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Motorola Moto G Review

Motorola Moto G (2014) 8.5

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Motorola Moto G Review

Motorola Moto G Review
Motorola Moto G Review
Motorola Moto G Review
Motorola Moto G Review
Motorola Moto G Review
Motorola Moto G Review
Introduction


Who knows how well Motorola is competing in the high-end segment of the smartphone market, but we absolutely know that they’ve become a standout leader in the entry-level sector. And how is that? Well, they managed to deliver an affordably priced smartphone last year with the Moto G – one that won over many people due to its low, outright cost, but without seeing a whole lot of compromises to its performance.

Back for round two, the phone’s successor takes the same approach of catering to those on a tight budget, but it’s now sporting a larger chassis due to the increase in size of its display. On top of that, it receives the usual set of hardware upgrades in the process – so it’s very much bears the traditional qualities of any successor. Stickered with the same starting cost of $179.99 outright, the new Moto G aims to continue being the darling in the entry-level segment of the market.

The package contains:

  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide

Design

This year’s model retains the same design language as before, but it’s now become a handful to operate due to its increase in size.

What’s most apparent with the design of the new Moto G is its overall increase in size. Quite frankly, gone is the comforting feel of the original’s size, which made it the perfect size for one-handed usage. Instead, we see its footprint upped to 5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches – a significant increase over its predecessor’s size. In fact, it’s just as large as the new Moto X!

Going with the same plastic construction, we still appreciate the fact that it employs a superficial level of customization courtesy of its replaceable back cover. Our particular review unit sports a uniform look with its all-white casing, but the various Motorola Shells for the phone allow us to customize its look a little bit. In terms of construction, it feels slightly better than the original model, but don’t think for a moment that its matches the sturdiness of the new Moto X.

Indeed, the phone doesn’t deviate from the design language established by its predecessor, evident by the subtle arch of the chassis, button placements, and that oh-so snug dimple in the rear where the Motorola logo is placed. For an inexpensively priced thing, we can’t expect a whole lot, but the overall package is still a pleasant one.

Along the right edge of the phone, we have its power and volume buttons, which are raised slightly and offer decent tactile responses. The microUSB 2.0 port is situated in the rear just like last time, while the 3.5mm headset jack and noise canceling microphone are placed on the top. Below the earpiece, we have its light and proximity sensors – while nearby to the right of the earpiece is the LED notification light. Unlike the Moto X, the new Moto G sports two front-firing speakers. Meanwhile, removing the rear plastic casing grants us access to its microSIM and microSD slots.


Motorola Moto G (2014)
5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches
141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Motorola Moto G
5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46 inches
129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

Motorola Moto G

Nokia Lumia 635
5.1 x 2.63 x 0.36 inches
129.5 x 66.7 x 9.2 mm
4.73 oz (134 g)

Nokia Lumia 635

Google Nexus 5
5.43 x 2.72 x 0.34 inches
137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)

Google Nexus 5


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

Increasing in size, the display continues to be detailed, but we’re most surprised by how well this IPS panel is able to precisely reproduce colors.

The phone’s larger dimension is attributed to the bigger 5-inch 720 x 1280 (720p) IPS display that Motorola has decided to bless the new Moto G with. Needless to say, this decision gives it a size akin to today’s contemporary, high-end flagships. Certainly, its 294 ppi pixel density figure isn’t outstanding, but it’s still nonetheless effective enough to make out some fine details in the web browser.

Interestingly enough, even though the IPS panel has weaker viewing angles than the AMOLED display in the new Moto X, the panel present here is able to best its sibling in the department of outdoor visibility and color reproduction. Starting with the former, the screen manages to churn out a maximum brightness output of 390 nits, which is indeed marginally better than the result we’ve seen from the Moto X, but it’s still something that requires shielding when it’s viewed under direct sunlight.

Moreover, we’re most astounded by its accurate color reproduction – one that clearly is more spot-on than Motorola’s flagship in the Moto X. To be fair, however, its color temperature of ~8200 K makes the screen exhibit a cooler tone at various viewing angles. Despite that, it accurately reproduces varying degrees of color gradients more precisely than the Moto X’s display. For what it’s worth, we’re generally content with the overall quality of the Moto G’s display.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Google Nexus 5 485
(Good)
10
(Average)
1:996
(Average)
6786
(Excellent)
2.05
2.88
(Good)
3.11
(Good)
Nokia Lumia 635 440
(Good)
21
(Poor)
1:949
(Average)
7178
(Good)
2.16
3.66
(Good)
5.79
(Average)
Motorola Moto G 429
(Good)
17
(Poor)
1:914
(Average)
7625
(Average)
2.56
4.10
(Average)
6.45
(Average)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 390
(Average)
15
(Poor)
1:908
(Average)
8290
(Poor)
2.39
5.32
(Average)
6.78
(Average)
View all


Motorola Moto G (2014) 360-Degrees View





49 Comments
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posted on 11 Sep 2014, 08:13 5

1. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4831; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


WOW No LTE, & it got a 8.5 with it's crappy battery. I just don't know!

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 08:25 12

3. gustavoace (Posts: 180; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


This is not a high end device, never meant to be. In the mid-range, it reigns supreme. I think 8.5 is still low, because you get much more than you pay for. I think the rating is not in a relative scale btw.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 08:39 4

5. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4831; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I beg to differ. Most mid-range phones offer LTE. To me this, plus the battery drop this phone below a 7 to the 6 to 6.5 range.

I am sorry but this is the internet age, web-surfing, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, & everything else under the sun needs 4G LTE. We are not in 2009...

The omission of 4G LTE is ludicrous...

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 08:47 10

7. Orion78 (Posts: 81; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


It's 179 dude.......179. It deserves the score it got. Stop complaining.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:12

8. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4831; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


No excuse... Price doesn't change anything. If you are mid-range phone you need 4G LTE. As a matter of fact $179.99 is too much money for a non 4G LTE device!

This is a starter phone/low end device, this is no mid-range phone. I am sorry...

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:20 4

11. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I don't even have LTE I only have a 21 mbps 3G plan and it loads everything I want almost instantly and streams HD videos smoothly. So no LTE is not a must.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:24 1

12. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4831; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I don't know where you live but here in the US 3G is really not good at all...

21mbps is very good for 3G. In the US 3G is nowhere near those numbers!

I get double that on 4G XLTE...

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:28

13. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I'm in Finland. But I mean the theoretic maximum speed is 21 mbps. When I actually test it with speedtest, I get somewhere from 9 to 16 mbps on download.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:38 4

16. sgodsell (Posts: 3619; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


ITS NOT A MID RANGE PHONE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? Anything under $200 is considered a low end smart phone. This is also where the majority of Android sales come from. For a matter of fact 50 million mid range devices sold last quarter. Roughly the same 50 million high end Androids sold last quarter, and to top it off 150 million low end Androids sold. Which the Moto G is considered a low end device, even though it offers some mid to high end specs.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 11:11

20. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4831; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


There is nothing high-end here. There is more mid-range stuff, but with the price it makes it low-end...

I was trying to complement it by saying it was mid-range but it isn't has you stated. The lack of 4G LTE is definitely entry-level for sure.

+1

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 23:42

41. refillable (Posts: 1046; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


This device is frikkin' $180... Chill the heck out. Those mini Mid rangers are the same thing except could be almost twice as expensive. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a device for the range of $200-$300.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 14:33

27. DocOc (Posts: 138; Member since: 23 Apr 2014)


You're wrong dude. You missed the point that this is a budget, mid-level phone. 4G is not a must in this category. Most people can do just fine with 3G. Higher end phone are going to have 4G capability but you are also going to pay $500-$700. So the rating is valid.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:34 5

15. sgodsell (Posts: 3619; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Learn what low, mid, and high end categories are in terms of pricing. Anything below $200 is low end, Anything between $200 - $400 is mid range, and anything above $400 is high end.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 11:07

19. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4831; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yeah that's fair. I can definitely go with that.

+1 to you.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 18:01

34. bur60 (Posts: 847; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


SuperAndroidEvo, there is a version WITH LTE for your information. The first ones that moto released is the basic version. I also dont see anything about the waterresistant feature it has? Motorola had it spray coated with hydrofobic something so it doesnt die after waterdamage (tho it has no IP rating because it isnt meant to go in water)

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 22:12

37. LoveHater (Posts: 176; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


Don't cry about battery ,, Android L is really promising in battery (in some case upto 36% ) ,,, so what we lost in battery department this year will be compensated after getting L update ,,and that will be fast too,,

So we get SD storage, Better camera, big screen(subjective ), surely L update ,,, and all just in 179 buck ,, what more u want

posted on 17 Sep 2014, 19:35

46. MaDTH (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Sep 2014)


if you want a budget smartphone with the same price,processor,ram and aditional LTE and NFC go for the Xperia E3 its a awesome one :D

posted on 26 Sep 2014, 09:06

49. boosook (Posts: 1436; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


maybe because it costs only $179 and has a 5'' 720p screen, an 8mp camera and so on?

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 08:15 3

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


Feels like moto dropped the ball this year, shame they had the worlds attention.
G should have had a bigger battery, better processor

X should have had a bigger battery and the stereo speakers of the G and a sd card slot

I suspect they'll feel it in lost sales, shame.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 08:34 2

4. Scott93274 (Posts: 4601; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Despite the less than impressive battery of the Moto X, I think think it has several killer features that set it aside from the competition. There's currently isn't a smartphone on the market that I would trade my 2013 Moto X for excluding the 2014 model. They really are that good.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 08:47 1

6. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4831; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yes but you have no idea what it's like to actually use the phone for 7 plus hours of screen on time & charge it every 2 days.

I can't EVER go back to charging my phone every 12 to 14 hours. I am sorry, I am much too busy. After work I am doing other things & I need my phone to work...

Every second day I charge my phone at night & the following morning I can do ANYTHING with my phone for the next 2 days without having to think about it. That's a lovely feeling you have yet to experience!

You can have it all, but Motorola won't let you cause they stuff horrible batteries in their phones. You truly don't know how hurt I am by this... I REALLY wanted the Moto X '14 edition. I honestly thought Motorola wouldn't limit the Moto X again with a sub-par battery...

But alas they did! (-_-)

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 11:57

22. cookies (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


Quite a busy person to be replying to every single comment. Price/specs ratio my friend. If this is worth a dollar it'll be 15/10 be it entry level specs, 4G or no 4G.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 14:57

31. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4831; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


lol Just so you know... I am using my phone to answer you right now.

Why??? Cause I can do whatever on my phone with out having battery issues... Ohh & yes I am busy but can multitask. It literally takes a few seconds, unlike constantly charging a phone with a bad battery!

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 14:36

28. DocOc (Posts: 138; Member since: 23 Apr 2014)


I suspect the Moto G and Moto X will be very successful. You are looking at the phones from a phone enthusiast, tech guy perspective. These phones are geared toward the common person that has a tight budget. They will continue to succeed with that segment. The spec to price ratio is unbeatable except for some of the Chinese brands.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 22:12

36. LoveHater (Posts: 176; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


Don't cry about battery ,, Android L is really promising in battery (in some case upto 36% ) ,,, so what we lost in battery department this year will be compensated after getting L update ,,and that will be fast too,,

So we get SD storage, Better camera, big screen(subjective ), surely L update ,,, and all just in 179 buck ,, what more u want

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:13

9. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I'm impressed at what they've done with that tiny battery...

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:19 2

10. jellmoo (Posts: 1583; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Even if costs a little more, I find it weird that I find the 1st gen Moto G LTE a much more compelling option...

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:32 3

14. athos07m (Posts: 71; Member since: 22 Apr 2012)


The Moto G 4G trumps this, if you don't need (or don't want) the 5" screen. I'm much more tempted by the G 4G after seeing this one.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 09:44

17. mmayer54 (Posts: 19; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)


Guessing ANOTHER $219 model will come out in a few months with LTE, 16GB, and hopefully at least 2500mAh+ battery capacity.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 10:26

18. sonisoe (Posts: 411; Member since: 06 May 2009)


i was gonna upgrade to this from my current moto g, seeing the battery is still the same, i'll pass... what is wrong with motorola, the new moto x only saw a slight increase in battery power too with the increased screen...just when you think they're back on track, they shot themselves in the foot....

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 22:13

38. LoveHater (Posts: 176; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


Don't cry about battery ,, Android L is really promising in battery (in some case upto 36% ) ,,, so what we lost in battery department this year will be compensated after getting L update ,,and that will be fast too,,

So we get SD storage, Better camera, big screen(subjective ), surely L update ,,, and all just in 179 buck ,, what more u want

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 11:49

21. ThePython (Posts: 887; Member since: 08 May 2013)


Gotta love how people (not John V, he did a good job treating AND recognizing the phone as a low end w/ mid range specs) treat this phone like a high range and expect it to have all features you'd find in a phone like the Nexus 5 or Moto X.

It's a $180 dollar phone... Expecting it to have stuff from +$300 devices is just stupid.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 12:18

23. TheYellowDart (Posts: 26; Member since: 18 Oct 2013)


To me to this phone is to the low end market what the nexus 5 is to the midrange. Offers a lot of what the higher price category has with a few drawbacks.

I think the moto g is astonishingly good for the price. Things like LTE vs 3G should depend on your market anyway, so choice is key there and I'm sure the LTE version is just around the corner. Sure the batter isn't the greatest but if it gets through the day at this price range it's fine by me, and while some folks Damn the notion of having a case or a spare batter charger handy it's all this phone needs to get more out of it along with an SD. Great job moto!

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 12:25

24. mathesar (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)


I'm curious how come the new 2014 Moto G scores slightly higher in all of the performance benchmarks (Quadrant / Antutu etc.) vs. the original Moto G when they're running the same hardware?

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 14:38

30. DocOc (Posts: 138; Member since: 23 Apr 2014)


optimized OS

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 13:09

25. RodStiffington (Posts: 32; Member since: 20 Feb 2014)


John V, Portillo's is an excellent choice. I trust John V in ALL his decision making.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 13:25

26. kevin1498 (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Jul 2014)


This is still a good phone if price is a factor. I do wish they would have slipped in a bigger battery though.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 14:36

29. ViewFromTheTop (Posts: 25; Member since: 08 Sep 2014)


SuperAndroidEvo and techguyone are spot on IMO. Last year's MG was revolutionary. It redefined what mid-range should truly feel like. But looks like they've drank the Samsung potion of 'incremental updates' rather than trying to revolultionize the segment again.

The only thing right about it is the larger screen but it should have also had the Snapdragon 610/15 (at least the 410), 1080p recording, bigger and better battery and 4G LTE. They could've easily charged $200 for that. If not more.

It will still sell enough because of the goodwill garnered from last year, but they drop the ball again next year, the original Moto G will become like the next RazR - A one hit wonder.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 22:13

39. LoveHater (Posts: 176; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


Don't cry about battery ,, Android L is really promising in battery (in some case upto 36% ) ,,, so what we lost in battery department this year will be compensated after getting L update ,,and that will be fast too,,

So we get SD storage, Better camera, big screen(subjective ), surely L update ,,, and all just in 179 buck ,, what more u want

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 16:53 1

32. RodStiffington (Posts: 32; Member since: 20 Feb 2014)


Are you guys forgetting the point of the Moto G? It wasn't developed to meet first world standards, so all of this LTE, quad core processor, battery and camera debates are kind of pointless. I can’t understand why people are getting so heated.

The Nexus line of phones was built for developers in established communities and Google allowed anyone to purchase them. The Nexus 5 was a huge success because regular consumers (and developers) LOVED its value. Even today the Nexus 5’s feature/build quality to price ratio is stunning.

Try living in an undeveloped or underdeveloped community. You'll see firsthand the "value" cellular customers experience in the marketplace (prob. a bazaar). A terrible low end phone (prob. Nokia) priced at a mid-range price.

The Moto G is batting 1.000 in what it was designed to accomplish….and Motorola hinted an LTE version of the Moto G (2014) was in the works.

sgodsell hit the nail on the head. Mid-range phone for low end price? :::broken glass::: AUSTIN 3:16 says I just peed my pants! Oh, HELL YEAH!!!

posted on 12 Sep 2014, 18:28

42. Furbal (Posts: 980; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


Got one in white heading my way as a back up phone right now (shipped this morning). Im glad peoples expectations on this site are not what is average for the public.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 17:43

33. baldilocks (Posts: 743; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)


That Quadrant score for the Nexus 5 is misleading. Just by rooting the phone and installing the correct binaries, it can score over 21,000 on Quadrant.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 18:29

35. BREvenson (Posts: 240; Member since: 17 May 2012)


Still an awesome deal. Sure, the only main differences are the screen size, battery and cameras, but it's still a bargain. Compare it to several other phones at that price point and it's easily one of the best for the price, even if some of those phones do come with LTE.

posted on 11 Sep 2014, 22:13

40. LoveHater (Posts: 176; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


Don't cry about battery ,, Android L is really promising in battery (in some case upto 36% ) ,,, so what we lost in battery department this year will be compensated after getting L update ,,and that will be fast too,,

So we get SD storage, Better camera, big screen(subjective ), surely L update ,,, and all just in 179 buck ,, what more u want

posted on 13 Sep 2014, 00:33

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


I was really hoping to hear some of the speakers on your test! I am wondering now if I should be concerned as that is a pretty large decibel drop in output between the first Moto G at 87 decibels, Which was great and one of the reasons I liked to now 74.2 db on the 2014 version. Assuming the two front firing speakers offset the difference anyone?? Although other devices too score lower and sound loud..

posted on 13 Sep 2014, 06:22

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


Well after looking online further I believe John & PA got the decibel output wrong. As I read another review that has it at 84db & I have seen a video demonstrating the speakers as well. So the sound should be just fine.

posted on 16 Sep 2014, 19:33

45. Professor (Posts: 212; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)


The new moto G seems to be a home run with the bases loaded... But when you notice that it has no LTE and that it is only 3G capable you notice is really a triple play!

The BLU Studio 5.0 LTE may have a lower quality 5" screen but it has LTE capabilities (microSD slot and removable battery) for only $189.

posted on 17 Sep 2014, 22:22

47. 95sumit31 (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Sep 2014)


MOTO G 2 is the best Android Phone under this budget , for full features, price and specifications do visit infinitetechinfo.com/2014/09/moto-g-2nd-generation​-price-and-features/

posted on 17 Sep 2014, 22:24

48. 95sumit31 (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Sep 2014)


MOTO G 2 is the best Android Phone under this budget , for full features, price and specifications do visit infinitetechinfo.com

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Motorola Moto G (2014)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

OS: Android 5.0 4.4.4
view full specs
Display5.0 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (294 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
1 GB RAM
Size5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches
(141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm)
5.26 oz  (149 g)

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