Motorola Moto G: Top of the Line Mid Range Android Phone [Review]
After Google acquired Motorola, the company notably introduced two new smartphones Moto X & Moto G.
Both of them received positive reviews around the world. We got our hands on the much popular and affordable Moto G and came up with a short review for you guys
Before we begin, we would like to thank our friends at Mega.pk for sharing this review unit with us. Also to note, this device isn’t officially available in Pakistan — but you can buy Moto G (16GB version) in Pakistan from Mega.PK for just Rs. 24,999. These folks can deliver this device to your doorstep anywhere in Pakistan.
Now lets begin with the un-boxing:
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor at 1.2GHz
- Operating system: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (to be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in Janurary 2014)
- Display: 4.5-inch LCD display at 1280×720 resolution, 329 ppi
- Weight: 143 grams
- RAM: 1 GB
- Storage: 8GB or 16GB, two free years of 50GB on Google Drive
- Dimensions: 129.9 x 65.9 x 6.0-11.6 mm
- Camera: 5MP Rear camera and 1.3 MP front Camera
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, FM Radio, GPS, 3G and microUSB
- Battery: 2070 mAh (non-removable)
Design and Build Quality:
Moto G is an all plastic phone, but it doesn’t feel cheap. It takes most of its design inspiration from Moto X, though its slightly more curved.
The company put in more effort to make the device feel more comfortable in hands rather than making it slim and light weight, as a result it is 11.6mm thick and weighs around 143 grams.
At the front, the phone is dominated by its 4.5-inch screen, which has 720p resolution with 329ppi pixel density; this is something which is very uncommon for mid-range phones. Motorola has used an IPS panel in Moto G, as a result you get better image quality and viewing angles.
The screen provides sharp text and images with well saturated and vivid colours.
The screen on Moto G also features Gorilla Glass 3 coating, which makes it tough and less prone to scratches.
As with any other smartphone device, there is a front facing camera, ear-speaker, light sensors and notifications LED, all placed right above the screen. The touch keys are embedded in the OS, so there is nothing below the screen.
The power/lock keys and volume rocker are located on the right, these keys are responsive to press but feels cheap, there is nothing on the left side of the device.
A centralized headphones jack is on the top of the phone and a microUSB port on the bottom.
At the back the Moto G features a primary camera along with single LED flash and Motorola logo beneath it and a loudspeaker on the left.
Moto G has a removable back, with the default colour being black with a rubberized matte finish.
19 different back-covers are available for this phone in different colours and design patterns. One free extra back is provided to you in the box.
Removing the back cover reveals 2 micro-SIM ports and a non-removable battery. Sadly there is no microSD card slot, so you can’t expand the storage; however, with Moto G you can save data on other cloud storage spaces.
Moto G features water-resistant nano layer, which protects it from light splashes of water. This means that you can use it in the rain but can’t just drop it in the water.
Moto G comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out the box. The good news is that as soon as you connect to the internet it offers you KitKat 4.4.2 upgrade (the latest version of Android).
Though Moto G isn’t a Nexus phone, but Motorola has made very few changes to the OS, and the interface is completely untouched. So all you get is vanilla (pure) Android, with couple of useful Motorola features and a customized Camera application.
You can use the new Google Now Launcher on Moto G to get a more “Nexus” feel.
Motorola has added some of its own features including Assist, a contextually aware application that lets you set triggers and actions for a wide variety of tasks. This feature automatically determines when you are driving, sleeping or in a meeting and also takes voice commands.
The Migrate tool helps you transfer all your call logs, messages, pictures, videos and music from your old phone to Moto G via Wi-Fi. This is a nifty features which saves you from a lot of hassle.
Hardware & Performance:
Moto G is packed with a quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, Adreno 305 GPU and 1GB of RAM.
Surely Moto G can’t beat the current flagship devices but in this price range Moto G offers a satisfactory performance. The phone comes with 8/16GB internal storage and there is no micro-SD card slot.
The swiping of screens is lightening fast and the device boots up quickly and you won’t feel any lag with the normal usage. You can watch 1080p videos or play your favourite 3D games on this phone without slowing it down; but keep in mind that it has only 1GB of RAM, so its not a good idea to load multiple resource hungry apps at the same time.
The voice quality on regular and VoIP calls is acceptable and you can use both the front and back camera during video calls. The signal reception and Wi-Fi connectivity are also good enough.
Have a look at some of the benchmarks below:
Camera & Video:
Let’s just say that camera isn’t the main selling point of this phone and the interface is one of the worst I have ever seen on an Android phone.
Moto G is equipped with a primary camera of 5-megapixel (single LED) and a front facing 1.3-megapixel camera. The picture quality of the primary camera is acceptable for a mid-range phone but most of images lack detail and comes up with washed out colours. The close-ups are little better but the camera struggles while focusing on distant objects.
The camera interface looks simple but it is rather tricky, there is no camera button and the whole screen serves as the shutter.
Just tap anywhere on the screen to take an image, the camera automatically focuses on the subject (which usually doesn’t work well) or you can drag your finger to set focus point. Hold your finger on the screen for burst shots. Swipe up or down to zoom in or out; it offers 4x digital zoom but I won’t advise using it due to the poor image quality.
There are not much settings to play with, swiping to right brings up the settings dial which allows you to turn on/off flash light, control focus, HDR and panorama modes. There is no way you can change the resolution of the image, some regular features like white balance, brightness and image quality are also missing.
Swiping to the left brings up the image gallery, where you can see all your photos or edit them; it also offers some “Instagram” like effects for photos.
Both cameras record 720p video, just like the images the video quality isn’t extra-ordinary and it deteriorates further while zooming. You can also use the slo-mo function to record slow motion video.
Check below untouched sample photos taken from a Moto G device. You can click on images to view larger / full sized images:
Moto G is packed with a 2070mAh non-removable battery, which according to company claims can easily last for a single day; but as always it depends upon your usage. Heavy users might have to charge it multiple times a day where as for normal users it can stretch up to 1 and a half day.
To save the battery you can turn on Android’s default battery saver function or lower the screen brightness to the minimum and regularly kill all the background apps.
Pricing & Availability:
Though Moto G hasn’t been officially launched in Pakistan, its one the most hottest selling smartphone here. You can buy it from Mega.PK with following prices:
- Motorola Moto G 16GB: PKR 24,999
- Motorola Moto G 8GB: PKR 22,499
- Motorola Moto G 16GB Dual SIM: PKR 24,999
- Motorola Moto G 8GB Dual SIM: PKR 23,499
Undoubtedly the Moto G is one of the best affordable smartphones yet. It features a premium design packed with some decent hardware. Moreover, it also has Dual-SIM function which is becoming a popular feature in Pakistan. It is the only budget phone which offers you to taste the latest version of Android (KitKat 4.4).
It does have some drawbacks; for instance the camera isn’t anything extra-ordinary and the lack of SD card slot will bother many of you; but keep in mind that it is a low-cost phone.
So if you are looking for an affordable smartphone, or just want to try the latest version of Android and can’t spend huge money on flagship devices here is your chance to get a premium device at an affordable rate.
Do share your opinion about this phone in the comments section below or if you have any questions feel free to ask us.
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