Motorola Moto G Review: almost THE perfect phone

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

Full Review

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.

Moto G desktop

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.

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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.

Moto G Play Music

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.

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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.

Motorola Moto G Review: rear

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.

Also read:  Hands on review, Photos, Unboxing of the Asus Zenfone 2

Class: Mid-range Smartphone
In-Class rating: 9.6/10

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

9 thoughts on “Motorola Moto G Review: almost THE perfect phone

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm
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    Some specs have been quoted wrongly o:
    – the screen is 4.5″.
    – The phone is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 CPU Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7.

    The missing SD storage option is common with quite a number of Android phones, even flagships. The Moto G, however, has the USB OTG function, so you can plug a flash drive or any other peripheral.

    The camera should have been a 8mp, but I guess that’s Motorola’s way of cutting cost too. The non removable battery too is something they could have done away with, but considering reports that the phone is hydrophobic (wouldn’t say water proof abi na water resistant cos it doesn’t have an IP57 certification), its forgiveable.

    Being on stock android, its left to the user to squeeze more functionality out of the phone, in the form of apps. You know, “there is an app for that”.

    • March 19, 2014 at 10:08 pm
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      biola129,

      Thanks for pointing those two errors out. Now fixed.

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:47 pm
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    “With a 4.3-inch display”
    is still up there at the beginning of the review.
    would have preferred this phone if it were a dual sim phone.

    • March 20, 2014 at 6:32 am
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      There is a dual-sim version

  • March 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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    Good review. I do have the 16g edition of the Moto G which I bought from Amazon and I’d like to add some observations to this review. I have had the device for around 6 months now and think it’s a fairly decent hardware, given its price.

    Battery Life:

    This review says the battery life is average but I don’t fully agree. The phone takes me through a day and half of normal use. By normal use I mean with data connection turned on plus regular calls, emails and browsing occasionally with the Dolphin browser. My Galaxy S4 demands to be recharged more frequently than this Moto G and I am pleased with it.

    Per the non-removable battery, I can say its equally not a problem once you get used to it. The phone, like every other smartphone requires to be plugged in at night but if you fail to charge it then, it can get you through additional hours of the next day.

    Performance:

    The phone, after six months of usage I can conclude is not a powerful device that gets you through apps with a breeze. It stalls quite frequently, particularly after hours of use and requires a reset. One notable instance, I use the Swype app and swyping across the keyboard lags remarkably. This is something that occurs even when no other apps are running in the background.

    Display:

    The author is correct, the display is decent enough indoors but requires full brightness to be used outdoors, just like every other device I know.

    Camera:

    Camera is poor. There’s no other way to spin it. If you’re interested in taking pictures with your phone and care about the quality of the pictures then this phone will disappoint you. Even in bright conditions, the pictures still manage to come off poorly.

    Storage:

    Per the storage, the 16g version gives you around 11 to 12g of space. Not too shabby but certainly not enough for most power users and this for me is a major deal breaker, unlike the non-removable battery.

    Conclusion:

    The Moto G is an average device. There’s nothing extraordinary about it aside the display, which easily matches the display of some high end phones. I like its heft, the solid way it fits in my palm but I do not like how easily oiled up the back gets. The audio is average but I use an expensive headset so it gives me some great thumps and I would never play music or watch movies without it.

    Would I recommend the Moto G, surely, but to non-demanding users. Is it okay to use as a backup phone, yes and that is what I use it as.

    • March 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm
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      6 months ke? I guess you meant to say 6 weeks. A back up phone, in my books, will be a Nokia Dual Sim torch light phone.

  • March 22, 2014 at 6:12 am
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    Camera Poor? Do u mean average? Cos my own moto g produces nice puctures, but then again it could be the magic of the photographer ¯..(•?.? •? )../¯

  • July 26, 2014 at 1:18 am
    Permalink

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  • October 2, 2014 at 11:53 am
    Permalink

    I mistakenly switch the phone to speak on and since then i could not assess the menu setting to revert to the original status.My phone details are:
    MOTOROLA G
    MODEL: XT1032-8GB.

    Regards

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