Gadgets for humans

Motorola’s Moto G is back with a 5-inch screen, microSD expansion slot and upgraded cameras


Motorola has unveiled an updated version of its best-selling Moto G device that includes a larger display, improved front and rear cameras and extendable storage.

Announced and available to buy today in the UK and US, the new Moto G keeps to the same formula as the original; that is, solid design, mid-range specs, a clutter-free experience and a few custom features. Unlike most manufacturers, Motorola doesn’t put a custom UI on the Moto G, meaning software updates can be pushed to users more quickly.

Moto G_Frnt_Lnd_Dyn_NA_EN_CMYK

On that note, the new Moto G will arrive running Android 4.4 KitKat but Motorola said it will get the upgrade to Android L as soon as possible. While it runs a mostly ‘vanilla’ version of Android, there are a few Moto-specific features and apps on board, such as Alert and Assist.

Hardware-wise, the new Moto G has a 5-inch 720p HD screen (up from 4.5-inches), the same 1.2Ghz quad-core processor and 8GB or 16GB of storage. If it’s all sounding a bit familiar, bear with it – the changes might be small, but they’re worthwhile.

For example, there’s now microSD card support (although only up to 32GB cards are supported) and the front-facing camera has been bumped up from a 1.3-megapixel affair to 2-megapixels. It’s a similar story on the rear too – the camera there has gone from a 5-megapixel sensor to an 8-megapixel one.

Moto G_Frnt_NA_EN_CMYKThe audio experience should be improved too, as there’s now a pair of front-facing speakers, rather than just one.

The only real let down in the spec list is the complete lack of 4G support. There will be single and dual-SIM models, but a spokesperson for the company confirmed that if you want to buy a 4G version, you’ll need to look at the older Moto G 4G model.

Alongside the tweaked device, there’s also a selection of different colored shells and cases (sold seperately), however, just because the back panel is removable and there’s a microSD slot, don’t go thinking there’s a user replaceable battery on board, as you’ll be disappointed. Shells will be available from next month at an as yet undisclosed price.

Motorola said that the Moto G is its best-selling smartphone ever, so it makes sense that it would want to continue that momentum with incremental upgrades that actually make a difference to the end user. It helps too that the price is being kept the same as (or lower) than the previous generation, making it around £145 in the UK and around $180 in the US.

Published September 5, 2014 — 06:00 UTC