Motorola Moto G review

Motorola Moto G V3 

The Motorola Moto G is great value for money. Powered by a Snapdragon 400 processor and featuring an above-average screen, it offers performance normally seen on phones close to twice its price. This makes the Moto G an ideal choice for any business looking for an affordable Android handset to roll out to its employees on a large scale.
Quad-core processor, good screen, decent battery life, average camera, seriously cheap
16GB max storage, no micro SD card slot, no 4G
Overall Rating:
5 Star Rating: Recommended
Price: £135
Manufacturer: Motorola 
Processor: 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
Display: 4.5in 1280x720, 329ppi display
Storage: 8GB or 16GB, 1GB RAM
Camera: 5MP rear with autofocus and LED flash, 1.3MP front
Connectivity: 2G/3G, WiFi, Bluetooth
Operating system: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (update to 4.4 KitKat coming)
Dimensions: 130x66x11.6mm
Weight: 143g


Google shook the technology industry in 2012 when it released its first Nexus 7 tablet. It offered buyers top-end performance traditionally only seen on £500-plus devices, but it cost just £200.

The tactic proved a hit and since then every tech company, including Apple with its plastic iPhone 5C, has been working to make affordable high-power devices. However few have gone quite so far as Motorola has with its latest Moto G smartphone. Despite costing just £135 the Moto G offers quad-core performance and a sizable 4.5in 720p display – on paper it's one of the best value for money options available to businesses.

Design and build

Out of the box the Moto G has a fairly minimalist design. It's entirely black and has no front-facing physical buttons, and apart from the tiny Motorola logo etched into its back, the Moto G has no branding or flashy design additions.

Luckily for those who prefer a more colourful handset, Motorola has created a selection of removable backplate options. As well as letting users change the colour of the Moto G from the out of the box black standard, the G also has a flip cover option. The flip cover back adds a folding cover option that protects the G's screen.
Motorola Moto G back
Despite it being slightly chunky – measuring in at 130x66x11.6mm and weighing 143g – the Moto G is very comfortable to hold. This is because it's backplate is slightly rounded, so it fits into the contours of your hand.

We were also fairly impressed with the Moto G's build quality. While its polycarbonate chassis does feel slightly cheap – it's one of the only hints towards it being an affordable phone – it still feels sturdy. Unlike the Galaxy S4, the Moto G's backplate didn't give when pressure was applied and is far more solidly connected to the phone. The combination of factors left us suitably reassured that the Moto G is tough enough to survive the odd accidental drop or bump.

Motorola lists the Moto G's 4.5in 1280x720, 329ppi display as one of its biggest selling points. In fact Motorola chief executive Dennis Woodside claimed the screen is "so good it outperforms the iPhone 5S" during the Moto G's launch event.

Having tested this claim we can safely say it does not beat the iPhone 5S. But, considering the Moto G's price, its display is pretty good. Even though it's not 1080p, the Moto G's display is fairly bright, has good colour balance and boasts reasonably decent viewing angles. Also, thanks to its high number of pixels per inch, icons and text on the screen are very crisp. Our only small issue with the Moto G's display is that it is slightly reflective and could become difficult to use in bright sunlight.

Operating system and software
The Moto G currently comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean preinstalled. This puts it one generation behind the latest Android 4.4 KitKat version, which was launched on the Nexus 5 just weeks ago.
Motorola Moto G FrontMotorola has promised the Moto G will be getting an upgrade to KitKat "very soon" and, considering how little time the new version of the operating system (OS) has been out, we can forgive the use of Jelly Bean. This is especially easy as Motorola has chosen left Jelly Bean blissfully unskinned.
Considering how many bad custom skins there are out there for Android devices, for example Samsung's Touchwiz, we're really glad Motorola chose not to change the OS. And as an added bonus, by not changing the OS the Moto G should be able to get future Android software updates faster. This is because, like Google's Nexus devices, it won't require Motorola to update reams of its own software to be compatible with the update, as Samsung does with Touchwiz.

Motorola has taken a similarly light touch with the Moto G's app offering, choosing to load only a small number of custom services onto the phone. Chief among these are Motorola Migrate and Assist. Migrate is a basic feature that aims to make it easier to set up the Moto G, and lets you move files, basic settings and call history from your previous Android phone.

It does this using a QR code that is created and displayed on the Moto G when Migrate is activated. The user must then install Migrate on their old phone and scan the code on the Moto G to start the transfer process. We found it worked quite well, with the whole transfer completing in a couple of minutes.

Assist is a productivity app designed to let you set up automatic actions for certain situations. For example, it can stop pushing alerts during meetings scheduled in your Google Calendar, or automatically reply to text messages or missed calls from a pre-written list of contacts. While it took us a little while to set up we found the addition was fairly useful and made it much easier for us to set up out of office alerts and avoid interruptions during important meetings.

Next: Performance and camera
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About Doru Somcutean

Hello, my name is Somcutean Doru and I'm from Romania.

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