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.
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%.
- 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
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:
- 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.