It was rumored for a while that Motorola has an affordable smartphone in the works. Well, after months of speculations and leaks, the Moto G is finally official and, yes, it’s a cheap smartphone. How cheap? $179-off-contract-cheap.
The rumor mill indicated that the off-contract price of the Moto G will start at $200, but the new Motorola handset is even cheaper than that. The unlocked 8 GB model has a price tag of only $179, while the 16 GB variant will cost $199. What’s even more appealing about the Moto G is that for $179 you will get decent technical specifications. Let’s have a look under the hood.
The Moto G packs a 4.5-inch LCD screen with HD resolution of 1280 x 720 and a pixel density of 326 ppi, while the processing tasks are handled by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 CPU and Adreno 305 GPU. The handset also integrates 1 GB of RAM and 8/16 GB of native storage. Unfortunately, there’s no microSD card support, so if you need more than 16 GB of storage you will have to use cloud storage.
On the front panel you will find a 1.3 MP camera, while Moto G’s back accommodates a 5 MP shutter with LED flash. Both cameras are capable of recording 720p videos at 30 fps. The rear-facing unit also records slow-motion videos, has panorama, burst, and HDR modes.
The Moto G only comes with HSPA+ connectivity, but at this price the LTE might be a trade-off. The connectivity features include GPS, GLONASS, WiFi a/b/g/n, microUSB, and Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. The handset is 129.9 mm tall, 65.9 mm wide, and 6-11.6 mm thick (it has a curved back). Talking about its back, hear that the back lid is removable, and allows the user to switch the cover and customize the look of the smartphone.
A 2,070 mAh keeps Moto G’s lights on, but, despite the removable back lid, the battery is not swappable.
The new handset manufactured by the Google subsidiary runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box, but it lacks Moto X’s software customizations (always-on voice commands, Active Display, Motorola Assist, or wrist-shaking camera quick access). The good news is that Motorola promised to upgrade the Moto G to Android 4.4 KitKat.
Starting this week, the first Moto G units will go on sale in Brazil and certain Europeans countries, while Latin America, Europe, Canada, and parts of Asia will taste the new Jelly Bean-flavoured handset in the next few weeks. The Indian, Middle Eastern, and more Asian markets will be receiving the Moto G as of early January 2014.
As for the US, the Moto G will be sold on Motorola.com, contract free, at the aforementioned prices of $179 (8 GB model) and $199 (16 GB model) starting early January.