Motorola Moto G 2013 Review

Interface and Functionality


Motorola seems to take a liking to a mostly stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean experience, seeing that’s exactly what we see here on the Moto X. Other custom Android experiences tend to throw a lot of features at us, including the kitchen sink it seems sometimes, which sometimes end up feeling more redundant than useful, but here on the Moto G, it’s kept simple and straightforward.

And with that in mind, we’re not saddened by any means of the imagination to see nothing particularly new with the experience that we haven’t been exposed to before. Although it’s not greeted with the cool Active Display and Touchless Control features that we saw with the Moto X, at its core though, it still has all the foundational features of Android that we know and love.

In the organizer side of things, it lays claim to the usual set of core apps that we find on any other Android phone out there. Additionally, the enhanced features and uncanny functions of the Google Now experience continues to show us how much more intelligent and thought out it is when it comes to tracking our schedule.

Thanks to its 4.5-inch display, the Moto G has that perfect size in giving us a very comfortable typing experience. Well, it’s the stock Jelly Bean keyboard on here, which suffices enough for most of our needs. However, its responsiveness can sometimes be a bit delayed – resulting in some mistakes along the way.

Power users won’t be wowed much by the mostly stock Android experience of the Moto G, but it’s sure to be more than ample to appease newcomers – or even those who want a simple phone without all of the bells and whistles of other experiences.

Processor and Memory


The good: it’s a reputable processor under the hood. The bad: its performance leaves us yearning for more power. Armed with a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU coupled with 1GB of RAM and the Adreno 305 GPU, it’s effective to handle surface level operations, but it shows its strain and sluggishness with more intensive tasks.

Available in 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, it’s an ample tally that should suffice basic users, but content driven folks can easily fill it up. In that case, cloud storage will increasingly become something they’ll want to invest in.

Quadrant Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 8512
Motorola Moto X 8509
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 6783
AnTuTu Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 17014
Motorola Moto X 18483
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 13341
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps) Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 27
Motorola Moto X 54
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 33
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 499
Motorola Moto X 749
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 685
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 1933
Motorola Moto X 2412
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini 2088

Internet and Connectivity


Spoiled by 4G LTE connectivity? If so, you might find yourself yanking your hair as you wait for complex web sites load via HSPA 21.1 Mbps connectivity – so it’s a tedious process to say the least. Although navigational controls are smooth once a page completely loads, page rendering is sometimes delayed on the fly, which results in some minor headaches as it tries to catch up with our pace.

On one hand, it’s spectacular that the Moto G is unlocked from the onset, but the downside is that it lacks 4G LTE connectivity. Even though it’s also outfitted with the usual assortment of connectivity features, like aGPS with GLONASS compatibility, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, it lacks modern conveniences like NFC or video-out functionality.

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69 Comments

1. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

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

4. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Bcoz this phone deserve this rating.

45. MFJ

Posts: 22; Member since: Apr 15, 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.

60. Jillxz

Posts: 149; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

I think you are seeing spots before your eyes.

61. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

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

66. LeetPawner

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 13, 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

2. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

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

31. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 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.

33. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 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

34. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

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

40. sgodsell

Posts: 7531; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

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 hmmmm...

5. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 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

19. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 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

20. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 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.

21. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 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

25. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 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 ?

28. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

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29. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

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

32. Nakir

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 13, 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.

41. sgodsell

Posts: 7531; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

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

8. shahulvm

Posts: 124; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

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

13. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 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.

17. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

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

59. menotu

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 16, 2014

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

67. LeetPawner

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

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

22. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 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

24. geodude074

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 05, 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.

30. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 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

6. FoxTeam

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

Good Phone, still I want to buy Moto X ...
Moto G
  • Display 4.5" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB
  • Battery 2070 mAh

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