• Our Motorola Moto G Second Gen review: Better the second time around


    Motorola really shook up the industry last year when they released the Moto G. Up until then, the thought getting such a sharp display in such an affordable brand name phone was just a dream.

    However, fast forward a year and the market has caught up with the G, particularly in the display size department. Fortunately, just as competitors were starting to catch up, Motorola released their new second generation Moto G. Letís see how it stacks up.
    Pricing:

    Staples $249.95 unlocked
    Wind $249.95 off contract
    Wind $0 on contract
    Motorola USA $179.99 unlocked

    There are 2 versions of the Moto G 2nd generation, both of which are available in black or white. One is banded to work on all North American HSPA carriers, while the other is an international variant which is harder to come by.

    If we take the Moto G US pricing and convert it to Canadian dollars, it basically works out to around 200 Canadian. So if you buy a moto g in Canada, you're basically paying $50 extra or to put it another way, an extra 25%.

    Specs:
    • Motorola Moto G XT1064
    • 5Ē 1280x720 IPS display
    • 1.2Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
    • 1GB RAM
    • 8GB storage
    • 8MP camera
    • Stereo Speakers
    • Android 4.4.4 (will be updated)
    • HSPA 850/AWS/2100Mhz
    • 2070mAh battery
    • WiFi 2.4Ghz 802.11N
    • BT 4.0
    • 72.4 x 11 x 140.8mm
    • 144g


    What about the first gen Moto G?



    The first gen Moto G (the 8GB, HSPA variant with no MicroSD AKA XT1032) can be found as low as $120 on prepaid, while in the US, I think they go for under $100. To say you get a lot of bang for your buck at that price point, would be like saying that the sky is blue.



    For roughly, double the price, the second gen Moto G brings the following features to the table:

    • unlocked
    • Larger 5Ē display
    • MicroSD card
    • Stereo Speakers
    • 8MP camera


    These are all great features and all are noticeable improvements over the first generation. That said, the Moto G occupies a very cost conscious part of the market. Letís break down what each feature is worth:



    One of the most difficult things to place a value on is how much being unlocked is worth. Yes, you could get ripped off and get your carrier to unlock it for $50 but often you can get a phone unlocked for less than $10. Hereís the thing, whether you get your carrier to unlock your phone or you get one of the businesses in the HoFo marketplace, the way your phone gets unlocked is the same. They give you a code that you enter into your phone and then itís unlocked forever.

    So, a carrier may have certain criteria like you must be a customer for X number of days, you have to have paid off your subsidy, etc before you have the privilege of overpaying. Or you can go with someone in the HoFo marketplace where the only criteria is if you have a credit card.

    That leaves the remaining $100 or so dollars to be split between the larger display, MicroSD card, stereo speakers and the 8 megapixel camera.

    Is it worth it? Absolutely.

    What about the first gen Moto G LTE or 16GB?

    The first gen Moto G also comes in 2 other flavours; the LTE version; adds a MicroSD slot and LTE support while the 16GB version is banded to work on all North American carriers plus it adds a MicroSD slot.

    These days, Android has become much more restrictive with what you can do with a MicroSD card so if you want to install a lot of programs then having as much built-in storage is a must. If thatís you then you might want to consider the 16GB first gen Moto G. But really, the second gen is so much better that youíre better off practicing some discipline and learning to live with 8GB of storage (5.5GB usable). Remember, you can still save photos and videos and toss your music on to a MicroSD so itís not an impossible task.

    Also, donít forget that thereís nothing stopping Moto from bringing a 16GB version of the 2nd Gen to North America.

    As for the LTE version, while itís a tough trade off, the 5Ē screen alone makes the second gen a better choice unless your carrier has cripplingly slow HSPA speeds.

    What about the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2S?



    With the second gen G, you get a 5Ē screen, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, 8MP camera, Snapdragon 400, 2000ish mAh for $250. Itís a great deal but what if I told you, you could also get all those features plus LTE for the same price?



    Yes, thatís the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2S. Heck, the 2S is arguably a sharper looking phone too.



    LTE is an awesome feature, itís the cherry on top of a sundae, the turbo on an engine, etc.

    Donít forget that the 2S has hardware menu buttons so while its screen is also 5Ē, itís usable area is a bit bigger.

    The Moto G pulls ahead with much better sounding speakers and a slightly better camera, better calibrated display, more Android updates plus its unlocked but if youíre looking to spend $250 a phone, you should really take a look at the Idol 2S. Really, the G is a more well rounded package - while it doesnít have LTE, it doesnít have any glaring weaknesses either. Regardless, the 2S gives you more bang for your buck than the Moto G.

    What about the Alcatel OneTouch Idol X?

    Did you know that the Idol X is another $250 Canadian phone that comes with a 5Ē 1920x1080 display, 2GB RAM, 13MP camera and 16GB storage?

    Long story short, while the Idol X is a hero on paper, itís SoC is overwhelmed by the full HD display so itís not a well rounded package like the second gen G or its brother the 2S.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our Motorola Moto G Second Gen review: Better the second time around started by howard View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Great review!

      For anyone considering any flavour of Moto G with expandable storage, remember that Android 5.0 will have much better SD card support than KitKat.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Great review, Howard

      You did forget to add one player to the fray for a challenger here...and you yourself did a review on it. China phones are getting better and better(especially in the last 6-8 months or so), and the iNew V8, at only $200.00 or a bit less, is a prime candidate for your dollars, both here in the US and in Canada. I just finished a video review to compliment your review---and have just had this same conversation with a viewer on my site, no joke. Allow me to cut n paste part of my response on the differences to him below(I added a bit more here):

      The differences:
      1. The V8 has NFC(might be useful to many or none, up to you) and Dual Band Wi-Fi(Don't know if the G has this one).
      2. Bigger 5.5" screen(and it looks better too, Motorola always over saturates their HD screens, too garish to my eyes), both 720p.
      3. Better, newer processor. The MediaTek Hexa Core in the V8 is newer, has a faster GPU and is much more energy efficient than the older Snapdragon 400 in the G. Plus you can brag you've got a six core...I know, just sayin'
      4. 2GB of ram and 16GB of storage for the V8, literally half that for the G. Both have sd slots. That first one is the biggie, 2GB is really the minimum for smooth playback of the latest games IMHO.
      5. The G wins on the OS front, it will most definitely get L, no guarantee's the V8 will. If you want L just to run ART, then be assured it does run great on the V8. I've been running it since I got it with zero problems.
      6. No comparison at all on the camera(s), the V8's 13mp rotatable one is better than the G again IMHO.
      7. Antutu scores: G= around 18000, V8= 25500, big difference.

      There are more things to be sure, but my point was that the V8 is a better phone all around than the 2nd Gen G at the same price in Canada(after import duties, I think it will probably even out price wise) and a few bucks more in the US. Just my 2 cents on this one

      Here's the link to Howards review:
      http://www.howardforums.com/content.php/2013

      And my review, we agree on almost everything,lol:
    1. pfoneguy's Avatar
      pfoneguy -
      Any rumor on a 2nd Gen LTE version?
    1. TelecomZombie's Avatar
      TelecomZombie -
      $199.99 at Spit Out Wireless when you buy a $100. prepaid voucher and receive additional $25. Credit. Unless Iam mistakem
      365 day expiry.
      http://www.speakout7eleven.ca/prepai...a-moto-g-black

      Display
      5" 720p HD

      Dimensions
      L x W x D: 140.8 mm ◊ 72.4 mm ◊ 6.0-11.0mm (curve)
      Weight: 144 grams

      Memory
      RAM: 1GB
      ROM: 8GB
      MicroSD Card Slot

      Battery Performance
      2070 mAh

      Camera/Video
      Rear camera: 8 MP AF
      Front Camera: 2 MP

      Other
      Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
      Micro Size (3FF) SIM Card
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
      Great review, Howard

      You did forget to add one player to the fray for a challenger here...and you yourself did a review on it. China phones are getting better and better(especially in the last 6-8 months or so), and the iNew V8, at only $200.00 or a bit less, is a prime candidate for your dollars, both here in the US and in Canada. I just finished a video review to compliment your review---and have just had this same conversation with a viewer on my site, no joke. Allow me to cut n paste part of my response on the differences to him below(I added a bit more here):

      The differences:
      1. The V8 has NFC(might be useful to many or none, up to you) and Dual Band Wi-Fi(Don't know if the G has this one).
      2. Bigger 5.5" screen(and it looks better too, Motorola always over saturates their HD screens, too garish to my eyes), both 720p.
      3. Better, newer processor. The MediaTek Hexa Core in the V8 is newer, has a faster GPU and is much more energy efficient than the older Snapdragon 400 in the G. Plus you can brag you've got a six core...I know, just sayin'
      4. 2GB of ram and 16GB of storage for the V8, literally half that for the G. Both have sd slots. That first one is the biggie, 2GB is really the minimum for smooth playback of the latest games IMHO.
      5. The G wins on the OS front, it will most definitely get L, no guarantee's the V8 will. If you want L just to run ART, then be assured it does run great on the V8. I've been running it since I got it with zero problems.
      6. No comparison at all on the camera(s), the V8's 13mp rotatable one is better than the G again IMHO.
      7. Antutu scores: G= around 18000, V8= 25500, big difference.

      There are more things to be sure, but my point was that the V8 is a better phone all around than the 2nd Gen G at the same price in Canada(after import duties, I think it will probably even out price wise) and a few bucks more in the US. Just my 2 cents on this one

      Here's the link to Howards review:
      http://www.howardforums.com/content.php/2013

      And my review, we agree on almost everything,lol:
      I would say if china phones had LTE they would be a much better choice. I know the Moto G doesn't either yet.
      But there are other considerations such as warranty which is pretty much non existent and resale value.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      ^Good points. But there are some China phones that now have LTE(see my review of the Landvo L200G, for instance, elsewhere on this site). I do have to say, however, that folks don't usually buy an under $200.00 phone based on resale value, they do it to save cash and hope to get a decent phone out of it. Both phones offer that with the V8 offering even more.
    1. Frankie500's Avatar
      Frankie500 -
      @Howard

      Any issues with light from the display leaking out around the bevel of the new Moto G while using it in dark room? That seems to be an issue quite a few people are having, though it seems mostly with the white phone. Also, I've read that the fit and finish is lacking compared with the first gen Moto G, that it's put together differently, has gaps and creaks and such. Your take?
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
      ^Good points. But there are some China phones that now have LTE(see my review of the Landvo L200G, for instance, elsewhere on this site). I do have to say, however, that folks don't usually buy an under $200.00 phone based on resale value, they do it to save cash and hope to get a decent phone out of it. Both phones offer that with the V8 offering even more.
      The LTE isn't for North America.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      The LTE isn't for North America.
      Just the US, Canada works just fine
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
      Just the US, Canada works just fine
      intersting, which Canadian company has FDD LTE?
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      intersting, which Canadian company has FDD LTE?
      I read it both here:
      http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...ame-as-FDD-LTE

      And here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

      That last one really clears up which LTE bands and networks work where. It's a mess, really, lol.