Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen.) android smartphone
Making flagships redundant for the low price of $269
- Large 5in, HD screen
- Stereo speakers
- Dual-SIM (HSPA)
- 8MP rear camera
- Inexpensive at $269
- Screen isn't as bright as predecessor
- No 4G
Motorola's Moto G (2nd Gen.) is, in few words, the cheapest smartphone flagship on the market. It is rich in features, beautiful in its simplicity and a bargain at $269.
Price$ 269.00 (AUD)
Here lies to the follow up to Motorola’s most successful smartphone ever, the second generation Moto G. Time has seen the smartphone grow half an inch in screen size, gain higher resolution cameras and house stereo speakers. Do these changes make a good thing better, or is the smartphone Good Gear Guide unashamedly adored no more?
The original Moto G did to the smartphone what the Nexus 7 did for tablets: it made great technology affordable. Features including its quad-core CPU, retina-grade screen and quality 5 megapixel camera were scarce when it launched for $249. These were flagship features offered for a fraction of the price. It’s no wonder the smartphone broke Motorola records across the globe.
The Moto G inherits a lot from its predecessor — thankfully. The smartphone wears an unassuming shade of black up front, has tapering edges on the sides sides and a curving spine round back.
Growing in height to 142mm has taxed how comfortable the Moto G is in the palm, but compared to other large smartphones, such as the 5.2in Samsung Galaxy S5, it proves more comfortable still.
That was the beauty behind the original Moto G and Motorola has managed to create the same magic again
Flanking the screen are two noticeable accents that assume the roles of speaker grilles. Choosing to feature front-firing stereo speakers has caused Motorola to disfigure the previously uninterrupted smartphone face.
Completing the multimedia repertoire is a screen that is half-an-inch larger at 5-inches. It still comes with the same 1280x720 resolution as its predecessor and, as a result, the Moto G packs a lesser 294 pixels-per-inch. The drop in pixel density hurts little other than bragging rights.
Brightness is another matter. The older Moto G boasted 429 nits of brightness. Bigger and brighter screens demand more from the battery. Considering the Moto G retains the same sized battery, it appears the new Moto G has had to take a cut in luminance to 390 nits. That small difference is enough to take pop from colours; to turn a great display into a mediocre one.
The larger screen is not a pro nor a con for the Moto G. Bigger screens alone don’t improve quality any more than more megapixels improve a camera. The original Moto G had a respectable 4.5in size. Those unphased by half-an-inch extra should seriously consider the older smartphone.
Few other changes have been made to the Moto G. Inside it is still powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, has 1GB of RAM, an HSPA modem, 8GB of internal storage and the option to expand memory by a further 32GB with a microSD memory card.
The Moto G now supports dual-band Wi-FI (802.11ac) and maintains support for Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. The strains of its price tag become visible with no support NFC or 4G data speeds.
The Moto G is all the better for keeping the OS stock and not desecrating it with a half-baked overlay
Differentiating this budget smartphone from its competition is its ability to take two SIM cards. Most dual-SIM smartphones resign one SIM slot to 2G voice calls only, but the Moto G goes one further by having both slots support HSPA data speeds. It is possible to designate one SIM for data, and designating a default SIM for individual contacts is easy. For instance, sending a text to GGG editor Elias can be set to always send messages from SIM 1.
Accessing the SIM trays and card slot is done by peeling off the back cover. Despite being able to remove the back cover, the smartphone’s 2070 milliamp-hour battery cannot be accessed and therefore cannot be replaced.
Good Gear Guide used the Motorola Moto G as our primary smartphone during our testing period. We loaded it with two SIM cards, used it for calls, texts and Internet browsing, managed our social network account, streamed YouTube and made little use of GPS. During this real-world test, we had brightness set to auto and the battery saver mode off.
The Moto G lasted 21 hours before needing a charge. Enabling the battery saver mode, which disables cellular data when the battery runs low, would have prolonged battery life.
The Moto G runs a version of Android so bare boned that the company has been at the forefront when it comes to software support. But a few apps set the software on Motorola phones from that running on a Nexus device, and the Moto G is no different.
The Moto G’s camera then, like every other part of the smartphone, punches well above its weight
Motorola Alert predefines who should be notified in emergency situations. Tapping one button triggers an automated text to be sent to your emergency contact headlined “I’m in danger”, along with your address and GPS coordinates. An emergency alarm is set off by the smartphone at the same time. Additional modes include “meet me” and “follow me”.
Motorola Assist demonstrates the same intuition by identifying when you’re at work, in a meeting, driving or at home, and then by automatically enabling the relevant profile. The Moto G will automatically silence itself in meetings and respond to missed calls with a text; when driving or at home, the smartphone will read out text messages and narrate who is calling; and, when you’re asleep, it will silence notifications until morning.
Vanilla Android is comprehensive and replete with features. The Moto G is all the better for keeping the operating system stock and not desecrating it with a half-baked overlay. This way Motorola can ensure the software is reliable, quick and uniform in design.
Better front and rear cameras complete the list of improvements Motorola has made to the Moto G. Both cameras have jumped up in resolution — the front from 1.2MP to 2MP, and the rear from 5MP to 8MP — and both are capable of recording videos in 720p resolution.
Photos captured with the rear camera sit amongst the best within the Moto G’s price range. A wide range of colours are rendered with vibrancy and photos are sharp. Signs of image noise are apparent in dim lighting, but these photos will still look great on a 720p screen.
Motorola’s camera interface remains a joy to use. The clever UI is based on gestures: swiping right generates a settings menu, left opens the gallery and pressing down the screen triggers burst mode. The Moto G’s camera then, like every other part of the smartphone, punches well above its weight.
Now more than ever can anyone drop their $900 flagship smartphone, pick up the $269 Moto G and have all of their needs met. That was the beauty behind the original Moto G and Motorola has managed to create the same magic again.
Slowly Motorola is setting up its budget smartphone as a powerful tool for multimedia. The bigger screen will appeal to a great many, while stereo speakers complement it during video and music playback. Throw in proficient cameras and the result is a smartphone ripe for content consumption.
One more thing. The Moto G, with its dual-SIM set-up and 3G modem, was not developed for wealthy Australia, where we can afford to invest in fast network infrastructure and the cost of data. People wanting for a real flagship smartphone without holding out on 4G should consider the Moto G 4G — a variant of the first generation Moto G that comes with expandable memory and a 4G modem.
Whether you invest in the first or second generation Moto G, the end result remains the same: you’re winning.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Toys for Boys
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Belkin Introduces USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD
- Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Will Come To Australia
- Boost Mobile Doubles Data Offering With New Summer Plans
- BlackBerry KEYone Black Launches in Australia
- HTC U11 Plus latest rumours: Release date, price and specs
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Get set for Amazon Australia Black Friday launch
- Destiny 2 PC review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCSecurity AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Siebel DeveloperACT
- CCAS400 Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- FTTechnical Test AnalystQLD
- FTProject Manager/Scrum MasterNSW
- FTSenior Procurement Manager- Government BackgroundOther
- FTSenior Analyst, Technical SupportNSW
- FTMid-Level Drupal Developer (Brisbane Location)SA
- FTDomain Architect - AWS / AzureOther
- CCITSM Project ManagerNSW
- FTEngineer Control Systems SpecialistSA
- FTiOS DeveloperWA
- CCSenior Project Manager x 2 (Infrastructure)NSW
- FTTest Automation EngineerVIC
- FTPageUp BAOther
- FTSenior Front End Developer - (Urgent)Other
- CCScrum Master - BrisbaneVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- FTSenior Test AnalystACT
- FTRecords AnalystOther
- FTUX Researcher - ContractNSW
- FTService Desk Analyst - L1Other
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTIT Graduate / Junior Project AdministratorOther