Moto G unboxing and first impressions

by: Ankit BanerjeeNovember 21, 2013

Looking for the Moto X experience at a more affordable price? Here’s our unboxing and first impressions of the Moto G!

Motorola G Hands On AA  (8 of 17)

Opening up the retail packaging reveals the Moto G in all its glory, and that’s essentially all you’ll find in the box, apart from a micro-USB cable and a quick start guide. Considering the fact that Motorola is aiming to make the Moto G as affordable as possible, the lack of an AC adapter and earphones aren’t surprising, assuming you already have both available from previous or current handheld devices. If you were expecting either/both to be there, this may be a cause for disappointment. Though, fear not because this is a very excellent piece of kit – especially when you remember the price.

Motorola G Hands On AA  (15 of 17)

We know that the mid-range versions of flagship devices, think HTC One Mini and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, are usually smaller than the high-end smartphone. It’s no different in the Moto G as well, but since the Moto X featured a “smaller than usual” 4.7-inch display, the Moto G isn’t that far off the mark with its 4.5-inch screen. This difference is far from obvious when both the Moto G and Moto X are side by side, with the form factor of both are almost identical.

Spec comparison to other budget devices

 Moto GSamsung Galaxy Fame S6810Sony Xperia M C1904Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
Display4.5-inch LCD, HD (1280 x 720), 326ppi3.5-inch TFT, 320 x 480, 165ppi4.0-inch TFT, 480 x 854, 245ppi4.0-inch Super AMOLED, 480 x 800, 233ppi
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 400, quad-core @ 1.2GHz, Adreno 305unspecified single-core CPU @ 1GHzQualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core @ 1GHzNovaThor U8420 dual-core @ 1GHz, Mali-400
Storage8GB, 16GB4GB with microSD4GB with microSD8 GB, microSD
Battery2070 mAh1300 mAh1750 mAh1500 mAh
Cameras5 MP rear LED flash, 1.3 MP front5MP rear LED flash, .3 MP front5MP rear LED flash, .3MP front5MP rear LED flash, .3MP front
ConnectivityGPS, GLONASS, microUSB, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, optional dual-SIMGPS, GLONASS, microUSB, Wifi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, optional dual-SIMGPS, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, Wifi a/b/g/n, optional dual-SIMGPS, GLONASS, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, microUSB, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Wifi a/b/gn
OSAndroid 4.3 Jelly Bean, KitKat update guaranteedAndroid 4.1.2 Jelly BeanAndroid 4.1 Jelly BeanAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Dimensions129.9 x 65.9 x 6-11.6mm113.2 x 61.6 x 11.6 mm, weight: 120.6g124 x 62 x 9.3 mm, weight: 115g121.6 x 63 x 9.9 mm, weight: 111.5g
ColorsBlack/White, replaceable colored backplatesWhite/BlueBlack/White/Purple/
White/Blue/Gray/Brown/ Red/black
Price$179 for 8GB, $199 for 16GB$170$230$240

As you can from the table above, for its price, the Moto G is hard to beat. See how vibrant the display is below. Well played, Motorola.

Motorola G Hands On AA  (17 of 17)

A standout feature of the Moto X, active notifications, is not available on the Moto G, considering the requirement of an AMOLED display. With the Moto G featuring a LCD display, with 720p resolution, the useful active notifications feature won’t be found on this smartphone. Again though, when you consider the price point, there’s very little to lament. This is still a very excellent device. The display is vibrant and bright, and text, colors and all other elements look quite good, which is an absolute necessity for any mobile device – whether its budget or high end. We applaud Motorola for choosing a good display here.

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Turning the device over, you’ll get a seemingly soft touch, incredibly smooth plastic back on the Moto G, which makes it feel like a budget smartphone, somewhat. The back cover on the Moto G is removable, giving you the option to customize your device with back covers of different colors, and possibly even build material. As you will see in the video, you’ll need to be careful while removing the back cover, which can prove to be a bit difficult. Like the Moto X, the battery in the Moto G is not removable.

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When you consider its incredible price point, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that several distinct features are missing when compared with the Moto X. In all honesty, it’s not a fair comparison to make. Granted, it’s important to mention that the Moto G will not feature touchless control, which is another amazing feature of the Moto X. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly smartphone with good performance and reliability, the Moto G is a great way to get started in the world of Android.

Motorola G Hands On AA  (1 of 17)

We’ve mentioned affordable and budget-friendly a few times, so how much will the Moto G set you back? The Moto G will be available starting at $179, for the 8 GB unlocked version. It may not be the fastest or most powerful device available, but a smartphone priced at less than $200 unlocked, that boasts a certain brand-name related reliability, is great to see. At that price point, the Moto G could prove to be a an easy entry point for anyone looking to switch to the Android ecosystem.


Stay tuned for our detailed hands-on review, and a lot more, of the Moto G! We’ll be diving deep, so stay tuned! We do this for you each and every day, so let us know what you want us to look for! 

What are your thoughts on the Moto G? How does it stack up next to the Nexus 5, or the current crop of smartphones on the market? How about relative to the less expensive offerings?  


    “Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, KitKat update guaranteed”

    Moto: the new Nexus line

    • AsakuraZero

      i see it more like as moto being the nexus OEM making nexus like handsets, and the other OEM just make the next flagship handset of the google nexus devices being this the role model, and the OEM following it

    • Balraj

      Always remember
      No matter what..Motorola is Google..
      So additional perks are obv
      Faster software update etc etc
      They is a reason why many oem have invested on other mobile os

  • Jesus

    is nice, but for the price,

    NEXUS 4 >> Moto G.

    • Joshua Hill

      Moto G battery life >>> nexus 4 battery life.

      • Jesus

        yeah, but for the price… and we are talking about value when considering a ‘budget’ phone.

        • Joshua Hill

          Exactly, the Moto G offers better battery life at a substantially cheaper price. The Moto G is a far superior phone all things considered compared to the Nexus 4. That’s to be expected for technology that’s over a year newer.

          • APai

            completely agree. it still can handle a lot of things perfectly well, and that price is just great. I think for people who do not game on the phone (or play lightweight games) this is just perfect. low cost, android, good finish, what else do we need ??

          • MadCowOnAStick

            Yeah, 20 dollars cheaper. Amazing.

          • Joshua Hill

            8Gb comparison: $179 vs $299 launch price.

            16Gb comparison: $199 vs. $349 launch price.

            You know what you can do with your ‘Amazing’ sarcasm???

          • MadCowOnAStick

            What do you have to say?
            I wasn’t talking about the launch price. The price was reduced before the Moto G launched, so therefore, your statement is invalid.
            $179 vs $199 for 8 GB
            $199 vs $249 for 16 GB

          • Joshua Hill

            Nexus 4 is out of stock. You can’t purchase it. Your whole existence is invalid. If you wanted to have a genuine discussion you wouldn’t have made a sarcastic, irrelevant and innacurate comment.

          • MadCowOnAStick

            Thanks, but I’m still alive and I have a birth certificate. If the Nexus 4 was out of stock, why were you talking about it? Hypocrite.

          • Joshua Hill

            Somebody else made the initial comparison. Learn to read a comment thread in it’s entirety before making ridiculous accusations.

          • MadCowOnAStick

            Yeah, and you kept talking about it, And I did too, except you said that it was out of stock and you can’t purchase it -_-

          • MadCowOnAStick

            could have never guessed that would happen ;) Voting down a comment with not much of a reason is really silly and immature. Voting down comments was made for spam, scams, and obviously, the assholes that just downvote a comment to be an asshole just because they don’t agree. Assholes these days.

          • Joshua Hill

            The report or flag as innapropriate feature was designed for what you just described.

          • MadCowOnAStick

            and if you were wondering, yes, I do like the moto g, but you gotta face facts

          • Joshua Hill

            I’ve stated the facts as I see them. Our interpretations are different. You’ve got to understand people will interpret things differently and learn to disagree.

          • MadCowOnAStick

            and also, stop voting down comments like a n00b ;)

          • Mr T

            “Nexus 4 is out of stock. You can’t purchase it.”

            Yeah well, if you’ve got two hands and a brain you can. I just bought one brand new in box for 260$ (16gb) a few weeks ago.

          • MadCowOnAStick

            Thank you. Someone who has a brain.

          • Alan Shearer

            Nexus 4 can only be purchased used now, not new, and used prices rival the nexus 5 for some reason.

          • Joshua Hill

            @madcowonastick:disqus says ‘Thank you. Someone who has a brain.’ :D

          • Jesus

            Far superior?? Lol. Besides battery, how is it better? The N4 >> Moto G in everything, besides battery.

            And yes, the n4 is old. Doesn’t mean it’s ‘bad’. The Moto G is simply more expensive for weaker hardware.

            ALso you can still get the n4 in some places… e.g. Google Store Australia.

            Peace nigga

          • Joshua Hill

            I’m Australian, the N4 has been unavailable here for the last week or two and the pricing discrepancy is more pronounced here.

            I never sad the N4 was bad. Apart from it’s battery life I think it’s a great phone still.

            The moto G is cheaper than the N4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Tl;Dr Jesus wrong on AU availability, pricing, and I never said the N4 was bad lol OK lol ;)

          • Jesus

            it was available last week… k ma bad, it’s not there anymore.

            And when it was available, it was CHEAPER than the Moto g. I mean, correct me if i’m wrong, but the more superior N4 16 gigs was $300 AU. That’s cheaper than the Moto G 8gig $300 AU.

          • Joshua Hill

            The N4’s effective RRP ( play store + shipping) was $420. Not the run out clearance price people insist using. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Moto G was as expensive as you suggest but as of a minute ago I couldn’t find official AU pricing. Do you have a source for your $300 claim???

          • Jesus

            yeah, i’ve a source. MobiCity, motha F.

            And the n4’s pricing, was AU$300 during the last stage, not including shipping (which is like $20). That’s what should count, not what it was like 2 years ago.

            Also, get a life man, looking at this website and your replies, i think you spend too much time on it. Go outside lol

          • Joshua Hill

            Just landed in Melbourne for some partying. Jelly much :p

            P.S. Mobicity is so not a reliable source cock gobbler

          • Jesus

            Well your face isn’t a reliable source either, Joshua “Hill”. What kinda name is that, anyways? inspired by HIllsong? Hahaha…

            It seems like you’re taking this personally. Even more reasons to actually go out.

            Have fun ‘partying’ by yourself. By the way, Android Authority is not a party.

  • APai

    the fit and finish look REALLY good. I think motorola is back in the game with this. this will beat the pants off the nokia 520/ 620 and push the chinese OEMs plus others to step their game up. overall a win for us customers!

  • Balraj

    Throughout the article it’s just price point n ignore compromise
    Micromax gionee makes similar device n provide ear piece n ac adapter around the same price range..
    Hell even phone less than 10k comes with all std accessories
    It uses four cortex a7 processor just like mediatek
    Article is not fair…

    • APai

      I think you have missed the context altogether – none of those OEM phone makers have a presence in the USA.

      for us living in asia phones like the mmx canvas hd seems better than this one in terms of specs. however. overall I’d say this phone is a good solid one. the build looks really good, as compared to mmx or other oems – who have also cut corners. at this price range – it’s all about cutting corners to give the best.

      not only that – motorola has a deep network, micromax and others do not have a retail presence nor service network. they are just about building one. huge advantage. small time companies can close shop and runaway, but big companies like motorola cannot run away like gionee

      • Balraj

        True but my point was why make a big fuss of it…
        It’s like moto is God…seriously
        The article was like..It doesn’t have ear piece n ac adapter but for the price range, it’s worth it, again no this, no that cause the price
        But you have a point, in usa only motto g is like that
        Sry if any mistake, was eating n typing :-P

    • Arvind Ramani

      moto build quality cannot be compared with mmx nor can their updates… moto has promised kitkat but u wont get it with mmx

      and cortex a7 is worser or similar to snapdragon 400 what with qualcomm licensing only the instruction set and using custom cores like apple
      and mmx imports chinese rebranded phones which use mediatek processors not ” like mediatek ”

      mmx cant even manufacture phones and u expect them to hav silicon fabs???
      ear piece and adapter will cost 250 inr mmx qualtiy ……
      phone arnd 11k and bad quality

      • Balraj

        Dude..s400 is not krait architecture
        It’s just a cortex a7 n let’s see if it’s priced below 15k in India
        Only advantage moto G has is Google n priority software update
        Btw mmc might bring kitkat to most of it’s device

        • Arvind Ramani

          mmx wont bring kitkat i can bet my life on that

          heck it doesnt even provide proper ota updates for canvas hd

          cuz still stuck on 4.1 to upgrade 4.2 or 4.3 he has to take it to store
          and u think itll give 4.4 :P
          ah if it ever comes to india yes it wont be prices below 15 k

          my arguement is valid only if u can get someone u know to buy it in the us
          and build quality is a bummer gorilla glass either
          so 400 is cortex a7 ah forgot about that ….
          but adreno better than power vr graphics

          • APai

            true that canvas hd might not get another fw update. however, after 4.2 they said it could. let’s see if they will. I will not diss mmx canvas hd, as they were the first one who really made the oem phones popular (along with a few others of course). although i never could think I would buy one – i did buy one just out of curiosity, and its not a bad phone at all!

  • Blowntoaster

    this is a brilliant device, and hoping that it’ll force other OEM’s to take notice and improve their mid range offerings as well.
    yes, the top end devices are cool and exciting, but it gets tiring trying to keep up with all the top end devices, and having to pay an arm and a leg to own one., while the mid – low range devices are just not worth the money.

    The Moto G is a breath of fresh air. I do hope it sells well, and internationally too.

  • Valtheus

    No matter how you look at this, this is the best device this money can buy. Manufacturers make billions by selling overpriced devices now days, just because “everybody got to have a flagship smartphone” even if they just use it for phone calls. After Nexus series and Moto G, its pretty obvious to me that you don’t have to spend a “fortune” to get your hands on a decent device and Motorola made one with Moto G.

    My 16Gb model will be coming mid December from amazon, and can’t wait to replace my 4.4 S3 mini.

    • APai

      it’s great value for money for the price, and timely updates to boot. what else do we need! I think samsung and others missed a point by giving their “mini” model the middle finger. seriously, i think that ratio wise samsung makes money with the s3 mini than s3 flagship :P !!

  • Alan Shearer

    In your coverage android authority, how about mentioned gaming capability (I do not expect it to be supurb, but to get an idea) and battery life?

  • iamsuperandrew

    An impressive first look of the Moto G! Looking forward on the full review with video review too.

  • mikeserafis

    If motorola won’t sell his smartphones to the eyropian market , he won’t compete higher companies

  • dave

    I got my g for $100 through the us cellular no contract deal at walmart, its an 8 Gb device. I love it it works well for my needs. I am thinking about rooting for a better faster smoother phone