Budget smartphones may not attract as much attention as their top counterparts, but there is no denying that these devices are in high demand, especially in markets such as India. Motorola’s Moto G is trying to attract the attention of buyers by offering many features at a very reasonable price.
Motorola confirmed its plans to focus on emerging markets by unveiling Moto G at a large event in Sao Paulo, Brazil in November last year. Budget-friendly smartphones were thought to have reached the Indian shores.
Look and feel
The first thing that impressed us about Motorola Moto G was its novel packaging. When it came to our door, we did not feel that the sleek box was hidden inside a mobile phone. Amazingly, everything from the device to the charger fits into this slim box.
Moto G is a candy bar phone. It has no shape – the design is very basic but modern. When we first saw Moto G, we accidentally discovered it for the company’s flagship Moto X.
Moto G’s front panel is dominated by a 4.5-inch screen, slightly smaller than the 4.7-inch display found on the Moto X. The front panel has a black strip of glass around the screen, which distinguishes between the plastic front and rear panel. In particular, there is no Moto G logo or branding.
It seems that Motorola Moto G wanted to align the industrial design of its hardware products. The two recent phones from the Nexus line and Motorola have a family resemblance that distinguishes them from Samsung and HTC phones.
Motorola has also used nanocoating on Moto G, which acts as a light water repellent. This does not make Moto Water resistant, but it can protect the smartphone from light water drops, which is still an interesting touch for the smartphone at this price.
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Buttons and ports
The power and volume rocker buttons are on the right side of Moto G, while the mm, mm mm audio jack is on the top and micro USB port on the bottom panel. The position of the body button is fine and even when we were not seeing the device, we had no problem reaching them.
The rear of Moto G has a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and a speaker grill on the left side. The Motorola logo stands just below the LED flash and is similar to the peel from the back panel found on the Moto X and you can go to the SIM slot, which accepts a micro SIM. The unit we got was the same SIM device, although Motorola has introduced a different model of Dual SIM Moto G in India.
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Moto G’s biggest attraction is its 4.5-inch 720×1280-pixel IPS LCD, which has a density of up to 329 pixels per inch. Notably, Moto G’s screen is slightly sharper than Apple’s iPhone 5s, offering 326ppi.
Motorola has used Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on Moto G to protect it from scratches. It is worth noting that Gorilla Glass is usually available on a premium device which costs Rs 500. 30,000 and above
The IPS LCD screen does not have full color development like the HTC One and LG G2, or AMOLED screens with darker blacks like Samsung’s advanced Galaxy smartphones (Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 3). Yes, but it is bright and colorful. Thanks to the constant dynamic viewing angle is never a problem. The screen is not very reflective and visibility was acceptable in strong sunlight. Also, Moto G’s 4.5-inch screen is great for video playback and gaming.
Moto G’s camera app is not stock and adds little flavor to the vanilla OS. Motorola’s camera app has a circular control bar that pops up on the left side of the screen when tapped. Additional features include 4x digital zoom, slow motion video, burst mode, auto HDR mode, panorama and focus tap. Moto G’s Burst Mode allows users to take up to 99 shots at a time. Users need a long camera soft button on the screen to begin shooting. In particular, Moto G does not have ISO and display control settings.
At this price, we were not expected to count more megapixels. The camera delivers decent but unbridled shots in good lighting conditions.
We experimented with Moto G’s rear-facing camera in a variety of lighting conditions, both indoors and outdoors, and found that images taken out during daylight looked better, even if they were a bit more saturated. And we can hear a little noise on the edges. If you take a photo with Moto G, you may notice a lack of details. In addition, we found that quality images were taken in sufficiently large light to be satisfactory. However, the same cannot be said for indoor and low light shots. Images taken in artificial light (without the use of LED flash) are not very impressive, as background noise tends to swirl.
A 1.3 megapixel front facing camera can be used for selfie and video chat. We have found that videos and photos captured indoors or outdoors with this camera are slightly grainy.
Software / interface
When Moto G arrived at our office, Android 4.3 was running out of devices. However, we soon faced a warning, stating, “Please update your Moto G to the latest version of Android (4.4.2).” Motorola revealed the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for Moto G ahead of schedule in December last year.
Moto G also includes a new photo app that allows you to store locally and view and edit Motorola Moto G+ photos. The new Photos app includes deep integration with Motorola Moto G+ and can be used to tag photos.
The email app on Moto G has also been revamped, and now displays contact photos for email. Navigation is done like the Gmail app and you can swipe messages to delete them.
Moto G also includes the facility to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations in Motorola Moto G Drive, Cape, Play Games, Play Movies, Play Movies, Playbox, Play Newsstand and Quick Office. You can print documents using the Motorola Moto G Cloud Print plugin or an app developed by printer manufacturers.
Display / Battery Life
Moto G has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, with Adreno 305 graphics and 1 GB of RAM on board. We received an 8 GB unit, of which only 5.5 GB was user friendly.
Although Moto G budgets come in the form of smartphones, limited storage on the device is definitely a limiting factor. Motorola Moto G is offering 50GB of free Motorola Moto G Drive storage for two years, in addition to the standard 15GB available to every Motorola Moto G account user, to each Motorola Moto G customer. However, cloud storage is not an option for physical storage, especially since budget users do not have expensive data plans.