• Our Motorola Moto G Second Gen review: Better the second time around

    Software:

    The software hasn't changed much from the last generation. The focus with the G and other Motorola phones is to change as little as possible so you're just using Google. The upside of this is that Motorola is able to keep the G very up to date.

    Updates come very frequently, but just once or twice a year or never like many competitors.

    Motorola has also said that they will be releasing an update to android 5.0 Lollipop, which was just released soon.

    Performance:

    Since the 2nd generation runs pretty much the same hardware as last years, performance is basically unchanged.

    I guess part of me is slight disappointed that they didn't go with the 64bit update to the snapdragon 400; the 410.

    Then again, Motorola has really optimized the Moto g so that it runs very smoothly. It's definitely smoother than most other Snapdragon 400 phones I’ve tried.

    The Antutu, Peacekeeper, 3D Mark, GFX Bench are all what you'd expect from a Snapdragon 400 running at 1.2Ghz:









    Media Capabilities:

    You get front facing stereo speakers. I'm blown away at how good these speakers are.

    They're really loud and they sound decent. In absolute terms, they're one of the loudest I have ever tried. In terms of range, they're not the best, but they're still better than 90% of the phones out there.

    Bravo, Motorola for raising the bar on what people should expect from their phones speaker.

    The headphone jack is extremely loud and sounds amazing - this is fast becoming the norm, as it’s now very rare to find a phone that doesn’t have an outstanding headphone amp.

    If you store a lot of media on your device, do yourself a favor and pick up a MicroSD for the Moto G because the 8GB (5.5GB usable) fills up quickly if you’re not paying attention.

    As a Phone:

    While there's no LTE support, you do get HSPA support for 850/AWS/1900 so it will work on all HSPA carriers in Canada and the US.

    If you do a lot of traveling, there's also an international variant that supports.

    RF performance is excellent.

    Sound quality is fine. Maximum earpiece volume is excellent.

    Maximum speakerphone volume is very good.

    The 2070mAh battery should make it through the day for average users but power users may want to top off when they get a chance.

    Conclusion:

    If you're picking up the Moto G gen 2 in the US, then dollar for dollar, there's no better deal. You get a very well match components which have no significant weaknesses which are backed by Motorola and their frenetic Android updates. It is the very definition of a well rounded device.

    However, if you're in Canada then I'd hold off. You can pick up the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2S which has similar specs for the same price.

    While the Moto G’s screen, camera, speakers, etc are all better, the 2S has LTE. With LTE, VOIP apps have less lag, apps download faster plus better it’s better at maintaining performance when there’s weak signal.

    That said, between them, I’d personally go with the second gen Moto G but that’s because I use my camera a lot but for less demanding people, you might get more value from the 2S.

    Then there’s the Canadian price; people like to use the term “budget”; To me, a phone that costs $50 more than $200 just doesn’t seem to be a “budget” friendly phone.

    Here's another thing that crossed my mind; when you buy a flagship device, aside from a faster processor, LTE, extra storage and more RAM what else are you paying for?

    Is the camera much better than the G's? - Usually
    Are the speakers better? - Occassionally but not really
    Is the RF performance superior? - Not usually
    Is the display sharper? - Yes but the difference isn't as big as you'd think
    Superior battery life? - Probably

    Are all these differences worth paying an extra $500?

    3.5 Howies out of 5.

    Pros:
    • Stereo speakers
    • Great headphone jack
    • Powerful speakers
    • Nice display


    Cons:
    • 25% more expensive in Canada
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our Motorola Moto G Second Gen review: Better the second time around started by howard View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Great review!

      For anyone considering any flavour of Moto G with expandable storage, remember that Android 5.0 will have much better SD card support than KitKat.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Great review, Howard

      You did forget to add one player to the fray for a challenger here...and you yourself did a review on it. China phones are getting better and better(especially in the last 6-8 months or so), and the iNew V8, at only $200.00 or a bit less, is a prime candidate for your dollars, both here in the US and in Canada. I just finished a video review to compliment your review---and have just had this same conversation with a viewer on my site, no joke. Allow me to cut n paste part of my response on the differences to him below(I added a bit more here):

      The differences:
      1. The V8 has NFC(might be useful to many or none, up to you) and Dual Band Wi-Fi(Don't know if the G has this one).
      2. Bigger 5.5" screen(and it looks better too, Motorola always over saturates their HD screens, too garish to my eyes), both 720p.
      3. Better, newer processor. The MediaTek Hexa Core in the V8 is newer, has a faster GPU and is much more energy efficient than the older Snapdragon 400 in the G. Plus you can brag you've got a six core...I know, just sayin'
      4. 2GB of ram and 16GB of storage for the V8, literally half that for the G. Both have sd slots. That first one is the biggie, 2GB is really the minimum for smooth playback of the latest games IMHO.
      5. The G wins on the OS front, it will most definitely get L, no guarantee's the V8 will. If you want L just to run ART, then be assured it does run great on the V8. I've been running it since I got it with zero problems.
      6. No comparison at all on the camera(s), the V8's 13mp rotatable one is better than the G again IMHO.
      7. Antutu scores: G= around 18000, V8= 25500, big difference.

      There are more things to be sure, but my point was that the V8 is a better phone all around than the 2nd Gen G at the same price in Canada(after import duties, I think it will probably even out price wise) and a few bucks more in the US. Just my 2 cents on this one

      Here's the link to Howards review:
      http://www.howardforums.com/content.php/2013

      And my review, we agree on almost everything,lol:
    1. pfoneguy's Avatar
      pfoneguy -
      Any rumor on a 2nd Gen LTE version?
    1. TelecomZombie's Avatar
      TelecomZombie -
      $199.99 at Spit Out Wireless when you buy a $100. prepaid voucher and receive additional $25. Credit. Unless Iam mistakem
      365 day expiry.
      http://www.speakout7eleven.ca/prepai...a-moto-g-black

      Display
      5" 720p HD

      Dimensions
      L x W x D: 140.8 mm × 72.4 mm × 6.0-11.0mm (curve)
      Weight: 144 grams

      Memory
      RAM: 1GB
      ROM: 8GB
      MicroSD Card Slot

      Battery Performance
      2070 mAh

      Camera/Video
      Rear camera: 8 MP AF
      Front Camera: 2 MP

      Other
      Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
      Micro Size (3FF) SIM Card
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
      Great review, Howard

      You did forget to add one player to the fray for a challenger here...and you yourself did a review on it. China phones are getting better and better(especially in the last 6-8 months or so), and the iNew V8, at only $200.00 or a bit less, is a prime candidate for your dollars, both here in the US and in Canada. I just finished a video review to compliment your review---and have just had this same conversation with a viewer on my site, no joke. Allow me to cut n paste part of my response on the differences to him below(I added a bit more here):

      The differences:
      1. The V8 has NFC(might be useful to many or none, up to you) and Dual Band Wi-Fi(Don't know if the G has this one).
      2. Bigger 5.5" screen(and it looks better too, Motorola always over saturates their HD screens, too garish to my eyes), both 720p.
      3. Better, newer processor. The MediaTek Hexa Core in the V8 is newer, has a faster GPU and is much more energy efficient than the older Snapdragon 400 in the G. Plus you can brag you've got a six core...I know, just sayin'
      4. 2GB of ram and 16GB of storage for the V8, literally half that for the G. Both have sd slots. That first one is the biggie, 2GB is really the minimum for smooth playback of the latest games IMHO.
      5. The G wins on the OS front, it will most definitely get L, no guarantee's the V8 will. If you want L just to run ART, then be assured it does run great on the V8. I've been running it since I got it with zero problems.
      6. No comparison at all on the camera(s), the V8's 13mp rotatable one is better than the G again IMHO.
      7. Antutu scores: G= around 18000, V8= 25500, big difference.

      There are more things to be sure, but my point was that the V8 is a better phone all around than the 2nd Gen G at the same price in Canada(after import duties, I think it will probably even out price wise) and a few bucks more in the US. Just my 2 cents on this one

      Here's the link to Howards review:
      http://www.howardforums.com/content.php/2013

      And my review, we agree on almost everything,lol:
      I would say if china phones had LTE they would be a much better choice. I know the Moto G doesn't either yet.
      But there are other considerations such as warranty which is pretty much non existent and resale value.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      ^Good points. But there are some China phones that now have LTE(see my review of the Landvo L200G, for instance, elsewhere on this site). I do have to say, however, that folks don't usually buy an under $200.00 phone based on resale value, they do it to save cash and hope to get a decent phone out of it. Both phones offer that with the V8 offering even more.
    1. Frankie500's Avatar
      Frankie500 -
      @Howard

      Any issues with light from the display leaking out around the bevel of the new Moto G while using it in dark room? That seems to be an issue quite a few people are having, though it seems mostly with the white phone. Also, I've read that the fit and finish is lacking compared with the first gen Moto G, that it's put together differently, has gaps and creaks and such. Your take?
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
      ^Good points. But there are some China phones that now have LTE(see my review of the Landvo L200G, for instance, elsewhere on this site). I do have to say, however, that folks don't usually buy an under $200.00 phone based on resale value, they do it to save cash and hope to get a decent phone out of it. Both phones offer that with the V8 offering even more.
      The LTE isn't for North America.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      The LTE isn't for North America.
      Just the US, Canada works just fine
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
      Just the US, Canada works just fine
      intersting, which Canadian company has FDD LTE?
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      intersting, which Canadian company has FDD LTE?
      I read it both here:
      http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...ame-as-FDD-LTE

      And here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

      That last one really clears up which LTE bands and networks work where. It's a mess, really, lol.
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