Priced right

  • TECH
  • Monday, 03 Mar 2014

This Android delivers good performance at a great value.

IT IS the norm to assume that the feature of a phone is tied to the price tag. In other words, the more the device costs, the more functions it will have.

We are happy to report that the Moto G Android smartphone quashes this notion. Its price tag puts it smack in the lower mid-range bracket but don’t let this fool you about its actual value, as this Android packs a real punch.

On the surface

The Moto G has a generous 4.5in screen with a high definition (HD) resolution of 1,280 x 720-pixels, something that’s unheard of for devices in this price range.

On the back of the smartphone lies the camera, LED flash and speaker. The speaker is impressively loud with respectable sound quality.

The Moto G’s back cover is changeable. The default back casing is black but there are many other colour options available for purchase for those who would love using their phone as a fashion statement.

Despite the back being detachable, the battery is not user replaceable. As such, users won’t be able to easily change the battery if there are problems with it.

Upon opening the back cover, users will notice two Sim card slots and the Moto G can handle two mobile networks at the same time.

Although the smartphone doesn’t seem to have been designed to be ridiculously slim, the little bit of bulk that it has makes the device feel solid in the hand and pocket. Also, the overall size of the device does not feel obtrusive and shouldn’t cause discomfort when operating with one hand.

The Moto G is available in two different storage options, either with 8GB of internal memory like our review unit, or 16GB. Take note that neither versions come with expandable memory, so heavy users should opt for the 16GB version if they intend to install more apps and store more media.

Big on performance

Under the hood, the Moto G has a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor, Adrena 305 graphics chip and 1GB RAM. While that hardly counts as top-of-the-line hardware, its performance is far from lacking.

Having been accustomed to high-end Android smartphones, we were expecting the budget-priced Moto G’s performance to be less fluid and responsive. However, to our surprise, the reality was quite the opposite.

It’s so smooth at times it felt like it was outperforming its higher-end rivals. Navigating from screen to screen was very pleasant and problem-free, web browsing was a breeze and we hardly suffered from any stuttering or lags.

The Moto G comes pre-installed with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. As the operating system (OS) does not have an additional layer of customisation imposed on it like devices from other popular manufacturers, the user experience will be as close to what Google intended it to be.

An added benefit of running on pure Android is that there is already an official update available to upgrade the device to the latest version of Android which is 4.4.2 KitKat. Whenever a new version is available, devices like the Moto G will be one of the first few to receive updates.

Any gadget is only useful as long as the battery lasts, and the Moto G’s stamina is nothing short of phenomenal. We took it for a spin at 9am which included lots of picture taking and video recording, sprinkled with a good deal of WhatsApp messaging and Facebook browsing in between.

The Moto G only gave a low-battery alert a little after midnight and that’s after 300 pictures and a video.

One minor software bug which seems to plague those who own the device is that the battery indicator can sometimes go bonkers. The indicator will show a drastic drop when in actual fact the battery is okay.

Entertainment machine

As mentioned earlier, the Moto G has a beautiful 4.5in screen. It’s sharp with good colour contrast, making it quite a treat to watch videos. We watched a few HD YouTube videos and they played without problems.

Alas, one aspect of the device that fails to impress is the quality of the camera. Picture quality isn’t as sharp as we were hoping for the 5-megapixel shots to be. In addition, the colour of the pictures taken appeared over exposed at times and dull at other times.

Moto G
REAR VIEW: The camera, LED flash and speaker at the back of the Moto G.
It is a pity that the image quality isn’t great, as the camera has a nice set of features, such as auto HDR. The camera is also capable of shooting slow motion videos.

We put the Moto G’s gaming capabilities to the test by running the graphics-intensive Asphalt 7. The game ran smoothly without any noticeable lags. On top of that, the game looked great on the device’s HD screen. Other games we tested include Fruit Ninja, Subway Surfers and Temple Run, all of which performed smoothly.

Due to the limitation of memory on the Moto G, potential buyers should take note that they wouldn’t be able to install too many of such games at one go, as some of them can take up over 1GB of space.

Final thoughts

The Moto G is a device that is hard not to fall in love with. In addition to its attractive price tag, the experience that this Android smartphone offers is even better than what you will get with some other pricier devices.

Motorola got many things right with the Moto G — a large beautiful screen, smooth user interface, the latest version of Android and excellent battery life.

The few downsides of the Moto G includes the lack of a memory expansion slot, as well as its subpar camera. The device also lacks newer technology such as NFC and LTE connectivity but this is only to be expected from a device in this price range.

Overall, the Moto G is a fun Android device that performs better than many other pricier models.

Pros: Overachiever for its price tag; slick performance; amazing battery life; dual Sim.

Cons: No memory card slot; camera could be better, lacks NFC and LTE.

OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to 4.4.2 (KitKat)
NETWORK: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100
PROCESSOR: Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7, Adreno 305 graphics chip.
DISPLAY: 4.5in (1,280 x 720-pixels) In-Plane Switching (IPS) LCD touchscreen
CAMERA: 5-megapixel with LED flash (back), 1.3-megapixel (front)
MEMORY: 8GB Internal memory
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, WiFi 802.11 bgn
OTHER FEATURES: Dual Sim card slot, water repellent coating
BATTERY: 2,070mAh lithium-ion
SIZE: 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6mm
WEIGHT: 143g
RATING: 4.5/5stars
Review unit courtesy of Brightstar Distribution Sdn Bhd, (03) 7940-2888





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Science & Technology , Android; Moto


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