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Motorola Moto G review

Motorola Moto G Review - The Phone to Connect the Millions

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Launch SRP S$318
Latest Price From S$240 (Check Latest Prices)

Overall rating 8.5/10
Design:
8
Features:
7.5
User-Friendliness:
8
Performance:
8.5
Value:
8.5
THE GOOD
Clean, simple design
Good handling
Smooth performance
Dual SIM
Affordable
THE BAD
Only 8GB model available here
No memory card slot
No 4G LTE connectivity
Imaging performance can be better


Imaging, Benchmark Performance and Conclusion

Performance Benchmarks

The Moto G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB RAM, which isn't too shabby for a phone at this price. 

We will be comparing the Moto G against other phones of its class which include the Desire 601, LG Optimus F5, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and Sony Xperia SP. While we understand that Samsung has other models that are closer in price range to the Moto G, we did not have a chance to review these models.

Motorola Moto G vs The Competition
  Motorola Moto G HTC Desire 601 LG Optimus F5 Nokia Lumia 625 Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Sony Xperia SP
Launch SRP
  • From S$318
  • From S$498
  • From S$498
  • From S$399
  • From S$698
  • From S$598
Latest Price
  • From S$240
  • From S$330
  • From S$265
  • From S$525
  • From S$280
Operating system
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (Upgradable to Android 4.4 KitKat)
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • Windows Phone 8
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core 1.4GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.2GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.2GHz Dual-core
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core 1.7GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core 1.7GHz
Built-in Memory
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GB
  • 1GB RAM
  • 512MB RAM
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
Display
  • 4.5-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels / IPS
  • 4.5-inch / 960 x 540 pixels / TFT
  • 4.3-inch / 960 x 540 pixels / IPS
  • 4.7-inch / 800 x 480 pixels / IPS LCD, Super sensitive touch with Sunlight Readability
  • 4.3-inch / 960 x 540 pixels / Super AMOLED
  • 4.6-inch / 1280 x 720 resolution / TFT with durable tempered glass
Camera
  • Rear: 5-megapixel autofocus with LED flash
  • Front: 1.3-megapixel
  • Rear: 5MP / Autofocus / HTC Image Chip
  • Front: VGA (VGA Camcorder encoding)
  • Rear: 5 Megapixels / Autofocus with LED flash
  • Front: 1.3 Megapixels
  • Rear: 5MP / Autofocus with two-stage capture key, 4x digital zoom, LED flash
  • Front: 640 x 480 pixels
  • Rear: 8 Megapixels
  • Front: 1.9 Megapixels
  • Rear: 8 Megapixels / 16x digital zoom, Sony Exmor RS for mobile
  • Front: VGA
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with GLONASS
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0 with aptX enabled, DLNA, HTC Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, AGPS with GLONASS
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio connector
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0 LE, NFC, IR LED (Remote Control), micro-USB 2.0
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, DLNA, NFC, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio output jack, MHL support
Storage Type
  • 8GB internal storage
  • 8GB internal storage
  • microSD card (up to 64GB)
  • 8GB internal storage
  • micro-SD support up to 32GB
  • 8GB internal storage
  • 7GB free cloud storage on SkyDrive
  • microSD card support up to 64GB
  • 8GB internal storage
  • micro-SD support up to 64GB
  • 8GB internal storage
  • micro-SD support up to 32GB
Battery
  • 2,070mAh
  • 2,100mAh
  • 2,150mAh
  • 2,000mAh
  • 1,900mAh
  • 2,370mAh
Dimensions
  • 129.9 x 65.9 x 6.0~11.6mm
  • 134.5 x 66.7 x 9.88mm
  • 126.04 x 64.46 x 9.30mm
  • 133.25 x 72.25 x 9.15mm
  • 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94mm
  • 130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98mm
Weight
  • 143g
  • 130g
  • 131.1g
  • 159g
  • 107g
  • 155g

 

Quadrant Results

Quadrant evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performances. The Moto G leads the pack in the Quadrant benchmark with a score of 8,562. As a point of comparison, the Moto G outperformed the one-year-old 5-inch Sony Xperia Z (7615) in this benchmark. 

 

3DMark Results

Originally developed as a PC benchmarking tool, 3DMark is now expanded to support multiple platforms including Android OS. The Ice Storm benchmark is designed for smartphones, mobile devices and ARM architecture computers.

For an in-depth understanding of 3DMark for Android, do head over to our article, "3DMark - Android Device GPU Performance Review." In a nutshell, 3DMark consists of two test sections:

3DMark Ice Storm is an OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark test that uses fixed off-screen rendering at 720p then scales the output to fit the native display resolution of your device. Ice Storm includes two graphics tests designed to stress the GPU performance of your device and a physics test to stress its CPU performance.

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme raises the off-screen rendering resolution to 1080p and uses higher quality textures and post-processing effects to create a more demanding load for the latest smartphones and tablets.

The Moto G had the most consistent 3DMark scores among the phones compared. It may not beat the Adreno GPUs found in Snapdragon 600-equipped phones, but it's decent enough.

  

SunSpider Javascript

SunSpider Javascript measures the browsing performance of a device. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience. The Moto G performed above average in this benchmark, coming in third after the Nokia Lumia 625 and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

For day-to-day usage, we find the speed of operation on the Moto G to be surprisingly fast. Although it is apparent that the Nexus devices are the most fluid in terms of user experience, we are impressed with how well the Moto G performed for its specs. Clearly, this has to do with the heavy optimization that's applied on the software side.

 

Imaging Performance

The Moto G is equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera with a LED flash and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera. While these specs are nothing to shout about, the camera interface deserves a special mention.

Overall, it's quite easy to get a hang of the interface. Swiping in from the left of the display brings up settings where you can enable HDR, flash, tap to focus and expose, slow motion video, panorama, location, change aspect ratio (16:9 to 4:3) and shutter sound.

Swiping in from the right side brings you straight to the gallery. What we really like about Moto G's camera interface is its ability to tap on any area to snap a photo, making the experience a fun and natural one.

 

Battery Performance

Our standard battery test for mobile phones includes the following parameters:

• Looping a 800 x 480-pixel video with screen brightness and volume at 100%

• Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on

• Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

 

The Moto G lasted 6 hours and 32 minutes in our standard battery test, which is considered above average among the phones compared. While it has a 4.5-inch HD display with a rather small battery capacity, it's able to outlast phones with smaller, lower resolution displays and larger battery capacities. This is evident in the Power Consumption chart where the Moto G registered the second lowest power consumption among the six phones.

 

Portability

We measure the portability of a device by calculating its battery life to (weight x volume) ratio. The Moto G also ranks above most of its peers; its good battery life and compact form factor translate to a good overall score.

In a gist, can the Moto G last a day of heavy usage? For this reviewer, the answer is yes. 

 

Conclusion

Is the Moto G the smartphone choice for the next 500 million consumers? We think so.

While consumers in developed countries desire fast speeds, speedy mobile connectivity and other high-end specs, the Moto G fits the bill for the next 500 million consumers who are jumping on the smartphone bandwagon for the first time and who want a phone that provides a smooth user experience without burning a hole in their pocket. The latest and greatest specs do not excite them, but a phone that gives them plenty of bang for the buck does.

The lack of 4G LTE connectivity, average imaging performance and limited storage space can be frustrating, but the Moto G offers much more than what its price tag suggests. It's hard to not be tempted by the S$318 price tag as there is hardly any equal in this price category. (That said, this same version sells in the U.S. for US$179.)

Still, within the Android camp and in Singapore, most phones of this class are priced closer to S$500. Beyond the Android family, the closest competitor is the Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia 625 which costs about S$80 more. It has a bigger display with a lower resolution, boasts comparable performance and has a micro-SD card slot. But if you're attracted to Android, the latter is a non-starter in the first place.

The Moto G is tentatively scheduled for a launch in Singapore on January 16 (yes, about a week from now!). A Brightstar spokesperson told HardwareZone that the company is working to bring the device into the local market as early as possible.

Hello again, Moto.