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Moto G Review

I recently had to replace my aging mobile and after spending some time looking about at different options. I ended up struggling between choosing the Nexus 5 and the Moto G. In the end I ordered up a Moto G and have been thoughly enjoying it. As a small disclaimer I am upgrading from a fairly old HTC Desire C so it is not like I am coming from a hugely high end phone.

The Good

The screen is a 4.5 inch 720x1280 IPS LCD, although not as high definition as current high end phones the screen certainly looks excellent and feels plenty high definition. I am not even convinced I would notice the extra pixels on a 1080x1920 panel. I have become quite attached to the 4.5 inch form factor as well, it is large enough to provide a very good web browsing experience but just small enough to fit in my pocket. My old phone was 3.5 inch which did fit nicely into any pocket you might want to chuck it into, but it felt like you were struggling for screen space a lot of the time. The interface also feels snappy and responsive, there seems to be plenty of horse power to drive the hardware, which I understand can often be a problem with cheaper phones weilding higher resolution screens. I have not noticed any slow down at any point, unlike my old phone which often struggled whilst rendering more complex websites.

As for the more mundane but never the less important phone features. The battery life seems pretty good easily making it through a day for me, with fairly heavy Spotify usage and a good bit of web browsing. The screen seems to be the main power sink so really significant browsing time during the day, or a lot of gaming might cause problems. The reception also seems good for both the mobile telecomms and the Wi-Fi. The phone has full support for USB host mode as well so some fun and games can be had hooking up different devices to the phone, I have played around with a keyboard and USB stick both worked well.

Motorola have promised an Android KitKat upgrade is coming so with a bit of luck we know the software should be staying relatively updated as well. The bootloader is easily unlockable, and the hardware seems to be a fairly standard Qualcomm setup so it seems reasonable that getting a custom ROM booting shouldn't be too horrific as a fallback option.

Finally, the best thing about the phone surely has to be the price. I have the 8Gb model and it cost me a mere £130. It seems like a good move on Google's part to be releasing a high quality low end phone to somewhat cap the level of terrible Android phones that could be commerically viable, but even so this is an exceptional offering at that price. Additionally, the price is cheap enough that it is very easy to buy it out of contract, which means I don't have to tolerate delayed Android updates and terrible mobile operator crapware being installed. Indeed I usually want to buy a phone direct rather than as part of a contract, but the price difference is usually so severe that I have to choose the contract option. In this case SIM only plus the phone worked out cheaper, a very pleasent development.

The Bad

Obviously, Motorola had to cut a few things to get the phone out at this cost. The most noticable of these is the absence of an SD card slot, this could be a problem if you store a lot of music on your phone or install a significant amount of large apps (games tend to be prime suspects here). I don't tend to do either of these things and indeed my last phone managed with a 2Gb card for its whole life. There is no HDMI output as well, which I might have liked to play with but doubt I would really have actually made much use of it.

The only other things I can really find to complain about are the Motorola crap-ware and the slightly poor camera. I would have preferred if the phone would have run stock Android and didn't come with a few uninstallable Motorola apps, but in the grand scheme of things it is a lot closer to stock Android than the offerings from almost all other providers so I am willing to live with this. The camera as well is ok but not great. The camera is better than the one on my old Desire C but does seem lacking compared to other contempary models. An LED flash is included which does help with the low light issues that tend to be the bain of mobile cameras, but I do find it struggles to get a good focus at times especially when the focus of the picture is fairly far afield.

Wrapping Up

So overall a fantastic phone for a £130, not perfect but very good. If you need lots of local storage or a very good camera, perhaps consider something else but otherwise I can't recommend the Moto G enough.

Hope a merry christmas was had by all and happy new year.