Moto G (2013) review

The best budget handset around

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There's an awful lot to compare the Motorola Moto G and Moto G 4G to, with not just phones in its price range to consider, but also more expensive offerings with a similar spec list.

Sony Xperia M2

The Sony Xperia M2 launched at a much higher price than the Moto G, but it's since plummeted to around £125/$190, suddenly making it a competitor.

It has a larger but lower resolution 4.8-inch 540 x 960 display and the two phones are tied for power, so it's not looking good for the M2, but it beats out its Moto rival when it comes to battery life and it's arguably the more stylish handset.

Xperia M2

It also has an 8MP camera, which bests the Moto G on paper, though we weren't huge fans of the quality of the images it took.

While it doesn't benefit from stock Android it does have an attractive interface of its own, though it's stuck on Android 4.4 KitKat, so the 3G version of the Moto G trumps it there and we expect the 4G version soon will too.

We'd say the Moto G is a better buy in most ways, but if you're charger-shy the longer battery life on the Sony Xperia M2 could make it the smart option.

Moto G (2014)

Since launching the Moto G Motorola has followed it up with…the Moto G. So to avoid confusion we'll call the new one the Moto G (2014).

The main change is the move to a bigger 5.0-inch screen, but that extra size won't suit fans of compact phones and the resolution hasn't changed, so it's not as sharp. The larger screen size also leads to a chunkier frame, leaving it less palm-friendly.

Moto G 2014

It's no more powerful than the Moto G (2013) either but it does have a better 8MP camera on the back and an upgraded 2MP one on the front.

Unless you really want a smaller screen the Moto G (2014) is clearly the better phone overall, despite its chunkier design, especially as it's now only marginally more expensive than the older model, starting at around £140/$180.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Put the Motorola Moto G up against the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and even then it's difficult to pick faults at the cheap handset.

In fact the Moto G has a bigger screen than the S4 Mini (4.5 inches over 4.3) and a higher resolution (720 x 1280 versus 540 x 960), plus it's 1.2GHz quad-core processor is on par, if not better than the Samsung's 1.7GHz dual-core offering.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

The 3G Moto G even runs a newer version of Android - version 5.0 Lollipop - while the Galaxy S4 Mini is still languishing on KitKat. It's not looking good for the considerably more expensive Samsung.

Naturally there are areas where the S4 Mini excels and its 8MP camera is a significantly better performer than the 5MP offering on the Moto G.

It also brings 4G connectivity to the table, while you'll only get 3G on the Moto G, but considering the low cost of the Motorola you won't be disappointed.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyMoto G
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameMotorola
Battery Talk Time1 Day
Screen Size11.4 cm (4.5")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)143 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.3 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeMMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density329 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.3 Megapixel
Height129.9 mm
Width65.9 mm
Depth11.6 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerMotorola, Inc
Product NameMoto G Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 400
Product LineMoto G
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberSM3723AE7B1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationStunning 4.5" HD display. Exceptional price.

What you'll notice first about Moto G is the sharp HD display. Its edge-to-edge display stretches to all four corners of the phone. Watch, read and browse on a big, brilliant display. You'll get a sharp picture and then some.

Quad-core speed. Exceptional price.

You don't have to hang up to send an email or turn off YouTube when you want to text. Moto G multitasks as easily as you do.

Pure Android™. Exceptional price.

With Android 4.3, browse, stream, navigate, play and more with the world's most powerful mobile OS. Enjoy a guaranteed upgrade to Android™ 4.4, KitKat®.

Packaged Quantity1
Standard Memory1 GB