Moto G (2013) review

The best budget handset around

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The Motorola Moto G and Moto G 4G offer up the usual array of messaging capabilities, but thanks to the inclusion of Android Lollipop/Android 4.4.2 (and Android 4.3 before them) you get not one, but two text messaging clients.

There's the stock Messaging application which will be familiar to anyone who has used an Android phone in the past. It's a minimalist, intuitive interface with a list of all your message streams and options at the base of the display to create a new SMS, search your current messages and a basic menu.

Profile pictures are pulled through from contact cards which makes the app look a little better - although the lack of Facebook and Twitter integration means you'll still end up with a lot of blank tiles.

This is all very well and good, but Google is looking consolidate messaging apps by bringing together SMS and what was known as Google Talk into the Hangouts application.

In terms of text messages Hangouts works in a very similar way to the standard Messaging app, albeit with a slightly different look. But mixed up in your text messages are also instant messaging streams, allowing you to talk to more people from a single app.

Talking of things coming in twos, you're also treated to two email clients on the Moto G and Moto G 4G, with the Gmail app living alongside the standard Email offering.

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If you only deal with Google's email setup then you can completely disregard the stock Email app and focus all your efforts on the intuitive Gmail client.

From here you can manage multiple Googlemail accounts, with an attractive and colorful interface making it a seamless and pleasing experience.

Those of you with other accounts outside of the search giant's remit will have to go to the stock Email app where you'll be able to sign in to all manner of addresses - you can even stick your Gmail accounts in here.

There's a unified inbox on offer, allowing you to see all your messages in one place, but you can also filter by account if things start to get a little confusing.

HTML emails load in a fully zoomed out view in both apps, allowing you to easily navigate to the area you want without a lot of frantic scrolling.

The Moto G and Moto G 4G look set up for the younger generation with a low price and interchangeable covers, so I was a little puzzled when I found Motorola hadn't pre-installed the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

It's not a huge issue, as a quick trip to Google Play quickly resolves this, but it is a little frustrating. Although with Google breathing down its neck, perhaps these pre-installs were out of the question for the Moto G and Moto G 4G.

In terms of an input method you get the stock Android keyboard, which is a serviceable offering with word prediction and auto-correct, although I'd still recommend downloading a third party option such as SwiftKey if you're planning on doing a lot of typing.

The responsive 4.5-inch touchscreen aids typing speed, and provides enough space to ensure the keys are not cramped. Rotating the Motorola Moto G 90 degrees will see the keyboard adjust to the landscape view, giving you larger keys.

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