Tech Tools review: Moto G

Budget smartphones get tougher to beat with bigger screens and better cameras

 

The OnePlus has a lot to answer for. It’s ruined us for so-called affordable smartphones, meaning we expect a lot more for spending a lot less. For consumers, it’s a good thing, because phone-makers are upping their game to compete and are offering smartphone users on a budget a lot more than an underpowered, undersized handset.

Remember the days before the iPhone? Motorola phones were everywhere. You could walk into a phone shop and you had several to choose from. Then they all but disappeared. In the meantime, Motorola’s phone unit has changed hands a couple of times and is now owned by Lenovo.

Which brings us to 2015. Motorola recently announced the Moto Play X and Style handsets, which should come to Ireland next month. In the meantime, the Moto G is filling that gap between budget and premium smartphone. Available for under €180 on prepay, the third version of the Moto G has had a few improvements. The camera has also been improved, with Motorola using the camera from the Nexus 6 and adding a bit more. It’s also bumped up the chipset to the Snapdragon 410. It keeps the 5in display from the second gen version, which is a nice size for most users and bigger than the iPhone 6 display.

The good

The water resistance is new to the Moto G, but it’s something that should be in more phones, regardless of their price. The Moto G can be submerged in up to a metre of water for 30 minutes with no ill effects. The average user isn’t going to be doing that too often but it’s good to know that the phone will survive the odd ducking.

The not so good

It’s slightly heavier than I would like, but not so much that it’s uncomfortable. It’s also a little chunkier than the super slim phones currently ruling the roost in the smartphone world. But that’s all relative, and if you drop the Moto G, chances are it will survive the trip.

The rest

The swappable back is also textured, so you can get a good grip on it, which is one area where some phones, with their shiny casing, can fall down. No butter fingers with this phone so far.

The 8GB option has 1GB of Ram, with the 16GB doubling it. Our advice? Go for the 16GB. Although you can expand the phone memory with a removable MicroSD card, there are some things for which you’ll need that extra space on the internal memory.

Verdict