Motorola Moto G (2015) Review

Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Introduction


This has been the summer of summers for strong mid-range propositions, evident by the amount of sub-$300 priced devices we’ve seen come to market. Smartphones like the Asus Zenfone 2, Huawei P8 Lite, Microsoft Lumia 640, and Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 have shown us that there’s a ton of value in this particular segment – and it doesn’t look like this trend is going away any time soon! That’s wonderful news for consumers, as well as for the companies making those phones.

Before all of this, though, we have to remember that Motorola established this segment first with the introduction of the original Moto G a couple years ago. We can’t forget about how they popularized the segment, but its latest offering is aiming to continue the legacy of delivering exceptional value and performance. Even with thick competition already in the midst, the third-generation Moto G stands firmly in its ground with its hard-to-beat full price of $179.99. So can it deliver the goods?

The package contains:

  • Motorola Moto G (2015)
  • Wall charger
  • Read me guide
  • Safe, smart, protected information

Design

A water-resistant construction and deeper customization thanks to Moto Maker, this is undoubtedly the best designed Moto G to date in the series!

In standard fashion, the 2015 Moto G stays true to the series’ humble styling. It’s not premium, that’s for sure, nor is it cheap-cheap like some other phones in the same price category – so it finds a balance that we find pleasant, and in a way, timeless. Instead, the new Moto G flaunts a few subtle aesthetic changes, such as a slightly larger overall footprint and a new metallic-like trim bezel. Moreover, its rear plastic casing now has a rigid pattern to it. And finally, it wouldn’t be a Moto G without the soft dimple in its back.

What’s most astounding about the new Moto G is that it now offers IPX7 certification, which ensures that it’s water-resistant to survive submersion under 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Now that’s flat out news to our ears, as it’s a delicious treat we don’t see in devices in its class! And of course, we put it to the test by rinsing it over the faucet, playing music in the shower, and submerging it in a bucket full of water. It survived all of the testing!

The fun doesn’t end there either, just because the new Moto G is treated to Moto Maker – presenting prospective buyers with a unique way of personalizing the phone. From choosing the front and rear casing colors, to even the accent color of the plate around the camera lens compartment, there’s more discretion for it to stand out with bold colors. All told, this is the best model in the series to date! It might appear simple and quaint superficially, but the addition of a water-resistant construction and deeper customization courtesy of Moto Maker makes its pricing fine and dandy in our books!

Although it might seem like it’s flaunting dual front-firing speakers, it’s actually not. Rather, the cutout above the display is strictly used for its earpiece – while the bottom is the speaker itself. Considering it’s still relatively easy to handle with one hand due to its size, both the power button and volume controls are found near one another on the right edge of the phone. Rounding things out, it also features a microUSB 2.0 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and noise cancellation mic around its trim.

 

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Front view | Side view
Motorola Moto G (2015)
Motorola Moto G (2015)
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches
142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Motorola Moto G (2014)
Motorola Moto G (2014)
5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches
141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Huawei P8 lite
Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Microsoft Lumia 640
Microsoft Lumia 640
5.56 x 2.84 x 0.35 inches
141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Microsoft Lumia 640


Motorola Moto G (2015) Review

Display

The specs might be unchanged, but there are small improvements all around with the display.

From a specs standpoint, there’s nothing terribly new here with the 2015 Moto G screen – it’s a 5-inch 720 x 1280 HD display with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 protecting it. From the looks of it, the display appears to be of the IPS-LCD variety, just like before with the previous Moto G phones. Boasting the same sized display and resolution, there’s no change whatsoever with the details. Therefore, it’s sharp and effective enough when using it from a normal distance.

While it certainly would seem there’s not a lot different to the display this time around, it flaunts some minor improvements that technically makes it a superior panel over its predecessors. First and foremost, it produces a more potent luminance of 449 nits, which makes it fairly reasonable to see under bright lighting conditions. On top of that, baby step improvements are made to its color temperature and gamma value, which chime in at 7440K and 2.27 respectively (vs 7625K and 2.56 for the Moto G 2014). While the screen’s color temperature is an improvement over last year, it’s still by and large a colder toned panel – so colors tend to have a hint of blue in them (most noticeable with white).

Speaking of color production, there’s honestly no major changes here. It does a decent job with accurately reproducing all gradients in the sRGB color chart spectrum. Distortion is evident at some angles, which causes colors to appear washed out at times. It’s not terrible, but still noticeable to the eye.

The benchmark results are one part of the overall picture, but at the end of the day, while it might not have the crazy specs to make it super compelling, but for a budget phone, its display is agreeable.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 449
(Good)
19
(Poor)
1:1116
(Good)
7440
(Good)
2.27
5.87
(Average)
4.04
(Average)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 390
(Average)
15
(Poor)
1:908
(Average)
8290
(Poor)
2.39
5.32
(Average)
6.78
(Average)
Huawei P8 lite 380
(Average)
10
(Average)
1:933
(Average)
8536
(Poor)
2.25
6.50
(Average)
7.04
(Average)
Microsoft Lumia 640 352
(Average)
1
(Excellent)
1:869
(Average)
6939
(Excellent)
2.25
3.96
(Good)
2.02
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Huawei P8 lite 81.6%
80%
85.1%
23.3%
14.2%
2.3%
46.7%
Motorola Moto G (2014) 86.4%
86.7%
77.1%
13.8%
0.8%
17.7%
18%
Motorola Moto G (2015) 86.6%
84.2%
83.1%
7.6%
1.3%
32.7%
14.4%
Microsoft Lumia 640 88.4%
0%
83.4%
10.8%
1.8%
0%
100%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Motorola Moto G (2015) Review

Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Introduction


This has been the summer of summers for strong mid-range propositions, evident by the amount of sub-$300 priced devices we’ve seen come to market. Smartphones like the Asus Zenfone 2, Huawei P8 Lite, Microsoft Lumia 640, and Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 have shown us that there’s a ton of value in this particular segment – and it doesn’t look like this trend is going away any time soon! That’s wonderful news for consumers, as well as for the companies making those phones.

Before all of this, though, we have to remember that Motorola established this segment first with the introduction of the original Moto G a couple years ago. We can’t forget about how they popularized the segment, but its latest offering is aiming to continue the legacy of delivering exceptional value and performance. Even with thick competition already in the midst, the third-generation Moto G stands firmly in its ground with its hard-to-beat full price of $179.99. So can it deliver the goods?

The package contains:

  • Motorola Moto G (2015)
  • Wall charger
  • Read me guide
  • Safe, smart, protected information

Design

A water-resistant construction and deeper customization thanks to Moto Maker, this is undoubtedly the best designed Moto G to date in the series!

In standard fashion, the 2015 Moto G stays true to the series’ humble styling. It’s not premium, that’s for sure, nor is it cheap-cheap like some other phones in the same price category – so it finds a balance that we find pleasant, and in a way, timeless. Instead, the new Moto G flaunts a few subtle aesthetic changes, such as a slightly larger overall footprint and a new metallic-like trim bezel. Moreover, its rear plastic casing now has a rigid pattern to it. And finally, it wouldn’t be a Moto G without the soft dimple in its back.

What’s most astounding about the new Moto G is that it now offers IPX7 certification, which ensures that it’s water-resistant to survive submersion under 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Now that’s flat out news to our ears, as it’s a delicious treat we don’t see in devices in its class! And of course, we put it to the test by rinsing it over the faucet, playing music in the shower, and submerging it in a bucket full of water. It survived all of the testing!

The fun doesn’t end there either, just because the new Moto G is treated to Moto Maker – presenting prospective buyers with a unique way of personalizing the phone. From choosing the front and rear casing colors, to even the accent color of the plate around the camera lens compartment, there’s more discretion for it to stand out with bold colors. All told, this is the best model in the series to date! It might appear simple and quaint superficially, but the addition of a water-resistant construction and deeper customization courtesy of Moto Maker makes its pricing fine and dandy in our books!

Although it might seem like it’s flaunting dual front-firing speakers, it’s actually not. Rather, the cutout above the display is strictly used for its earpiece – while the bottom is the speaker itself. Considering it’s still relatively easy to handle with one hand due to its size, both the power button and volume controls are found near one another on the right edge of the phone. Rounding things out, it also features a microUSB 2.0 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and noise cancellation mic around its trim.


Front view | Side view
Motorola Moto G (2015)
Motorola Moto G (2015)
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches
142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Motorola Moto G (2014)
Motorola Moto G (2014)
5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches
141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Huawei P8 lite
Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Microsoft Lumia 640
Microsoft Lumia 640
5.56 x 2.84 x 0.35 inches
141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Microsoft Lumia 640


Motorola Moto G (2015) Review

Display

The specs might be unchanged, but there are small improvements all around with the display.

From a specs standpoint, there’s nothing terribly new here with the 2015 Moto G screen – it’s a 5-inch 720 x 1280 HD display with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 protecting it. From the looks of it, the display appears to be of the IPS-LCD variety, just like before with the previous Moto G phones. Boasting the same sized display and resolution, there’s no change whatsoever with the details. Therefore, it’s sharp and effective enough when using it from a normal distance.

While it certainly would seem there’s not a lot different to the display this time around, it flaunts some minor improvements that technically makes it a superior panel over its predecessors. First and foremost, it produces a more potent luminance of 449 nits, which makes it fairly reasonable to see under bright lighting conditions. On top of that, baby step improvements are made to its color temperature and gamma value, which chime in at 7440K and 2.27 respectively (vs 7625K and 2.56 for the Moto G 2014). While the screen’s color temperature is an improvement over last year, it’s still by and large a colder toned panel – so colors tend to have a hint of blue in them (most noticeable with white).

Speaking of color production, there’s honestly no major changes here. It does a decent job with accurately reproducing all gradients in the sRGB color chart spectrum. Distortion is evident at some angles, which causes colors to appear washed out at times. It’s not terrible, but still noticeable to the eye.

The benchmark results are one part of the overall picture, but at the end of the day, while it might not have the crazy specs to make it super compelling, but for a budget phone, its display is agreeable.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 449
(Good)
19
(Poor)
1:1116
(Good)
7440
(Good)
2.27
5.87
(Average)
4.04
(Average)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 390
(Average)
15
(Poor)
1:908
(Average)
8290
(Poor)
2.39
5.32
(Average)
6.78
(Average)
Huawei P8 lite 380
(Average)
10
(Average)
1:933
(Average)
8536
(Poor)
2.25
6.50
(Average)
7.04
(Average)
Microsoft Lumia 640 352
(Average)
1
(Excellent)
1:869
(Average)
6939
(Excellent)
2.25
3.96
(Good)
2.02
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Huawei P8 lite 81.6%
80%
85.1%
23.3%
14.2%
2.3%
46.7%
Motorola Moto G (2014) 86.4%
86.7%
77.1%
13.8%
0.8%
17.7%
18%
Motorola Moto G (2015) 86.6%
84.2%
83.1%
7.6%
1.3%
32.7%
14.4%
Microsoft Lumia 640 88.4%
0%
83.4%
10.8%
1.8%
0%
100%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

You can’t go wrong with a mostly stock Android Lollipop experience, with Motorola’s enhancement too.

If there’s one thing we can say about Motorola’s smartphones, it’s that they’re consistent with having stock Android experiences – and the new Moto G is no different. Purists will no doubt drool over the mostly stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop experience we’re exposed to right from the onset. It’s simple, straightforward, and highly functional, which are qualities we can’t complain about. For the power users out there, however, they might feel that it’s not demanding enough, as it doesn’t have the higher level of multi-tasking functionality we see in some high-end smartphones. Despite that, we can say that this experience offers broader appeal due to its simplicity and thoughtfulness.

Well, it wouldn’t be a Motorola-made device if it didn’t receive the set of enhancements we’ve seen in the past. Motorola’s enhancements aren’t oversaturated or overpowering, unlike some of the stuff we get from its rivals, so they’re all meaningful to the experience. Old classics like Moto Display, Moto Assist, and Moto Migrate all continue to be present here – enhanced too with new features. However, they’ve included two new features with Moto Actions that takes its cues from the Moto X line. In particular, we can twist the _phone_ twice to launch the camera at any time, or perform a chopping gesture twice to turn on the LED flash.

And best of all, since it’s a near stock experience at play here, it would mean that software updates to the latest version of Android won’t be lengthy at all! Always one to show its closeness to Android’s foundational principles, the experience here with the new Moto G proves exactly how Android can appeal to the masses in a wider degree.

Organizer


Since it’s stock and whatnot, all the core organizer apps found with the new Moto G don’t differ from any other Android _phone_ running the vanilla experience. Naturally, their layouts stay true to Material Design, as they flaunt bright and bold colors with a minimalist emphasis.

Messaging


Preloaded with a separate Email app, one that can set up just about any account you can think of, we still prefer using the Gmail app for all our emailing needs. Sure, they pretty much offer the same layouts, but we find Gmail’s arrangement more logical, especially when it comes to organization of multiple accounts.

By default, we’re given the Google keyboard for our inputting needs – though, there are other third party ones that can be used in place of it. Regardless, we find the Google keyboard to be more than effective for typing up long passages of text. Factoring its screen size and responsiveness, we love its simple layout and prediction. As an alternative, we can also rely on swiping movements or voice dictation to input text leisurely.

Processor and Memory

It’s one of the most responsive phones we’ve tested running this chipset. Probably helps that there’s stock Android too!

So much can be done with mid-range phones, they’re just not the kind of things to pack the newest chipsets. Certainly, it’s not the first time seeing it, but the quad-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) chip in play here with the new Moto G ushers in a first for the series – one that enters the 64-bit architecture space. Maybe it’s also attributed to the near stock Android experience, but this combination enables our particular review unit, the one with 2GB of RAM, to be one of the snappiest and most responsive things we’ve come across in the mid-range market. Frankly, it’s instant and incredibly fluid with the essential operations.

However, when it comes to graphics processing, its Adreno 306 GPU doesn’t deliver any outstanding results, since it’s pretty evident that it’s rather choppy at times. So yeah, you might be challenged by some gaming titles. Overall, though, we’re just floored by how much more consistently responsive it is with benign tasks when compared to other similarly spec’d phones we’ve come across. Still, we have to point out that this is the model with 2GB of RAM we’re dealing with.

Two storage options are available with the Moto G, 8GB and 16GB (it’s paired with 2GB of RAM, as opposed to 1GB), which are expected capacities for something of its caliber. Always the one to charm folks, we’re stoked that Motorola doesn’t skimp out on the good, seeing that there’s a microSD card slot that’s available.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 35438
Motorola Moto G (2015) 22406
Motorola Moto G (2014) 18249
Microsoft Lumia 640 11945
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 966
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1224
Motorola Moto G (2014) 608
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 2147
Motorola Moto G (2015) 2186
Motorola Moto G (2014) 1605
Sunspider
Lower is better
Huawei P8 lite 1272
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1361.8
Motorola Moto G (2014) 1470.6
Microsoft Lumia 640 1231.1
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 23.5
Motorola Moto G (2015) 9.6
Motorola Moto G (2014) 10.7
Microsoft Lumia 640 7
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 12.6
Motorola Moto G (2015) 3.9
Motorola Moto G (2014) 12
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 800
Motorola Moto G (2015) 581
Motorola Moto G (2014) 523
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 681
Motorola Moto G (2015) 528
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 2597
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1554
View all

Internet and Connectivity


Armed with 4G LTE connectivity, we have no complaints regarding its web browsing experience with Google Chrome. From its good details, to its quick page rendering on the fly, we find ourselves achieving the same level of productivity that we get on some of today’s flagships.

Our specific model is the XT1540, which is an unlocked GSM version with support for LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, and 17. Another variant made to work with various CDMA networks, the XT1548, comes with support for LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 17, 25, and 26. Regardless of which one you choose, they both offer the same set of essential connectivity features – such as aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. However, NFC has been stripped from its arsenal.



Camera

The camera is delightful to use for most occasions, but don’t expect to do a lot of video with it.

Receiving the upgrade treatment, the 2015 Moto G is accompanied with a new 13-megapixel sensor, which features an f/2.0 aperture lens, dual-LED flash, and 1080p video recording quality. If that’s not enough for you, the front-facing camera also gets its share of love by being upgraded to a wide-angle 5-megapixel snapper with an f/2.2 aperture lens. Safe to say, they’re sizable upgrades over its predecessor.


Running the camera app, whether through the interface or using the flicking gesture, it’s a familiar looking thing that doesn’t really see any major changes. On one hand, it’s a simplified interface that places the focus on snapping photos with little to no interference. Conversely, it offers few shooting modes and no manual controls whatsoever, which is somewhat unfortunate because we see the value in having those things at the user’s disposal from the get-go.

Image Quality


Only the greatest and heavy wielding smartphones can produce the best photos? That’s usually the attachment we have nowadays, but it looks like we're in for a surprise with the Moto G 2015. Naturally, the best results come from taking photos when lighting is abundant and even throughout the scene. Visually speaking, the images captured by it are good – striking a modest balance. Fine details might be light, which limits heavy cropping, but the overall quality is enhanced by some sharpening effects and its neutral color reproduction.While its panoramic shots are decidedly weak on the details, its HDR mode does a really good job. We definitely like it! Sure, it might seem overdone and artificial at times, but overall it manages to deliver tasteful and attractive shots. And finally, its 5-megapixel front-facing camera is acceptable enough to use with selfies – albeit, it produces shots that are softer toned.

Taking the Moto G indoors under artificial lighting, that’s when we begin to see a reduction in its quality. Specifically, there’s a significant amount of softness to its shots, which can be compounded by blurriness if you’re not still. Going beyond to photos taken in situations where lighting is minimal, we see heavy evidence of noise and details that are more indistinct. Well, at least its dual-LED flash is able to compensate things by drawing out better details and bringing in some juicy colors into the mix, but there are still some noticeable artifacting elements.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 3.1
6.3
520
425
Motorola Moto G (2015) 3.4
5
658
641
Motorola Moto G (2014) 4
6.4
435
348
Microsoft Lumia 640 4.5
No data
293
277
View all

Video Quality


Meh! While its still image performance is commendable under many situations, its 1080p video recording quality presents some challenges. Details are strangely not as profound with its video capture, but more pressing is just its over-exposed composition. Well, it doesn’t help either when recorded voices are severely underpowered and thin – plus, it’s competing against the heavy background noise that the mics pick up.


Multimedia

It’s enjoyable for a mixture of things, but don’t expect anything extravagant.

The Gallery app is your typical one, which gets the job done when it comes to organizing content and it provides us with some light editing.

Moving onto its music player, it’s also stock Android with Google Play Music calling the shots. It’s something we’re frequently exposed to, so its functionality, features, and layout is something we’ve come to like over time.

Projecting audio through the speaker positioned beneath the display, the Moto G churns out a potent 78.5 dB of audio power. Indeed, it’s more than capable of being heard in small and medium sized rooms, but the quality is accompanied with a degree of sharpness at the loudest setting that tends to give it a subtle amount of strain.

Smooth playback, vibrant colors, and audio that’s being projected towards us, we find no qualms with the Moto G’s video watching experience. It’s not immaculate, but certainly gets the job done.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Microsoft Lumia 640 0.615
Motorola Moto G (2014) 0.41
Motorola Moto G (2015) 0.377
Huawei P8 lite 0.26
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Microsoft Lumia 640 68.7
Motorola Moto G (2014) 74.2
Motorola Moto G (2015) 78.5
Huawei P8 lite 79
View all


Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Call Quality

The volume might not be overpowering, but there’s still enough balance for it to handle conversations.

Overpowering it’s not, but the earpiece still manages to put out enough volume to make voices audible in noisy environments. And it helps, too, that voices are accompanied with deserving emphasis to give every uttered word plenty of distinction. Luckily, the same thing is experienced on the other end of the line. However, the speakerphone exhibits a small amount of crackle, which tends to distort voices a little.

Battery

Outstanding for its better-than-expected battery life, you won’t find yourself in a predicament too often.

Motorola Moto G (2015) Review
Fashioned along with a non-removable 2470 mAh battery, we’re utterly captivated by its longevity – rivaling that of phones with battery capacities larger than 3000 mAh. In fact, after a solid one-day of normal usage, we find its battery level at 45% right before we’re calling it quits for the day. That’s pretty impressive considering we’re usually tapped out with other phones by this time. It’s especially noteworthy because some would presume that the ‘breathing’ feature of Moto Display would eat at the battery faster – more so when we’re dealing with an LCD-based panel here.

Solidifying its excellent performance, it reaches 8 hours and 3 minutes in our benchmark tests, which beats out many of its notable rivals in the same category. While we can’t deny its impressive haul, it takes an unbearably long 251 minutes to get its battery back to 100% capacity.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 8h 3 min (Excellent)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 6h 17 min (Average)
Huawei P8 lite 5h 30 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 251
Motorola Moto G (2014) 151
Huawei P8 lite 136
View all

Conclusion


It’s only getting tougher for phones in the mid-range category to make an indelible mark in the industry, especially when the last few months have yielded some awesome and value-conscious phones already. For the third-generation Moto G, however, it simply reaffirms that it’s the phone to beat in this increasingly crowded ‘premium’ mid-range space.

At the very least, you’ll only need to shell out $179.99 to pick it up unlocked with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. That’s not too shabby considering you’re getting a phone with near stock Android and an IPX7 water-resistant construction. Comparing apples to apples, our particular review unit, the 16GB storage model with 2GB of RAM, still has a ton of value at $219.99. That alone undercuts recent phones like the Asus Zenfone 2 and Huawei P8 Lite in the process, so it’s a testament to Motorola that they still have what it takes to reign supreme.

Of course, the Moto G isn’t for everyone, but it strikes that perfect balance of value, design, and performance – while still staying true to the foundational principles of the series. There’s a reason why the Moto G series is constantly a mainstream, it just keeps on getting better. And obviously, we continue to see that with this latest iteration. Power users might not take fancy in this phone, but it still generates a broader appeal. Don’t underestimate the intensity of what it offers!

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 5.1.1
Build Number: LPI23.72-33
Kernel Version: 3.10.49-gb3543f3




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