The new, third-generation Moto G raises the quality bar even higher.
Moto G is improved is almost every way. The handset, which runs on the latest version of Google's (GOOG - Get Report) Android operating system, boasts a five-inch, HD touchscreen display and has a 1.4 GHz, quad-core Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) 410 processor.
It can also come with either 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of on-board storage or an even more powerful model with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of flash storage. There is also a microSD card slot for expanding the storage memory up to an extra 32 GB.
The cameras measure 13 megapixels on the back and 5 MP (with auto-HDR) facing front. The handset comes with an all-day battery and a microUSB charging port, yet the phone weighs just 5.47 ounces.
One major new feature of note, the G was designed to be used on any of the major U.S. carriers, meaning it will work on all AT&T (T - Get Report), Sprint (S - Get Report), T-Mobile (TMUS - Get Report) and Verizon (VZ - Get Report) networks.
On paper, Moto G's specifications aren't exactly up to the sky-high standards of the latest round of premium Android phones such as Motorola's Moto X, HTC's One M9, LG's G4 or Samsung's (SSNLF) Galaxy S6. But, in real life use, considering that this mid-tier smartphone comes so close and does so with a starting price of $179, it is clear why reviewers, as well as the huge global market, are so enamored with this handset.
For $179 users get the 8GB storage model, while the 16GB costs an extra $40.
In addition, users can configure the phone to their liking, picking the color of the phone's front and back covers, buy extra shells, decide on one of 10 color choices for the metallic-looking trim and engrave up to 14 characters on the back for $5. Users can also select a personal start-up screen message and wallpaper.
Moto G has been a joy to test and use. It is lightweight, easy to hold and store in a pocket or purse, and performs nearly as well as many of the premium devices on the market.
Aside from a somewhat beefier processor and a higher-resolution screen, the Moto G could fool many users and experts alike. The new G operates like it is a much more expensive device.
Overall Score: 8.5/10