Its a steal

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Mar 6 2014, 08:05am hrs
In the mid-2000s, I used to be the proud owner of a Motorola Razr flip phone. To be honest, I have yet to find a phone that matches its voice and sound quality; I used to spend hours listening to the golden voice of Mukesh, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey and AR Rahman on that device. At times, I feel that mobile phones such as the Razr have cannibalised the portable media player market. Unfortunately, my prized possession met a watery death one day in the bathroom when it slipped from my hand and went straight into a bucket filled with warm water. All known efforts to revive itusing a hair dryer to dry the main areas, burying it in a bag of rice to suck out the moisturefailed, leaving me high and dry!

The affection for Motorola phones is still intact; in fact, their new kid on the blockMoto Ghas revived the good old memories of the brand. The Moto G is generating a lot of interest in gadget circles and for obvious reasons. Its an exceptional phone from a iconic brand, at an exceptional price of R12,999. It has pretty much everythingcamera, internet, email and more. Let us see how it performs in real-time use.

The review unit came with a basic charger, earphones and the unit in black version with 8 GB internal storage. Right out the box, the Moto G is built to please; it does not make any design statement, but has a clean look. It feels very solid in the hands, looks like it has a unibody design but the back cover can actually be removed to access the battery and the micro-SIM card slot (theres a second one too in some phones). To remove the back cover of the phone, press the centre and grip the bottom edge. Lift up from the bottom. You can even change the back cover for a new look with optional colours.

The handset feels a bit thick on the side but since it has a curved back, the hold is comfortable and the grip is just right. The power button and the volume rocker is found on the right side, the 3.5 mm audio jack is at the top end and the microUSB port is at the bottom. The back panel has a smooth matte finish, slightly curved towards the corners. The

5 megapixel camera is right in the centre with the LED flash just below it. The Motorola logo is further down while the speaker grills are on the left side of the camera.

In terms of specs, the unit runs on Android 4.3 Jellybean, has an entry-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and uses the vanilla user interface with a few native apps pre-installed by Motorola. When launching apps, you may feel that it is a little slower than high-end phones, but for those who are migrating from feature phones to mid-range smartphones, they wont notice or care much if they can get a good deal on the phone.

The internal storage is 8 GB, which is enough for storing contacts, songs and photos, but dont plan on watching a whole lot of high definition movies. If you create a lot of content (photos or video), be prepared to move some of those off the phone every once in a while.

Despite being a mid-range device, the Moto G comes with an IPS LCD display, which looks very good. Even if you are looking at the screen from a shallow angle, the images colour hue and brightness is sharp and consistent. The resolution of the screen is 1280 x 720 and I am sure that most people will be happy about the display quality. Its a fine balance between price, quality and graphics performance.

The home screen is what you see when you first turn on your phone. Moving your photos, music, text and call history, contacts and more from your previous Android phone is easy. All that one needs to do is that on his/her previous Android phone, download the Motorola Migrate app on Google Play to get started. Then on the new phone (Moto G), touch apps and go to Motorola Migrate and follow the instructions on your screenits simple, straight and a direct way on not starting from scratch! This is one feature which may come in handy.

The device is smooth and snappy, the display is bright and crisp, the user interface is fluid and for most of the day-to-day tasks, the Moto G is just as fast as any other cool phone out there. Low-light photography, video capture on the phone, plus its battery life is pretty decent.

The success of any device is largely dependent on its performance and availability of relevant content and appsat the right price. Motorola is trying to break new ground in the marketplace with its new innovation. Take my word, their new device is impressive in both specs and performance.

Get your hands on the new Moto G!


* Dimensions: 129.9 x 65.9 x 6-11.6 mm (H x W x D)

* Display: 4.5 inches diagonal, 1280 x 720 HD

* Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU

* Operating system: Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)

* Capacity: 8 GB

* Camera: 5 MP (rear); 1.3 MP (front)

* Connectivity: Micro USB, 3.5 mm headset jack

* Estimated street price: Rs 12,999 (8 GB)