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Motorola Moto G (2015) Review

Motorola Moto G (2015) 9

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Motorola Moto G (2015) Review

Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review

This has been the summer of summers for strong mid-range propositions, evident by the amount of sub-$300 priced devices we’ve seen come to market. Smartphones like the Asus Zenfone 2, Huawei P8 Lite, Microsoft Lumia 640, and Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 have shown us that there’s a ton of value in this particular segment – and it doesn’t look like this trend is going away any time soon! That’s wonderful news for consumers, as well as for the companies making those phones.

Before all of this, though, we have to remember that Motorola established this segment first with the introduction of the original Moto G a couple years ago. We can’t forget about how they popularized the segment, but its latest offering is aiming to continue the legacy of delivering exceptional value and performance. Even with thick competition already in the midst, the third-generation Moto G stands firmly in its ground with its hard-to-beat full price of $179.99. So can it deliver the goods?

The package contains:

  • Motorola Moto G (2015)
  • Wall charger
  • Read me guide
  • Safe, smart, protected information


A water-resistant construction and deeper customization thanks to Moto Maker, this is undoubtedly the best designed Moto G to date in the series!

In standard fashion, the 2015 Moto G stays true to the series’ humble styling. It’s not premium, that’s for sure, nor is it cheap-cheap like some other phones in the same price category – so it finds a balance that we find pleasant, and in a way, timeless. Instead, the new Moto G flaunts a few subtle aesthetic changes, such as a slightly larger overall footprint and a new metallic-like trim bezel. Moreover, its rear plastic casing now has a rigid pattern to it. And finally, it wouldn’t be a Moto G without the soft dimple in its back.

What’s most astounding about the new Moto G is that it now offers IPX7 certification, which ensures that it’s water-resistant to survive submersion under 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Now that’s flat out news to our ears, as it’s a delicious treat we don’t see in devices in its class! And of course, we put it to the test by rinsing it over the faucet, playing music in the shower, and submerging it in a bucket full of water. It survived all of the testing!

The fun doesn’t end there either, just because the new Moto G is treated to Moto Maker – presenting prospective buyers with a unique way of personalizing the phone. From choosing the front and rear casing colors, to even the accent color of the plate around the camera lens compartment, there’s more discretion for it to stand out with bold colors. All told, this is the best model in the series to date! It might appear simple and quaint superficially, but the addition of a water-resistant construction and deeper customization courtesy of Moto Maker makes its pricing fine and dandy in our books!

Although it might seem like it’s flaunting dual front-firing speakers, it’s actually not. Rather, the cutout above the display is strictly used for its earpiece – while the bottom is the speaker itself. Considering it’s still relatively easy to handle with one hand due to its size, both the power button and volume controls are found near one another on the right edge of the phone. Rounding things out, it also features a microUSB 2.0 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and noise cancellation mic around its trim.

Motorola Moto G (2015)
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches
142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

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)

Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Microsoft Lumia 640
5.56 x 2.84 x 0.35 inches
141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Microsoft Lumia 640

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

Motorola Moto G (2015) Review


The specs might be unchanged, but there are small improvements all around with the display.

From a specs standpoint, there’s nothing terribly new here with the 2015 Moto G screen – it’s a 5-inch 720 x 1280 HD display with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 protecting it. From the looks of it, the display appears to be of the IPS-LCD variety, just like before with the previous Moto G phones. Boasting the same sized display and resolution, there’s no change whatsoever with the details. Therefore, it’s sharp and effective enough when using it from a normal distance.

While it certainly would seem there’s not a lot different to the display this time around, it flaunts some minor improvements that technically makes it a superior panel over its predecessors. First and foremost, it produces a more potent luminance of 449 nits, which makes it fairly reasonable to see under bright lighting conditions. On top of that, baby step improvements are made to its color temperature and gamma value, which chime in at 7440K and 2.27 respectively (vs 7625K and 2.56 for the Moto G 2014). While the screen’s color temperature is an improvement over last year, it’s still by and large a colder toned panel – so colors tend to have a hint of blue in them (most noticeable with white).

Speaking of color production, there’s honestly no major changes here. It does a decent job with accurately reproducing all gradients in the sRGB color chart spectrum. Distortion is evident at some angles, which causes colors to appear washed out at times. It’s not terrible, but still noticeable to the eye.

The benchmark results are one part of the overall picture, but at the end of the day, while it might not have the crazy specs to make it super compelling, but for a budget phone, its display is agreeable.

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
Motorola Moto G (2015) 449
Motorola Moto G (2014) 390
Huawei P8 lite 380
Microsoft Lumia 640 352
View all

  • Options

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 09:17 17

1. kabiluddin (Posts: 217; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

Fast review PA. Good job.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 11:22

24. CyberFalcon (Posts: 223; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)

PA can you please check and update whether your review unit is faulty or not?
4 hr 10 min is way too much.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 18:47 5

48. thesyd (Posts: 5; Member since: 31 Jul 2015)

Not faulty, it's just the default charger that sucks, its a 500mAh. With a normal 1/1.5mAh it would take something like ~2h30

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 09:38 14

2. walkman800 (Posts: 113; Member since: 26 Aug 2014)

Seems like Motorola did it again. Good job!

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 09:42 1

3. Cheezwiz (Posts: 430; Member since: 29 Dec 2014)

Looks like a lot of value, but I really would have liked to see a 32GB option.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 12:44

34. sgodsell (Posts: 4754; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

It has a micro SD card slot as well.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 09:52 6

4. MisterQ (Posts: 56; Member since: 13 Feb 2015)

Waiting for X Play review!! When is it coming?

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 09:53 1

5. anleoflippy (Posts: 595; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)

Good show!

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 10:02 2

6. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

Really a 9? I guess PA I guess, I wish your reviews had better weight to them considering how other phones get judged. At any rate, glad to see the water resistant rating. But for 220 hard for me to pick it over a bigger phone for nearly the same price.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 10:55 3

18. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

What phone offer something similar for the same price?

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 11:10

22. JaroB (Posts: 111; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)


posted on 31 Jul 2015, 11:30 3

27. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Lol, I just made a post here:http://www.phonearena.com/news/Third-generation-Motorola-Moto-Gs-IP-X7-certification-on-the-line-in-video-water-test_id72154 asking about those two devices to see what people think...

But there IS a price difference and it is about 80$... and even if I love Sony I think I'm more inclined to recommend the Moto G to my dad... I've been reading many problems about the M4.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 12:42

33. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

What phone offers LTE 5in 720p, Good camera, enough ram, Sd slot ability to install nearly all apps to sd out of the box, great battery performance, screen brightness up there, smooth fast....for $130 or less?

Its all relative. I would choose two phones over this one for either same or similar price up to 250.

While it would be a WP.

I agree. M4 Aqua would be another choice.

I just don't see anything other than price that puts this phone up to a 9. Especially with 8GB of ram on an OS that limits SD installs without 3rd party intervention.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 13:08 2

35. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

its actually 1GB of RAM and 8GB of ROM for the basic model, the other one being a respectful 2GB of RAM and 16 of ROM... and while I agree that 16GB should be the bare minimun for Android, many light users like my 65 y/o dad will be extremely satisfied with an 8GB model (though not the 1GB of RAM)... and Android L allows you to install some applications to the microSD card which helps a lot...

The real issue here is mainly Google apps that take an embarassing ammount of space and are limited to internal storage...
Google Play Services
Google App (search)
Google Keep

All those are HUGE storage hogs and sadly unmovable, but I like them... other people might disable most of them anyway.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 18:49 1

49. thesyd (Posts: 5; Member since: 31 Jul 2015)

"and Android L allows you to install some applications to the microSD card which helps a lot..." The Android 5.2 "M" will have an option to format the micro sd as "internal memory".

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 20:39 1

53. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Are you serious? That would be awesome...

posted on 01 Aug 2015, 22:08

68. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

"Some apps" However any apps that require security will not allow it since android doesn't encrypt sd card data. Unless I missed the news about it actually being secure now.

8GB of rom is ok for some users. Amazingly its the older ones that fill up their phones and have no idea why. I have a 65yr old dad as well. Boom the 925 was full in 2 months. I have a 63yr old mother. Boom 521 with a 16gb card was full. Now it wasn't all them (mother more so), they have 7 grand children that like to play on their phone when over, they download apps etc that kill space, and the older people have no clue its on there.

Then we can take the calls I do daily, again older people that have no clue that their 8GB phone now only has 4GB or less of rom, then they download like 10 apps and its gone. Android M is still some away, and since I don't have a preview of it...wont be able to comment on it. However imo anything is better than the mess of Lollipop I have to deal with on a day to day basis, especially when it came to the G3. However, our test S6 has been really good, only a few hiccups and is doing great, The test G4 imo is nicer but for somereason seems to reboot for no reason and it has no apps on it (other than preinstalled ones).

Point being though was I have no clue as how this got a 9, when other capable phones that can do the exact same that cost either 50+$ less or just slightly more and yet constantly get 8 or below in ratings. We could talk software all we want, but no one is going to get a Moto G and be the worlds techy person and be the majority by any means.

posted on 06 Aug 2015, 17:27

79. vananucho (Posts: 76; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)

Kyocera Hydro Elite. Sort off. It's ultra cheap tho (About $50-60)

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 13:39 1

36. max1c (Posts: 83; Member since: 11 Oct 2014)

Sharp Aquos Crystal.

posted on 01 Aug 2015, 09:25

61. coldspring22 (Posts: 346; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

How about Lenovo K3 Note @ $160 (antutu 46000, 2GB ram 5.5 HD ips screen, 5MP/13MP camera, SD card slot/ removable battery, near flagship performance) . Or even Xiaomi Redmi Note @ $170 ( 5.5 ips screen, 2GB ram, 3000mah removable battery, SD card slot 5MP/13MP camera). New moto G is pretty good, but there are still better values out there.

posted on 01 Aug 2015, 18:33

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

The Lenovo is not sold nor does it work with the LTE bands in the US. The Xiami is 3G only. The Moto G, for being available for sale and working on LTE in the US, makes it the default choice for US consumers.

posted on 02 Aug 2015, 14:32

72. coldspring22 (Posts: 346; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

I have Xiaomi Redmi Note (FDD-LTE version) and use it in USA. I get 11 MB/sec download on HSPA+ on tmobile. Now that's not LTE, but it's hell of a lot faster than what I would ever need (even faster than my home DSL!!!) Who needs 4G LTE if your data usage capped out at 2GB? HSPA+ is more than fast enough for most any use I can imagine. In addition, if you really need 4G LTE for whatever reason, you can get HK version of Redmi Note which is fully compatible with all 4G LTE standard in USA

posted on 22 Sep 2015, 09:26

88. perry1234 (Posts: 168; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)

There is a WiFi bug with Lenovo K3 Note , once you are connected to a WiFi network you will have to restart the phone to swith to a 3G network or connect to a different mobile network. Just google it .; Happens with my dad's phone all the time.

Hardware is just part of the story . Moto G3's software is very stable and reliable. It has no bloatware slowing down the phone. This all results in incredible real life performance.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 10:08 1

7. iLovesarcasm (Posts: 586; Member since: 20 Oct 2014)

Not bad for a chinaphone.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 10:16 4

9. antoxi4 (Posts: 9; Member since: 05 Jun 2015)

Okay Iphone, Blackberry, and td too chinaphone)

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 10:30

14. Pattyface (Posts: 1646; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)

Bad example as those are not owned and mfg in China.. Only mfg

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 12:38

30. antoxi4 (Posts: 9; Member since: 05 Jun 2015)

yup but if they change owner it does not mean chinacompany))

posted on 14 Oct 2015, 01:22

90. Astonvan (Posts: 237; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)

Keep your sarcasm to yourself.

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 10:09 1

8. aksa123 (Posts: 341; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)

250 minutes to recharge..........................................​..................................................​.........

posted on 31 Jul 2015, 11:03 11

20. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

It looks bad, but in my opinion PA never gives a proper charging test.
The never test different chargers with different outputs (fast charging or not)...

For example, my Z3 Compact has a rating of 208 minutes... and its probably because for them it was shipped with an old GreenHeart sony-ericsson charger of 850mAh... while my device came with a 1.5Ah charger that goes from 0 to 100% in about 150 minutes... (I tested twice), and it is not even a Quick Charge 2.0 charger which would in theory make an even greater difference.

So for me it is actually more important to see what they scored in battery life, not in recharging time...

If PA make the same battery drain test for every device... it is only fair that they use the same charger for every device for the recharging time test. (at least as an additional comparisson)

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Display5.0 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (294 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Quad-core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches
(142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm)
5.47 oz  (155 g)

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