Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

It may not have occurred accompanied by the flash and razzmatazz of a flagship phone launch, but the Motorola Moto G was still a huge deal, in both senses of the phrase. It was the first handset launched by Motorola in the UK since it was taken over by Google, and it cost just £135 for an impressive specification.The Motorola Moto G is a solid, no-nonsense handset; it’s not fancy, but it’s not ugly either.

It is now six months since the Motorola Moto G came out and annihilated every other budget smartphone. At present, it’s still the smartphone to buy for everyone who isn’t from a flagship model. However, with Lenovo NIL Motorola, the Motorola Moto-G has already had a minor revamp.

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

There’s a new 4G version for starters; this will work with the latest high-speed network if you’re willing to pay for the privilege. It also comes with a micro-SD slot, so you can expand the internal memory if required. That Moto G 4G LTE version costs £149, while the standard 3G-only handset will cost you £119, in every other respect they are identical.MOTOOGLE OR MOTOROLA

Google has long had its Nexus-branded handsets, but other manufacturers made these and at just one high-end handset a year, mainly sold SIM free, they weren’t exactly mass market. In comparison, Samsung released 20 handsets worldwide in 2013 alone.

By buying Motorola (or to be precise its Mobility devices arm), Google now has its smartphone manufacturer. It feels like a new business too; we liked the macho-styled R.A.Z.R. handsets, but all that means gone for more curvaceous, colorful, friendly designs that fit well with Google’s other offerings.

The Motorola Moto G isn’t the kind of the handset that jumps out at you, in fact, it’s very safe, very dull and a little boring. Given its price, though, it’s success, it doesn’t feel or look cheap just utilitarian. At 66x130x11.6 mm it’s not the slimmest handset but the bezels are small, and it is relatively compact for a handset with a 4.5 inch display. It comes in black, but you can buy white, dark blue, cyan, fluorescent yellow, pink or this red

The gloss black front is complemented by snap-on rear covers in seven colors, for £13 each. There’s also tough shell cases with front flip covers that stay shut thanks to magnets and automatically switch on the phone when you open it. They cost £25 but look to do well worth the extra expense, given the protection they give, and again they come in seven colors. There’s also a Grip Shell with a rubber frame for extra grip and impact protection The Flip Shells are tough, textured plastic on the outside.

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

With a soft finish toward the inside of the screen cover Speaking of protection, one feature that should make the transition from previous Motorola handsets does the splash proof coating. That means that it should survive anything short of complete immersion in water, we spilled a pint over the first R.A.Z.R. with no ill effects. It also produces Gorilla Glass 3 to protect its screen from scratches.

Android

Of course what you see onscreen does arguably more important than what surrounds it, and with Google NIL Motorola we were hopeful that the handset would ship with the latest version of Android. The handset initially shipped with 4.3, but an update to the latest version, Android 4.4.2, has now been released. You should update your phone immediately whenever required – go to App tray, Settings, About phone, to check the version number.The update is available for all now and is well worth having

Motorola has left Google’s OS, mostly intact, just adding a couple of useful features and jerking the camera app. The Assist app gives your phone more intelligent, as, you can set the hours you usually sleep for and the phone will automatically go silent, or only allow personal callers, or those who call twice in sequence. It will also continue vibrate if you have a meeting in your diary. Both could be useful, though they Are still a little inflexible for our liking.

The 4.4.2 update brings a few changes. The phone dialler has done changed, and you can now bring up contact’s quickly via the number pad by only entering any string of letters or numbers that appear in that contacts name or number. As the example, typing 533 will bring up any contact with L.E.E. or J.E.D. in their names, or any contact whose name contains that string of numbers. You also get intelligent caller ID, with the phone searching for unknown numbers and providing you with information based on that search, so you have some idea who it is before you answer.Find contacts quickly and easily in the new dialler app; it even brings up their work details if you have Outlook set up on

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

Motorola has also expanded what you can do with photos from within the gallery app. You can apply a broad range of filters now to photos you shoot, add frames around them, crop them in various ways, and even write (or draw) on the screen with your finger in any color you like. You can also print photos right out of the gallery to services such as Google’s Cloud Print.

Android 4.4 also supports the new version of Hangouts which combines your instant messaging and S.M.S. apps within one, though you still need to switch between these two streams to keep track of all your conversations via both.

The lock screen now also show the appropriate album art for the music you’re listening to and includes basic playback controls, so you don’t have to unlock the phone to pause or skip tracks. You also get immersive mode, where the status bar and controls go away, allowing apps to go full screen until you swipe from the top.

Slightly faster browsing does another bonus, with the Sun Spider JavaScript browser benchmark recording a score 1297 ms, a small but appreciable improvement over its score of 1,410 ms when we first tested it. Other parameters were unaffected by the change, though Google claims that memory use is improved, the handset is more responsive to touch and multi-tasking is now quicker.

And if you’re not that keen on Google’s launcher, then you can toggle between the default version and any custom ones you might download. To do this just head to Settings – Home and then choose the launcher you want and press Home to switch to it.

Motorola has made it easy to move from another Android handset to the Moto G. You do this by first introducing the Motorola Migrate app from the Google Play Store on your old handset. Once done yourself connect the two phones directly via Wi-Fi, which wants nothing more than pointing the camera on your old phone at the QR code displayed on the Moto G. The transfer then starts automatically.

Details

Main display size: 4.5 in
Native Resolution: 1,280×720 C.C.D.
Effective megapixels: 5-megapixel G.P.S.
Internal memory: 8096 MB
Memory card support: none
Memory card included: N/A
Operating rates: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/1900/2100
Wireless data: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
Size: 130x66x11.6 mm
Weight: 143g

Features

Operating system: Android 4.3
Microsoft Office Compatibility: N/A
FM Radio: yes
Accessories: USB cable