The newly launched Moto G isn’t the flagship model we spend most of our time with, but in many ways this new handset from Motorola seems quite interesting than most of the high end Android smartphones we have used.
• Crisp HD display
• Decent battery life
• Fast processing speed
• Supports high graphics games
• Good audio quality
• Decent camera
• Attractive design
• Lacks microSD card slot
• No NFC
• Screen prone to fingerprints & smudges
A budget Android mobile handset, Moto G is one of the devices for which you don’t need to drop a lot of cash to get the best of smartphone experience. Motorola partnered with Google to develop a handset that matches the aura of already popular Nexus 4, and it actually made one. Surprising everybody, Moto G made an unforgettable debut in the Indian market via the famous e-retailer Flipkart. Sold online through Flipkart, Moto G was declared Out of Stock with thousands of orders still in queue on the end of the day it was launched.
Available for Rs. 13999 (16GB) and Rs. 12499 (8GB) online from Flipkart, Moto G changed the definition of Budget Android Phones that have for long mistaken for Poor Quality Handsets. And to quite an extent, it was true. For less than 15k, we have seen devices with ugly display and laggy performance. Even you might have not heard of few of these mobile makers manufacturing budget smartphones. But with time, new technologies were taken into practice and these low profile manufacturers came with some good handsets (Micromax Canvas 2, Karbonn Titanium X, XOLO Q1000S and many more); but still were questioned for their life span, warranty and after sales services. Visit your high-street store and you'll find local retailers offering decent cheap deals on the Budget Android Phones. This was the time when Moto G stepped into the market, changing the perception of people how well a budget smartphone can perform and tasted all the accolades from the techies all over the world. Let us check is Moto G has the potential to become the first choice of Aam Aadmi (Common Man)?
Design and Performance
The Moto G comes in a sleek, simplistic design which has long been the hallmark of Motorola and Google’s mobile phones. It measures 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm in dimensions and weighs 143 grams, which is subtly heavier and larger than its elder brother Moto X- though both the handsets look pretty much similar. But I don’t mind if it feels chunkier, most importantly G doesn’t look cheap.
Moto G has been made using A-grade plastic with glossy finishing. Plastic always doesn’t have to look bad, isn’t it? Apple iPhone 5C, Nexus 5 and Nokia Lumia phones, all of them have plastic in common and they look great; here Moto G too gets it right with plastic. The front is completely all glass; you can see an edge-to-edge glass design with rarely visible side bezels. On the top of the display, there is a front camera, speaker and sensors. The 3 famous touch keys can be seen on the display bottom itself. The screen is bit curved making it comfortable for the users to operate the handset.
On the other hand, the sides are clean. The left spine doesn’t include any sort of buttons or slots, while Power Button and Volume Rockers can be found at the right spine. On the top, you can find a 3.5mm audio jack and a tiny hole for mic. The bottom of the handset has simply a microUSB port used for charging/syncing the device.
At the back you will find the Rear Camera+LED Flash along with Motorola logo. The rear panel has been made using plastic that comes with a soft paint touch, which makes it less prone to slippage and fingerprints.
Moto G comes with a 4.5 inch IPS LCD HD Touch Screen offering a 720 x 1280 pixels resolution with 326 ppi pixel density. Despite being a mid-range smartphone, Moto G’s display look amazingly impressive compared to most of the 20K handsets. It has good viewing angles. The black levels and contrast tend to look better than most of the handsets at this price segment.
Moto G’s screen has 720p resolution, which is HD- though not Full HD like more expensive phones. But I think with a 4.5 inch display and 326ppi, it is still good for a mid-range smartphone. The screen has been coated with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, making the handset resistive to scratches; though the screen does attracts fingerprints and dust- so it is recommended to make use of a good screen guard protector.
The display is very much visible under direct sunlight, though at low brightness you might face a bit problem reading and watching the content in broad daylight. Overall, everything is as clear, sharp and bright as you could ask for on a panel in this price.
Since Moto G is a mid-range smartphone, I wasn’t expecting it to come with an impressive camera. Pictures taken with Moto G look decent but not great enough. The image quality looks quite decent on the screen, but if you take a closer look- the pictures aren’t that sharp and don’t give any hint of high-end mobile photography.
But still with its 5 Mega Pixel Rear Camera based handset, and for the price it comes for- Moto G did a good job. That said, Motorola has managed to offer something decent for quick photography if not good. Low light photography looked quite decent, and the images can be very well used in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Overall- Moto G’s snapper gets the job done, as long as you don’t plan to look the photos on large display.
On the other hand, the 1.3MP front camera does its job well for taking selfies and making video calls, but suffers a bit in low light surroundings. And video recording reflects the same attributes like image quality. Overall, the camera is good enough for people looking for casual photography, but don’t expect the picture quality to topple the high-end smartphone’s camera sensors.
Hardware and Performance
Our AnTuTu Benchmark Rating for Moto G was listed for 17319 and NenaMark 2 Test displayed an impressive score of 57.6 FPS. Well, for a mid-range smartphone these ratings seems like blessing- and that’s the result of 1.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Processor tangled with 1GB RAM and Adreno Graphics 305 GPU, which all together makes Moto G one of the fastest and powerful mid-range mobile handsets available in the market.
Let's not mince words: You can make Moto G perform things that other phones in this price segment cannot do. Its hardware configuration makes running through Menus and apps smooth and lag-free. Most of the applications load within seconds and ran without any noticeable glitches. For people purchasing Moto G as another mid-range smartphone, they will be more than satisfied with the processing they bargained for.
The handset was capable of running graphic-heavy games with great detailing. I tested Need for Speed: Most Wanted and it ran pretty smoothly without any stutters or lags. Other games like Temple Run Oz, Robocop, Riptide GP2 and Real Racing 3 ran without breaking a sweat.
On the other hand, the inclusion of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box makes Moto G a winner. And what’s more interesting is that once you power on the device and connect with the internet, Moto G will receive an update for Android 4.4 KitKat firmware.
The user interface is stock Android and it focuses on enhancing the navigation experience. With Android KitKat update, Moto G’s camera UI get some minor changes and few of the Moto specific apps were thrown in.
I looked at my Nexus 4 smartphone, then Moto G, and again to Nexus 4- there’s not much difference in UI of the handsets. The interesting part is that Moto G too comes with printing function like Nexus 4, despite being a mid-range smartphone.
Battery and Storage
Moto G uses Non-removable Li-Ion 2070mAh battery pack to power itself. Though you can remove the rear pane but battery isn’t removable. The handset is capable of going through full day in normal use and delivered 8 hours of talk time. Other activities like gaming, watching videos, music and internet browsing drained the battery in 4-5 hours. Overall, the battery performance is respectable and Moto G is sure to see you through until bedtime.
On the storage front- the handset comes in 8GB/16GB variants. Both the storage options are enough to save your favorite videos, images, apps, songs and docs; but at the end you will feel the need to have an external storage option someday. So- Moto G misses the slot for microSD card, and this might disappoint some of you; though a 50GB Google Drive space comes free with Moto G to back the data you don’t want to lose. So Cheer Up!
Moto G Features
Moto G comes included with some good apps and functions just like any other high-end smartphones. It has been provided with Moto Migrate feature, which will allow the users to transfer all the data from their old Android handset to Moto G wirelessly. Moreover, texting is simple and quite responsive in Moto G. Keys are well laid out.
Other feature that might interest you is that Moto G comes with support for two SIM cards. It has been further added with proximity, accelerometer, ambient light and Hall Effect sensors. It does support 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB connectivity (USB OTS compatible). And this might surprise you- Moto G comes with nano-coating, which means the handset is water repellent and can survive if accidentally it gets wet or dropped into the water. But I would recommend Do No Try for the sake of experiment- even if you do then make sure to leave the handset open until it gets dry.
Unlike Nexus 4, Moto G doesn’t support NFC but this isn’t something that will keep people away from Moto G. Further, both the outgoing and incoming calls are loud and clear. Speakers offer decent audio clarity. Added with some other cool Motorola and Google apps, Moto G offers what you have seen in other high-end smartphones. Camera functions are great, though I wish Motorola could have added at least 8MP snapper in Moto G. Hold the center of the screen while in camera mode, you will be able to click more than 100 continuous shots.
Equipped with a 4.5 inch 720p display, a powerful quad-core processor and an attractive sleek design, Moto G is one of the best mid-range smartphone you can ever bargain for. It offers customizable design, impressive processing speed with fairly pure Android experience at a price where most of the other handsets fail to deliver. Moto G is a Live example of mid-range smartphone that performs better than most of the 20K Android smartphones. It does lack NFC, microSD card slot and LTE connectivity (if you arer living in an area where 4G standard is available), but the end of the day Motorola and Google have created something commendable for the Common Man, who want to experience the Best of the Android at a reasonable cost.