Moto G (2013) review

The best budget handset around

Moto G review
Cheap, cheerful and user friendly

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On paper both the Moto G and Moto G 4G look like excellent handsets for the price, and in practice they live up to the billing.

As the Nexus 4 did with the mid-range market, the Moto G has turned the budget end on its head with features found on handsets double its cost.

We liked

The whole package. Look at what the Moto G offers, look at its price, and then look at the other handsets which cost the same amount.

It exceeds its rivals in several key areas, from the well defined 4.5-inch display to its 1.2GHz quad-core processor and in some cases Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. There's a lot to love about the Moto G for its price.

You could easily be fooled into thinking that the Moto G costs the same as the Galaxy S4 Mini and the One Mini - even web browsing is impressive on the handset.

We disliked

It's simple. Motorola must have cut some corners to get the price of the Moto G so low, and the camera is one area which has seen the compromise.

The 5MP lens is simply not up to the job and my photos either came out blurry, grainy or both, while the camera app itself will be far too basic for some.

The lack of expandable memory will be a real bug bear for those who don't want to pay extra for the Moto G 4G, especially if you end up with the 8GB model and it's missing the more recent tech advances in the form of NFC.


Motorola is back folks, it's official. It may not be the return I would have predicted - there's no flagship phone stuffed full of the latest tech - but arguably what the now Google-owned firm has done is even better.

The Moto G is a top notch, low cost smartphone and I wholeheartedly recommend this as one of the best budget mobiles currently on the market.

I was genuinely impressed with the feature set on the Moto G, so if you're looking for a low cost phone you can stop searching - just go out and grab a Moto G right now.

The only difficult decision you have to make is whether or not to spend a little extra cash and plump for the 4G version with its microSD slot - if you like your apps, HD games and video on the go then it's a must - or keep up with the trends and get the larger, 5-inch Moto G (2014).

If you're on a tight budget than the original Moto G or G 4G will still suffice, especially now that they're getting upgraded to Android Lollipop.

The Moto G 2014 is a step up in price and size while sporting the same screen resolution and a similar design, although it's likely to be a little more future proof and completes the package more with enhanced cameras and additional features.

First reviewed: November 2013

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.