Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) in-depth review - King no more

 Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) Review - King no more
4.5

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,7/29/2015 3:55:15 PM

9

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

10

out of 5

Ease of use

10

out of 5

Features

9

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Waterproof to IPX7 | HD screen | Pure Android |

Cons:

Battery could have been better | weighty

By Sunetra Chakravarti

It was less than a year back that Moto G (2nd Gen) was launched. September 6, 2014 to be exact. And we already have the next version, one that is almost the same looks-wise but pricier. Moto G has always been the king of budget handsets, but its crown hasn't sat as comfortably since other cheaper entrants have rocked up to the party and tried to snatch its crown… Does it still have the wow-factor to woo everyone from reviewers to the paying public? Read on to find out.

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen): Look and feel

How do you describe the look and feel of a shape-shifter? The thing with the Moto G that sets it apart from its brethren with the same price tag is how easily and cheaply you can switch the back plate and make it look totally different. Via Motomaker, an online tool to customise your phone to be exactly how you like it that was until recently only available for customising the Moto X flagship. You also get the opportunity to design your own phone, from choosing the front to the back, with the ability to get your name/dog’s name/ partner’s name etched onto the back of the phone for an additional fiver.

 Moto G 2015 looks

The back of the phone is curved and has a weighty feel to it, with an easy grip-able design and form factor. There is a dimple at the back where the modestly sized Motorola logo is sited on a pale chrome panel, again customisable, just below the camera lens and flash LEDs. You will realise how solidly built the phone is and how they ensure it is waterproof- it is basically a slab of aluminium. The battery is non-removable and apart from the microSD and microSIM slots, nothing breaks the surface within.

The face of the phone has speakers at the top and bottom and although the bezels aren't the thinnest, they are just a hair’s breath wider than the ones on the iPhone 6.

The curved back makes the middle of the phone the fattest with a gentle taper down to the edges. And the plastic on the back has a soft rubberised feel to it making it very soft and easy to like.

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen): Display, resolution and screen size

Moto G 2015 looks

A 5-inch screen with a 294ppi is pretty good, as is the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 it sits within. I recently reviewed the HTC 820 with a 269ppi while our benchmark for the low to mid-range phones is still Honor 6 Plus with 400 pixels per inch. But what is important to remember about the Moto G at every step of the way is the price. The phone costs £179 and if you go for the higher memory option, it is £30 extra, bringing it to £209.

The Honor 6 Plus retails for £300.

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen): Performance and software

Depending on which version of phone you buy, either a 1GB RAM on the 8GB or a 2GB RAM on the 16GB greet you. And as we have come to expect from Motorola’s phones, you get pure unadulterated Android experience. There is literally no bloat on the phone. Not even additional apps. 

Moto G 2015 looksI do question the need to have a 8GB version of the Moto G at all, after all, after Android on there, you don't get much space left over. Our 16Gb version had about 11GB left over after stock Android took up a chunk of the space. However, you are ok with your music and photo storage options because you can expand the phone’s memory by 32GB via microSD card.

 Moto G 2015 looks

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen): Hardware

The 2470mAh battery for the middling HD 5-inch screen is adequate. I still had 86 percent juice left over 14 hours after a full charge. And during this time I had listened to Audible for 2 hours and of course browsed on ASOS a fair bit.

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen): Camera

The same 13-MP camera that’s in the flagship Nexus 6 makes an appearance in the Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen). Launching the phone is easy with two flicks of your wrist and then tap anywhere on the screen to take a photo. It is slightly confusing to start with if you are used to phones where touching the screen focuses the camera there, but you will adjust happily when you realise how fast it is to take a picture. 

Moto G 2015 battery 

Selfies are also pretty solid on the 5-MP camera and as always very easy to take quickly. The camera does struggle a little in low light but the night setting largely takes care of it. 

Moto G 2015 camera 

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen): Verdict

The Motorola Moto G isn't the cheapest proposition anymore like its predecessors were, but it still packs a solid punch for the money you shell out for it. Customisable looks, IPX7 rating so it can be dunked endlessly and a bloat-free Android experience that you will not find easily.

You get slightly over 11GB of free memory to use for the 16 GB version as well as a microSD card drawer through which you can expand memory upto 32GB. The camera is vastly improved and with the Assist functionality, Motorola are onto a winner. 

It will face stiff competition in the marketplace because younger, newer and better propositions are available now than when the Moto G (first Gen) was launched. But because Lenovo have made the Moto G more Google-like than ever with the endless customisation options, they have a real chance of making it to the top of the finish line.

It is a great phone and one that delivers on what it promises. 

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen): Image examples

 photos taken on Moto G 2015

photos taken on Moto G 2015

 

photos taken on Moto G 2015

 

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen): Specs

Operating System: Android Lollipop 5.1.1

Processor: Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 410 processor with 1.4 GHz quad-core CPU, Adreno 306 with 400 MHz GPU

Storage and memory (RAM): 8 GB + 1 GB or 16 GB + 2 GB

Dimensions:142.1mm X 72.4mm X 6.1-11.6mm

Weight: 155g

Display: 5-inch, 720p HD (1280 x 720), 294 ppi, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

Battery: 2470 mAh

Camera: 13 MP; 5MP with f/2.0 and f/2.2 respectively
Video Capture: 1080p HD video, 30 fps (MPEG4, H.264)

Other features:
Accelerometer (2), Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity, Sensor Hub, Water Resistant*: IPX7