Motorola Moto G (2015) Review: Still the best budget smartphone

By Scorpus
Sep 8, 2015
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  1. In 2013, Motorola launched the first-generation Moto G, and with very respectable hardware and a price tag of just $180 off-contract, it was easily the best budget smartphone of the year. In 2014, it was a similar story: Motorola launched the second-gen Moto G, it still cost $180, it still featured great hardware for the price, and it was still the best budget smartphone of the year.

    Motorola is hoping for a hat trick this year with the release of the third-generation Moto G. This new model isn’t a huge upgrade on last year’s Moto G, with Motorola sticking to incremental updates to some aspects of the hardware. However, considering the Moto G is still being sold at the same $180 price point as its predecessors, any hardware upgrades are much appreciated.

    One of the biggest updates to the Moto G in this year’s variant address a significant issue with last year’s model. The new Moto G finally comes with 4G LTE connectivity as standard, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410’s integrated LTE modem. We’re also seeing decent upgrades to the front and rear cameras, plus an updated water resistant design.

    Read the complete review.

    misor likes this.
  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    At that price I guess there isn't much to complain about. The few flaws it exhibits wouldn't worry me and if I were in the market for a new device, it would suit me perfectly. Spec wise it looks and sounds very similar to my Galaxy A5 which likely costs a bit more and I'm very happy with that device.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015
    sthet81 likes this.
  3. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 251   +86

    Great review, I'm really interested in the Moto X play, seems like a good phone, specially the battery life looks awesome, it would be nice to see a review for it. I have a first gen Moto G and I'm looking to upgrade to a new Motorola, I'm waiting to see which one is worth.
  4. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,157   +195

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  5. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,803   +483

    220$ for the 2G RAM version? that's insane. Don't buy something that expensive.
    The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 beats the crap out of this phone and it's cheaper at around 150$.
    At the 180$ price point you'll also find the Lenovo K3 Note K50-T5 and the Meizu M2 Note 4G.

    And I found them just by using 10 minutes of my time searching. There are plenty of much cheaper and/or better phones at the same price point. 720p hasn't been the norm for quite some time now. everybody is switching to full HD.
    I think 720p is still used for phones like the Xiaomi Redmi 2 which is 110$ and comes with Qualcomm 410 MSM8916 1.2Ghz, 4G LTE, 1Gb RAM and 4.7" IPS which is fairly similar to the 180$ MOTO G.
  6. sthet81

    sthet81 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Just a $120 more the OnePlus One phone are a better buy but the stupid invitation system kills it.
  7. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 1,784   +186

    Moto X Play (and Style) review is in the works

    Better is pretty debatable. Have you actually used some of those phones? Their software skins are beyond awful.

    I agree we should be starting to see 1080p displays on phones around this price, but I don't agree that better specs automatically mean the phone is better overall
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  8. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,803   +483

    I've bought both the first gen xiaomi redmi and the flagship xiaomi Mi4. I've also helped others buy phones from china (not only xiaomi, but I do prefer them). The Ui is clean, fast and doesn't have any problems. it has only a few apps preinstalled (like their own app store or cloud storage), but these are a non issue. I just put google play and never touched their apps with no root hack required. (some come with google play preinstalled too) The old phone still gets updates on a weekly basis and works great.
    You have to hold one in your hand to understand that these phones are actually very quality. They do many things better than "western" companies and their downsides aren't that big. It's mostly people crying "china products", but you can tell they never used them.

    If you don't want the Ui from xiaomi then you could just look for a phone that has the stock android from another manufacturer.

    PS: I agree, having better hardware doesn't always make for a better phone, but the difference between the Snapdragon 410 and the MTK6795 Helio X10 is a huge one. (antutu shows more than a 2x difference, but it can vary a bit depending on the phone) It can be the deciding factor in your decision to buy a new phone next year or after 2 years. (especially when it has a better screen, a bigger battery and 2GB RAM if you can't afford the more expensive Moto G version)
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015
  9. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Awesome budget phone. Weird why the GPU performance regressed though. @Tim Schiesser you should add the GPU performance reduction to the Con list.

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