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Motorola Officially Unveils the Insanely Affordable Moto G

By , Photography by Marcus Yam - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

The Moto G is available today in select markets but won't arrive in the United States until January.

Motorola today announced the Moto G, its latest Moto handset, with hopes it will dominate the mid-range smartphone market. The the Moto G's screen was described as "the hero feature" of the phone, you can't talk about the Moto G without first talking about its incredible price. The Moto G comes in both 8 GB and 16 GB variations and 8 GB model will be available unlocked, SIM-free and off contract for $179. The 16 GB model will cost just $199. Again, that's SIM-free, off contract pricing, and the phone is unlocked when purchased straight from Motorola.

The Moto G packs Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU and 1 GB of RAM as well as a 4.5-inch 720p display (329 ppi), 5-megapixel camera in the back, a 1.3-megapixel lens up front, 2700 2070 mAh battery and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Motorola, a Google-owned company, is promising an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat in January. [UPDATE: due to a miscommunication, the battery capacity of the Moto G is a more down-to-earth 2070 mAh.]

In line with the Moto X and its customization options, the Moto G is also a highly customizable phone. Motorola is offering numerous snap on covers that customers can use to jazz up their phone. Unlike the Moto X, it seems customers won't have the ability to customize the color of the phone ahead of its manufacture, so the covers are something you'll have to buy separately after you get your phone.

The Moto G is launching in Brazil today (Motorola's event was held in Sao Paulo) and in parts of Europe as well. Canada will get it within the month on Telus and its Koodo brand, while the U.S. won't get it until January. 

Check out our hands-on video here of the Moto G.

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  • 5 Hide
    PepitoTV , November 13, 2013 9:03 AM
    I'm throwing money at my screen but nothing happens...
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , November 13, 2013 9:15 AM
    Truly a remarkable,phone spec wise for that price. Look at that battery on 4.5"
  • 2 Hide
    Vorador2 , November 13, 2013 9:29 AM
    The true successor to the Nexus 4. Pretty good specs for an unbeatable price.

    If it has MicroSD slot nothing else could be asked for.
  • -1 Hide
    S Brideau , November 13, 2013 9:29 AM
    Not affordable at all considering you can get an LG phone of the same range for $70 less.
  • -4 Hide
    S Brideau , November 13, 2013 9:30 AM
    Although not as good specs
  • 5 Hide
    razor512 , November 13, 2013 9:42 AM
    why couldn't they have included a micro SD card slot, that simple addition would have allowed it to crush much of the competition.
  • 4 Hide
    PepitoTV , November 13, 2013 10:22 AM
    Aww, I was pretty excited about the 2700mAh battery
  • 3 Hide
    JD88 , November 13, 2013 10:39 AM
    Awesome phone that will likely run smooth as butter on stock android. They should be ready to sell millions of these, especially in developing countries.
  • -6 Hide
    Bloob , November 13, 2013 11:00 AM
    I think I'd rather go with Lumia 620, smaller PPI though.
  • 0 Hide
    the1kingbob , November 13, 2013 11:00 AM
    Ouch, battery life just took a punch to the face... Life should be compared to other devices now..
  • 2 Hide
    thundervore , November 13, 2013 11:03 AM
    This ia a great off contact phone. Stock Android and no bloatware from the carriers. The only downside is no MicroSD slot. If that was included this would have been the best phone on the market for years to come especially when you can grab a UHS-1 32GB microSD card for $25.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , November 13, 2013 11:05 AM
    Stock Android makes me quite happy - I actually avoid buying Samsung Android products because they put so much crap in with the OS. If not for being stuck in a contract for one more year, I'd strongly consider getting one of these.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , November 13, 2013 11:20 AM
    Quote:
    Stock Android makes me quite happy - I actually avoid buying Samsung Android products because they put so much crap in with the OS. If not for being stuck in a contract for one more year, I'd strongly consider getting one of these.


    Good point. Stock Android also runs much better on lower end hardware. My 2012 Nexus 7 still runs like brand new on 1GB of RAM and a Tegra 3. I can't tell any difference in performance between it and my Aunt's 2013 model with much better specs. Kit Kat should make that even better. Frequent upgrades on these things are also a big plus.

    I think we're going to start seeing a price war now that performance is starting to top out.

  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , November 13, 2013 11:42 AM
    Maybe in the short term JD, but my expectation - and don't quote me on it - is that we'll start to see phone/tablet performance tablet start to compete off of the built-in screen. With devices being more and more capable of outputting and streaming and miniaturization being one of the primary focuses of R&D these days, I'm rather expecting the performance wars to move to what the phone can output onto a big screen. Come into a house, hook up to the network there, and have your phone's screen output to the big screen display for games and movies and whatnot. I mean, if you can get a phone now which is more powerful than an XBOX/PS3, I think we're just a few short leaps from obsoleting the "big central computer" philosophy in the PC world.

    Now, of course, this would still be a few years off, and this could go the way of cloud computing instead - but cloud computing still suffers from a lot of pitfalls that having a centralized device doesn't, and the two working in tandem is more likely in the next decade or so than everything going pure cloud with stripped down devices.

    We'll see. I do doubt we've actually reached a plateau with mobile devices though - just a pleateau for mobile devices on those tiny little screens.
  • 0 Hide
    jcperes , November 13, 2013 11:42 AM
    While in US it will cost US$199, here in Brazil, it will probably cost the equivalent to $500. And NO it isn't only duo to high taxes, but mainly because brazilian consumer is stupid enough to pay whatever the price is to show its new phone to friends and family. Iphone 5S will cost here the equivalent to US$ 1350 for 16GB model and US$ 1550 for the 64GB model. Thinking the 16GB 5C is more affordable ? Only US$ 1000!
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , November 13, 2013 12:06 PM
    Quote:
    Maybe in the short term JD, but my expectation - and don't quote me on it - is that we'll start to see phone/tablet performance tablet start to compete off of the built-in screen. With devices being more and more capable of outputting and streaming and miniaturization being one of the primary focuses of R&D these days, I'm rather expecting the performance wars to move to what the phone can output onto a big screen. Come into a house, hook up to the network there, and have your phone's screen output to the big screen display for games and movies and whatnot. I mean, if you can get a phone now which is more powerful than an XBOX/PS3, I think we're just a few short leaps from obsoleting the "big central computer" philosophy in the PC world.

    Now, of course, this would still be a few years off, and this could go the way of cloud computing instead - but cloud computing still suffers from a lot of pitfalls that having a centralized device doesn't, and the two working in tandem is more likely in the next decade or so than everything going pure cloud with stripped down devices.

    We'll see. I do doubt we've actually reached a plateau with mobile devices though - just a pleateau for mobile devices on those tiny little screens.


    This is also true. In fact, this is what Ubuntu is already doing. When plugged into a dock attached to a large monitor the phone outputs a full desktop OS.

    Performance is already there to do it. Your Surface RT is a good example and the Tegra 3 chip in it is already nearly doubled in performance by the chips in the current flagship phones. Ubuntu and Chrome OS would have even better performance because of their light weight nature.

    I'm interested to see how it works though with mobile devices though. Will tablets and notebooks just have a slot where your phone goes like the ASUS Padphone? Eventually it will probably work wirelessly.

    High end phones will have this option, but I also think we are going to start seeing smartphone price drops as many people wouldn't care about this feature.




  • 0 Hide
    ram1009 , November 13, 2013 12:17 PM
    How can any of you be so naïve as to believe a tiny device like this could ever possibly replace a desktop computer? It just will never happen.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , November 13, 2013 12:33 PM
    Looks like the Moto X, what I like about replaceable covers is the ability to change because you feel like it and/or because of damage. Other-wise, it doesn't seem much different than the X.

    I would like the Motorola Circles to be an option thou...
    And how about a toggle switch to allow Android UI to run in Horizontal mode, like when a Motorola is in its car-dock?
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , November 13, 2013 12:39 PM
    Quote:
    How can any of you be so naïve as to believe a tiny device like this could ever possibly replace a desktop computer? It just will never happen.


    I'm pretty sure this is a troll, but I'll bite.

    Many phones are already more powerful than some desktops from 5 years ago. Will they replace high end gaming rigs in the near future? No, but they can run web browsers, word processors, photo editing tools, and older games with ease. These are the only tools the majority of people need, especially as we transition into using more cloud based services in place of desktop applications.

    This is indeed the future.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D93tDSGrkc

    Here it is in action on a very old Motorloa Atrix phone.

  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , November 13, 2013 1:49 PM
    Quote:

    This is also true. In fact, this is what Ubuntu is already doing. When plugged into a dock attached to a large monitor the phone outputs a full desktop OS.

    Performance is already there to do it. Your Surface RT is a good example and the Tegra 3 chip in it is already nearly doubled in performance by the chips in the current flagship phones. Ubuntu and Chrome OS would have even better performance because of their light weight nature.

    I'm interested to see how it works though with mobile devices though. Will tablets and notebooks just have a slot where your phone goes like the ASUS Padphone? Eventually it will probably work wirelessly.

    High end phones will have this option, but I also think we are going to start seeing smartphone price drops as many people wouldn't care about this feature.



    Not just Ubuntu is anticipating this, I think. Though we don't necessarily agree on the preferable approach, Windows 8 is an obvious attempt to create an operating system that can operate in both capacities - on a tiny touch screen or outputting to a big screen. And yeah, this is exactly what I do with my Surface/Iconia W700 - it is used in its portable capacity on the go, and plugs in and runs very well on a 55 inch TV at home, and with little to no hassle by enthusiast standards.

    Ever since I heard about a graphics card that could output a picture wirelessly though, I've been thinking that this is something that could get a lot of people interested in it - and the recent small but noticeable push for local streaming of video through a network reinforces my thoughts that this is going to be a big thing. Right now and in the near future, you're right - it isn't something that many people are interested in outside of enthusiasts. Part of the problem is that it (usually) requires a micro-HDMI cable which is not a standard item in many households, and that you then need to access often hard to access ports in the back if a free cable isn't loose, and then you probably have to fiddle with graphics settings to get it working optimally. These types of little hitches turn off more casual users in a big way unlike the enthusiast who is used to crawling around the mess of wires behind a PC/TV like some monkey trying to get to a banana. What will it take for this to be a big thing? One, absolute ease of use - true plug and play with video signals, no messing around. Two, wireless streaming or input/output, where one can detect video inputs and outputs like we now detect wifi signals.

    I liken it to the uptake on USB devices. These days, my mom is switches mice and keyboards on the fly like it was nothing. Go back, oh, ten years or more though, and plugging in a device to a USB 1.0 port or a PCI port and you had to be installing software and changing settings and sometimes downloading drivers - my mom thought this was well beyond her. These are all things people could do without *too* much difficulty, but fiddling with a computer like that is well beyond the comfort level of most people. Make it like USB now though, or like connecting to wifi, and even the casual user will happily walk into a household and say "Oh, what's your video network? What's the password? Ok, let me just sync my phone to your TV and let's play a game/view some pictures/whatever."

    The technology for this type of thing is, in my eyes, where USB type technology was ten years ago - on the cusp of becoming really easy. Once it becomes really easy, then those little devices become useable to the casual user in a whole new way that I think they might find they want.

    Quote:
    How can any of you be so naïve as to believe a tiny device like this could ever possibly replace a desktop computer? It just will never happen.


    Really? Believe it or not, you can already do it for all but *extremely* CPU/GPU intensive tasks with tablets you can get for under $400 or less. The tablets of today won't be as powerful as the phones of two years from now. Do you *really* think that a lot of users couldn't get away with using a tablet as a primary computer today, let alone a few years ago? And what makes you think this won't be true of phones - basically small form factor tablets - in a year or two as well?

    Now, that being said, desktops aren't going anywhere any time soon. The thing is, a lot of places where people used to think "oh, you need a desktop PC" are now the domain of tablets, and this is becoming more and more prevalent. I know more than a few people in business who now go to work and use their Surface Pro instead of their desktop PC, and that same Surface is both their home and entertainment device - and Android and iOS are quickly coming into that realm of functionality.

    No, your statement is short sighted. Desktop PC's won't be eclipsed for heavy graphics/CPU usage devices for a while, but for many, many other things, they are already no longer necessary.
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