Hands-on: Motorola Moto G is ‘Value For Money’ Android Phone

Moto G in LiewCF's hand
Moto G in LiewCF’s hand

Moto G is a budget Android smartphone with Quad-core processor and dual-SIM support.

Motorola and Brightstar launched Moto G in Malaysia on 16th January 2014. LiewCF was invited to the launch event to have first hand experience with Moto G.

Read on for my thoughts on Moto G – “An Exceptional Phone at An Exceptional Price”.

Standard design

Moto G is not a high-end smartphone with outstanding design. Instead, it has a low profile, standard phone design which you are familiar and comfortable with.

You will found power button and volume controller at the right side, microUSB port at the bottom, headphone jack and microphone at the top.

Its curved body with interchangeable soft plastic back cover (Motorola Shell case) is comfortable to hold.

Moto G is 4.5-inch display and weight 143 g. It is not lightest nor thinnest phone, but I like it.

4.5-inch is the perfect smartphone screen size, in my opinion. Not too big to be hold by one hand; not too small for reading.

Value for Money

For less than RM 800, Moto G gives you Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB memory. The 4.5-inch display is 720p HD at 329 ppi. Motorola claims that it is “sharpest HD display”.

Though not a Full HD display (are we asking too much?) but it is bright and clear. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is used for scratches protection. The same glass is also used in Samsung GALAXY S4 and Lenovo Vibe X.

Moto G model in Malaysia supports Dual SIM, Dual Standby, Dual 3G. While other phones only support only one active 3G SIM, Moto G support two active 3G SIM cards with speed up to 21Mbps each!

For battery life, Moto G build-in 2070 mAh battery could last up to 24 hours, claims Motorola.

Moto G has dual cameras, too – 5MP rear camera with LED and 1.3MP front camera. Both cameras could capture 720p HD video.

Moto G camera app is simple. It does not have many fancy features like Lenovo Vibe X. It just works – tap anywhere to capture, tap & hold for burst shots.

Moto G owners will get extra 50GB Google Drive storage space FREE for 2 years, on top of standard 15GB free storage space — Total 65GB Google Drive cloud storage to store your emails, documents, photos, and other files. [Thanks, Kevin Ng]

Motorola was a Google company before Google sold it to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, weeks after launching Moto G in Malaysia. The promised “guaranteed upgrade” Android 4.4 KitKat for Moto G has been roll out worldwide before Google-Lenovo deal. (Thankfully!)

Hopefully, it is not the last Android update for Moto G. I guess Moto G will not receive quick Android update under Lenovo…

Motorola apps

While Moto G keeps its Android version as clean as stock Android, it has two useful apps:

  1. Motorola Assists – similar to iOS’ DND feature, Assists is an app to easily set custom profile settings, such as Meeting (auto reply, silent ringtone) and Sleeping (silent ringtone).
  2. Motorola Migrate helps you to migrate to Moto G from other Android phones or iPhone. Everything (photos, videos, SIM contacts, call history, text messages) will be transferred to Moto G in 3 steps.

Moto G is not…

Keep in mind that Moto G is a budget phone. It does not have some features you found on other high-end (read: expensive) smartphones:

  • No FullHD – Moto G 4.5″ display is HD resolution (), not FullHD (1920×1080). It makes a difference when you are watching Full HD video on smartphone.
  • No NFC – Moto G does not have NFC. You can not tap smartphone with others to exchange information. When is the last time you use NFC, anyway? However, No NFC also means Moto G does not support Wireless Charging.
  • No 4G LTE – Moto G is dual SIM 3G/HSPA+ but it does not support 4G LTE super fast wireless broadband connection.
  • No memory expansion – Moto G does not support external memory card like microSD. You only have the build-in memory, either 8GB or 16GB. I would advise to buy 16GB version. For extra RM100 you get double memory space for your apps, musics, videos and photos.

Moto G Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 @ 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • Android 4.3 (jelly bean), guarantee upgrade 4.4 in early 2014
  • Memory: 8GB or 16GB
  • weight: 143 gram
  • 4.5 ” 720p HD, 329 ppi, gorilla glass 3, water-repellent coating
  • 2070 mAh battery (up to 24 hours)
  • Dual SIM Dual Standby Dual 3G/HSPA+ up to 21Mbps
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 5MP rear camera with 720p video capture
  • 1.3MP front camera with 720p HD video capture
  • Dimension: 65.9mm x 129.9 x 6.0–11.6mm

Moto G shells

Colourful Motorola Flip Shell
Colourful Motorola Flip Shell

Motorola designed 2 cases for Moto G: Flip Shell and Shell. Flip Shell protects Moto G’s back and screen, Shell only cover the smartphone’s back.

Colourful Motorola Shell
Colourful Motorola Shell

Flip Shell is available in 7 colors and Shell is available in 5 colours. Flip Shell and Shell retail price is RM 128 and RM 78, respectively.

Price and Availability

In Malaysia, Motorola Moto G is RM 698 (8GB) and RM 798 (16GB). Moto G is available for sale through major telcos, retailers, consumer electronics stores and Lazada online store.


Moto G browser loaded LiewCF.com
Moto G browser loaded LiewCF.com

Moto G has set a new hardware standard for budget smartphone in 2014. With the same specs, the other Android phones would cost you RM 1,000. Moto G is value-for-money.

Other manufacturers will need to develop smartphone that match (if not better) Moto G specs and price.

If you are looking for a budget Android smartphone that works, buy Moto G.

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6 thoughts on “Hands-on: Motorola Moto G is ‘Value For Money’ Android Phone”

  1. Hi! Usually when the phone hangs(not responsive to any buttons), I’ll remove the battery manually and restart the phone. So does it cause problem for moto G when it hangs since the battery is non-removable?


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