Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: Motorola Moto G2 – Poor Man’s Nexus Now Grown Up!

Pros : Stereo Speakers, Value for money, Latest android updates, Specifications, Camera, Screen quality, Gorilla Glass protection, Build quality 

Cons : Same old processor and memory, Non-removable battery

The Motorola Moto G2 has been launched in India in September 2014 with a price tag of Rs. 12,999. The successor of first gen Moto G is powered by Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 Processor, Adreno 305 GPU, 1 GB RAM, 8GB Internal memory with SD card support upto 32GB, Dual SIM support, 8MP primary camera + 2MP secondary camera, 5 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen and Android 4.4.4 KitKat Operating System.


It was February 2014 when mobile phone market was suddenly revolutionised and entry level smartphone segment was stirred with launch of first gen Motorola Moto G. The result was obvious – the little Moto G was a huge success, thanks to its excellent value for money pricing, good specifications and best part was the guaranteed OS updates right from Google with vanilla android experience. But as we know, smartphone industry is very dynamic, models come and go in the blink of an eye. Within 8-9 months of its launch in India, Motorola upgraded the Moto G with its second gen avtaar which has slightly bigger screen, stereo speakers, and bigger front & back cameras with same chipset, processor and memory! Before reviewing the phone I would just say – Motorola Moto G2 is the best phone for a first time smartphone buyer! Let’s take a closer look at it to find out why is it so.

Screen & Build Quality

The biggest change in Motorola Moto G2 as compared to its predecessor is the screen real estate. Moto G2 sports a 5.0 inches IPS LCD capacitive multi-touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It has resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels with ~294 ppi pixel density. Screen quality is very good with nice touch response. Bigger screen makes reading text much easier. Day time viewing is also decent as compared to some other phones even in higher segment. 5 inch screen is pretty standard these days and most people prefer to have a bigger phone rather than having a separate tablet device for reading purposes. In the budget of 13k, Moto G2 is one of the best 5” screen phone in the market. Though the screen is protected with gorilla glass 3 protection, it is better to have screen guard cover. 

Motorola Moto G2 has a very nice build quality. Even the first gen was excellent in this regard and G2 takes the level even further. Moto G2 rear is made up of non-removable good quality plastic body which is, however, scratch prone. This necessitates the phone users to have a body cover for it.  On the back there is an 8MP primary camera with Motorola logo imprinted in the middle. On the front, there is a 2 MP secondary camera, with couple of sensors. Moto G2 also comes with stereo speakers that are integrated in the both extreme corners of the screen. Weighing around 150 grams, Moto G2 is tad heavier than its predecessor but build quality and feel is premium and no signs of cost cuttings are there. With dimensions of 141.50 x 70.70 x 10.99, Moto G2 still appears to have compact footprint. 

Camera, Buttons & Call/Audio Quality

Another enhancement as compared to previous gen is in the camera department. Moto G now comes with 8 MP primary camera and 2 MP front camera. Image quality has also increased with the increased mega pixel count. Photos and videos taken from Moto G2 are quite decent in quality and will suffice day to day clicking needs. Front camera is good enough for clear video calls. The 8 MP shooter captures images with size of  3264 x 2448 pixels. It has basic features like autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama.  The camera is capable to record 720p@30fps with stereo sound. 

Moto G2 comes with dual front stereo speakers. The audio quality is decent, though when compared to sound quality of stereo speakers which comes in HTC phones, Moto G2 needs lots of improvement. Call quality is very good. There are two buttons on the left side of the phone – power button and volume rocker. Button quality is good. Moto G2 comes with standard USB cum charging port along with 3.5 mm audio jack. The standard earphones bundled along with Moto G2 are of good quality. Moto G2 comes with wired charger with no separate USB cable. 

OS/Performance and Battery

This is one department where Moto G2 has no improvement. Same old processor and memory combo. It is powered by Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 based Chipset, Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, 1 GB RAM, Adreno 305 GPU, 8 GB internal storage capacity with SD card support and Android 4.4.4 KitKat Operating system (out of the box) upgradable to Android 5.0 Lollipop OS. Though performance wise, Moto G had never any issues. It can play games like real racing without any hitch. Moto G2 now comes with SD card support upto 32 GB which was not available in its predecessor. Performance is smooth for day to day smartphone usage. Quadrant benchmark score of Moto G2 is 8821. There is no overheating problem on Moto G2. It would have been even better if Motorola increased the clock speed of the processor to at least 1.4 Ghz and little bump in physical memory also to make it future proof. 

Moto G2 comes with Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system which will be very soon upgraded to Android 5.0 lollipop OS with over the air update. Motorola has not done any major modification to the OS and users can enjoy plain vanilla Android experience without any 3rd party UI layer.  All standard Android OS apps are available including gallery, camera UI, dialer, phone book etc. 
Moto G2 comes with same Non-removable Li-Ion 2070 mAh battery which Motorola claims to last full day of use. Though with increase in screen real estate and more powerful camera, the overall backup time has reduced a bit. On a full charge it does last for complete day wth moderate basic usage. 

Motorola Moto G2 is exclusively available on flipkart and it comes with 1 year manufacturer warranty for Phone and in-box accessories. 


 There are many reasons for Motorola Moto G2 to be a big market success which includes stock android experience, guaranteed timely OS updates, value for money pricing and decent configurations to name a few. Moto G2 ticks all the right boxes which are necessary in a smartphone which makes it a first choice for any person who wants to upgrade from their existing conventional phones or even anyone who wants a new phone for general smartphone usage and have peace of mind.  

Ratings (out of 5 stars)

Build Quality ****
Screen *****
Camera *****
Performance ****
Value for Money *****

Overall *****

Specs at a glance

5.0 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels and ~294 ppi pixel density

Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 Processor
Adreno 305 GPU
8 GB internal memory with microSD support up to 128 GB
8 MP Primary camera + 2 MP Secondary camera
Network Type
Dual SIM, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 GPS, GPRS/EDGE, 3G, FM Radio
Li-Ion 2600 mAh battery
Android 4.4.4 KitKat
141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm
149 grams