Interface and Functionality

Going with a vanilla Android 4.4.4 KitKat experience, it’s the kind of thing that doesn’t try to mask the core experience with redundancies.

In standard fashion, Motorola continues to favor a vanilla Android experience with its latest Moto G smartphone. Running Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box, it delivers a pure experience that doesn’t try to overwhelm us unlike some of the other customized experiences out there. Essentially, we’re presented with a rich and intuitive experience that intricately adheres to the foundational principles of Google’s mobile platform – so there are no competing services to contend with here.

Out of the box, we’re given all of the staple Google apps we come to expect from any device running the stock experience. However, it’s not without a few apps from Motorola’s portfolio. More specifically, it’s packaged with services such as Motorola Alert, Motorola Assist, Motorola Connect, and Motorola Migrate. We’ve seen these services before on other Motorola smartphones, like the Moto E and Moto X, so there’s nothing terribly new here that we haven’t seen before. All told, they’re merely extra services that help to enhance our experience with the handset – and without being too obtrusive in the process.

An advantage of going with stock Android is that Motorola pledges to provide a guaranteed upgrade to Android L when the time comes. Based on the company’s track record, we’re fairly certain the turnaround time for that will be spiffy – so that’s an inviting incentive if you opt to go with the Moto G.


Going with the stock Android keyboard, we’re able to effortlessly tap away writing up long messages thanks to the keyboard’s responsiveness, spacious layout, and spot-on auto-correct feature. Even with the modest hardware underneath the hood, it’s still able to exhibit a decent response.

Processor and Memory

Basic tasks are handled well, but don’t think for a moment it has the power to effectively run certain games smoothly.

Strangely, you’d think a successive smartphone would receive some sort of upgrade to its processing power, but that’s not the case here with the new Moto G. Rather, it’s powered by the same quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC coupled with 1GB of RAM and the Adreno 305 GPU. Naturally, it’s effective for basic operations, but it’s hardly the kind of gear equipped to handle more advanced functions – such as playing some of today’s modern 3D gaming titles. The benchmark scores alone prove it.

Offered in 8GB and 16GB capacities, this year’s model sees the presence of a microSD card slot from the onset to boost our storage needs. Even though we’re required to remove the rear casing to access it, the presence alone is more than sufficient to please us.

Quadrant Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2014) 9081
Motorola Moto G 8512
Google Nexus 5 8455
AnTuTu Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2014) 18249
Motorola Moto G 17014
Google Nexus 5 26340
Nokia Lumia 635 11792
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2014) 608
Motorola Moto G 499
Google Nexus 5 1166
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2014) 1605
Google Nexus 5 2607
Sunspider Lower is better
Motorola Moto G (2014) 1470.6
Motorola Moto G 1223.8
Google Nexus 5 723.9
Nokia Lumia 635 1473.4
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2014) 12
Google Nexus 5 9.4
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2014) 523
Google Nexus 5 891.3
Nokia Lumia 635 453

Internet and Connectivity

Indeed, Motorola added support for 4G LTE connectivity to the original model several months after it initially launched, but the new Moto G once again lacks the faster connection from the beginning. Therefore, we’re left to surf the web using HSPA+ speeds, which isn’t too terrible considering that it can obtain a maximum downlink speed of 21.1 Mbps. Paired with its spacious 5-inch display, 720p resolution, and moderate navigational control, we’re able to navigate through pages without any major fluff. Yeah, it might not be the smoothest with kinetic scrolling, but heck, it’s never to the point too choppy either.

Our particular review unit is a GSM model that’s meant to play nicely in the US, seeing that it supports the 850, 1700 (AWS), and 1900 MHz UMTS/HSPA+ bands. Alternatively, there’s a global model that will feature dual-SIM slots as well. Aside from the lack of NFC connectivity, the Moto G is stuffed with the usual arsenal of connectivity features – these include aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi.



1. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

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

3. gustavoace

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 13, 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.

5. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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...

7. Orion78

Posts: 212; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

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

8. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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...

11. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 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.

12. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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...

13. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 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.

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

20. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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

41. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 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.

27. DocOc

Posts: 143; Member since: Apr 23, 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.

15. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

19. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yeah that's fair. I can definitely go with that. +1 to you.

34. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 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)

37. LoveHater

Posts: 234; Member since: Oct 09, 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

46. MaDTH

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 17, 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

49. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

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

2. techguyone

Posts: 214; Member since: May 18, 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.

4. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 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.

6. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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! (-_-)

22. cookies

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 25, 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.

31. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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!

28. DocOc

Posts: 143; Member since: Apr 23, 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.

36. LoveHater

Posts: 234; Member since: Oct 09, 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

9. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

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

10. jellmoo

Posts: 2645; Member since: Oct 31, 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...

14. athos07m

Posts: 137; Member since: Apr 22, 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.

17. mmayer54

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

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

18. sonisoe

Posts: 440; Member since: May 06, 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....
Moto G (2014)
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2070 mAh

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