Motorola Moto G review

Motorola Moto G review

T3 4
  • Motorola Moto G review: With a serious spec list and bargain price tag of just £135, has this Android smartphone got what it takes to succeed?

    Motorola Moto G review

    Love

    • Brilliant 4.5-inch HD display
    • Google App suite is excellent
    • Stylish
    • sturdy build quality

    Hate

    • Lack of LTE
    • Small memory

    The Moto G may have all the hallmarks of being a smartphone made by Motorola but from the start it’s clear that underneath this is a phone that has been almost entirely influenced by the company that owns it, Google.

    Materialising in the form of a simple question that will no doubt be haunting Samsung, Sony and its competitors for some time, the Motor G asks just how far can you push the boundaries of what is classed as a ‘budget’ phone.

    Motorola Moto G: Size and build

    From the outset it’s clear that the Moto G is all about perfectly executed compromises and the dimensions are where it’s most apparent. A curved back sidesteps the issue of bulk measuring in at an impressive 6mm at its thinnest point and 11.6mm at its thickest. What this means is that combined with the matt back cover it’s an incredibly easy phone to hold, despite its 143g weight.

    It’s a reminder of just how convenient it is to have a phone you can hold and use with just one hand, something that’s increasingly forgotten as smartphones get larger and larger.

    Despite being mostly plastic, the build quality is such that it feels like a phone that’s incredibly well put together while still being able to take the odd tumble. It certainly trumps the Galaxy S4 Mini and even gives the HTC One Mini a run for its money. The back cover is interchangeable offering some small taster of the treatment Moto X customers get in the US. The colours range from the subtle to the eye-wincingly trendy and all are reassuringly impossible to get off once attached.

    Motorola Moto G: Features

    When first turned on you’ll be met with the uncensored view of Google’s Android 4.3 and if we’re honest it’s a welcome sight. Google’s collection of services is now wide-ranging enough that it can run the risk of feeling crowded when a separate UI is added. Another rather handy advantage is speed, without an additional UI, the Moto G flies through the operating system with not even a hint of lag. Of course you’re not totally left off the hook as Motorola does include two apps, Motorola

    Migrate - which helps you swap your content from one phone to another, and Assist a subtle contextual app which changes notifications and alerts depending on time of day, appointments in your calendar and more. Outside of the phone, Motorola’s added another subtle feature which is that the outside has been covered in a water-repellent coating. It sounds small but if you get caught in the reliable British weather it could be life-saving to the phone.

  • The Motorola Moto G is the brand's new Android-toting smartphone with a serious spec list and bargain price tag of just £135. T3 went hands-on

    Motorola Moto G review

    Love

    • Brilliant 4.5-inch HD display
    • Google App suite is excellent
    • Stylish
    • sturdy build quality

    Hate

    • Lack of LTE
    • Small memory

    The Motorola Moto G is an Android smartphone aimed at those who don't want to shell out hundreds of pounds on a handset. The maker describes it as a premium experience with today's technology, with a price that's around a third lower than top-tier phones like the iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S4.

    Designed as an alternative to lower-tier handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Fame and older flagship models like the iPhone 4, the Moto G packs some decent specs into its slimline chassis so it appears to be a much better deal than the budget phones that we're used to.

    Motorola Moto G: Size and build

    Similar to the Moto X, the phone sports a curved back for a comfy grip, along with sturdy Corning Gorilla glass and a splashproof body. It's not full waterproof line the Sony Xperia Z1, but it means your phone should be safe it you take it out in the rain.

    A range of coloured backs - which the brand is calling Motorola Shells - can be used to customise the phone, and they'll also be a range of 'Flip shells' available. Article continues after out Moto G hands-on video.

    Motorola Moto G: Features

    The Moto G camera can only muster 5MP, so it's not likely to match up to the likes of the HTC One or Nokia Lumia 1020, but at this price, it's hardly a surprise. We'll take it for a full test drive when we get our hands on a final retail sample of the phone.

    While there's no microSD card slot on board to boost the 8 or 16Gb built-in memory, you do get 65GB of free storage, courtesy of Google Drive.

    Motorola Moto G: Screen

    One of the phone's big talking points is the 4.5-inch 720p screen which sports an impressive resolution of  1280 x 720 and a pixel density of 329ppi - higher than the Retina screen on the iPhone 5s. This makes it the sharpest display in its class.

    Motorola Moto G: Performance

     

    Motorola reckons its new handset punches well above its weight when it comes to performance for money. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quadcore processor, running at 1.2GHz, with 1GB of RAM on board, it should be able to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. It also appears to handle graphics with no visible lag.

    The Moto G packs Android 4.3, with a guaranteed upgrade to Andoird 4.4 (KitKat) due by January 2014 and the maker has spent time making sure that each aspect is optimised for power consumption, rather than building a customised UI on top.

    Motorola claims an all-day battery life and even reckons you'll get 33% more talk time than the on the iPhone 5s. Obviously we haven't had a chance to test out the battery properly yet, but that's something we'll be looking at in more detail in our full review.

    Motorola Moto G: Verdict

    At first glance, the Motorola Moto G certainly looks like a good buy for people that haven't got hundreds of pounds to spend but still want a decent phone that will enable them to do most thing that you can do on the flaghship handsets. We were impressed by the screen, and speed, as well as the minimalist. Stay tuned for a full review.

    Motorola Moto G release date: Out now

    Motorola Moto G price: £135 (8GB), £160 (16GB)

    Hands-on review by Libby Plummer

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  • Motorola Moto G

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