The Google-Motorola complex is releasing a brand-new budget phone, although it sounds like they would probably chafe at that title being attached to the Moto G. Instead, Motorola is celebrating the Moto G as a low-cost phone that doesn’t sacrifice specs.
That’s true enough of the Moto G. The display is the same 720p display found on the Moto X, except this one is just 4.5” and not AMOLED. There’s also a modest step down in processor speed, to a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. It will run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box, with an update to Android 4.4 KitKat coming early next year. Probably the most significant difference, and a huge contributing factor to the price cut, is the lack of 4G. Decreases in camera quality also lower the price – the Moto G has a 5 MP rear camera and a 1.3 MP front camera. The Moto G will be available in 8 GB or 16 GB models, and neither will have a Micro SD card slot.
Overall, the specs aren’t a huge step down from the Moto X, but then again, the Moto X was never an industry leader in the spec department to begin with. So, Motorola’s claims of bringing a high-quality phone at an unprecedentedly low price aren’t exactly awe-inspiring. $180 unsubsidized is a pretty great price for what you’re getting with the Moto G, but Motorola also isn’t exactly breaking new ground in the budget phone category. Motorola is saying that the Moto G ‘delivers a premium experience for a third of the price of current high-end phones.’ Considering the specs, ‘premium’ is a stretch, but the Moto G isn’t bad.
With the lack of 4G, you can tell that this one is probably geared more towards emerging markets. As of this week, those in Brazil and parts of Europe will see the Moto G go on sale, with the rest of Latin America and Europe, along with Canada and parts of Asia, seeing the phone within a few weeks. The Moto G will be released in the United States, India, the Middle East, and more of Asia in January. The Moto G will be sold unlocked and in a variety of colors (no Moto Maker here, though), and will cost $180 for the 8 GB model and $200 for the 16 GB model.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Moto G fares – like the iPhone 5C, it’s still a little expensive for the budget market, and the iPhone 5C hasn’t exactly proven to be a world-beater.