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Moto G (2014) impressions

Last week the screen on my Samsung Galaxy S3 started going green and stripy – it was still just about usable but clearly on its last legs. Some research showed that the only solution was a replacement screen, which is about £65 – and as the phone is a bit old anyway, I took the decision to get a replacement. The ‘upgrades’ offered by my network were derisory, so I decided to stick with my SIM-only plan and get an unlocked handset. This meant going for a cheaper model, and in the end I went for the second generation Moto G.

My main consideration was the camera – there are plenty of handsets at this price range with poor 5MP cameras. (I’m aware the number of megapixels is not the only thing to look at). The original Moto G was renowned for having a poor camera, but the second version is 8MP and reviews suggested it was slightly better. It’s also nice to have almost vanilla Android on the handset – it’s currently running KitKat but a Lollipop update is imminent.

Here’s a picture showing the Moto G next to my old Samsung Galaxy S3 (the picture is taken with my tablet, hence the poor quality and the reflection of my hand!) As you can see, the Moto G is only marginally bigger than the S3, but features a 5″ screen. I’ve also bought the official Motorola flip case for the phone which automatically turns the screen on and off.

Moto G with S3

Performance wise, the Moto G is not blisteringly fast, but I never expected it to be competing with the high-end Galaxy Notes, etc. Indeed, it’s probably on a par if not only slightly faster than the S3, which I’ve refreshed with a stock Jellybean ROM and is now pretty quick. I’ve not had any slowdown, stuttering or pauses though which I would frequently get with the S3 in the last few months, and it’s been much less frustrating.

For anyone looking for an Android handset which just works and doesn’t need a top-end handset, I’d highly recommend the 2014 Moto G – at £150 it’s great value.