Image courtesy Motorola
By Jason Cipriani
August 6, 2015

In the market for a new smartphone? Motorola’s third generation Moto G is the best bang for your buck.

The $189 smartphone ($219 if you opt to double its internal storage and RAM), boasts a sharp screen, a decent camera, runs the latest version of Android (5.1.1 to be exact), and has enough battery power to get you through a normal workday with moderate-to-heavy use. It’s also water-resistant, has a completely customizable exterior through Moto Maker, and includes a microSD slot for expandable storage.

The Moto G is Motorola’s best selling smartphone model. The previous two generations were low-end devices, priced to sell in emerging markets where pricing is more important than processor speed. While the third-generation Moto G is still priced for emerging markets, you would be hard pressed to tell based solely on performance.

I’ve tested out the Moto G for a week now, and I’m almost scared to admit I’ve enjoyed it nearly as much as any other flagship Android device I’ve used. Yes, that means the Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9, and the Google Nexus 6.

When I unboxed and turned on the Moto G for the first time, I expecting a newer version of the old Moto E: a low-budget smartphone that starts at $119 and maxes out at $149.

 

My expectations were quickly replaced with the reality of device that’s responsive to your commands and exhibits little slowdown (if any) when switching between apps or playing games. The Moto E was slow and at times unresponsive, but it’s a good phone… for the price.

For the first time after having reviewed a Motorola device with a price-point below $200, I feel like the Moto G no longer deserves to be placed in the cheap skate category.

Motorola devices also offer users the ability to launch the phone’s camera using hand gestures, regardless of whether or not the device is locked. However, I found with the new Moto G that I often triggered camera functions simply by placing the device on a desk or taking it out of my pocket. The device’s accelerometer was a little too sensitive, although it’s feature is easy enough to disable.

It’s all too easy to get confused by the jargon the smartphone manufacturer spews when discussing the device. The same cadence is also repeated during product launches every time: Hexa-core this. Co-processor that. A quad-HD screen with enough milliamp-hours to power through the day.

To some extent, specifications do matter. A phone’s performance, after all, is determined in part by its components. At this point, however, the water is so muddied at the top of the Android food chain it’s hard to decipher how features and specs translate into the user experience.

So that leaves us with value. What device provides the best value, regardless of the spec sheet? At the end of the day that’s Moto G.

 

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