First impressions: Motorola Moto G is proving to be a cracker of smartphone for the price


Motorola’s Moto G has become a runaway hit and rightly so. Stock Android, HD display, quad-core power, top tier OEM – all for less that Rs 15, 000 – who wouldn’t want one? So far, smartphones by Chinese OEMs, sold by Indian companies in this price segment have resorted to stuffing phones with high-end specifications to make up for inefficient or complete lack of software updates and after sales service. Motorola has managed to strike a fine balance between acceptable specifications, superior build and the promise of updates as well as good after sales support.

 

It’s just been a day since we’ve started using the device and we thought we’d give you our first impressions of the seemingly new budget king.

 

First impressions: Motorola Moto G is proving to be a cracker of smartphone for the price

Isn't the most eye-catching of designs

 

In all honesty, the Moto G is not much to look at. If you take away the ‘M’ insignia around the back, it can easily pass of for a Micromax or a XOLO handset. It’s a little too minimalistic in our opinion. The phone feels a lot more premium, however, than its Chinese counterparts and is very well put together. The rubberised back offers good grip and also softens the blow when you plonk the phone onto a hard surface.

 

The Moto G runs on pure stock Android 4.3, along with some minor tweaks from Motorola. The 4.4 KitKat update hasn’t been rolled out in India yet, or at least our unit didn’t seem to think there was any update. The Snapdragon 400 is fairly spiffy for most tasks and apps. Its 1GB of RAM does rear its ugly head intermittently as slight jerkiness creeps in, but it's nothing that makes the phone unusable.

 

We quite like the bit of heft on the phone

We quite like the bit of heft on the phone

 

The display is actually really good and the ambient light sensor does a good job of varying the backlight depending on the light in the room. The earpiece sounds a little harsh during calls and isn’t the clearest. Again, we haven’t used it for too many calls since we got the handset, but it didn’t seem as clear as most other phones. We’ll keep an eye out for this point during the rest of the week.

 

The 5MP camera is a bit disappointing if you plan on sharing the images over Flickr or other photo sharing sites but for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services, it does a decent job. The sensor is actually pretty good for indoor shots and is a lot better than most 8MP shooters found in Chinese clones in this price bracket. Motorola has tweaked the camera interface and has made it as simple as possible; so much so that they’ve completely omitted the ‘Settings’ option which lets you change the resolution, scene modes, and more. You can do all of this in post processing, however.

 

Pictures aren't too shabby for a 5MP shooter after a bit of post-processing

Pictures aren't too shabby for a 5MP shooter after a bit of post-processing

 

Finally, the phone's battery life seems pretty decent too. It’s been a full day without charge and the battery is still chugging along at around 30 percent. Since the Moto G doesn’t have a Full HD display, the 2070mAh battery can easily handle the load and last you more than a day.

 

Keeping in mind the price it’s selling at, there’s very little to not like about the Moto G. Lack of memory expansion is possibly the only real drawback, but then again, we find 16GB to be quite sufficient for most use cases. The 1GB of RAM might be a limiting factor for some apps and games but for the most part, it shouldn’t be an issue.

 

The Moto G might not look like much from the outside, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a cracker of a device for the price and is proving to be one of the best Android smartphones under Rs 20,000. We’ll be testing it our further during the coming week and bringing you the full review soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here's our unboxing video of the Moto G and here's how it stacks up against the competition.

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