Motorola Moto G (2014) hands-on

Delivering inexpensive, yet effective performing smartphones is something that’s in Motorola’s blood. In the last year alone, the company has proven to us that it’s found success in the entry-level market – evident by the release of the Moto G and Moto E respectively. When it comes to it, consumers no longer need to fork over huge wads of cash to own a decent smartphone.

For its successor, Motorola has taken what it has established with the original Moto G, and makes considerable strides to keep its newest affordable smartphone in good contention. Specifically, the 2nd-generation Motorola Moto G has been blessed with a size increase – both to the phone’s overall dimension and its display. Of course, the usual specs boosts are in tow with this, but luckily, it’s able to maintain its outright price of $179.99


To tell you the truth, the new Moto G looks exactly like its predecessor – with the exception that it’s larger in size, of course. In keeping it simple and straightforward, the design language is unchanged, so the common traits from before are present here. In particular, they include its slightly arched rear casing, interchangeable shells for better personalization, and the dimple on its back.

Interestingly, though, Motorola introduces a few new goodies into the mix. First, the new Moto G features dual front-firing stereo speakers for a more direct output. Secondly, there’s now a microSD card slot behind its casing that supplements its internal storage. And finally, a larger 5-inch 720p display we’ll expand upon shortly. As much as we’d like to say that its construction has improved, we really don’t notice a whole lot of differences here, as it still comes off as having a hollow feel.


Like we detailed, the second-generation Moto G sees its display increased in size. Jumping up to a spacious 5-inches, there’s no arguing that it meets the mark set forth by many of today’s flagship smartphones. Unfortunately, though, its resolution remains at 720p. Technically, its pixel density count has dropped because of this, but in all fairness, it still manages to produce sharp enough details to make content visible from a normal viewing distance.

Without looking into the specs, we initially believed the screen to be AMOLED, but in fact, it utilizes IPS technology. Why were we confused? Well, the panel produces a significant amount of saturation, which obviously gives it a vibrant look. Better yet, it seems as though the screen quality has improved – mainly because viewing angles seem better this time.


Purists will really appreciate that the Moto G is running a stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat experience. Motorola doesn’t tinker with the experience one bit, so the UI is vanilla as it can get. Untouched Android is a good thing, since it’s not bogged down by redundancies we tend to see come with customized experiences. On the surface, the experience is simple and intuitive, but it’s nice that we can still get stuff done – and it helps too that it’ll more than likely make the upgrade process to future versions of Android a lot faster!

Processor and Memory

Underneath the hood of the 2nd-gen Moto X is a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM and the Adreno 305 GPU. From what we can gather in our short time with the phone, the lofty hardware gear manages to deliver a responsive performance with basic tasks. However, we wouldn’t be shocked to see it tested with today’s 3D intense mobile gaming titles.

At the very minimum, it’s going to be offered with 8GB of internal storage, but if that’s not enough, you can opt to pick it up with 16GB instead. We’ve already stated it, but it also packs a microSD card slot to help increase its tally.


Getting the usual specs boosts, the camera jumps up to a healthier 8-megapixel count, which features an f2.0 aperture lens, single LED flash, and 720p video recording. Last year’s model didn’t really tickle our fancy with its quality, but at the same time, we’re not expecting a different outcome this time around – though, it’ll be a nice treat otherwise.


Motorola knows how to make really good inexpensive smartphones that don’t have too many compromises. So far, the 2nd-gen Moto G is shaping up to have another successful run – more so when it’s chiming in with its hard-to-beat price of $179.99 off-contract. Price alone, the handset screams value from every facet. Until we’re able to test out every aspect of the phone, we can’t say with enough certainty that it’ll no doubt be a hit again. For those of you wondering, it’s going to be sold as an unlocked model starting today, September 5th. Of course, the US will be one of the first to see the handset, but you can also include India, France, UK, Brazil, Spain, and Germany to the list.

Related phones

Moto G (2014)
  • Display 5.0 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 8GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 2070 mAh
  • OS Android 5.0 Lollipop



25. mcart123

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

Dissapointment. 4.5" Screen was the perfect size. And no LTE.

24. mike523

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

On second thought. Make the $219 LTE version with a 3500mAh battery. Then you can call it "G-MAXX" :0)

22. mike523

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

Seeing that this is JUST 3G at $179, I'm gessing that they will ADD the 4G LTE version for $219 in a few months. But due to the extra DRAIN of the fast data speeds, the Battery had BETTER be, AT LEAST 2500mAh+.

21. mike523

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

BATTERY LIFE, BATTERY LIFE, BATTERY LIFE! I've been preaching this for months since they announce the G2 was on it's way. At $179.99, they will SELL a ton of these. But with the same, POOR 2070mAh battery, they WON'T get my money. Was all set to order one til I saw that. By the time they wise up, and put a larger battery in the next one (probably Spring '015), many other sub $200 devices will have caught up. VERY, VERY disappointed! :0(

20. kashyap07

Posts: 15; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

Cant really complain about it not being a good update; Here in India it's going to cost 1k cheaper than the previous one!

19. salaal

Posts: 109; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

They should've added 4G and snapdragon 410 that would've made it perfect!

18. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

Everything was perfect until I noticed it is a 3G only phone. Not a 4G LTE phone... I pass... No matter how cheap I am not going back to 3G "speed...

16. salaal

Posts: 109; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

This should have had a snapdragon 410 clocked at 1.4GHz.

14. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

And people say that Samsung phones haven't changed when this AND Sony (not to mention Nokia) have the same repetitive designs.

13. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Hmm doesn't look like it. I'll prob stick with my first gen X a while.

12. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Trying to search to see if this time it's coming with LTE out of the gate..?

9. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

5 inch display + 2070mAh battery = battery life disaster...

11. Phonedingo

Posts: 399; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

The resolution didn't increase, if there's any difference it's a minor one. Chances is it's probably going to improve.

8. surethom

Posts: 1768; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Very nice upgrade BUT extremely disappointed that the battery is the same as last year. Bigger screen with same battery. Very disappointed. Very bad Motorola, showing you don't care.

10. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Motorola is the Nokia of the Android world, consigned to a fate not of their own making. They are making the best stuff they can, but clearly many of Moto's employees are distraught and distracted with the buyout... and are spending time lining up new jobs.

7. Killua

Posts: 270; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

The front face looks horrible. Front speakers are welcomed, but they should design it more subtle, or at least make it looks better. It looks cheap.

5. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Disappointed by the unchanged specs, including battery...

1. LoveHater

Posts: 235; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

they should have provided better specs compared to last year,, Dissapointing

2. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

True Snapdragon 400 is disappointing, I blame Qualcomm though for every upper-midranger(all OEMs) coming with s400.

4. LoveHater

Posts: 235; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

But the most dissapointed factor is "THEY FCUKING DIDN'T CHANGE BATTERY"

6. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

they made wonders with the battery optimizations here :D

17. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1291; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Who is stopping them to give both bigger battery (with INCREASED phone SIZE and SAME INTERNALS) and better battery optimisations???

23. julian6.0

Posts: 27; Member since: Jan 29, 2014

Lol. Funny.

15. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Now you know why we have no choice but to hope for either Intel, MediaTek (whether you like them or not), Rockchip, Allwinner etc to get their sh*t together hard and fast along with these guys:- nVIDIA just got lawyered up past 24 hours vs. Samsung + Qualcomm so that "helps" a lot...

3. hurrycanger

Posts: 1776; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Kinda disappointing. Good for 1st gen Moto G owners though. There is nothing much to be desired from this second gen. At least that's how I see it.

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