The new Moto G: bigger, faster, still pure Android

September 5, 2014
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Motorola has come out with the successor to its budget flagship, simply called the new Moto G. While it isn't surprising that it doesn't have all the bells, whistles, and mouth-watering features of the new Moto X, this new and improved Moto G can still stand proud, doing what it does best: offering a solid pure Android experience with a price tag that won't make your wallet, and your heart, bleed.

Motorola has indeed pumped up the hardware in the new Moto G, gifting the budget smartphone with more or less tried and tested 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 "budget" chip and 1 GB of RAM. But like the new Moto X, the display might also be a bit questionable. While larger than the old Moto G, 5.0 inches versus 4.5, it retains the same 720p resolution, which means a lower pixel density than the previous generation. That said, Motorola once again touts the edge-to-edge span of the screen, giving more display for space, and the curved back design for easier grip and one-handed use.

There are, of course, notable improvements in the new Moto G, one of which will surely delight those who store myriads of media files on their smartphones. While the new Moto G will come in 8 and 16 GB configurations, it now comes with a micro SD slot that can support 32 GB more. Motorola has also pumped up the volume, so to speak,, by putting two speakers in a front-facing position, instead of a single stereo at the back. The 2070 mAh battery is advertised to give around 24 hours of mixed usage, which is a somewhat generous estimate most of the time. The smartphone isn't exactly waterproof, but Motorola did give it a splash of water repellent coating. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any 4G network support at launch, though, like the first Moto G, that might come later.

In terms of software, the new Moto G of course boasts of the same vanilla and up-to-date Android experience as the rest of Motorola's flagship devices have. You may not see all of the special features that have debuted on the new Moto X, but the Moto G does have its fair share of special functions. The camera app features One-Tap functionality where you can tap on any part of the screen to make the 8 megapixel camera take a shot. Alternatively, you can tap and hold on the screen to activate burst mode capture. Moto Assist is also there to make the Moto G shut up during the times that it should. For models with dual SIM card slots, Intelligent Calling will learn from your usage habits and automatically use the network that best fits the contact or the occasion. The new Moto G also has its own FM Radio function and, on some models in Brazil, even DTV support.

Even without Moto Maker, new Moto G owners will still have some options to match their personalities. You can choose from a variety of Motorola Shell colors to match your mood, taste, or occasion. There are also matching colorful Motorola Flip Shells that add protection to the display. These Flip Shells have a magnet in the front cover to keep it in place when shut and to turn on the Moto G's display when opened.

If this new budget smartphone has you jumping in anticipation, there's no need to wait. The new Moto G will be available today, unlocked and without contracts, from Motorola's online store and retailers in the US, India, France, UK, Brazil, and Motorola's German outfit with dozens more around the globe to follow later this year. Motorola has promised to upgrade the new Moto G to Android L when it is released. And the price for the new Moto G? A sweet $179.99

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