Moto G review

The best budget handset around

Moto G review
Cheap, cheerful and user friendly

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The Motorola Moto G offers up the usual array of messaging capabilities, but thanks to the inclusion of Android 4.4.2 (and Android 4.3 before it) 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, with the Gmail app living alongside the standard Email offering.

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 Google mail 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 looks set up for the younger generation with its 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.

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.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.