Moto G: An excellent budget smartphone

by Haadi Bakar
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Forget saving up for a mid-range or premium smartphone if you’re on an extremely tight budget. For just a fraction of the price, you can get a de- cent smartphone that does not skimp on build quality and features.

This particular smartphone is priced within budget range, but it’s not a “budget-class” phone at all.

This little beast is the Moto G from Motorola. Running on a speedy quad-core processor, a high resolution 4.5-inch display and the best pure Google Android OS experience, it’s hard to believe that this handset costs just US$199 (around $250).

At that price point, you could get three of these and give them to your kids (if you’re a parent). You could easily get one as a backup phone or an emergency replacement if you break or lose your current handset.

The Moto G in black. Image courtesy of Motorola.

When holding and using the Moto G, you could deceive others into thinking that you’re using a high-end device.

Most entry-level phones are often poor build quality, with a slow processor, small and low-resolution display and don’t really look attractive in the design department.

The Moto G does not have a premium package like the flagship smartphones, but it still stands out from the entry-level and even mid-range smartphone category.

The Moto G is really well made, and although it’s made of plastic, it feels extremely sturdy. The back is slightly curved, which makes the handset comfortable to hold.

The back cover is swappable too, and there’s a myriad of colours to choose from (sold separately) if you decide to give it a new look in the future.

The Moto G’s performance is fast and smooth, thanks to the quad-core, 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM running under the hood.

The display is also pretty impressive for an entry-level handset. It’s larger than many entry-level Android smartphones out there at 4.5 inches. That’s larger than an iPhone.

Unlike most entry-level Android smartphones with awful display (they’re notably dim and low-res), the Moto G’s screen features a bright, responsive and pixel-dense screen set an impressive 720p resolution.

At 329 pixels per inch, text and icons look razor-sharp and images look much more detailed.

On the software side, the Moto G runs a stock build of Android 4.4 KitKat. Again, many budget phones run on outdated software. The Moto G is comparable to a Google Nexus

phone, devoid of all the awful bloatware that often plague other Android phones.

I have been insisting to a lot of people to go pure Android OS if they want a true Android experience. Android 4.4 KitKat is buttery smooth, easy to use, and powerful when used at its fullest potential.

My only gripe with the Moto G is the 5- megapixel camera, which is pretty underwhelming when compared to the optics on high-end smartphones. If a high quality phone camera is your priority, the Moto G may not be for you.

Furthermore, there’s no expandable memory for this phone, either. You’re only limited to 8GB internal memory and 16GB for a step-up model.

The Moto G also does not support 4G networks. So if 4G connectivity is what you’re after, then you are in the wrong smartphone territory. But for the rest of us, 3G is still more than enough for everyday use.

These compromises are necessary to help Motorola bring the price of the Moto G down to under US$200.

If you can live without a high quality smartphone camera, expandable storage and 4G connectivity, then the Moto G is just too good to pass up.

In addition, this could be the only phone of its kind from Motorola following its recent departure from Google (it’s bought by Lenovo). So getting this phone is kind of a col- lector’s item.

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