Moto G (2014) review

The Moto G is dead! Long live the Moto G!

Moto G review
Same name, better specs - but a less inspiring phone

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Motorola Moto G (2013)

Same name, different year. Motorola originally released the Moto G back in 2013, but it was (and still is) quite a different phone from the one I'm reviewing here.

They look similar and have the same CPU, but the older version has a smaller 4.5-inch screen, and is a bit easier to handle for people with smaller hands. That may sound silly, but the smaller edition is still worth considering.

Moto G 2013

There's a 4G version of the 4.5-inch screen doing the rounds too. This 5-inch edition now has a 4G version too, but it's not yet launched everywhere.

They are fairly evenly matched, apart from in one respect: the 2013 Moto G has a much worse camera than the new one. It only has a 5MP sensor, and is significantly slower to shoot too.

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Moto G (2015)

The Moto G (2014) isn't just competing with its predecessor, but it's also going up against the newest version, the Moto G (2015), which was recently announced.

At the launch event for the third generation Moto G, Motorola even described the new Moto G as being the 'Moto G-Killer' - so it's clear that the older Moto G (2014) has a fight on its hands.

This means the Moto G (2015) gets a power boost with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, while the Moto G (2014) has a slightly less powerful Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip that runs at 1.2GHz.

The Moto G (2015) also gets a RAM boost to 2GB, with 16GB of storage, while the Moto G (2014) has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.

The camera of the Moto G (2015) also beats the snapper found in its predecessor, with the third gen Moto G boasting a 13MP camera, while the Moto G (2014) comes with an 8MP sensor.

The front-facing camera has also been boosted from the 2MP one found on the Moto G (2014) to 5MP.

One area where the Moto G (2014) and the Moto G (2015) remain neck and neck is the display, with both Moto Gs having the same 5-inch 720p display.

The Moto G (2014) is also likely to get a price cut, which should still make it a good choice if you want a decent handset for a rock bottom price.

Asus Zenfone 5

Breaking out of the Motorola mould, Asus has dived into the mainstream phone market with the new Zenfone range. The Zenfone 5 is both the best in the new line-up and perhaps the most direct rival to the Moto G.

It's a bit slimmer, and comes in some swankier colours.

In almost every respect, they battle it out pretty hard. Both have decent 5-inch 720p screens, good mid-range CPUs and fairly good cameras.

Asus Zenfone 5

You'll find the Motorola Moto G for a bit cheaper online, it has dual SIM support and stereo speakers. They're good extras.

Sony Xperia M2

Want to stick with a big name? The Sony Xperia M2 costs around the same amount as the new Moto G now that it has been out for a little while, and it offers 4G for that price.

It also has the same CPU, and a slightly swanker-looking design with a much, much skinnier 8.6mm body.

Xperia M2

What's the catch? The M2 has a much lower-quality screen. It's not bad, but the 960 x 540 pixel screen just isn't quite sharp enough when stretched across 4.8 inches.

The camera is also worse than the Moto G's. It simply doesn't get the real basics as right as the Moto G.

I do think the Moto G is the better phone, but the Xperia M2 isn't bad either if you're not too bothered about the superior screen quality of Motorola's phone.

Read our full Xperia M2 review here

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.