Motorola Moto G – Unboxing and First Impressions [Video]

Once I found out the Moto G would be available in a model supporting T-Mobile’s bands, I’ve been meaning to get hold of it, and give you guys the rundown and review it. Today was the day I finally managed to snag one.

Let’s get this out the way first: This phone isn’t meant to compete with the likes of the Galaxy S4, HTC One or even the Nexus 5. Just a quick glance down the spec list will show you that much. But, once you start comparing it with the handsets available at the sub-$200 price point, it starts to look incredible.

What immediately struck me when picking it up was how solid it feels in hand. It doesn’t feel plasticcy, it has a nice curved back with a soft-touch textured feel on the rear shell. This rear shell is designed to be removable, but once clipped in place fits perfectly with the rest of the device, giving it an almost seamless feel. I may seem like I’m going on over the same points over and over again, but, I could write “it feels so well made” 100 times, and I still don’t think it’d properly emphasize how much that surprised me.

I’m used to handsets in this price range being cheap looking, poorly put together with small, low resolution screens. The Moto G feels like a proper phone. The quad-core processor makes light work of the (almost) stock Android software. Opening menus and switching apps is swift and painless. The 4.5-inch screen is big, and plenty sharp enough with a resolution of 1280 x 720, although it could do with a boost to its brightness, saturation and contrast levels.

Although I’ve only had a few hours with it, I have to say that I’m left impressed. It’s a $300 phone at a $180 price point. But it does have its trade-offs. I mentioned the display not being quite lively enough, and the loudspeaker quality isn’t the best either. Motorola saved costs in a number of places, for instance, not including a chipset capable of LTE connection. The fastest you’ll get with this is HSPA+. Although my own personal model is the international one, the US GSM model does support both 1700 and 1900 frequencies for 3G/4G HSPA, so you should still get great speeds across the States.

I’ll spend a few more days with it before writing up my full thoughts. But if first impressions are anything to go by, this next week shouldn’t be too difficult at all.

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  • TmoPerson

    Anybody else experiencing horrible lag during video playback?

    • msohail

      No its smooth here

    • Adrayven

      yeah, wasn’t just this video, was other youtube videos.. odd lag. Think it might be YouTube.

  • jj

    If there was an LTE version for $50 more, I would be all over this

    • That’s called the Nexus 5. ;^)

      Edit: or the on-sale Moto-X.

  • Darkbotic

    No power adapter? Really?

    • superg05

      that what i said it takes like 2-10 cents to make wtf?

    • Aaron Peromsik

      I agree that it’s kind of rude. On the other hand, it seems like I already have half a billion microusb chargers around… and you can also charge it with the included usb cable plugged into a PC. On balance perhaps that is one corner worth cutting.

  • landmarkcm

    I ordered from Amazon hopefully should have it on the 12th. If I like it I will get the blue colored back. I was concerned about it being a bit thick for my taste but the curved back I believe helps offset that. I also hope the camera is as good as Samsung’s 5mp shooters are. As I notice a big difference in the 5mp images on Samsung Galaxy Light im using right now vs the 5mp images on LG’s like the L9 F6 & F3 Lg’s are much more grainy. I hope the Moto’s are smooth…???

    • Richard Finzel

      If it is anything like the curved back and shooter on the moto x, you will love this phone.

      • landmarkcm

        Yes hopefully I will. I need to stick w a device for at least a year lol. I was thinking I wouldn’t want this at first too because of the no LTE but HSPA+ works just fine for me. I had the X for a brief moment it actually had a problem with the camera flash not firing when it was supposed to think was a lemon or something. Anyway I did really like the feel etc & the g is only slightly thicker well see.. They say with the curve it’s from 6-11mm range at its thickest point. Should be ok

    • llamaluvr

      a bit off-topic, but… can you give a quickie review of the Galaxy Light? There’s like no reviews of it anywhere. How’s the custom software, battery life, and camera, in particular? The size looks great. Thanks!!!!

      • landmarkcm

        Hi there Yes I mean I can only be brief right now. But I would recommend the Light no real problems with it. Although im not the biggest fan of Samsungs touchwiz I prefer Lg’s skin if theres going to be one. My only thing which Is why I want the G is to have a slightly bigger screen and stock android will be good too. I hope the camera on the g is as good as the one on the light too.

  • $15454173

    Good review Cam. You are the Jamie Oliver of phone reviews :) I mean that in a good way as you sounded a bit like him.

    This looks very good for the money. Coming in either 8 or 16 GB and front and rear cameras with flash. Unlocked on Amazon plus removable battery too.

    Edit: Make that a “view-able” can get the back off to see and touch but not remove due to all of the screws.

    • Battery is non removable.

      • $15454173

        Ahhh…I saw the back was off and made an assumption.

  • Sherman Davis

    Another cheap Android device!

  • Kurogami

    no sound? didn’t know mime can review phones?

    • Bill

      I thought that at first too, but his voice was only in one of the ear buds, not the one i had in

  • Rick Rudge

    That’s a good video and a first look. Thank you for sharing, Cam.

  • ChitChatCat

    I posted this with a link, but it never got moderator approval. The tech specs list that the Moto G has 1700MHz support, but not 2100MHz support. Both are required for HSPA+ in many areas (and to get much better performance in refarmed areas).

    • landmarkcm

      The refarmed areas though are 1900 and the device supports both 1700 & 1900 should pick up HSPA+ just fine. Well at least where im at.

      • ChitChatCat

        Yeah, it’ll definitely work in refarmed areas, but with less capacity. I more meant as a warning generally for people as it hadn’t been mentioned yet.

        • landmarkcm

          Hmm ya I hear ya & good looking out. Hopefully it’s not much of an issue briefly googled it & didnt see much abt it. On Tmobile thread they said it works just fine… I am hoping I like the device. I’ll report back

      • ChitChatCat

        And 1700 MHz is useless with out 2100MHz. One frequency is used to send data to the phone; the other is used to send data to the tower.

        • landmarkcm

          So your saying that that on Tmobile it will only work on the HSPA+ in the refarmed 1900 areas?? Which luckily im in & Tmobile is transitioning to that anyway but id have to do a little homework. Im not sure if thats quite accurate wouldn’t we be hearing more abt that if it was a problem..

        • ChitChatCat

          Yup. Go to support . t-mobile . com (remove the spaces) and search “About 4G”. It’s the 4th article down.

        • landmarkcm

          Hmm ya I see that & ive seen that before but another post where someone asked abt the g there was a reply that said -Everyone the Moto G (US GSM version not Global) does indeed support the 1700 AWS bands (1700/2100) required to access T-Mobile 3G and 4G/HSPA+. So for anyone thinking about buying this phone, rest assured,the US GSM configuration does work on T-Mobile. Again im not worried because ATT devices where I am pick up the FAUX 4g as they say on Tmobile just fine and Tmo is transitioning away from 1700/2100 anyway as Im sure you know.. Guess well see if complaints start coming up..

        • landmarkcm

          Also just read the following-TMO uses 1700 and 1900MHz, AT&T, 850 and 1900MHz. 2100MHz is used only abroad. & then someone said-You need BOTH 1700mhz and 2100mhz for Tmobile’s hsdpa network.
          However, most of tmobile is now 1900mhz by itself. I’d get the world version.
          Or maybe Moto screwed up the us model listing on their site, or maybe Tmob’s version once they offer it will have the right frequencies. Im not gonna stress on it . I hope I like it!

  • nycplayboy78

    SCREAMS-n-FAINTS!!!! Cam is a Brit…LAWD!!!!! :)