Moto G (2013) review

The best budget handset around

Moto G review
Cheap, cheerful and user friendly

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While many of the specs on the Moto G and Moto G 4G have exceeded its price, the camera is an area where Motorola has clearly tried to save some money.

On the rear of the handset you'll find a 5MP camera and single LED flash, while on the front you get a 1.3MP snapper.

Motorola has done some work in the camera app on the Moto G, providing a minimalist interface which sees all the settings hidden from view and the whole screen made into a shutter key.

Moto G review

Now I've bemoaned the use of the whole screen as the shutter on other handsets, as the fiddly little app icons could be easily missed, leading to me taking many unwanted snaps.

Luckily this issue has been overcome on the Motorola Moto G, as the settings wheel is accessed by sliding your finger from left to right over the display - not once did I accidentally take a picture when trying to tweak options.

Motorola Moto G review

That might be partly due to the fact I rarely found myself accessing settings, because it's seriously slim pickings.

For anyone looking to tinker with various modes, effects and advanced settings such as brightness and white balance the Moto G / Moto G 4G is not the cameraphone for you.

All you get are flash, HDR mode, shutter sound and aspect ratio toggles along with a Panorama mode, the ability to attach location information to your snaps and a rudimentary focus & exposure control.

If you have plumped for the Motorola Moto G 4G you do get an additional option in the menu wheel, allowing you to save snaps to the microSD card (if you have one inserted) rather than to the internal storage.

Motorola Moto G review

Shutter speed is pretty swift, but if you fancy a burst mode just hold down on the screen and the Moto G will snap away until you release your finger.

There's a 4x digital zoom to boot which is controlled by sliding your finger up and down the display - although picture quality takes a serious battering, so it's best avoided.

The full screen trigger makes snapping photos easy as you don't have to aim for a small shutter button on screen, although once you see the results you may wish you never bothered.

Motorola Moto G review

That budget price tag really rings true here, and I found the majority of my photos were a pixelated mess. The Motorola Moto G struggled to focus properly and even with the focus & exposure setting turned on things didn't improve.

The Moto G performed better close up, as it was obvious what to focus on - but when looking at landscapes and situations with a lot going on it just couldn't make up its mind.

It's a real shame that the Moto G doesn't have even a slightly better camera offering, but at its rock bottom price point a concession had to be made somewhere, and this is it.

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.