Moto G - Affordable Midrange Smartphone [Review]

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As a Indian myself, I feel the need of a good smart phone at a affordable price. There was few manufactures or OEMs like Nokia (Lumia 520), Samsung and Panasonic giving it a shot at smart phones which are reasonably priced and having adequate feature to appeal the masses. And in fact Nokia started this race with beautifully designed phone and hardware. And priced it exactly in the range that people would buy it. (Indeed that did).

For Nokia Lumia 525 review please follow the link here.

Now Motorola is jumping into the bandwagon of low cost photo, but rich in feature. By doing so Motorola is challenging other OEMs on a direct fight for a share of pie in the emerging market. Even though Motorola had moved out from India operation, they are definitely returning to the market with the right set of phone especially Moto G. It would be interesting to see how Lenovo the new owner of Motorola would take Moto G and the brand from here onwards.



Buy Moto G 16Gb Dual Sim Here.

Moto G smart phone is an affordable device for cost conscious consumers worldwide. The phone was designed by Google for entering into different markets of the world. There may be series of smart phones being developed by Motorola for the future release. Which might be succors of Moto G, etc.

Let look at key points of the phone.

Specification of Moto G:
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; quad-band UMTS/HSPA support
  • 4.5" 16M-color 720p IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 326ppi pixel; Gorilla Glass 3
  • Android 4.4 update
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 CPU; Adreno 305 GPU
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash
  • 720p video recording @ 30fps with HDR, continuous auto focus and stereo sound
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n; Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS; GLONASS
  • 8/16GB of built-in storage; 1GB of RAM
  • microUSB port with USB host
  • Bluetooth v4.0 LE
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Ambient light; accelerometer; proximity sensors

  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • 50GB of free Google Drive storage
  • 2,070 mAh battery
  • Excellent speaker
  • Water Repellent coating (not water resistant)
Drawback/Disadvantages of Moto G:
  • Non-expandable storage
  • Non user-removable battery
  • Poor Camera performance in low light.
From the specifications we can clearly say that this is not a budget phone. The specification of equivalent to that of Nexus 4 and performance can be way better than the previous generation flagships like Samsung Galaxy s3, Nexus 4, SII, HTC one, etc

Design, Look and feel

The Design of the Motorola Moto G is clean and efficient. This is not a device that would showoff. But definitely make people to stare at it. :) The design is simple combining traditional materials and flowing lines. The packaging is also good. The default package comes with the phone, charger, headsets and bunch of manuals. Note that there is no USB data cable as part of the package, either you need to buy it or you need to use your old smart phones cable. If it really works. Amazingly everything from the device to the charger fits within this slim box.

The G looks like a more like a Moto X except for size, which is not really a bad thing. Moto G is definitely thicker and heavier, measuring 129.9x65.9x11.6mm, 143 grams, offer curved edges which provide nice handling and grip. Even though phone is on bit heavier, the price range it is being sold would subdue the weight issue. Moto G display is 4.5-inch which is sufficient to enough to modern day user to browse and play games. The display is protect by Gorilla Glass 3 which is good for this price range. Moto G does not have any logo or branding on the front.

When it comes to the handling, Moto G fits nicely in your hand and is not a problem at all to operate it single-handedly. The curved back with plastic allows for a great grip too, so accidental drops aren't very likely. The 3.5mm audio jack is located in the middle, along with the secondary noise-cancelling microphone.The 5MP camera lens has the loudspeaker on its side at the back of the smart phone, while the LED flash sits underneath it with Motorola logo.

if you remove the back panel, you can get to the SIM slot, which accepts a Micro-SIM. Moto G has release dual sim version in India.

Moto G has a nano-coating that acts as light water repellent. This does not make the Moto G water resistant, but it can protect the smart phone from accidental water falling on the phone, which would cause short circuit. Don't test your phone by impressing it inside water. I am sure when you remove your phone from water, it would be dead like a mosquito. But this small coating is interesting feature to have at this price range.

Display Screen:

Moto G has a very good 4.5-inch 720x1280-pixel IPS LCD, with a density of 329 pixels per inch. This should mean that Moto G would be sharper, bright and colours are consistently vibrant when compared to phones like SII, Nokia, Apple and Nokia X. The viewing angle is very good, there is no problem in that. Visibility in sunlight was acceptable.

Motorola has also used Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the Moto G to protect it from scratches. Usually Gorilla Glass is found on premium devices. So this is big plus for this range.

Camera

The Moto G has a 5-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash that can take shots in 4:3 aspect ratio, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The camera performance is decent but is not so good in low light condition. Even in normal light condition there was few noise in the images take by Moto G. The camera app in Moto G is light in options, we can find many options as such. But we dont complain either. Its adequate for a normal user at this price range.

Camera features include 4X digital zoom, slow motion video, burst mode, auto HDR mode, Panorama and tap to focus. The burst mode allows users to take up to 99 shots; users just need to long-press the camera soft key to start shooting.

The 1.3-megapixel front facing camera images captured indoors or even outdoors with this camera were a bit noisy.

Software OS:

Motorola had rolled out the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the Moto G ahead of schedule in December last year. So all the new Moto G that you buy from store will have kitkat installed in them.
This is also a plus, because at this price range other smartphone manufacture are still working on rolling out updates. And this note that this OS doesnt have any custom UI like touchWiz, etc.

The Moto G with Android 4.4.2 KitKat is most updated smartphone in its price segment and offers a stock Android experience.

The Moto G's app launcher features app icons and widgets; now due to the icons being larger, you'll see a grid of 4x5 instead of a 5x5.It offers five customizable homescreens, and lots of widgets and apps classified into preloaded and downloadable categories.

There are buttons for clearing all notifications and showing the quick settings shortcuts. These include toggles for Brightness, Settings, Wi-Fi, Network, Battery, Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, and Location settings. Unlike the Nexus 5, the Moto G does not have a quick Alarm clock shortcut.
Long-pressing on the homescreen brings up options to change the wallpaper.

There is the voice guided search feature. This was first seen on the Nexus 5. A user can initiate a voice search on the Moto G when it's unlocked by simply saying, 'OK Google.' However, it is only available when the language is set to US English.

A revamped Phone app in Moto G automatically prioritizes contacts based on who the user talk to most often. The app also provides a space and search bar for the most frequently dialled and favourites, and short cuts to the dialling pad, contact list, call history and settings.

The new Photo app in Moto G provides for viewing and editing of locally stored and Google+ images. It also allows deeper integration with Google+ and to tag photos.

The revamped Email app displays pictures of contacts for emails and the navigation has been made identical to the Gmail app. The user can swipe messages to delete them.

The Google Drive, Play Games, Play Movies,  Play books, Play Newsstand, Keep, and Quick office in Moto G allows for creating and editing documents, spread sheets and presentations. One can print documents through Google Cloud print plug in or through apps made by printer manufacturers.

The preloaded two major apps on Moto G, Motorola Migrate and Motorola Assist are useful in allowing the user to move the contents of old Android Phone to the new Moto G and to silence the device while the user sleeps / drives respectively. The Motorola Assist  automatically sends a text message to callers in the time we told that we were busy.

Performance/ Battery Life

1.2Ghz Quad –Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Adreno 305 graphics and 1GB of RAM on board are powering the Moto G. It comes in two storage capacities: 8GB and 16 GB, and Moto G does not support expandable storage capacities. On test of an 8GB unit, we note only 5.5GB was user accessible.

The limited storage on the device seems a limiting factor.  But Google is offering 50 GB of free Google drive storage for two years which is additional to the already available standard 15GB to every Google account user.

The chipsets used by Moto G is far better than the brands such as Micromax, Xolo and karbom which dominate the sub- Rs.15000 segment.

No lag of any kind  was experienced while launching apps, playing games, scrolling through web pages or while switching between apps on the Moto G.

The quad-core processor of Moto G manages to chug along very fine. We performed all day multi tasking including chatting via WhatsApp, Hangouts, web browsing and playing games like Temple Run 2 and Plants VS Zombies 2 without any trouble. We find Moto G working smoothly in all our day to day activities. We never felt wanting for additional power except for when we tried a few heavy games such as Shadow Gun and dead Tiger.

Call quality on the Moto G are nice and the device latches on to cellular networks even in weak signal places, which is more important for users.

The Moto G has 2070mAh battery which is non-removable and it is said it can deliver a up to 24 hours of talk time, according to Motorola.We you are a heavy user, then expect the battery to drain out soon, as above number would be for a ideal user. 

Conclusion:

The Moto G good in style, hardware, design, quality and not to forget its price. The only draw backs are the battery which is not removable and poor low light camera performance.The 4.5-inch HD screen is good enough, and yet the phone is small enough to hold in one hand and type easily with a thumb.

The Moto G is available in two variants: 8GB for Rs. 12,499 and 16GB for Rs. 13,999. At this price range, no other phones offer an experience that is as good as Moto G. If you are planning to by this phone we would recommend buying 16Gb version by paying another 2k to the 8Gb version.  Moto G is here for a fight and hope this will bring some changes to Indian Market which is dominated by Samsung.