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Wrap Up: Best in Class
After a couple of weeks using the 2015 Moto G, it's safe to say that, once again, this entry-level handset is one of the best on the market today. This third-generation model packs some decent improvements over its predecessor, and although it's not a perfect budget smartphone, it presents excellent value for money.
The design of the third-gen Moto G is pretty similar to its predecessors, but the refined back panel gives the phone a more interesting look and feel. The customization options Motorola provides through Moto Maker are great for those who don't want a plain black phone, and the addition of IPX7 water resistance helps make the new Moto G much tougher and more dependable than before.
I was glad to see that Motorola finally decided to upgrade the SoC in the Moto G, moving from a Snapdragon 400 to Snapdragon 410. This upgrade provides a decent 20% boost in CPU performance, which helps to make the Moto G a faster and more responsive device to use. The internal storage in the 2015 Moto G is a lot faster than in the 2014 model, and it's great to see a 16 GB model available with 2 GB of RAM for just $40 more.
The other main upgrade the Moto G has received is in the camera department. The new 13-megapixel rear sensor is a big improvement on its predecessor, both in resolution and in quality. Motorola has greatly improved their camera processing in this generation of smartphones, which leaves the Moto G 2015 with a decent entry-level shooter. I was particularly impressed with the HDR mode, which produces some awesome results.
On the other hand, the Moto G's camera app is terrible, and Motorola really needs to put in some effort here to make the overall camera experience great. The software experience overall is pretty barebones, though I expect this will please those who love the look and feel of stock Android 5.1.
The most disappointing part of the Moto G 2015 is the display. The 5.0-inch 720p IPS LCD is still okay as far as entry-level displays go, but it's noticeably worse than the similar panel used in the 2014 model. I'm not quite sure why Motorola felt the need to mess with the display calibration in their new smartphone, and I'd love to see the company attempt to address this problem through a firmware update.
One of the best aspects of the Moto G remains the price tag: at just $180 for the 8GB model with 1 GB of RAM, this smartphone is exceptionally affordable and a very decent value proposition considering the hardware inside. Spending an extra $40 is worth it if you want more storage and RAM, but there's no denying that either option is a great choice if you're after an entry-level smartphone.
Pros: Great improvements to performance, battery life and the camera. Solid, water resistant design now with Moto Maker customizability. All models now come with LTE. Excellent value for money.
Cons: Regression in display quality. Motorola's camera app is terrible.