Last year's Moto G took us all by surprise. Sure, we knew Motorola wanted to reinvent the cheap smartphone experience, but the very first device in the company's cost crusade was even better than we expected. Let's be honest, though: The G's greatest asset was its small, small price tag. For $180 off-contract, it became awfully easy to forgive the thing for not being the quickest, the prettiest or the smartest. Still, it was one of those gadgets that wound up being more than just "good enough"; between the price and performance, the Moto G was one of the best cheap smartphones you could own, period. Here we are less than a year later, and we've got a sequel to play with (one with the same name, no less). If you took a quick peek at what it brings to the table, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Motorola wanted to play it safe the second time around -- the new Moto G isn't a game changer, and it doesn't have to be. Does this year's model clear the "good enough" bar once again? All in all id say so, its a great phone and I love it. Other then a few problems I have had with it its a good phone and hopefully with updates more and better moto gs will surpass this one. Over all 6/10 that being said i give it that cause of the laggy ness sometimes. I hate that about phones. Well I hope you all enjoyed my reivew!
The phone comes with an instruction manual, USB wall charger(slimline), which is great as you can use it with a wide range of other devices (e.g. tablet). The phone does not come with a headset, which is fine as I never use the supplied headsets anyway, and prefer to use my own.
Currently the phone is between £150 and £200 which means that it is at the cheaper end of the smartphone price scale. It uses a micro sim and has a standby time of about 2-3days with a non-removable battery. You cannot expand the memory in this phone, and it is only available in an 8GB or 16GB version (though, 16GB is perfectly adequate). Its current OS is Android 4.4.2.
The phone has a 4.5 inch high quality display screen with a 326psi density, it is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, a scratch resistant toughened glass that most tablets and smart phones use today. The screen is of a good quality, with vibrant and crisp colours, and has survived several drops from various distances with no scrapes/damage, which is great!
This phone boasts a sleek, smooth and simple design. The back panel is easily removed and is a smooth rubber-touch plastic with an ''''M'''' in the middle. The top/middle contains the back facing 5MP camera and has flash capabilities. There is also a speaker located to the left of the camera. On the top of the phone there is a standard headphone jack. The charger can be found at the bottom of the phone. The right side contains both the lock/on-off and the volume button which are easily accessible. On the front of the phone, there is the main screen, on the top - a front facing camera, some sensors and the speaker used for calls. Overall the phone has an efficient layout and design, and there are a lot of cases available for it!
The phone comes with a wide range of inbuilt features, including the standard Clock, Calculator, Messaging service, camera app, play store, email services and Google Chrome (as the stock browser). There is also a wide range of apps that can be found on the Google play store.
The phone has 2 cameras. One rear-facing camera that is 5MP, it''''s quite good quality and looks well on the screen and the colour quality is incredible! The front facing camera is only 1.3MP as is good for video calls and snap chatting, but it is very grainy and not of great quality, but does the job!
The sound quality of this phone is very good. The on-board music player comes with some nice features too. Call quality is also very good and I have had no problems with it so far!
Overall, I love this phone. The quality and price of the phone makes it an attractive product. It does exactly what other smart phones on the market do at half the cost. Highly recommended
Edit of a review from ciao(same username)
I have owned Motorola mobiles in the past, most of which were fantastic, one which was not. Until fairly recently, the brand didn't seem to be keeping up in terms of popularity within the smartphone market, then I heard about the Moto G. Described as a rival to the expensive smartphones, the Moto G hit the stores at an entry-level price and there was quickly a lot of buzz about it. Considering I had a Samsung S3 Mini just before I got this (which I only kept for a month before selling as I just couldn't get on with it) I've been very impressed by this phone so it's definitely one I'd recommend considering.
Motorola is a very well-known brand but, like I've said, it didn't seem to be as popular within the smartphone market until a little more recently. The Moto G was released late 2013 within the sub £150 range. The other main features are the camera and processor, which help to push the quality and effectiveness of the mobile up a few notches. Some people say it rivals the higher end phones, like the iPhone, and I can understand why. In fact, when it came to me shopping around for a new phone and considering this one, the best price seemed to be at Tesco; I ended up signing up for updates on when it was back in stock because both the 8 & 16GB versions kept selling out!
... Main Features ...
To sum up a few of the main features :
* Quadband, with 3G, GPS and Bluetooth
* 5MP camera on the back with flash, plus a front camera
* 4.5" HD resolution capacitive touchscreen
* Runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
* Built in Snapdragon 400 processor
* Up to 400hrs standby & 14 hours talk time
... In The Box ...
In the box you get a spare plastic back cover, all the instructions, and a USB cable. It's worth noting at this point that you don't get a wallcharger. When I first bought this phone I had already read about this so I knew I needed to get one, and just used the USB to charge it for the first few days. This, I thought, was a little disappointing. You don't get headphones either, but that wasn't something that particularly bothered me. When getting the wallcharger, I think I only paid about £3 for one on eBay that's compatible with the Moto G and it's worked perfectly fine, so it hasn't meant a huge additional purchase (unlike if you bought an apple product and needed to get some kind of Apple-only adapter!)
... Sizing Up ...
Weighing in at 143g, the mobile has a screensize of 4.5" (11.4cm) and measures around 5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46" overall. It's quite slim and neat, but the screen size is very adequate for a smartphone to allow you to easily use apps, watch clips etc. I find it's a good size and weight for it to look sleek and smart, but also reasonably robust. It's not a razor sharp phone, nor quite built like the iPhone 5, but it certainly ticks all the boxes for me in terms of it being just the right size. I often find that, although a decent size screen is good, wider phones make it difficult for me to use. I guess it's because I've got quite small hands, so doing anything one handed or typing something out is made tricky and clumsy. Fortunately, this phone doesn't give me any of those problems.
... Turn Me On ...
There is a button on the right hand side which acts as a sleep button, so you can turn the screen off or on. When you 'wake it up', so to speak, you need to swipe the screen to be able to use it. It's like unlocking it, so you don't end up making calls or such like by mistake when the phone's in your pocket or bag. I actually quite like this feature; at first I thought it would be quite irritating and time consuming to have to do this any time I wanted to use the phone, but it's really quick to do. The screen being really responsive too also helps. It's worth noting that in order to check the time, you don't need to swipe across the screen. That's important for me because I'm constantly pressing the button on the side to check the screen simply for the time.
When you first turn on the phone after getting it out of the box, setting it up and adjusting the settings are simple; you're guided through the process and I found it nice and stress free. Even setting up the wifi and mobile internet was straightforward and without any problems. The phone takes regular SIMs, so I used my GiffGaff sim in this (it was bought from Tesco, and I used a free unlock code I found online - it's worth searching Moneysavingexpert forums for tips on this). Again, it all worked perfectly, so I can't complain.
... The Screen ...
When I initially got this out of the box and turned it on, I was instantly quite impressed by the screen quality. The Moto G has a 4.5" HD resolution capacitive touchscreen, which I would say really does rival the bigger, more expensive phones and brands out there at the moment. The images are clear, sharp and in focus. Colours are bright and bold. It really does make using the phone more enjoyable because it's so clear to see everything on the screen. That also means that when watching clips, providing your internet connection is ok, is really good quality. For the price of the phone, I was definitely impressed by the display and resolution.
... Beautiful Memories ...
You can buy the Moto G at two prices, paying slightly more for a bit more memory if you wish. It comes as an 8GB or 16GB model, and I chose to get the latter just to be on the safe side. The thing to note with this mobile is that you only get the memory that's on board, because the memory isn't expandable. I know this is probably a bug bear for some people, however for my needs I'm finding that 16GB is more than enough for the apps and photos I want to have. Of course, if you're looking at hoarding lots of videos and music as well, then you may need to rethink your options. Paying around £30 more for twice the memory was a reasonable investment in my opinion and I can rest assured that I won't run out of room on the phone with what I use it for.
... Picture Perfect ...
The camera on the front is 5MP, which I think is fairly average for a smartphone. Having owned one with an 8 megapixel camera before, I can say that I can't really notice the difference in terms of quality. The Moto G tends to give quite sharp pictures that are clear and coloured well. It has a flash too, which I couldn't do without when it comes to a camera, so you can take pics in whatever light pretty much. Adjusting the settings is easily done, for instance, if you want to have the flash on all the time or automatically adjusted. Taking the photo is also very simple; there are no camera 'buttons' on the phone itself, you simply touch the screen. Again, making any adjustments to how you want your pictures taken is quite straightforward using the menu options.
I find that the 'shutter speed', by which I mean the time between touching the screen and the picture being taken, is quite good. It doesn't lag too much so you can snap away happily without worrying too much that you'll miss something because it's too slow.
The only slight niggle I have with the camera is that on one or two occasions I've found that the picture hasn't taken/saved. I've taken a shot of something, gone back later to look at it, and found it wasn't there. I don't know if this is a case of it having not taken when I thought it had, or if I hadn't given the phone enough time to save it. Photos taken are automatically saved, but exiting out of the camera mode too quickly may, I'm assuming, prevent the photos from being captured/saved. The way to prevent that is probably to have the sound on so you can hear the click when you've taken the photo to ensure it's definitely taken, and not to exit out immediately after having taken it. Again, it's nothing major, just something I've learned along the way.
... Transferring ...
Uploading and downloading is, thankfully, quite a stress-free task. Using the USB cable provided, you can bypass any confusing software and do the good old drag and drop of your files. I much prefer the option and it makes it so much quicker to move things from my phone on to my laptop.
There's also the option of sending photos, video, attachments, website links etc via text and email. Using email, it's quite quick to email yourself or someone else your photos. I actually do this quite a lot when I'm out and about. The only thing I find a tad irritating is always having to manually input my email address. It doesn't seem to remember it or come up as a contact. Perhaps it's just me missing something simple, but that's the only thing that adds some seconds on to the process each time I email something to myself.
... I'm Easy, Baby ...
What I also look for in a phone is ease of use, not because I'm a simpleton when it comes to phones, but because I want to be able to do the things I need to do quickly without any fuss. I find the Moto G is made to be quite self-explanatory for the most part and intuitive. Being intuitive I find is quite important. The apps, settings and icons are laid out in a way that seems to make sense, and I could easily start to find my way around the phone and various functions pretty quickly. The phone seems to make things that bit easier for you too, remembering choices you make (ie when viewing images or maps regarding which application you'd like to use) and cutting down the process of getting from A to B (ie to view images, you can swipe across whilst in camera mode, without needing to go in to a separate photo folder).
When it comes to using the keyboard, I find this far easier than I did on the Samsung S3 Mini. It's responsive, well-spaced and more accurate; I'm not making as many mistakes and typing text is much quicker. It's still not quite the iPhone style or degree of easiness, but it's definitely not far off from it, so I've been really pleased with this.
... Sounds Good ...
The sound quality on the Moto G seems pretty good to me, both through speaker and headphones. It's a regular headphone jack so I just use my JVC Gumy headphones, but I'll admit that I don't use my mobile much for listening to things. All of my music is stored on my iPod Nano, so I'm only really judging the sound on a bit of music I've listened to on here and some clips I've watched. I've found it to be easy to do (ie if you want to upload/download music, play tracks, sort through your albums) and the options to adjust the volume and settings are, again, quite straightforward. Sound quality is reasonably sharp and clear; I can't really complain, but then again, I don't use it as a constant source of music so I can only say that for what I use it for, the sound has been good.
... Battery Life ...
The battery life of smartphones seems to provide a point of contention for most users. The Moto G spec states it has up to 400hrs standby & 14 hours talk time, but this is only as a guide. It also doesn't take in to account what you're using it for. Obviously, the more apps you have open the more battery life it's going to suck out. I find that I can be using it for a few calls/texts, 30 minutes internet browsing, 30 minutes app usage, and a few other bits and pieces throughout the day, and by the end of the day it will have used half of the battery. I tend to charge every night just to be on the safe side, as a lot of people do. It's hard then really to measure the battery life or make a judgement on it, but I'd say it's not amazing. However, when comparing to other smartphones, the battery life on most others aren't amazing either. I do feel that I've had phones in the past that have used up battery life more quickly than the Moto G, so if I go by comparison to what I've known previously, then I'm happy enough with the battery life of this. It's worth just being a little cautious of what apps or features you're leaving on and what you can do without in order to conserve some of the life of your battery during the day.
... The Applications ...
The phone comes pre-loaded with a bunch of useful things and, thankfully, not so much of the useless junk that I've had on previous phones that I've then needed to uninstall (or have been unable to uninstall!). You get all of your basics, like an alarm, calculator and calendar. Again, all of these seem easy and intuitive to use. For instance, I find that it's simple to set up numerous alarms, to change the time of them, to turn them on / off. There are also some quirky Motorola bits and bobs too, such as Moto Assist and Moto Migrate, all of which use technology to make things easier and more effective for you whilst using the phone or organising your life.
You can visit the app store for more apps. As this is an Android phone, you go via Google's Android marketplace, where there are heaps of things to choose from. I'd say this gives better choices than a Windows phone, where apps can still be a bit limited. I've also not really had any compatibility issues with anything I've downloaded and used, so I can't find anything negative to say here either really.
... Accessorise it ...
I've found that with the build-up to the release of the Moto G and it's immediate popularity, the accessories for it are a little better than I'd expected. Thinking that it wouldn't be very well-known, I was a little dubious I'd find much in the way of accessories, but alas, a quick look on eBay showed me I was wrong. There are plenty of things to choose from, from the wall charger (which I found for around £3) to screen covers, cases and protectors. There's a fairly decent range of styles and colours etc to accessorise your phone, but let's be honest, no accessory range will ever quite be like what's offered for iPhone users. If you go in to a store you would be very hard pushed to see something designed to fit the Moto G, but check out Amazon and eBay definitely for some options.
... Overall ...
All in all, the Moto G is a surprise entry to the lower-priced spectrum of smartphones, but it really does rival the bigger, more expensive contenders. I've been very impressed by it so far in terms of quality, ease of use and features; it's been reliable and I can't find much to fault it at all, so it's definitely one I'd recommend considering if you're on the look-out for a great mobile without spending a fortune or getting tied down on an expensive contract.
Moto G 8GB (£110) or 16GB (£139) at Tesco.
(Also reviewed by me, gothic_moon, on Ciao)