• A Moto G Miscellany

    Don't call this a review; it's more a dump of random observations about Motorola's new Moto G.

    I've had a pre-release unit in my hands for all of five days, and I can really only compare it to the Nexus 5 currently on loan from LG Canada, plus my own LG Nexus 4. But as I will hopefully demonstrate, the Moto G compares quite well to both of them.

    Let's take a closer look...

    Speaker



    I took this photo to show the spring-loaded microSIM slot on the Moto G's uncovered back. It was only later that I noticed that huge speaker grille to the immediate left of the camera. It's mono but it's loud, and delivers much richer sound than the Nexus 5's weak down-firing speaker.

    Back Covers



    There are three types of custom covers available from Motorola for the G: (1) The standard ones you see above, (2) a selection of more sporty two-tone covers that wrap around the front edges of the device, and (3) wallet-style covers that cover the G front and back.

    For anyone who's asking the cover on my Moto G is as challenging to remove as when I got it. Short fingernails certainly don't help!

    Camera App



    The built-in camera app on the Moto G is fantastic, and easily the best stock camera interface that I've used on an Android device. Swipe to the left for a ring with various settings; swipe to the right to get to your gallery as per usual.

    You can switch between photo and video capture via on-screen buttons in the bottom left/right corners of the screen. You don't see them here because they disappear momentarily while the settings ring is in use.

    Photos are captured by tapping anywhere on the screen. Tap-to-focus is achieved by holding down for a second or so. Unfortunately this also activates burst mode, but in most cases I got good results without needing tap-to-focus at all.

    And here's a reminder that I've posted a small sample gallery from the Moto G on Google+...

    Benchmarks



    According to AnTuTu the G scores slightly higher than my Nexus 4. That was unexpected.

    In my use performance has been fantastic apps load super-quick and there's been no noticeable lag anywhere.

    Storage Check



    Last week I posted about the Moto G's skimpy 8GB of storage the 16GB version will apparently not be coming to Telus or Koodo, Motorola's exclusive Canadian launch partner. Since then Howard had me download a quintet of benchmarking apps:


    Each of these have been run at least once, and have presumably cached a bunch of data for their results. Yet we're still sitting at over 2GB of available space. Nice.

    Parting Thoughts

    There's something really appealing about a device that under-promises and over-delivers. Of the two review units currently sitting on my desk I find myself reaching for the Moto G over the Nexus 5 at least half the time.

    I was underwhelmed by the Moto X when I trialled it a few months ago, mostly because Moto Maker was not (and is not) coming to Canada. I personally think that the snap-on back covers for the Moto G are a more practical means of customizing your device.

    If the dual-SIM 16GB Moto G could be purchased unlocked from Motorola Canada for the equivalent of $199 USD I'd have already ordered a pair of them. Without dual-SIM support the 16GB unlocked version is still an amazing deal for our American friends, and will hopefully prove popular enough for some third-party firmware that is, if Motorola will add the G to their list of unlockable bootloaders.

    But even locked to Telus and with only 8GB of available storage, the Moto G punches well above its weight. In other words, it's a champ.

    [hr][/hr]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: A Moto G Miscellany started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      I love the wallpapers on the G, any way you can rip them and post them here?
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Not sure how I would accomplish such a thing without a root file explorer... Any ideas?

      Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by acurrie View Post
      Not sure how I would accomplish such a thing without a root file explorer... Any ideas?

      Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
      No unfortunately not, well thanks for trying i noticed you wrote that you reach for the Moto G half the time vs. the N5 does this mean you consider it a better phone?
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      No, just more endearing.

      I would expect a Nexus to be great. The Moto G kinda snuck up on me...
    1. Ian Brantford's Avatar
      Ian Brantford -
      Thanks for this great thread. So far, I haven't seen sufficient reason to upgrade from my Nexus 4 to anything else on the market. The N5 and Moto G would be the main entries on the short list though. If I were to lose or damage the N4, I would probably buy a factory-unlocked Moto G from the US. The N5 would be good, but reviews show that the supposedly superior camera isn't, and the speakerphone is weak. I use the speakerphone for GPS navigation and need to hear it above vehicle/traffic sounds. The N4's speakerphone is just barely adequate and a notably weak one would not do. The Moto G would be a good replacement.
    1. Steve Punter's Avatar
      Steve Punter -
      Have you considered connecting the phone to your car stereo? I do that all the time for music, but it works extremely well for navigation.
    1. flyguyset's Avatar
      flyguyset -
      Great idea. Of course it involves several more steps.
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ian Brantford View Post
      Thanks for this great thread. So far, I haven't seen sufficient reason to upgrade from my Nexus 4 to anything else on the market. The N5 and Moto G would be the main entries on the short list though. If I were to lose or damage the N4, I would probably buy a factory-unlocked Moto G from the US. The N5 would be good, but reviews show that the supposedly superior camera isn't, and the speakerphone is weak. I use the speakerphone for GPS navigation and need to hear it above vehicle/traffic sounds. The N4's speakerphone is just barely adequate and a notably weak one would not do. The Moto G would be a good replacement.
      Apparently the speaker issue is only on some units and it is glue that has dried on the speaker, i do not have this issue but like Steve Putner said connect it to your stereo, either via 3.5mm/earphone connection or Bluetooth, and the camera is a software issue fix is coming sooner then later http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/...ts-camera-raw/
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by acurrie View Post
      No, just more endearing.

      I would expect a Nexus to be great. The Moto G kinda snuck up on me...
      I see, well the only issue that can not be solved for me would be no LTE, once you go LTE you can't go back.
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      once you go LTE you can't go back.
      Agreed!
    1. Over the Air's Avatar
      Over the Air -
      Quote Originally Posted by acurrie View Post
      If the dual-SIM 16GB Moto G could be purchased unlocked from Motorola Canada for the equivalent of $199 USD I'd have already ordered a pair of them.
      Can you help out a cell phone newbie by explaining what the advantages of a dual-SIM phone are?
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Over the Air View Post
      Can you help out a cell phone newbie by explaining what the advantages of a dual-SIM phone are?
      Sure. Though it's not 100% clear whether or not the Moto G will support 3G AWS on WIND or Mobilicity, if it did then I could enjoy affordable data from one of those carriers and usable voice service from Bell, Rogers, or Telus at the same time.
    1. HC - NO "i"'s Avatar
      HC - NO "i" -
      acurrie / Over the Air,

      1. I do not believe the dual-SIM variant will be available or even compatible with all the 3G networks here in Canada. As I have already mentioned in another thread that the advantage for the subscribers in some regions could travel with different lines with 2 different network operators in the same device to keep in touch with the locals as well as the contacts back home. I also use a Hong Kong based prepaid SIM card while travelling to the mainland China with another local prepaid SIM Card.

      2. Moto G variant T56PF2 has got UMTS Band IV (AWS) support for carriers like Wind, Videotron and Mobilicity, as well as the UMTS Band II (1900) / V (850) for the Big-3. However, it does NOT have dual-SIM support.
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Quote Originally Posted by HC - NO "i" View Post
      Moto G variant T56PF2 has got UMTS Band IV (AWS) support for carriers like Wind, Videotron and Mobilicity, as well as the UMTS Band II (1900) / V (850) for the Big-3. However, it does NOT have dual-SIM support.
      This is the unlocked-from-Moto version? Because apparently the Telus/Koodo model doesn't support AWS.

      And again, the dual-SIM version has only been rumoured for Brazil and India so far. If I'm lucky some grey-market units will find their way to Hong Kong when I visit next year.
    1. HC - NO "i"'s Avatar
      HC - NO "i" -
      acurrie,

      For the technical specifications, I do not always rely on the marketing materials even from the manufacturers (Remember, the HTC One X mess?) Same goes with the bloggosphere even though myself, fellow HC, Ian and Daniel (at Mobilesyrup) are accurate in general. So I rely on FCC and Industry Canada compliance filings and the actual, real-world observation.

      Apparently the variant, T56FP1, which does NOT have UMTS Band IV (AWS) support but just UMTS Band II (1900) and V (850) for carriers like the Big-3. As for the those destined for other markets, it may have got dual-SIM support but without the UMTS Band II (1900) or V (850) support for the Big-3.
    1. Ian Brantford's Avatar
      Ian Brantford -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      Apparently the speaker issue is only on some units and it is glue that has dried on the speaker, i do not have this issue but like Steve Putner said connect it to your stereo, either via 3.5mm/earphone connection or Bluetooth, and the camera is a software issue fix is coming sooner then later http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/...ts-camera-raw/
      Thanks for the information.

      Regarding the automobile audio, to be honest it never once occurred to me to hook my phone up to the AUX port that I have pointed out to passengers with MP3 players! I have been contemplating getting an aftermarket Bluetooth stereo adapter.
    1. HC - NO "i"'s Avatar
      HC - NO "i" -
      Folks,

      Just in time for the winter...