comscore Motorola Moto G Review: A budget smartphone that punches above its weight
Review

Motorola Moto G Review: A budget smartphone that punches above its weight

motorola-moto-g-review-1

motorola-moto-g-review-11In 2013, four out of every 10 smartphones sold in the world were priced below $200 (approximately Rs 12,500), according to IDC. Shocking as it may sound, there is not a single Android smartphone in this price segment that stands out. Most smartphone vendors manage to hit that price point by cutting corners and using inferior quality components. This is more the case with tier one vendors, who struggle to let go of overhead costs and margin pressures. The result is that users are expected to make compromises and they have been forced to adhere to the notion that you can only get so much at this price. Also Read - Best gaming phones under Rs 25,000 to buy in India in October 2021

Also Read - Phones launching next week: Pixel 6 series, Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, Motorola Edge S, more

Motorola seeks to change that with the Moto G. Priced at Rs 12,499 for the 8GB variant and Rs 13,999 for the 16GB version, Motorola claims that the Moto G can provide the same experience as a flagship smartphone at a third of the price. Does it? Let’s find out. Also Read - Phones launched last week: Realme GT Neo 2, Moto E40, OnePlus 9RT, and more

At a glance, the Moto G is a nondescript smartphone devoid of any special design touches. The front, like every other smartphone, is dominated by the display but comes without any dedicated menu buttons – those are now on-screen. By default it comes in all black color, though users can buy shells and flap covers in myriad colors and add some life to the otherwise boring design.

But hold the phone and everything changes. The back is slightly curved that makes the phone comfortable to hold. Even though it is made of plastic, the Moto G feels extremely sturdy. Everything snaps into place perfectly and the phone does not creak when held tightly. The back panel doesn’t flex either. The Moto G’s overall build quality is much better than what we get from other products priced much higher than it.

motorola-moto-g-review-13On the specifications front, the Motorola Moto G is not exactly game changing. So we are looking at a 4.5-inch 720p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor humming at 1.2GHz with 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 305 GPU. Other features include dual-SIM support with both SIM card slots being 3G-enabled, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera. There is a 2,070mAh non-removable battery and it comes in 8GB and 16GB variants. It lacks a microSD card slot.

But specs on paper tell just half the story. The Moto G’s specs might sound similar to those available from local Indian smartphone brands but what differentiates the two is the quality and performance. Let’s start with the display. There are many brands that come with a 720p display at this price point but we are yet to come across any that can provide the same color reproduction, viewing angles and sunlight visibility as the Moto G’s display. The display is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 protective layer, which means coins or keys in the pocket won’t scratch the display. I have been using the Moto G for a week now and I’m not the most careful user, often ending up with two phones or a phone along with coins or keys in the same pocket. There’s not a single scratch on the display.

motorola-moto-g-review-4Rather than using an older generation processor, which is what many smartphone vendors do at this price point, Motorola has gone for the latest Qualcomm chipset aimed at this price segment. With an almost stock Android UI, using the Moto G does not feel very different from using a high-end smartphone for most daily tasks. Of course, there is a noticeable performance dip if one is multitasking with processor intensive tasks. However, in my usage, I didn’t encounter that very often.

Apart from the specifications and build quality, Motorola has added a very unique feature at this price point – it has added a water repellant nano coating both inside and outside the device. It does not mean that you can submerge it in a bowl of water (though there are videos online demonstrating that), but having this feature gives a sense of security that nothing will happen to the phone in case you accidentally spill anything on it or get caught in the rain.

motorola-moto-g-review-6Motorola has been able to take all these hardware components and mesh them together into a pleasing experience. While other vendors try to differentiate themselves with various skins and launchers on top of Android, it is the Moto G with its almost pure stock Android that stands out from the crowded smartphone market. It provides the most fluid user experience at this price point and in certain situations can even compete with some of the flagship smartphones. The Moto G currently runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but Motorola has already started rolling out Android 4.4.2 KitKat update in some countries and has promised to release the update in India in coming days.

The one area where the Moto G disappoints is its camera. While the photos usually come out with decent sharpness and color reproduction, those are good enough just to post on social networks. You would rarely every get a shot that would make your jaw hit the floor. Yes, its camera quality would be similar if not slightly better than competing smartphones in this price segment but that is the standard the Moto G has set for itself – a low priced smartphone does not have to mean the user should compromise on the experience and be constantly reminded that they are using a budget smartphone.

motorola-moto-g-review-7Using the Moto G as a primary smartphone for a week has been nothing short of a revelation. For doing most of the regular tasks, the Moto G does not feel as if you are using a budget smartphone. Watching videos on its 329ppi display, browsing the web with its HSPA+ connectivity (most phones in this price range top out at HSPA) or just the build quality of the phone makes it feel more premium than phones priced much higher.

Then there is the battery, which consistently lasted me about 15 hours of heavy usage that included about 4 hours of browsing, an hour of calls, two email accounts configured for push, two Twitter accounts and one Facebook account. I had 3G switched on at all times with occasional Wi-Fi usage. Another thing I noticed was, plugging in the phone to charge even for 15 minutes would add an hour or so of overall battery life.

But that does not mean there is nothing amiss in the Moto G. I believe Motorola should have given a microSD card slot in the Moto G. It would have been perfectly alright with even 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot instead of having 8GB and 16GB variants. I wonder if Motorola could have priced the Moto G even lower had it done that? The back cover gets dirty easily and seems to pick up skin grease while the gap between the raised edges and the display is a perfect spot for dust and pocket lint to accumulate. The camera could have been better too.

Despite these shortcomings, the Moto G provides a far better experience than most smartphones – even those priced at Rs 20,000. I find the 4.5-inch display size to be perfect for one-handed usage. If you are in the market looking for the greatest smartphone priced below Rs 20,000, look no further. Even if you have a budget higher than Rs 20,000 and are not much into gaming or photography, even then the Moto G is a great buy!

Photographs: Paranjay Dutt

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: February 14, 2014 9:41 AM IST
  • Updated Date: January 12, 2015 3:51 PM IST


You Might be Interested

Motorola Moto G

9999

Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.4.2 (KitKat)
Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
5 MP, 2592*1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash

new arrivals in india

Realme 8i
Realme 8i

13,999

Realme 8s 5G
Realme 8s 5G

17,999

Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime

12,499

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

35,999

Samsung Galaxy M32 5G
Samsung Galaxy M32 5G

20,999

Vivo Y33s
Vivo Y33s

17,990

Realme C21Y
Realme C21Y

8,999

Vivo Y21
Vivo Y21

15,490

Realme GT Master Edition
Realme GT Master Edition

25,999

Realme GT 5G
Realme GT 5G

37,999

Itel A48
Itel A48

6,399

Motorola Edge 20
Motorola Edge 20

29,999

Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion

21,499

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

84,999

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

1,49,999

Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)

13,999

Nokia C20 Plus
Nokia C20 Plus

8,999

Vivo Y53s
Vivo Y53s

19,490

Tecno Pova 2
Tecno Pova 2

10,999

Infinix Smart 5A
Infinix Smart 5A

6,499

Micromax In 2b
Micromax In 2b

8,999

Vivo Y72 5G
Vivo Y72 5G

20,990

Tecno Camon 17
Tecno Camon 17

12,999

Tecno Camon 17 Pro
Tecno Camon 17 Pro

16,999

Realme C11 2021
Realme C11 2021

6,999

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G

39,990

Oppo Reno6 5G
Oppo Reno6 5G

29,990

Samsung Galaxy M21 2021
Samsung Galaxy M21 2021

12,499

OnePlus Nord 2
OnePlus Nord 2

27,999

Poco F3 GT
Poco F3 GT

27,999

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

19,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Best Sellers