Solid value: Motorola’s third-gen G reviewed
Motorola’s G has always been a pretty solid middle ground for anyone looking for a phone that offers value, so can Motorola perfect the G on its third version?
Motorola’s third generation G is here, and with it, a fair amount of new tech as well as some design differences, so let’s get stuck into what the company has in store for Australia’s buyers who don’t want to spend more than $400 for a handset.
First off, they’ll find a plastic body with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor inside, a quad-core chip clocked at 1.4GHz and set out to work with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, the latter of which can be upgraded with a microSD card slot.
Google’s Android 5.1 “Lollipop” runs natively on this phone out of the box, and the experience is said to be pure, with no overlays on top, as per what Motorola learned from Google those years ago.
Cameras can be found here, and the upgrades look good on paper, with a 13 megapixel rear shooter with autofocus and flash, support Full HD 1080p video capture too, while the front-facing camera provides a 5 megapixel module for those selfie needs.
Connections are pretty standard, with 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 with support for Low Energy (LE), and GPS, though there is no support for Near-Field Communication (NFC) in this handset.
You’ll also find Category 4 4G LTE here, providing download speeds as fast as 150Mbps, network dependent, of course. And just to make things a little interesting, Motorola has support for two SIM cards in this handset, with the SIM card slots existing in the microSIM variant.
All of this sits under a 5 inch 720p HD display, providing 1280×720 for the resolution, which in turn offers up roughly 294 pixels per inch of screen clarity. Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 sits on top of this display, and just to make the phone a little more rugged, Motorola equips the 2015 series G with an element of weather-proofing, certifying it for IPX7, which essentially means it can survive immersion for up to 30 minutes in one meter of freshwater.
As is the case with most smartphones, buttons and ports are few and far between, at least exposed ones, with a power button and volume rocker sitting on the right edge, with the ports existing only as a 3.5mm headset jack up top and a microUSB charge and data transfer port at the bottom.
Remaining buttons are all soft and virtual — on screen and digitally represented by Google Android for back, multitask, and home — while remaining ports for the Moto G (G3) can be found under the removable back, which will reveal two microSIM slots and a microSD expandable memory slot.
The battery in the Moto G 2015 edition handset is rated at 2470mAh and is not removable.
These days, when you’re shopping for a phone, it is very easy to get tempted by the big expensive phones. After all, these represent the pinnacle of design and technology for that year, or at least for the few minutes you checked it out on the shelf of some store.
They’re often big, shiny, with sexy screens, great cameras, loud speakers, and high prices.
That last part can be a bit of a problem, however, and not everyone is interested in paying a high price for a phone, and when you factor in how quickly phones get replaced, you can understand why.
We are living in a nearly disposable device society, where we replace phones at a rate of a new one ever year or two, sometimes sooner depending on your cash flow or if an accident has occurred. Telcos have joined in on the action with “new phone feelings” to let you replace annually if a monthly fee is added, and some people just have to have the latest and greatest thing.
As such, you can kind of expect that we’ll all soon have a lot of spare gadgets, that is if we’re not passing them down to others — parents, kids — or selling them on eBay.
So we’re buying phones, and we’re doing this a lot, but not everyone wants to sit in the upper echelon or the high price bracket for mobile spending, and why should they? These days, you can get a perfectly great little device for under $500, as smartphone makers work to capitalise on the mid-range market, an area that isn’t new but is gaining ground quickly due to the realisation that not everyone has dollars to throw at devices.
One of the oldest mobile companies in the world — Motorola — has been doing good business in the middle of the market, too, with its G series being the biggest product the company has ever had in smartphones. We’re not sure how it ranks in the grand scheme of things — is it enough to beat either the StarTAC or RAZR phones? (there are more people using phones these days, so it’s highly possible it is) — but Motorola has said that the G is a big deal for the company.
So in its third iteration, what is the company doing to make it stand out, to hold your hand and say “if it’s time for an upgrade or for your very first phone, you should pick me”?
Pick up the 2015 Moto G and you’ll find a relatively comfortable device, with the five inch size giving a little extra height in comparison to devices like the iPhone 6, with more width and thickness, too.
Plastic is the name of the game here, hardly a surprise given where the G fits in the market, though at least it’s not a plastic that manages to feel grubby in your hands.
Indeed, Motorola has even made the back have texture so that the device is easy to grip and you always know which side you’re holding. If it feels slick and slippery, it’s the glas front, and if not with a ridged texture, guess what, you are holding the back.
All up, it is comfortable and there’s a slight curve in the back design that makes it feel like it conforms ever so slightly to the palm of your hand, allowing you to cradle it easily.