Moto G (3rd Gen) Smartphone - Is it really worth the upgrade?


Motorola has come up with the third iteration of its most popular smartphone - the Moto G. The budget smartphone has more competitors now than when it was first launched. How does it plan to go ahead with the competition? We will look out for the features of this new entrant in the ever important sub 15K price band.

Moto G was the comeback vehicle for Motorola when it was launched. It is still looked upon as the phone that set the benchmark for the budget friendly devices. The firm later came up with the second generation of the phone - named Moto G (2nd Gen) with improved specifications. It again was a big hit.
Buoyed by the success of the two iterations, Motorola has now launched the 3rd Gen Moto G. But, the story is different now. We have an overcrowded presence of multiple brands in this segment. With the entry of Xiaomi, Yu Televentures and other brands - especially those from China- has made the competition tough. Is Moto G ready for the survival among the fittest? We will analyse on the basis of some key points.

Look and feel

From the design point of view, the new device looks similar to Moto G 2nd gen. The back cover is removable. It now comes with ribbed pattern. The build makes sure that the phone looks sturdy and durable. The ribbed back gives a better grip while handling the phone. You can opt for additional optional back covers.

A new metallic strip has been added which gives a premium look to the phone. Volume rockers are located on the right side along with power button. You have the microUSB port at the bottom while the audio jack is placed at the top. The buttons offer good tactile feedback with no sign of being unresponsive.

Another added advantage is the phone provides you water resistance. It should be a welcome gesture at this price point. The phone offers water resistance for about half an hour when immersed one meter under water.

Display

The phone features a 5 inch HD display. Screen resolution reads 720x1280. It is quite strange to see a HD screen when every other manufacturer is moving to full HD display. The screen, however, looks quite good. It has quite satisfactory viewing angles. Color reproduction too appears fine, but comparison with the full HD screens becomes inevitable. Images are not as sharp as they are on a full HD screen.

There is a protection from scratches thanks to the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The sunlight legibility is on a plus side. The screen is somewhat a fingerprint magnet and prone to smudges.

You have the option for opting for additional covers and strips. In fact, the phone can be customised in a variety of ways on the front, back and the metal strip.

Hardware

The new Moto G is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quadcore processor. The clock speed is 1.4 GHz. The processor supports 64 Bit architecture. By using a 64 Bit processor, Motorola attempts to stay future-proof. 64 Bit processor offers better performance and effective RAM management. Graphics are handled by Adreno 306 GPU.

The on board RAM of 2 GB ensures smoother multitasking experience. In a clear move to better the predecessor, Motorola has doubled the RAM in comparison to Moto G second gen.

The device offers you an internal memory of 16 GB which has become a standard these days. In addition you have the option of expanding the memory via the microSD card slot.

Motorola has also announced that Moto G 3 will also come with a 8 GB internal memory variant. This version has 1 GB RAM. I can't find the logic in launching a device with 8 GB memory. Pricing differs by just Rs. 1000. I am sceptical about the possibility of finding many buyers for the low memory variant.

Camera

Moto G 3rd gen sports a 13 MP rear camera with auto focus and dual LED flash. The camera has been upgraded from the previous iteration. The sensor used is the same as in the Google Nexus series.

The camera settings are not up to the expectations. Though the camera has an upgraded hardware, the same cannot be said about the settings and app. You get only basic settings. The additional settings for HDR, Panorama, slow motion etc are hidden. The camera app allows you to click photos by tapping anywhere on the screen. The Camera app does not have any additional filters and scene modes.

The move to have a f/2.0 aperture is really a welcome one. It will help you fill in more details in your snap.
The hardware has really got a big lift. Low light photographs turn out to be fine with less noise and clearer details. The images in normal light have good color reproduction and contrast.

You get a 5 MP front snapper for taking Selfies and video chats. The quality of the images is quite impressive.

Rear camera is capable of HD video recording at 1080p. The slow motion video recording at 720p is supported.

Software

The phone runs on Android Lollipop 5.1. You get an almost pure stock Android experience. You have on screen navigation buttons. The interface is almost similar to that found on Google's own phones except some own system apps.

There are no bloat wares except for Gallery, Messaging and Camera apps which are customised by Motorola, but these add up to the usability factor than being termed as bloat-ware.
The software offers you some additional Motorola specific apps like Assist , and Motorola Migrate . Assist is a feature that allows you to set alerts to the callers when you are in a meeting or sleeping. The phone will go silent or auto reply while you are in a meeting or sleeping.

Motorola Migrate let's you - as the name itself indicates - migrate contents from another phone to your Moto G.

Another interesting feature included is the Motorola Display which shows up the notifications without having to unlock the screen. It senses when you pick up the phone and shows up these notifications.

There are a couple of gesture modes added. These are used to launch the torch function and to take snaps in camera mode by turning the device into landscape mode.

Battery and other features

The phone is operated by a 2470 mAh battery. The battery is non removable. It should be capable of providing you almost a day's backup. The approximate talk time can range from 12 to 15 hours with average use. You get usual connectivity features like WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS. The phone supports dual SIM functionality and you need to have microSIM for it to function. The phone has 4G connectivity. The frontally placed speaker provides a crystal clear output without any sort of distortion.

Final Words

The upgraded hardware and improved camera makes Moto G 3rd gen a great buy. In fact, the camera can be treated as the best one in this price range. Water resistance is one of the unique features for this price bracket. However, given the stronger competition it may not find many users. Since it is priced at Rs. 12999 - you cannot term it as the affordable handset either. Lenovo K3 Note , for instance comes with full HD display at a much lower price. Yu Yureka Plus and Meizu also fall under the similar category. We need to wait and see how it works out for Motorola.


Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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