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Motorola Moto G (3rd Generation) - Black - 8 GB - Global GSM Unlocked Phone
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- Advanced water resistance
- 13 MP camera which includes a color-balancing dual LED Flash
- 5 Inch HD display; Brilliant display quality and the strength of Corning Gorilla Glass
- Quad core processing power in a great value product
- 5MP rear camera with a VGA front facing camera
- Great 24hr battery performance with a 2470 mAh battery
- Expandable memory; Slot for an optional mircoSD card with up to 32 GB capacity.
- Actual, usable memory depends on amount of preloaded applicationss
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From the manufacturer
Advanced water resistance
IPX7-rated protection keeps your phone safe from splashes and accidental drops in water.
*Designed to withstand immersion in up to 3 feet of fresh water for up to 30 minutes provided the back cover is properly sealed. Not designed to work while submerged underwater. Do not use while swimming, or subject it to pressurized streams of water. Not dustproof. See Motorola.com for details.
13 MP camera
Capture true-to-life photos with a 13 MP camera that includes a color-balancing dual LED flash.
Pure Android experience plus Moto innovations
Simplifying what you’re doing. Anticipating what you’re going to do. Your phone does it for you.
Go about your day without stopping to recharge.
* All battery life claims are approximate and based on a standard mixed use profile. The mixed use profile is based on Motorola devices on major 4G LTE networks with excellent coverage and includes both usage and standby time. Out-of-box settings are applied to the mixed use profile to project batteryperformance. Actual battery performance will vary and depends on many factors including signal strength, network configuration, age of battery, operating temperature, features selected, device settings, and voice, data, and other application usage patterns.
4G LTE speed
Browse the web, stream music, play games, and watch videos at blazing speed.
5” HD display
With a sharp, 5-inch HD display, every photo, video, and game looks its best.
- Product Dimensions: Width: 72.4mm Height: 142.1mm Curve: 11.6mm
- Operating System: Android OS Lollipop
- Display: 5” HD
- Weight: 155g
- Battery: 2470 mAh All Day Battery
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 1.4 GHz quad-core CPU
- Memory: 8 GB
- Camera: 13MP rear facing; 5MP with display flash front facing
- Bluetooth Technology: Version 4.0 LE
What is an unlocked phone?
An unlocked phone is a device that is not bound to any carrier or plan. It allows you to choose your phone first and your carrier second. Upon selecting a plan, simply insert the carrier's SIM card into the phone and you're ready to go. If you decide you want to change carriers down the road or want to take an international trip, it's as simple as replacing your existing SIM card with a new SIM and activating your new plan.
What are the benefits of an unlocked phone?
Freedom: Choose the carrier with the best service or price. If you find a better deal later, you have the ability to change to a different carrier.
Travel: Take your phone internationally and use the carrier of your choice. It's as easy as inserting an active SIM card.
Selection: Choose the phone with the features you want, whether or not your carrier sells it, and get more service options without a contract.
How do I set up my unlocked phone?
The first thing you’ll need is a SIM card for your desired carrier. When activated, the SIM card will let your phone connect to your carrier’s network. If you decide to upgrade to a newer unlocked phone in the future, you can easily remove the SIM card from your old phone and put it in your new phone—just make sure you get the right size of SIM card (nano, micro, or standard) for your phone. If you want to use your phone while traveling internationally, you can easily buy a SIM card for a carrier that operates where you’re traveling. As long as it’s activated, you can just swap SIM cards when you arrive at your destination.
Quad core processing power in a great value product. 4.5" display. 5MP rear camera with a VGA front facing camera. Great 24hr battery performance with a 2390mAh battery. Personalize with colored bands.
Top customer reviews
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-Excellent build quality
-Looks and feels like a far more expensive device
-Stock android runs very fluidly
-Great daylight photographs
-A real brand name means better support and warranty service
-Some minor autofocus issues
-Low-light photograph quality is lacking
-Screen isn't the greatest
-1GB of Ram on lower end model can be limiting
Summary: After playing around with the Moto G (3rd Gen) for a couple of hours I was convinced: this is one of the best sub-$200 phones out right now. The combination of a great build quality, stable operating system and decent camera make it a winner for those who don’t need a high-end device.
Build Quality & Appearance:
When I first picked up the Moto G (3rd Generation) my mind was blown. The build quality of this device is excellent for its price range. The plastic it is made of has a nice texture and is firm: there is absolutely no flex or ‘cheap’ feeling to it. It’s great that the phone has waterproof capabilities too. I wouldn’t personally take it swimming, but it’s just a little bit extra peace of mind. I’m a big fan of the feel of the textured back. It adds a nice edge to an otherwise plain smartphone. The front looks like a standard smartphone and while a bit boring I couldn’t find anything to fault with it.
The screen is one of the more disappointing parts of this device. It is 720p, and even with a smaller screen size it is possible to see individual pixels. There is a “screen-door” effect, meaning that the black lines between pixels are slightly visible. That being said, the screen has quite nice color and tonal range and it looks good from most angles. The screen is not a deal breaker, but I wish Motorola had sourced a 1080p screen for this device, especially at the higher price point of the larger storage model.
Performance & Storage:
The touch screen is quick and responsive and the U.I. runs extremely smooth even on the 1GB ram / 8 GB rom version. I would suggest getting the 2 / 16 GB version when it becomes more readily available but if you’re a light smartphone user the smaller storage space will be enough. This phone offers expansion via Micro SD so you can store media including pictures and videos on it.
One feature that surprised me about The Moto G (3rd Gen) was how good daylight photographs are. After having used a dozen budget smartphones in this price range, I wasn’t expecting much. Previous generations of this phone haven’t had the best camera so I wasn’t expecting much, but it seems Motorola has really stepped up their game and used a sensor was great colour, adequate detail and speedy shooting.
Despite having excellent daylight photo quality, there were a few issues I noticed with the camera. First, the autofocus in the default camera app was quite poor. It would lock focus on an object then not refocus fast enough. Often, this meant I would miss focus. When I touched to focus it would often choose to focus on the object beside the one I tapped on. It is possible to mitigate the autofocus issue with a different camera app installed. Second, night time photography suffered from severe noise and detail loss. They were still far better than other phones I've used at this price point, but not as good as higher end models.
Audio Quality and Signal:
Through my time with the device I didn't have any issues with audio quality or signal. Calls were clear and callers said I sounded good to their ear. The speaker wasn't as loud or clear as it could be, but it was better than many other budget devices I have tried. Media audio through the headphone jack was fine. Wireless stayed connected with no noticeable lag nor signal loss.
Battery life is decent. With moderate to heavy use I got just over a day out of it, occasionally rounding off into the second day. This is with some text messaging, taking a few pictures, browsing the web for a while, social media and listening to music. It nearly matches any flagship device, which is quite astounding at this price point, though the heaviest of users still may not find it enough. It's worth noting that there is no removable battery so if you do run out you will need a portable battery or a wall outlet.
I’m thoroughly impressed with what Motorola has put together. With most budget smartphones some things are sacrificed in order to keep the cost low. Other than the screen, this phone is on par with many of the budget phone specs in its price range. It’s not a phone for power users but most people would be happy with it. The Moto G (3rd Gen) would be a perfect buy for casual smartphone users and those who don’t need all the big specs of a high end device.
I settled on the Moto G 2015 16GB, 2GB RAM version directly from Motorola. Motorola lets you custom design your phone with multiple color choices, storage, engraving, etc. I went with a white face, blue back and champagne metal accent. Easier to find I figure than my old black rectangles. Designing is simple and easy and the changes update real time with a 360 rotation.
Ordering the Moto G was a snap, and in less than a week I had my Moto G in hand.
SHINY EXTERIOR (or not really):
The Moto G 2015 sports a 5” gorilla glass screen at a 1280 x 720 resolution for a 294 PPI. This is quite low compared to other phones out there, but the Moto G is also 33% or 50% of their price. Furthermore, higher resolutions require more powerful chips to run and suck up more power. Part of the reason I went with the Moto G over waiting for the Nexus 5X is because the Nexus 5X is rumored to have an even higher PPI than the Nexus 5 resulting in likely worse battery life. I can tell the difference between the Moto G and the Nexus 5 screens if I look real hard, but it doesn’t bother me. Screen to body ratio, or how much of the face is screen vs non-screen is 67%. Edge to edge screen this phone is not.
Now the back is way different from my Nexus 5 in that it’s textured and easy to grip unlike the smooth backing of the Nexus 5. Still plastic, but I don’t see a problem with that at all. The texture however is likely to accumulate all kinds of gunk and dust, so I’m putting mine in a case as soon as it arrives. The backing comes off revealing a micro SIM and MicroSD ports. You can order additional different color backings directly from Motorola to customize your phone and change the colors based on whatever you feel like.
The phone’s backing is curved with the audio port on the top. The top of the phone also curves down making audio port buttons like the Pressy PB01 The Android Smart Button Compatible with Galaxy, HTC, and Nexus Smartphones, Black not viable.
Power button is on the right above the volume up and down. Speaker (unknown if mono or stereo at this time) and microphone are front facing with respectable sound. Front facing with along with a 5 MP at f/2.2. The back camera is a 13 MP at f/2.0 with dual flash.
Weight is fairly average at 5.5 oz.
There is no notification light. So the ability to glance at your phone and see whether an email, text message, Facebook post, Instagram post or anything you’ve assigned an LED light color is flashing is now gone. In its place, the screen will now selectively turn on a small portion of the screen with the icon of the application when a notification comes in. Not as useful by far, but still better than nothing.
GUTS, WIRES, & SILICON:
The Moto G is running a quad core Qualcomm S410 which is a fairly low to midgrade processor with a Adreno 306 graphics chip. The S410 is actually quite a big improvement over the S400 despite being granted just 10 higher in the naming nomenclature. The S410 uses 64 Bit computing, is a quadcore vs dual core, better efficiency and uses ARM v8 which is a superior instruction set. Basically, don’t be fooled by the low processor number, this processor can handle most peoples’ daily routine. Don’t expect to run mobile high performance games at max here, but this will easily handle mundane tasks. Furthermore, remember, low to midgrade processors tend to be more power efficient leading to, you guessed it, better battery life.
Depending on the model you get, it will either be the 16GB/2GB Ram model or 8GB/1GB Ram model. I strongly suggest getting the 16GB/2GB Ram model. The 16GB model only had 11.81 GB free after OS. Android doesn't run all that well under load with just 1 GB of Ram.
Battery is rated at 2,470 mAh and is fairly impressive in how long it takes to drain the battery. With a lower resolution screen and a low to midgrade processor, the battery life on a sub 3,000 mAh battery phone is very impressive. Battery is NOT removable. After extended use of this phone, two days is plausible if you aren't a big movie or game player. I get up at 6:30 in the morning and after checking email, Facebook and a few other apps, my phone is down to 95% by 9:00 am. Finishing my day at 5:00 has my phone down to 83% despite usage all through the day. Turning into bed at 10:00 pm has the phone down to 68%. I can go two days without a recharge, but I'm also not streaming video or playing games. Your mileage will of course vary. The reviews aren’t kidding about “all day battery.” See my screenshot for more information. 31% usage on 15 hours with frequent, but short usage.
As usual, there is the standard Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS/GLONASS. iFixit hasn’t done a teardown of the 2015 Moto G, so I cannot be sure who’s making what chip. Odds are though it’s Broadcom providing the Bluetooth/GPS chip. There is NO NFC. I found that I rarely used NFC on my Nexus 5, so not a big deal to me. There’s an accelerometer and the regular gambit of sensors. There is however an FM radio that doesn’t rely on WiFi or a data plan. It does however require you to plug in headphones as they act as the antenna.
The specification page says that the phone works with microSD cards up to 32GB. This is inaccurate. I currently have a 64GB microSD card working perfectly with over 30 GB of music on it. You will need to have the phone format the microSD card first before you can start moving files on to it. The Moto G 2015 apparently only reads FAT32 format which Windows will not format a larger than 32GB memory card to. Motorola I believe stated that up to 32GB as some larger cards may perform inconsistently. See my photo for more information.
THE DIGITAL BITS, SOFTWARE:
Motorola has adopted stock Android+, where the + is a few optional Motorola apps which are relatively useful. There is no Samsung Touchwiz, or LG, HTC or other manufacture skin on the phone that so regularly slows down devices running such skins. So if you like stock android, this is a huge benefit, out of the box virtually stock Android. My model shipped with Android 5.1 Lollipop. You get to decide what your phone looks like, the power is yours.
Motorola has included a few Motorola apps which are pretty useful in learning your routine to keeping the screen off during your regular sleep hours, what to do based on certain motions of the phone, who’s calls and text messages to block and let through based on your calendar and so on and so forth. The best thing is that none of these are mandatory and you can completely ignore them should you wish to. It’s all up to you.
USB OTG is enabled, but you do need a third party software package like the Nexus Media Importer application to read USB hard drives and flash drives. Mice work without any additional software. The microUSB port will not however connect through a wired CAT5 adapter to the internet (or at least mine didn’t play nice).
If you’ve previously been on an Android phone, the transfer is super simple via either the built in app “migrate” or by Google’s cloud backup. The real nice software bit is that you don’t have to install every Google App in this process. Don’t want Google Keep/Wallet/Etc? Don’t install it.
The phone will work with GSM and CDMA carriers, which includes all of the four major carriers in the US and their subsidiaries.
Be aware T-Mobile and other GSM buyers, if you order directly from Motorola, you’ll get the XT1540 model which DOES NOT HAVE BAND 12. That band is required for voLTE which is a higher bandwidth form of data. Regular LTE and HSPA+ are supported. The CDMA version does have band 12 but lacks many of the bands to access GSM carrier frequencies.
LOOK MA, I'M A PHOTOGRAPHER, THE CAMERA:
The camera is a 13 megapixel at f/2.0 with dual flash with a front facing camera at 5 MP at f/2.2. Low light shots are mediocre at best, but well to moderately lit environments has the camera performing at a $500 smartphone level (see photo). Autofocus is reasonably fast and flash is bright.
Stock software includes HDR, Panoramic, video recording as well as built in a QR/bar code reading software. There is no image stabilization software which may create some blurry photos, but you may be able to find some camera software app that can mitigate that.
Considering that this phone costs $179 for the 8GB/1 GB Ram model and $219 for the 16GB/2 GB Ram model, the camera is beyond expectations.
OH CRAP I DROPPED IT IN WATER, OH YEAH IT'S WATER RESISTANT:
It’s amazing that a $179-219 phone is shipping with IPX7, which allows for 30 minutes submersion in fresh water without damage. How many people themselves or know someone who has damaged a smartphone by getting it wet? I’m guessing nearly everyone. With the Moto G 2015, you can carry on like normal when it rains, not freak out when someone spills a drink, and wash your phone under the faucet should it get dirty. Why can’t every brand follow Motorola on this?
NOW FOR SOME CELL PHONE PHILOSOPHY:
This phone is rock bottom cheap. But it’s not $199? Guess what? Phones selling for$199 never cost $199. They were really $500+ and $649 phones being sold at $199 with contract were in reality over 24 months well over $700. The $199 iPhone is a myth designed to sucker people into buying a phone and paying more than retail for it. John Ledger at T-Mobile bust this myth open and everyone is following him.
Now, the question is, will this budget phone do the job? Ask yourself, what do you primarily do on your phone? Text? Calls? Email? Browsing? Youtube? WeChat? Amazon? Facebook? Candy Crush? Tweet? Instagram? If you answered yes to any of those, this phone is for you. Why spend $649 on a high powered phone that you will not use the capabilities of? Save that $430 and spend in something you will like gas, rent, food, etc. Or even better, invest it and when you need a new phone, buy it with the earnings from your $430 investment.
Buy smart, and buy what you need and what you’ll actually use. And odds are, this phone will fit your needs just right at an absurdly low price.
Pros: Cheap, awesome battery life, decent camera, water resistant, back plate customization and microSD card
Cons: No voLTE, no notification light, no NFC, no removable battery, midgrade resolution and midgrade performance
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