Moto G Hands-On: $179 Off-Contract with KitKat

With its fun design, clean Android interface and low price, last year’s Motorola Moto G was just the thing for consumers looking to upgrade to their first smartphone. This year’s model, also called the Moto G, boasts a larger display, better speakers and cameras, Android 4.4 KitKat and a lower price of just $179 off-contract. We went hands-on with the updated Moto G to see if it’s as good a deal as before.

MORE: 12 Surprising Things Your Android Phone Can Do

Despite its larger size — a 5-inch display, as compared to the 4.5-inch screen on the 2013 version — the Moto G still felt comfortable to hold. Like the premium Moto X, it’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, but has a resolution of 1280 x 720, where the flagship X has a 1080p display. The 5.3-ounce Moto G is slightly heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S5 (5.3 ounces), but is lighter than the 5.6-ounce HTC One M8. Like the Moto X, the Moto G also has two front-facing speakers, which should make a huge difference when listening to music or movies or chatting. 


Intended as a device for those upgrading to their first smartphone, the Moto G has a helpful app called Motorola Migrate, which will transfer contacts and numbers even from basic cell phones via Bluetooth. It also supports Motorola Assist, Google Voice Search and Motorola Alert, which lets your friends and family know where you are.

Motorola also bumped the processor in the Moto G up to a 1.2-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, which won’t set the world on fire, but should offer plenty of power for most smartphone tasks, including games such as Asphalt 8 and Temple Run. The phone also runs Android 4.4 KitKat and will receive at least one update to the OS.

Like last year’s Moto G, this year’s model  does not support 4G LTE, but it has dual SIM card slots, and lets you map contacts to each SIM. The phone will also learn your calling patterns, and automatically choose the SIM that’s most appropriate. 

You can’t customize the back panel of the Moto G the same way you can with the Moto X, but the rear panel comes off, and can be replaced with other, more colorful shells. 

The Moto G is available through Motorola for $179 off-contract. The company lent us a Moto G to test, so stay tuned for our full review.

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