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Motorola Moto G Review

Motorola Moto G 9

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Motorola Moto G Review
Call Quality

Right away, our ears notice some evidence of noise emitted by its earpiece, which is accompanied with hollow sounding voice. Switching to the speakerphone, it produces some crackling at the loudest volume setting. Comforting at the very least, our callers mention having an easy time comprehending our voice from their end.


Working with a 2070 mAh battery, it’s a small capacity no doubt, but at least we’re pleased with what it’s able to crank out. Fully charged and ready to go, we’re able to get roughly 17 hours of normal usage out of it.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
Motorola Moto G
7h 12 min (Good)
Motorola Moto X
5h 50 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
5h 1 min (Poor)
View all


People will argue that the Nexus 5 is the device to beat in order to win over that reputation for having the most bang for the buck value. Although it does offer its own set of value, the Moto G is actually able to triumph it in another way – one that targets consumers who want nothing other than a BASIC smartphone, without complications to the experience, coming at a cheap price.

Unlike those wonky and sometimes depressing entry-level smartphones, the Moto G has enough variety in its design and software experience to give consumers something to look forward to. Yes, it’s lacking several things we believe nowadays as being standard, like 4G LTE connectivity and 1080p video recording, but nevertheless, those are just some of the small compromises that Motorola needed to make in order to deliver its product.

Sporting an outstanding outright price of $179 for the base model, it’s something many people believe to be mind-boggling. Just when we thought $349 for the Nexus 5 was pretty darn good, but this obviously takes the cake. It’s unlocked, there’s variety with its color casings, and the Android experience is also easy to understand, so it’s hard not to like it. All told, Motorola is defining what it means to be an entry-level player.

Software version of reviewed unit:
Android version: 4.3
Build number: 14.10.0Q3.X-84-16
Kernel version: 3.4.0-g741c020-00002-g4becdcd


  • $179 contract-free price
  • Color variety
  • Simplified Android experience


  • Choppy performance
  • Underwhelming performance from its camera
PhoneArena rating:
9 Excellent
User rating:
9.1 43 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 03:19 33

1. nokia12 (Posts: 486; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)

First time PA gave a correct rating for a low end device :P

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 03:57 18

4. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Bcoz this phone deserve this rating.

posted on 28 Dec 2013, 12:13

45. MFJ (Posts: 18; Member since: 15 Apr 2009)

Can't they take a Lint roller to the damn phone before taking pictures of it?....you guys try to give a professional review and the phone looks like it came out of the dryer before taking the photo's.

posted on 16 Jan 2014, 17:35

60. Jillxz (Posts: 149; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)

I think you are seeing spots before your eyes.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 01:21

61. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

No theres specs of crap on the phone. Go look at it on a good display.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 08:49

66. LeetPawner (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Feb 2014)

for a price tag of that less on the moto g... The moto G has the best display in it's class and colors look pretty good,Of course it can't be compared with a HTC one but you can buy like almost 3 moto G's to have given the same amount of money that you will give on a HTC one

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 03:38 12

2. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)

Seriously, stop complaining about the lack 1080p video recording and LTE connectivity. It's still not the standard in the low end market

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 18:29

31. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

And most of the countries that Motorola is aiming this at don't have LTE yet anyhow. To be fair to PA, it does seem like they typically test high-end phones and the writers probably use a high-end phone as their daily device when not testing new phones.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 19:05 2

33. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)

Well, John V. does that all the time, so there's actually no reason for me to complain about him complaining. I'll just fall back to GSMArena's review

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 20:21

34. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

Hahaha, I enjoyed MKBHD's youtube review for myself....not as in-depth though

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 08:21

40. sgodsell (Posts: 3649; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

One thing that was not mentioned about the camera on the moto g is that it will take slow motion videos, something only found on more expensive smart phones. Also this review mentioned nothing about the water resistant coating, or the USB otg support. Making this phone more worthy of that price.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 03:49 36

3. taikucing (unregistered)

Moto G vs Galaxy S4 mini
- quad core vs dual core
- 1280 x 720 vs 960 x 540
- 326 ppi vs 256 ppi
- 2070 mAh vs 1900 mAh
- $179 vs $380
- Android 4.3 (4.4 soon) vs Android 4.2.2


posted on 13 Dec 2013, 03:58 11

5. tech2 (Posts: 3457; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

That's a tough decision :P

You forgot GG3 vs GG2 and waterproof nano coating on Moto G.

In favour of Galaxy s4 mini:
5mp vs 8mp
1 GB ram vs 1.5 GB ram
720p video recording vs 1080p
Non-Removable battery vs Removable Battery.

Still, I'll chose Moto G, though

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 07:00

19. nokia12 (Posts: 486; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)

s4 mini beats the crap out of moto g in performance

that's a 1.7 ghz dual core krait.. moto g starts showing its weak performance when doing a little bit heavy multitasking
also gaming is going to be way more smoother than moto g because of low res..

moto g is a rockstar no doubt but don't compete it with s4 mini its not meant to be.. and s4 mini has been out for 6 months now

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 07:08 7

20. tech2 (Posts: 3457; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

What do you mean, 'don't compete it with s4 mini' ? Moto G is a slap on Samsung's face for overcharging its devices.

We can talk about processors all day but its performance IRL that matters and I can assure you,'s4 mini DOESN'T beats the crap out of moto g in performance'.

Besides I've been using it for a month now and trust me it hasn't broken a sweat as of now. Plays Riptide GP2 and Asphalt 8 like a butter.

Battery life is amazing. The only thing I miss is MicroSD against S4 mini. Camera is better on S4 mini too but I don't use it that much.

P.S. - Coming from a Samsung fan. Bought Moto G as a affordable 'holding off' phone until GS5 comes out.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 07:42

21. nokia12 (Posts: 486; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)

samsung is not overcharging .. motorola is undercharging and going for lesser profits than sony,lg,sammy

in the same way As nexus 5 renders every phone out there expensive and overpriced be it samsung,Motorola,nokia,htc,lg

2nd even PA also mentions it starts to get slow downs when doing a little heavy multitasking and 2-3 other reviews have said also..

try playing batman dark knight rises or amazing spiderman and you will see some slowdowns.. these are real gpu taxing games

don't get me wrong i myself am going to get moto g but credit should be given wherever its due

s4 mini is priced way more than it should be ( 320 $ is fair price ) but it also gives more benefits hence it is not correct to compare the two

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 08:39

25. tech2 (Posts: 3457; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Okay I downloaded and ran Batman and TBH it was a bit choppy (had to delete Dead Trigger :(

But I don't understand how GS4 mini will perform any better as it has the same GPU. Moreover, they are almost same on almost all benchmarks. Infact, it beats GS4 mini on Antutu and Quadrant. Even PA said GS4 mini has a choppy UI.

My point with pricing was, that GS4 mini doesn't offer enough for the premium its charging. For that price aren't you better off with Nexus 5 for 30$ more ?

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 11:34

28. nokia12 (Posts: 486; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


posted on 13 Dec 2013, 11:40

29. nokia12 (Posts: 486; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)

for rest of us nexus 5 costs 500 $ out of USA .. nexus 5 is still a luxury for most people

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 18:52

32. Nakir (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Dec 2013)

I read somewhere that Batman game is not optimized for this device yet, thats the reason why its choppy.. The moto g is even able to run newer and more demanding games perfectly, its not due its hardware but the game itself.

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 08:29

41. sgodsell (Posts: 3649; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Why does everyone forget about the slow motion video capture or USB otg on the moto g.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 04:11 2

8. shahulvm (Posts: 124; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)

Yes, I agree. Although Samdung products are good, I feel they are way over priced.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 05:17 2

13. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Not anymore than it's rivals, in some cases Sammy's actually cheaper (S4, S4 Mini vs. 5S, 5C). It's actually the Moto G that's way underpriced, the only other option for this much bang for this kind of buck is the entry level Lumia. The G makes even the Nexus line-up feeel pricey.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 06:12 8

17. tech2 (Posts: 3457; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Moto G is poor man's Nexus...lol

posted on 16 Jan 2014, 05:26 2

59. menotu (Posts: 4; Member since: 16 Jan 2014)

amazing that a f(*)(ing phone has become a status symbol .. URANIDIOT

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 08:51

67. LeetPawner (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Feb 2014)

Poor Nexus? A weaker Phone then the Nexus 5 yes but It beats nexus 4 in the benchmarks...

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 07:51

22. robocopvn (Posts: 419; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)

just like you compare the lower Intel celeron CPU to the high-end one which runs at lower clock. Quadcore doesn't mean anything, you can check a lot of cheap chinese tablet running quadcore :))

It doesn't mean moto G is a bad phone. For the price, it's the best for somebody who doesn't wanna play intensive 3D game on the smartphone, it works flawlessly for daily uses : web, mail, call, SMS, videos, facebook, twitter, viber etc....

and I'm gonna buy one for my father :D

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 08:16 1

24. geodude074 (Posts: 99; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)

That's a bad analogy.

Celerons actually have near equal single-threaded performance in comparison to i3's and even i5's with equal clock speeds.

Also, cheap Chinese tablets have bad quad-core processors because they're made from no name manufacturers. Qualcomm on the other hand is a well known and reputable manufacturer, and I don't doubt that their quad-core Snapdragon 400 is no slouch.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 12:53

30. robocopvn (Posts: 419; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)

that's why I want to say the quadcore doens't mean it's faster than dual-core, by any mean. The quality of the core it's self is much more important.

For example the Dual core S4 pro used in 1020 and xperia SP will defenitely outperform the Moto G quad core

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 03:59

6. FoxTeam (Posts: 3; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)

Good Phone, still I want to buy Moto X ...

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 04:05

7. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Oh, John...
You did a pretty good job with this review overall, but your English writing skills suffered pretty badly here compared to previous reviews.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 04:37 1

9. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Nice review John.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 04:54 3

10. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Superb phone for it's price, but Google should stop pretending Motorola is ran separately and get Moto devices the Nexus treatment, cause Moto G appears to be the EXACT phone Google had in mind when coding KitKat, yet it runs on Jelly Bean?

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 04:55 3

11. Birds (Posts: 1157; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

I agree with the review, but I personally don't like the tone of it. Its clear that this phone is not liked by the reviewer but despite his disdain for it, he felt obligated to write a fair and honest review for it. I applaud him for that.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 05:04

12. Landmarkcm (Posts: 505; Member since: 11 Aug 2009)

I like how phonearena does proper photo tests using the flash ! I have read so many mixed reviews on the camera & these look a lot better then several other 5mp shooters ive had from Lg & almost as good or better then Samsung 5mp lens I have now. Now If I could just get my g shipped ! I should be good . Heads up I do not recommend buying from Moto directly they are off to a very bad start even with the storm on shipping & terrible outsourced customer service. Hopefully amazon comes through for me.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 05:45

14. livyatan (Posts: 867; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)

With a memory card slot (even if it added up to 10$ in price ), this would've been the phone of the year for me.
Perfect for average users

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 08:44

42. sgodsell (Posts: 3649; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

The moto g supports USB otg, so you can buy a $2 - $5 USB otg cable and use regular USB flash drives. Also android offers you more elegant ways to add storage to your devices, like WiFi storage. Some are so small and feature rich like the Sandisk Connect. You can even change the micro SD card, and it will support up to 8 simultaneous connections from different platforms (Android, iOS, PC, tablets).

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 05:46

15. Planterz (Posts: 2080; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

Impressive phone for the cost. For that price on no-contract/prepaid plans like Cricket or Straight Talk, you're stuck with junk from ZTE or Huwai with junk processors, low-res screens, and 3mp fixed-focus cameras.

It kinda sucks that it doesn't have LTE, but honestly, 21mb is plenty fast; here in Tucson, AZ, people on Verizon or ATT rarely even get speeds that fast, and those on T-Mobile or Sprint are lucky to get 1-2mb down.

This would be a great no-contract phone, or cheap replacement for those on contracts needing a new phone to replace a lost/broken one before they can get an upgrade.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 05:59 1

16. TerryCrowley (Posts: 194; Member since: 31 Jul 2011)

God John V looks so ripped in this video. Dude works out.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 06:56 1

18. techguyone (Posts: 199; Member since: 18 May 2013)

Despite my earlier statement of feeling let down by moto by not offering the X in Europe, I got the G.

I remain in hope the X makes it outside the USA, but in the meantime....

The G
It's actually putting many other more expensive phones to shame. Whilst I miss MHL/video out, 4G is not yet widespread enough or cheap enough to miss. In a nutshell, you're bonkers if you want a cheap GOOD smartphone and don't buy this,seriously would you buy a samsung Ace over this? I mean lol.
Oh Yes, and at this price I'm not locked into a 2 year contract, cost me £120 + 2.04 to unlock, just buy it outright and go for a sim only plan.

Waiting for Myxtroll to come along and make some really stupid comment as it's motorola.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 07:59 2

23. geodude074 (Posts: 99; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)

4G LTE is overrated. HSPA+ is capable of 21.1 mbps, and that's insanely fast. I bet 90% of people don't even have wifi at home that's faster than 20 mbps.

Also, I'm going to get hate for this, but 1080p on a phone is overkill. Maybe on a 10 inch tablet or a 15 inch laptop a 1080p screen would look nice, but on a 4.5 inch phone you're going to need to put the phone to your face or pull out a magnifying glass to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p. I'm glad Motorola only put a 720p screen on this phone, because it improves the performance and battery life drastically.

And lastly, a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon SoC is plenty fast for 90% of consumers. Just over a year ago the Nexus 7 2012 with the Tegra 3 processor came out with a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. I still have my Nexus 7 2012 and it's still plenty fast and snappy and responsive, and I'm sure the Snapdragon SoC will be faster and more powerful than Nvidia's.

Shame about the camera though.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 09:57

26. Augustine (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

I grant you that HSPA+ at 21Mbps is not too shabby, but why not 42Mbps, which even lower phones support? This puzzles me, especially when iMoto decided to not add LTE to it.

posted on 15 Dec 2013, 02:20

37. Landmarkcm (Posts: 505; Member since: 11 Aug 2009)

The camera is actually pleasantly surprising. I was worried about it. I will say overall it is better then any other 5mp camera pretty much overall that ive used & that has been several. It easily beats all Lg's 5mp shooters and is right up there with Samsung because Motorola did a good job at processing the photos without much noise on the g. The only thing is the autofocus can sometimes be touchy on the g depending. Camera apps help the experience. & with Kit Kat it should get a bit better too.

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 08:46

43. sgodsell (Posts: 3649; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Plus you have slow motion video recording with the moto g. Something that is usually found only on more expensive devices.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 11:09

27. Nimay_7 (Posts: 26; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)

Middle Class people's Nexus!! :D

posted on 15 Dec 2013, 02:53

38. overbidme (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Dec 2013)

I'm happy with my MotoX

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 01:32

39. Patrick_2006 (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Dec 2013)

I think it's funny everyone is looking for a porche at a kia price...you don't expect to race a kia...well if your racing scooter.

posted on 17 Dec 2013, 11:32

44. COZMAN (Posts: 99; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)

In 2014, everybody watch MOTOROLA stock go up~~~~~~and APPLE stock go way down.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 13:04

46. number29 (Posts: 185; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)

I've got an 8GB Moto G and I think it does effectively make other Android devices redundant. However, Android still lacks too much functionality in comparison to the iPhone for me to switch.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 13:22

47. tech2 (Posts: 3457; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

How does android lack on functionality ground in comparison to iPhone ? Please elaborate

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 02:04

48. number29 (Posts: 185; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)

I've elaborated on this literally a hundred times, I'm sick of doing so! A few key points all missing from Android; no lock screen notifications, no lock screen music controls/control centre equivilent, no lock screen voice control, no silent key on side of device, no variation in vibration patterns between texts/emails, uses archaic file system access rather syncing from an iTunes equivilent etc etc etc. These are a few of the things completely missing from Android that the iPhone does right out of the box.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 02:46 2

49. tech2 (Posts: 3457; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

no lock screen notifications: You do get missed call/text/whattapp/viber etc. notifications on android IN LOCK SCREEN

no lock screen music controls:It is there ! Have you made the effort of trying it ?

control centre equivalent: Android's notification centre can be accessed from lock screen

no lock screen voice control: Just like Siri, you can access Google now from swiping upwards from bottom of the screen.

no silent key on side of device: Agreed. That's a hardware requirement.

no variation in vibration patterns between texts/emails: It vibrates twice for text and once for email.

uses archaic file system access rather syncing from an iTunes equivilent: 'archaic' file system are better than stupid iTunes. It lets me access my file from any computer without installing iTunes. I just need to drag and drop.

All these points you posted makes you look stupid. I bet you have never ever used android or your Moto G. I currently own Moto G and have personally tested all of these before ranting on the internet and comparing Moto G with a phone which is 3 times it price.

Its not android, its you !

posted on 02 Jan 2014, 01:50

52. geodude074 (Posts: 99; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)

You're either a troll or just really ,really stupid.

No lock screen notifications? LOL. Then what are all these notifications I see on my lock screen? Calls, texts, emails, battery life, etc. No notifications on my lock screen really???

No lock screen music controls? Hmm that's odd, because I'm listening to music right now and on my lock screen I see a pause/forward/backward controls. Volume can be controlled via the volume rocker while the screen is locked.

No lock screen voice control? Well, maybe not with stock Android, but the Moto X has Touchless controls, even while the phone is locked. Maybe you should look into that if it's important to you.

No silent key on the side of the device? There sure is, it's called the POWER button lmao. Hold that button in for a few seconds and it puts your phone on silent until you push it again. You should try it sometime.

And I love the fact that Android uses the traditional "archaic" file system than the horrid, terribly stupid and clunky iTunes equivalent. I can drag and drop any type of file easily from my PC to Android and from Android to PC.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 05:18

64. Nimay_7 (Posts: 26; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)

LOL!! dude, seriously LOL.. seems u are a "ifanboy"

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 07:22

50. MFJ (Posts: 18; Member since: 15 Apr 2009)

Plus....there are many great Android Launchers that let you change the look and functionality of any android device at your whim. They add to all the android features mentioned above and do many many more. That's the beauty of Android,...if you need/want something, and if your phone doesn't already do it, just go to Google Play and find it....and like Tech2 said, NO ITUNES/APPLE STORE!!

posted on 07 Jan 2014, 14:50 1

56. pureviewuser (Posts: 501; Member since: 11 Nov 2012)

Excellent phone well done MOTOROLA!

posted on 09 Jan 2014, 02:57

58. reeved (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Jan 2014)

Okay so, Im a noob at all this and this was my first attempt at unlocking the bootloader.

I followed a website and I tried unlocking the bootloader.
I thought I did it right.
So when the phone restarted, it went to the "Android is optimising" screen
I wasnt there when it happened but when i returned, there were all these popups saying everything crashed (clock, settings, ANDROID)
So i tried shutting it down and hoped that when i restarted it, it would do the optimising again and work
So i restarted, but as soon as the Motorola start screen finished ( the spinning globe thing) the whole phone would crash and would be stuck on a blank black screen.

I can still access the Fastboot screen thing by pressing the Volume down and Power buttons.

Is there anything i can do to fix it?
Please make it detailed or very simple because again, I AM A NOOB D:


posted on 06 Feb 2014, 09:32

62. danialngot (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 Feb 2014)

i will buy it because its cheap. just waiting for the android 4.4 model.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 08:59

68. LeetPawner (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Feb 2014)

Why should you,they are all upgradable to android 4.4 so what's the problem?
Go buy one quick who knows maybe lenovo cancels the moto g you never know

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 00:56

63. celldekho (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Feb 2014)

Motorola Moto G is finally available for Online and Market Purchase.
Read inside for a detailed hands on review on Moto G.

Motorola has launched this phone right before the expected launch of Samsung Galaxy S5. Samsung Galaxy S5 is long awaited phone with numerous running rumors. However, there is one thing for sure, Samsung Galaxy 5 would cost at least 3 times than the cost of Motorola Moto G, so it might just be a masterstroke and a great thing by Motorola that it might take the equation away from Samsung.

Check Out in CellDekho review

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Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

OS: Android 5.0 4.4.4 4.4.3 4.4.2 4.4 4.3
view full specs
Display4.5 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (329 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
Size5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46 inches
(129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm)
5.04 oz  (143 g)

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