|+ Affordable||- Could be more powerful|
|+ Water resistant||- Weak 8GB option|
|+ Good camera||- Not as cheap as previous models|
"The Moto G isn’t quite as cheap as it once was, but with tons of tech packed in it’s still a bargain handset".
Motorola has made a name for itself in recent years as a purveyor of fine affordable handsets, undercutting most of the competition without sacrificing on quality, whether we’re talking about the entry level Moto E, the flagship Moto X or the middle ground of the Moto G.
It’s a new Moto G that we’ve got here, the Moto G 3rd gen to give it its full and not particularly catchy title, and with a starting price of £179 it’s not quite as affordable as past handsets in the range, but then it feels like a higher end phone too. So is it worth the money? Read on to find out.
The great thing about the Moto G 3rd gen is that you can customise it with Moto Maker and while it doesn’t have the same premium selection of materials available to choose from as the Moto X, it does have over 1000 different combinations available in all, so you can really make it your own.
The front, trim and back can all be customised, plus you can pick a wallpaper and even add an engraving if you want.
It’s only colours that you’re choosing, this is a plastic handset no matter what you do, but with a nicely textured back and the ability to have up to three different colours in use it can still look pretty good. It’s on the thick side at 11.6mm, but it’s also slightly curved which helps make it comfortable to hold.
One thing which hasn’t changed much this year is the screen, as the Moto G 3rd gen has a 5.0-inch 720 x 1280 IPS LCD display, just like the Moto G 2nd gen.
That’s okay though, because 5 inches is still a good size and while a boost to 1080p would have been nice 720p still more than cuts it and presumably helps keep the price down. The colours are vivid, viewing angles are pretty good and it’s reasonably sharp, so you really can’t complain given that it’s under £200.
How powerful the Moto G 3rd gen is will depend in part on which version you opt for. You’re guaranteed to get a 64-bit 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, but while the 16GB model comes with a generous 2GB of RAM the 8GB one has just 1GB.
Unfortunately that makes the 8GB version a bit of a weak option, as not only is that very little storage but it’s actually less powerful and the 16GB model is only £30 more, making it far better value, though also pushing the price up to £209.
The processor seems a little lacking on paper too in comparison to the rest of the specs of the phone, though it’s in line with what we’d expect at this price and coupled with a near stock version of Android 5.1.1 performance is fairly smooth.
The Moto G 3rd gen has a very impressive camera considering how cheap it is, as there’s a 13 megapixel sensor on the back complete with a dual-LED flash, while there’s also a 5 megapixel snapper on the front, ideal for selfies. Plus the phone can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.
Such high spec shooters are almost unheard of at such a low price and they ensure you get sharp, detailed images, with great colour reproduction even when using the flash.
It also has a handful of shooting modes such as panorama and burst mode, plus you can launch the camera with a twist of your wrist, making it quick and easy to get to.
The Moto G 3rd gen runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and it’s very close to the stock version, meaning the interface is clean, intuitive and uncluttered. It’s also likely to get software updates quite promptly.
Surprisingly the Moto G is also water resistant. This is always nice to see, especially in cheaper phones which often lack extra features like that. Along with a fairly durable design this is one phone you won’t need to worry about too much and if the worst does happen at least it didn’t have a flagship price attached.
There’s a 2470 mAh battery in the Moto G 3rd gen, which can comfortably last you all day, even if you’re using it well into the late evening. It won’t see you through two days unless you’re a very light user but it’s pretty decent, especially in comparison to recent phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6, which have taken a backwards step in battery life.
You can get the Moto G 3rd gen with either 8 or 16GB of built in storage and either way there’s a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 32GB. A microSD card will be pretty much vital if you opt for the 8GB version but even with 16GB you’ll quite possibly feel the need for one after a while.
Connectivity options include 3G, 4G and Bluetooth 4.0, however there’s no NFC, so you won’t be able to make the most of Android Pay when it launches.
Motorola has done it again with the Moto G 3rd gen. It’s not quite as affordable as the previous versions were but with a much improved camera, more power, a water resistant build and a customisable design it more than justifies the price hike and it’s still a bargain for what you get.
The only caveat to that is that the 8GB model doesn’t seem such great value for money, as not only is storage severely limited but it also has half the RAM of the 16GB model, yet it’s only £30 cheaper, so we’d strongly recommend you opt for the larger storage size, but that aside the Moto G 3rd gen is an affordable winner.
Dimensions : 142.1 x 72.4 x 11.6mm
Screen size: 5.0” (720 x 1280)
Screen Resolution: 720 x 1280 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 294
Processor: Quad-core application processor
RAM: 1GB / 2GB
On-board Memory: 8GB / 16GB (microSD card support)
Camera: 13MP (rear) 5MP (front-facing)
Operating system: Android 5.1.1
3G / 4G LTE: Yes / Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes / No
Battery capacity: 2470mAh
Colours: Black, White
Launch Date: Out Now