At the other end of the mobile phone spectrum, we are increasing seeing a wide range of devices that are “good-enough” solutions for the ordinary user. Not many high end mobile phone users actually exploit the power they wield within their palm on anything particularly hardware intensive. Gaming certainly does not count.
Enter the Motorola G. It’s possibly Motorola’s best kept secret this side of the world as I’ve not seen any marketing for the phone. A great pity because the phone is top of its class and with a reasonable price point as well.
My interest was piqued as the device was very heavily marketed when I was on holiday in South America.
The picture above is of the older Moto G, released in 2013, that received plenty of good reviews as well for its price. Walking about in South America, Motorola seemed to be the only smartphone company promoting its wares.
Its popularity is pretty much down to the affordability of the phone in that region and that even if it were stolen, it wouldn’t be too expensive to replace (mobile phone snatch thefts are very common).
All guts and glory
Given the phone’s modest specs, I was expecting a decent battery life of about 4-5 hours of use but the lifespan went far beyond that. After all, the 2070 mAh battery is small relative to what is offered in the market at the moment. I guess much of the praise has to be extended to how the hardware and software works together to keep the phone chugging.
Understandably, the lack of 4G, and the 294ppi screen would contribute to squeezing every amount of juice that the battery can hold.
With the LG G3 and with its impressive screen as my daily driver, I was worried that I would have never been able to adapt to the Motorola’s screen resolution. Similar to how once you’ve watched HD content you couldn’t possible return to anything standard definition. Text and visual representation wise, the phone’s screen does well enough as a whole. Having constantly reminding myself that this was a budget phone helped with the experience
Running on a version of Android that has close to no hints of manufacturer input, I loved how KitKat 4.4.4 performed on the phone. There were no massive instances of lag and transitions between apps were pretty snappy.
Consumers tend to buy into the hype of features but the Motorola G scores well in all of the departments that matter. If you are looking for a phone that you can bring overseas or even as a backup, the Motorola G is the top consideration.
I could go as far and say that if I was not addicted to the speed of 4G, the Motorola G would be a device that I could easily live with for my day to day.
Life is plastic
Unlike other low end Android phones, the Motorola G is a dream to hold in hand. The plastic case provides ample grip unlike the glass and metal options that many high end phones have. The feel of the material gives me the impression that Motorola expects the phone to see plenty of action. It helps also that the screen is made of Gorilla Glass. A premium feel at a lower price point is always a big bonus.
The rear plastic housing is not entirely smooth and can attract scuff marks. Given a choice, I’d say go for the black if possible. The colour transfer from my pants could be rubbed out easily but just save yourself the trouble.
The one plus point about getting a Motorola G would be the speed at which it receives OS updates on the phone. However, even up to the point at which I had to return the review unit, Lollipop was still not available.
I was really hoping that I could get a glimpse at how well it actually ran on the Motorola G. Alas, it was just not meant to be.
The Morotola G is a solid recommendation that I would readily advise anyone looking for a dual-sim phone to use as a secondary phone especially when travelling. While it’s retail price of SGD$298 puts it above many of its competitors, the experience is well worth shelling out the few additional dollars.