The Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen. is a smartphone with a five-inch HD (1280 x 720) touchscreen that runs the Android 4.4 “KitKat” operating system, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2 GHz quad-core processor. It has 1 GiB of RAM and 16 GiB storage space, a 8 MP main camera, a 2 MP frontal camera, and supports two SIM chips. Let’s see how it is better than the first version.
The Moto G 2nd Gen. is, as its name suggests, the second generation of the Moto G, which we already reviewed. It is also known as Moto G 2014, because of it has been lauched at September 2014 (the first generation is also called Moto G 2013). The main differences are the size of the screen (the first generation Moto G has a 4.5” screen, while the second one has a 5” screen), support for microSD memory cards, and the cameras, upgraded from a 5 MP rear camera and 1.3 MP front camera to 8 MP and 2 MP models, respectively. The rest of the hardware is basically the same. The model we tested is the XT1069, which also supports DTV. The XT1068 version has 8 GiB of storage and has no DTV receiver, while the XT1063 and the XT1064 are single-SIM models.
Figure 1 shows the box of the Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen.
Inside the box, besides the smartphone, there is a wall charger, USB cable, earphones, a cyan back cover, and the user manual.
Figure 3 reveals the Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen. There are no physical buttons on the front, just the camera at its top right and the two speakers, one at the top and one at the bottom. The side borders are very thin, and the screen occupies almost all the front of the smartphone.
Figure 3: the Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen.
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The Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen. uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) processor, the same of the first generation. It has four Cortex-A7 cores, running at 1.2 GHz, and an Adreno 305 GPU. It has 1 GiB of RAM and 16 GiB of internal storage in this version.
The 5-inch IPS LCD screen has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
Figure 4 shows the back side of the device, which comes with a back cover. You can see the camera and the LED flash.
At the bottom of the phone is the Mini-USB/charger connector.
Figure 6 unveils the top side of the Moto G, where you will find the earphone connector.
Figure 7 shows the right side of the Moto G 2nd Gen., where are the power button and volume adjust buttons.
There are no buttons or connectors ar the right side.
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Removing the rear cover, you have access to the SIM card slots and to the microSD slot. The battery is not removable by the user.
As the Moto G is a direct competitor to the ASUS ZenFone 5, which we already reviewed, we show both phones side by side in Figure 10. Altough they have screens of the same size, the Moto G is a little smaller.
Figure 10: the Zenfone 5 and the Moto G 2nd Gen.
[nextpage title=”Using the Moto G 2nd Gen.”]
Like its first version, the Moto G 2nd Gen. is smooth and fast. The bigger screen is clear and crisp, and its size gives a good balance between a big screen and ease to carry the device around.
Being 0.43” (11 mm) thick, it is slightly thinner than the first model, and as it is curved at the back, it is comfortable to hold or to carry in the pocket of your pants.
The quad core 1.2 GHz CPU is fast and gives an excellent usage experience. The HD (1280 x 720) screen resolution if good for the size of the screen. Of course, we did not expect to see a Full HD screen on a device in this price range.
A great improvement from the first generation of the Moto G is the microSD support, which is essential, especially in the 8 GiB model.
The Android 4.4 operating system is easy to use and intuitive. Figure 10 shows the initial screen when you turn on the Moto G 2nd Gen. for the first time.
Pressing the icon with the circle with six dots, you enter the list of applications, shown in Figures 11 and 12. The Moto G comes with few preinstalled apps and games, which is nice since you can simply install what you really need.
Figure 12: list of applications
Figure 13: list of applications
You can install new applications using the Google Play Store, which has thousands of applications and games available.
The smartphone uses a 2,070 mAh lithium battery, which easily lasted more than one day with average browsing and a few calls.
One of the most criticized aspects of the first-generation Moto G was the 5 MP camera with bad overall quality. This second generation model has a better camera, with 8 MP of resolution.
You can check the quality of unedited photos taken with the device by clicking here and here.
Unfortunately, it records videos only at 720p, with no image stabilization.
The front camera (for video chats and “selfies”) has a resolution of 2 Mpixels.
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The main specifications for the Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen. include:
- Dimensions: 2.78 x 5.57 x 0.43 inches (70.7 x 141.4 x 11.0 mm)
- Weight: 5.26 ounces (149 grams)
- Display: five-inch, 1280 x 720, IPS touchscreen
- Operating System: Android 4.4 (“KitKat”)
- Main Processor (CPU): Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400, 1.2 GHz, four Cortex-A7 cores
- Graphics Processor (GPU): Adreno 305, embedded in the CPU
- RAM: 1 GiB
- Storage: 16 GiB (there are 8 GiB versions too)
- Memory Card Slot: yes
- GPS: yes
- FM Radio: yes
- Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyro
- SIM slots: two micro-SIM
- Networks: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS/HSPA+ 850/900/1900/2100 MHz (global model) or UMTS/HSPA+ 850/1700/1900/2100 MHz (US model)
- Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
- Bluetooth: yes, 4.0
- Rear camera: 8 Mpixel
- Front camera: 2 Mpixel
- Flash: yes
- Battery talk time: not informed
- Battery: 3.7 V, 2,070 mAh Li Ion, not removable
- More information: https://www.motorola.com/
- MRSP in the U.S.: USD 180.00 (XT1068 8 GiB model)
The first-generation Moto G was an excellent smartphone for its price. On this second generation, Motorola solved its main problems: the mediocre camera and the lack of support for memory cards.
The bigger screen is also an improvement, obviously if you like bigger screens. The device uses the same solid hardware of the first model, which gives an excellent usage experience.
Being even more affordable than the first model, the Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen. is an excellente smartphone with an incredible cost/benefit ratio.
- Excellent cost/benefit ratio
- High-quality, big, clear, and bright screen
- Light and comfortable to carry around
- Good stereo built-in speakers
- Fast and agile
- Many apps available
- Up-to-date operating system
- Frontal camera for video calls
- Supports microSD memory card
- No support for 4G LTE networks
- Do not record movies in Full HD
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