Moto G – Best in Class
I‘ve been using my Motorola Moto G now for over a year and having experienced numerous Windows, iOS and Android phones in the past, I have to say that this really is a best in class mobile phone.
I had been using iPhones for the last 5 years and been desperate to switch for sometime, but having tried a number of Android devices, I just couldn’t get comfortable with the experience. I don’t know if it was just the user interface design, or whether it was the extra bloat software that the manufacturers were adding to their phones. I was also frustrated by the lack of support when it came to updating to the latest version of the Android operating system; a problem experienced by many Android users. At some point at the beginning of last year I made the conscious decision to switch to Android after hearing my colleagues and friends raving about the benefits. These benefits included, better customisation and freedom from vendor lock-in to name just two and they sounded impressive, but I was sceptical. With the disappointment of my previous experiences, I knew that any new Android phone would have to meet the following criteria:
1. The phone must be as close to stock or vanilla Android as possible
2. The phone must be affordable
3. It must have a decent battery life
4. The phone must be able to receive the latest Android updates quickly
It didn’t take me long to narrow down a list of devices that met this criteria and I was left with only two options; a Motorola Moto G, Moto X or Nexus 5. Actually the Moto X and Nexus 5, were a little on the expensive side, so in the end I decided to opt for the Moto G. I was extremely impressed and after using it for a year, I am still more than happy with most aspects of the phone. If there was one feature I would say that lets the phone down, then it would be the camera, but then again, for a phone under £150, it might be a little unfair to criticise the camera.
The phone’s processor is only a 1.2 Snapdragon 400, so you might think it would be a little slow, but in fact the phone copes very well with most activities and I get smooth scrolling on web pages and switching applications is seamless and without lag most of the time.
The display truly shines and is better than expected. Again it’s only 326ppi, so it’s no retina, but on the 4.5″ display I can’t pick out the pixels and it looks crisp and bright, with well saturated colours to boot. It’s also easy to read outdoors.
Battery life with this phone is above average, with me getting about 48 hours of life (with moderate use and medium screen brightness) and Lollipop has even improved this by a few hours. In fact my phone can last a whole day with just 10% remaining (if I rarely use it). Again on paper, you would expect the 2070 mAh battery to drain quickly, but the slower processor and smaller screen helps to increase the battery’s longevity.
As I mentioned earlier, this is really the only feature on the phone that I have been disappointed with. The phone has 5 MP rear facing camera with LED flash and 1.3MP front facing camera. The rear camera is just OK. Colours are average, as is image quality, but this can be improved using the Android camera effect editor. Unfortunately, the camera is poor in low light, showing lots of noise and blurry pictures can be an issue. Focus time and shutter response is also slow, but for a sub £150 camera when new, I can’t complain too much here.
The sound is not bad, considering the price point of the phone. Yes, the single speaker does not provide stereo and yes, it has not got amazing bass, but the volume is good (you’ll never miss a call) and it offers great clarity. Listening to music through good quality headphones is a joy.
The Moto G runs Android that is as close to stock as you’ll find, without buying a Google Nexus device and Motorola had promised to update the Moto range of phones to Lollipop as soon as possible. I got Lollipop before the end of 2014, although I do have the Google Play edition. I do believe that most if not all Moto G users have now received Lollipop. Lollipop runs beautifully on the Moto G and even increases the battery life of the Moto G.
The Moto G is in my opinion, one of the best budget smartphones out there. It’s fast, has a beautiful display, great battery, adequate camera and best of all, it shows off Android Lollipop at its best. So if you’re in the market for an affordable phone that will handle all of your daily tasks and more, then consider picking up a good second hand Moto G. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at what you can get for your money.