The Motorola Moto G is a smartphone with a 4.5-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 5 MP main camera, a 1.3 MP frontal camera, and supports two SIM chips in this version.
There are actually a bunch of versions of the Moto G. We tested the XT1033, which has 16 GB and supports two SIM chips. The XT1032 also has 16 GiB, but supports only one chip, and the XT1034 version has 8 GiB of storage, supporting only one SIM chip. There is also a model (called Moto G 4G) which supports 4G LTE networks, but it is a slightly different phone. It can also be found with additional multicolor covers, which is the case of the model we are analyzing.
Figure 1 shows the box of the Motorola Moto G.
Inside the box, besides the smartphone, we found a wall charger, USB cable, earphones, four back covers, and user manuals.
Figure 3 reveals the Motorola Moto G. There are no physical buttons in the front, just the camera at its top. The side borders are very thin, and the screen occupies almost all the front of the smartphone.
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The Motorola Moto G (XT1033) uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) processor. 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.
The 4.5-inch IPS LCD screen has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
Figure 4 shows the back side of the device, which comes without the back panel. You can see the camera and the LED flash. The battery is not removable by the user. Figure 5 shows it with the white cover in place.
Figure 5: with the white cover installed
Figure 6 unveils the right side of the Moto G, where you will find the power button, volume adjust buttons, and one of the two micro-SIM card bays.
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At the left side of the smartphone, there is another micro-SIM bay. There is no slot for memory cards.
At the top of the smartphone is the earphone jack.
At the bottom, you will find the Mini-USB/charger connector.
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In use, the Moto G smartphone is smooth and fast. The screen is clear and crisp, and its size gives a good balance between a big screen and ease to carry around.
The phone, however, could be thinner. It is 0.46” (11.6 mm) thick, but as it is curved at the back, it is not uncomfortable to hold or to carry in the pocket of your pants.
The quad core 1.2 GHz CPU was 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 in a device on this price range, and actually most of its competitors have 800 x 480 resolution.
The Moto G does not support an external SD card, so it is best to avoid the 8 GiB version. On the other hand, all of its available storage space (11.9 GiB when the phone is used by the first time, on the 16 GiB version) is configured as a single unit, which avoids the lack of space for new apps found in older Android devices.
The Android 4.4 operating system is easy to use and intuitive. Figure 10 shows the initial screen when you turn the Moto G on 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 11: list of applications
Figure 12: 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 two days with average browsing and a few calls.
The 5 Mpixel camera is one of the points were the Moto G disappoints. Not only for the relatively low resolution, it has focus issues, and does not handle well with high luminosity.
You can check the quality of unedited photos taken with the device by clicking here and here.
It records videos only at 720p, with no image stabilization. It has an option for “slow motion” recording, halving the frame rate instead of capturing at twice the frame rate.
The front camera (for video chats and “selfies”) has 1.3 Mpixel resolution.
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The main specifications for the Motorola Moto G include:
- Dimensions: 2.6 x 5.1 x 0.46 inches (65.9 x 129.9 x 11.6 mm)
- Weight: 5.04 ounces (143 grams)
- Display: 4.5”, 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 also)
- Memory Card Slot: no
- GPS: yes
- FM Radio: yes
- Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, compass
- SIM slots: two micro-SIM
- Networks: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS/HSPA+ 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
- Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
- Bluetooth: yes, 4.0
- Rear camera: 5 Mpixel
- Front camera: 1.3 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/
- Average prince in the U.S.*: USD 235.00
* Researched at Amazon.com on the day we published this review.
The Motorola Moto G is an excellent phone for its price range, with a crisp and bright screen, and solid hardware.
Its only problem is the mediocre camera: if you think a good camera is the most important feature in a smartphone, please choose another product.
On the other hand, if you need an agile smartphone with an excellent screen and nice size that easily fits in a pocket of your pants, and that costs no more than a value phone, the Moto G is a great choice.
- Excellent cost/benefit ratio
- High-quality, big, clear, and bright screen
- Light and comfortable to carry around
- Fast and agile
- Many apps available
- Updated operating system
- Frontal camera for video calls
- Mediocre camera
- No MicroSD card support
- No support for 4G LTE networks
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