Motorola’s 2013 flagship has been – and still is – the Moto X, a handset that doesn’t rely too much on the latest hardware components, or the highest screen resolution. In exchange, the Moto X offers a wider range of customization options, a true Android OS experience and good optimization. Nonetheless, ever since the Moto X has been unveiled, there have been numerous rumors suggesting that Motorola will release a budget version of the flagship. This handset has been referred to as the “Moto G,” and if you’ve followed the mobile blogosphere lately, then you should have at least heard of it once or twice before.
After several weeks of leaks and rumors, Motorola made the Moto G official, during an event held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Moto G promises a very decent array of hardware specs with everything bundled in a low-cost package. Let’s learn more about the device and see if Motorola has delivered on its promises.
Moto G – Hardware Overview
The Moto G packs a 4.5 inch display featuring a resolution of 720 x 1280, resulting in a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. You might be familiar with the idea that flagship smartphones nowadays usually carry a 1080p display, but in reality 720p and 326 ppi are still very decent. The panel is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, so you’ll worry less about scratches.
Under the hood, Moto G features a Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, an Adreno 305 graphics chip and 1 GB of RAM. The handset arrives with either 8 or 16 GB of internal storage, but as is the case with the larger sibling (the Moto X), there are no possibilities of expanding via microSD.
On the back panel resides a 5 MP camera with HDR, face detection, touch focus, panorama and an LED flash, and on the front panel there’s a 1.3 MP secondary shooter.
The entire package is being powered by a 2,070 mAh battery that should provide 24 hours of mixed usage, at least according to the manufacturer. The list of “other” features includes Bluetooth 4.0, an FM radio, GPS with GLONASS compatibility and the list goes on. The only thing that’s missing is LTE connectivity.
Moto G – Software
During the past year or so, Motorola has slowly but surely ditched its proprietary user interface, in favor of pure vanilla Android. This change has been most noticeable after Google acquired Motorola, and the Moto G does indeed offer stock Android 4.3 out of the box, with a few exceptions, such as the presence of several pre-loaded apps like “Motorola Migrate” and “Assist.” Apparently Motorola has also implemented a handful of minor optimizations that have surely paid off.
In an attempt to show the world that software optimization can go a long way, Motorola has compared the Moto G’s performance with the Samsung Galaxy S4, when performing minor tasks. Despite Moto G’s mid-range SoC, lower amount of RAM and less powerful graphics chip, the handset apparently manages to make a call 1.1 seconds faster than the Galaxy S4, it answers a call 1.2 seconds faster, returns home 0.5 seconds faster and boots up 5.3s quicker too.
We did mention that the Moto G is available with Android 4.3 out of the box, but the good news is that Motorola promises that Android 4.4 KitKat will hit the waves by the end of January 2014. With further optimizations introduced by the latest Android OS, the Moto G should receive an even larger boost in performance, once the update arrives.
Motorola Moto G – Price and Availability
Until now, the Moto G didn’t let us down, and the handset shapes up to be a really good mid-range smartphone. But, what makes it even better is the price.
In the U.K., the Moto G is already available for purchase through various retailers, such as Clove UK and Phones4U. In this region, the G will set you back only £148.80 including VAT. For the 16 GB model, you’ll need to pay a few extra pounds, for a total of £174.00 inc. VAT. Remember, this is the off-contract price, which makes this device a marvel in terms of value-for-money.
As far as availability goes, the Moto G is currently available in other parts of Europe and in Brazil. During the several weeks after its initial release, the G will continue to expand its reach to Latin America, Canada, parts of Asia and more European countries.
In the Middle East, India and other parts of Asia, the Moto G is expected to hit the market by January 2014.
As far as the U.S. market goes, the handset should hit the shelves in January as well, where the Moto G will apparently hit the shelves with Android 4.4 KitKat already pre-installed. (The same applies for all Moto G units launched in other regions, in January). In the States, the G is expected to hit the market at a price of $179 for the 8 GB model, or $199 for the 16 GB variant. Once again, these are off-contract prices.
As for carriers, so far there haven’t been any concrete/official announcements, but a recent leak has shown that the Moto G is apparently heading towards T-Mobile.
All in all, the Moto G is a very impressive device. It’s not a top-tier smartphone when it comes to sheer hardware specifications, but it’s very appealing nonetheless. We’re honestly expecting Moto G to sell like hotcakes.
What are your thoughts on this particular device? As usual, we invite you to share your opinions by leaving a comment below.