The Motorola G is a handy, well built Android smartphone. With a 4.5-inch display, it is within the range of what I call the optimum size for the vast majority of smartphone users. It has a beautiful display that disappoints outdoors, but if you crank the brightness up, it is usable in direct sunlight. The beauty of the Moto G is that it does not excel or fail at any one thing. It is almost the perfect smartphone if you want something that works across the board at a mid-range price.
The Moto G has only one con as far as I can tell:
– no microSD card slot
The Moto G looks and feels good in the hand. However, it is something of a grease magnet. Switching on the Moto G, one is welcomed by a custom Motorola startup sequence, and then one may choose to setup Google services or just go ahead and use the phone unconnected. Good show.
The 4.5-inch display is good. However, it washes away in direct sunlight. If you increase the display’s brightness though, it is usable under that condition. However, note that the Moto G has only average battery life. As such, increasing the brightness will impact battery consumption.
Motorola Moto G Review: Software
Because the Moto G runs stock Android, it gets Android software updates immediately they are available. Right after setting up this unit, I received a notification for Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. The entire update happened Over-The-Air (OTA). So, if you want an Android smartphone that is always up-to-date software-wise, the Moto G is a very smart choice.
Motorola has included some of its own software – Motorola FM Radio, Motorola Migrate, as well as an app to help you protect your phone in case of theft or loss.
Motorola Moto G Review: Performance
Performance is quite good in general. It is powered by a 1.2 quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The Moto G runs along nicely. There are some occasional and minor lags – but too insignificant for it to be a real pain. Of course; it doesn’t run as smooth as flagships with much more powerful processors, but as I have alluded to, the difference is minimal.
Motorola Moto G Review: Media
The Moto G packs a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash. Photos are generally good without being outstanding. I have seen better 5 MP shots in my lifetime, and I have also seen much worse. You will hear me repeat it all through this review that the Moto G is a compromise phone – a phone that is not stellar, yet is far from being the worst in its class. The camera interface has been simplified and is easy to use once you figure things out by following on-screen instructions the first time.
Music playback on the built-in loudspeaker is of above average quality though. It is loud enough too. The default music player is named Play Music. It has a very nice tile-like UI. It has options to play on repeat, shuffle tracks, add to queue, and add to playlists. It also has an equalizer, and you can add your Google account to connect the player with Google Play Music if you are a user.
Motorola Moto G Review: Email Attachments
Oddly, I found that I could not attach anything other than media files to outgoing emails, but that was quickly solved as soon as I noticed that there was no file manager pre-installed. I downloaded a file manager from Play Store, and presto, problem solved. Don’t forget this if you send email attachments for work.
Motorola Moto G Review: Battery Life
If you are frugal with the Moto G, it can see you through a day without needing to charge it in between. However, if you are a more demanding user, you will need to plug it in at least twice a day.
Motorola Moto G Review: Settings
The Settings menu is not available via the menu key. Instead, you need to pull down the drop-down menu and select the icon at the top-right corner, then Settings. It feels like a longer route, if you ask me. Tapping the Menu key now brings up a vertical column of recently used apps, so you can switch between apps easily.
The only negative of the Motorola Moto G is the lack of a micro-SD crad slot. That means that you are stuck with either 8GB or 16GB of memory space (depending on the model) that is built-in. Besides that, everything else on the Moto G makes it a superb deal for its price.Anyone – even those used to flagships – can use the Motorola G without horrible withdrawal symptoms. It is that good. It is almost THE perfect phone.
The Moto G is not officially available in Nigeria now. For the most part, you can get one mostly from individuals who bring them in or by private arrangements of your own.
Class: Mid-range Smartphone
In-Class rating: 9.6/10
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.