The term “game changer” gets thrown around way too much in the tech industry, but if any phone of 2013 deserved the epithet, it was the Moto G. For $180 unlocked, it came with a spec sheet typically reserved for phones $200 more expensive and provided the (then-) cheapest route into Google’s stock Android software. It truly improved the idea of what could be expected from a nominal “budget device,” and it was rewarded by becoming the highest-selling phone in Motorola’s long and storied history.
Now, it’s time for part two. Motorola confirmed the follow-up to its smash hit this morning alongside its new Moto X flagship, and like its bigger sibling, the new Moto G is keeping the same name as before. The changes here don’t appear to be as substantial as they are on the X, but that might not matter as much given that the device is keeping the same sweet price point it had last year.
As is the case with the X, the most immediately noticeable difference between 2013’s Moto G and 2014’s Moto G is its display. This year’s panel keeps its predecessor’s 720p resolution, but it’s gotten 10 percent bigger, going from 4.5 inches to 5. This will mean a slight drop in pixel density, but we’ll wait until we get the screen in our hands before deciding if it’s a downgrade or not.
The larger screen does mean that the phone has gotten a bit taller, wider and heavier than before, but it’s also about 0.5 mm thinner. The front-facing speaker set of the Moto X has migrated here, and Motorola says that the whole thing is splash-proof too. Otherwise, the materials and general design language on display here are familiar.
Internally, the new Moto G’s specs are largely unchanged. It runs on the same 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, with an Adreno 305 GPU and 1 GB of RAM. The same 2,070 mAh battery returns too. The phone will also come with either 8 GB or 16 GB of storage space, but, crucially, Motorola’s has addressed maybe the biggest complaint of last yea’’s model by including a microSD slot this time around. Another area of improvement may be the camera, which is now an 8-megapixel unit with an f/2.0 lens. A 2-megapixel shooter joins it on the front.
On the software side, the Moto G still runs an almost entirely stock version of Android 4.4.4. As is the case with the new Moto X, this means that the forthcoming Android L update should hit the phone rather quickly.
The new Moto G is available today on Motorola’s website for the same unlocked price of $180. We’ll dig deeper into the device with a full review in the near future.