Moto G (2013) review

The best budget handset around

Moto G review
Cheap, cheerful and user friendly

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The Moto G and Moto G 4G comes equipped with Google Maps, which has been heavily documented many times before so I'll keep this brief.

I tend to find that low-end handsets struggle with the power hungry Maps app, with sluggish load times and fragmented user experience - things are different on the Moto G though.

Motorola Moto G review

Maps loaded almost instantly, even over 3G, and the Moto G was usually able to pinpoint my location in under a second. The speed was even better on the Moto G 4G with the superfast LTE connection.

Zooming and panning around the map is smooth, while the ability to plan routes and start up the free turn by turn navigation makes the Moto G one of the most affordable sat navs on the market.

Motorola Moto G review

You do need a data connection for navigation to work though, so if you're planning some rural routes it may not be able to direct you if signal drops.


Apart from the stock Google applications Motorola has added very little in terms of additional pre-installs, which isn't a bad thing as the swath of bloatware you get on some smartphones (I'm looking at you Samsung) can be overbearing.

Motorola Moto G review

You can quickly build up a decent app collection on your Moto G thanks to the well stocked Google Play store which offers up a huge range of free and paid-for apps and games as well as movies, music, books and magazines.

There are a handful of Motorola's own apps on the Moto G and Moto G 4G, the first of which being Assist. With Assist you can automatically have the Moto G switch itself to silent between certain hours at night so your sleep is not disturbed.

Motorola Moto G review

Motorola Assist can also go through your calendar appointments and automatically mute itself when you're in meetings - perfect if you have a really embarrassing ringtone.

You can select predetermined exceptions, so if someone was to ring you twice with five minutes Assist would allow your Moto G to ring, as the call could well be something very important - or your friend could just be very drunk and feels compelled to tell you that they love you at 4am.

While Assist is a nice idea it is rather limited, as Meeting and Sleeping are the only two options, with each offering a limited number of customisable options.

I'd have liked to see an option to create your own scenarios and a wealth of exceptions and rules that could be applied - for example a location tracker which knows when you've got to work so automatically turns the Moto G to vibrate and turns on Wi-Fi.

Motorola Migrate is the next app in the line up, which aims to make it really easy for you to transfer content from your old phone to your shiny new Moto G or Moto G 4G.

Motorola Moto G review

You'll need to download the Motorola Migrate app on your old Android handset too, and there's currently no support here for Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry 10 (or BB OS7) or iOS 8.

In terms of what Migrate can pull across from your old phone it'll take care of text messages, call history, SIM contacts, media, volume settings and screen brightness.

Sure it's a nifty little app and the easy to follow wizard will mean even rookie Android users will be able to follow it - it's just a shame about the limited platform support.

Finally there's the Moto Care app, giving you a troubleshooting port of call if your Moto G isn't behaving itself, or you can't work out how to do something.

You can search the various help topics, tutorials and FAQs to find your answer, but if that doesn't help there's also the option to start a live chat with a support representative - plus there's an option to call someone too.

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.