a large bargain for endeavor customers looking for astute looks and reliability.

It’s communal for brand-new smartphones to person a glitch present and determination — an app mightiness not enactment right, the strategy UI tin bug out, oregon things conscionable get laggy for nary reason. It’s not the extremity of the world, arsenic a speedy reset volition hole astir issues. That was unnecessary with the ThinkPhone, which was stone coagulated the full clip I tested it. In fact, arsenic I sat down to enactment connected this review, I realized I hadn’t had to restart the telephone astatine each the full clip I was investigating it (more than 300 hours of uptime). Enterprise customers worth reliability, but that benignant of unchangeable acquisition is bully for anyone who runs their beingness from a smartphone.

For an endeavor customer, mediocre cameras won’t beryllium a problem, either. They’re much than bully capable for casual use, but you seldom get a genuinely memorable photograph from this device. For mean smartphone users who privation to beryllium capable to drawback large pics, the ThinkPhone volition beryllium a disappointment.

In fact, possibly the worst happening astir the ThinkPhone isn’t a occupation with the telephone itself; it’s what this telephone is not. It’s not the Google Pixel 7 ($599 astatine Amazon), which is $100 little astatine MSRP. While the ThinkPhone mightiness person a pleasantly understated plan and large artillery life, Google has Moto bushed erstwhile it comes to bundle enactment and camera performance.

Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola

Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola
AA Recommended

Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola

Attractive, durable ThinkPad-style plan • Excellent artillery beingness • Clean, accelerated Android build

Worth reasoning about.

The Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola lives up to the arrogant contented of the ThinkPad and is simply a large bargain for endeavor customers looking for astute looks and reliability.

Motorola ThinkPhone review: FAQs

Nope, Motorola volition merchantability the unlocked ThinkPhone to anyone with $699.99

No, ReadyFor and “Think 2 Think” features are supported connected each Windows 10 and 11 computers.

The US mentation of this telephone lone supports a azygous nano-SIM, but determination is simply a dual-SIM planetary version.

The ThinkPhone is an unlocked 5G telephone and volition enactment connected immoderate large US network, but it lacks mmWave 5G.

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