1. someguy01234's Avatar
    First off, I have to give kudos to Motorola. So I preordered this phone from Motorola and it was shipped earlier than expected and was FedEx to me from China and it arrived (in US) within 23hours.

    Scroll to bottom for tl:dr.

    Build: This is my favorite looking phone from Motorola so far, it's sort of a taller version of the original Moto X, but the stereo front speakers give it a more appealing look. It have a sleeker design than the original Moto G and still very comfortable to hold. It's about the same durability as the Moto G, but the rear cover is easier to remove. The power and volume buttons has been improved being stiffer and feel more securely placed. This shape the Moto X 2014 should have been, it just look sleeker and more attractive.

    Battery life:
    Motorola elected to keep the same battery size from the original G, while increasing the screen size and add stereo speakers. Using the phone for the last few days with medium to slight heavy use, I get between 3.5 to 4 hours of screen on time and a total battery life between 16-19hours. Compared to the original Moto G, I can easily get more than 4hours of screen on time and passing 5 hours even.

    If you charged the phone fully at night, then unplugged it, on the next day the battery level will either be below 20% or likely in the red zone by 6-7pm. It will last enough until you get home from work, but if you plan to go out that night, you will need to charge it up a bit before hand. This definitely is not a 24hours battery life phone, unless you only use 50 to 75% of screen brightness most of the time and use WiFi most of the time.

    In term of charging, it took me 110minutes to fully charge the phone connected to a 2Amp USB charger. The phone seems to be able to pull in 1.14Amp per hour while charging with the screen off, which isn't very fast compared to more high end phones.

    Display: A definitely improvement from the Moto G. I feel the 5" size is just right because it just allow the virtual keyboard's keys to be large enough to type comfortably on and making less mistakes in the process.

    Once again it is not a bright display nor have very good viewing angle, but it is better than the original G. There is slightly better contrast (if I remembered correctly) and the colors are very well calibrated. The pixels are sharp and you cannot see any pixelation. This 5" 720p screen look sharper than the 4.7" 720p screen of the original Moto X due to the pixel alignment.

    Speakers: Despite being stereo speakers, it's not very loud, but is adequate. If you mount the phone in your car, the internal speakers still aren't loud enough to listen all the time to unless you have a well isolated car, so you must connect it to bluetooth. However, there is a clear sound quality improvement over the original G. You can clearly tell the stereo separation with music and voices are clearer. There is slight distortion at loudest volume, but it's not bad especially if your music are higher bitrates.

    Camera: This is the biggest improvement over the original G which just didn't cut it with its 5MP camera. The 8MP of the 2014 version take good details, compared to the original G, it has improved ability for macroshots and low light condition due to wider aperture. The shutter speed seems good and you can take consecutive shots without pause in between. The exposure is very sensitive to light changes and the viewfinder focus may need careful placement for perfect lighting sometimes.The sound recording in videos are also very acceptable and you can hear all the background noises, although can be a little noisy due to lack of noise cancellation feature of the more expensive X model. Also, similar to the LTE version of the original G, the phone have a gyroscope so you can take photosphere photos. The HDR mode make images a bit too bright, but you can always use a third party camera app. The photo quality is worthy of it's $180 price tag.

    Software and performance: It's exactly like the original G, the processor, graphic unit, ram, and screen resolution, so the software performance is same as the original G. Overall, the CPU does an okay job with the help of running stock Android and there are few slow down. Just don't expect to play heavy 3D games on it and you'll be fine. Since motorola updated their Assist software, now the Moto G get all the modes that is found in the X, including Home and Driving mode. You can make this phone a poorman's Moto X by doing a few tweaks. For example, you can install Google Now Launcher and enable "Okay Google Everywhere" in its settings to somewhat emulate Touchless Control feature. Also you can install the app "AcDisplay" to emulate the Moto Display feature. No doubt these tweaks will use up a bit of battery life.

    One minor downside is the phone have only 1GB of ram which can be limiting for multitasking. Apps in the background would close themselves unexpectedly if your RAM is used up which is quite often. Sometimes even viewing a heavy contents webpage causes the music player in the background to close itself. Using the app Greenify to free up RAM does help, but not entirely. I believe Motorola could make some software tweaks to improve this or we can hope Android L will.

    Storage Space: There is 5.5GB of user storage space, however due to caching, etc, out of the box you get 4.8GB of free space. A big improvement over the original G is that you get a microSD slot. It does support 64gb microSD cards if formatted as FAT32. Windows by default will not allow you to format 64gb flash memory as FAT32, so you must search Google on how to do this, I use the program called RMPrepUSB. Also if your phone is running Dalvik mode, which is default, apps can be moved to microSD card (if the app developer allows it). The camera allows you to store pictures directly on the microSD card as well.

    When you first installed a microSD card, the phone will pop up a window allowing you to move media from the "Pictures, Music and Movies" folders from your internal storage to your microSD card, however, it does not detect the "Videos" folder.

    The phone supports USB OTG as well, but I have not tested it.

    Voice and Signal quality: I don't have much to say here, but generally Motorola phones have good signal and voice quality. I am using T-Mobile and was able to stream YouTube podcasts at 360p resolution while driving for more than half an hour at a time in the city and not have my videos paused or connection lost.

    Overall: I think even despite not very impressive battery life by Motorola standard, this phone is not only the best budget phone of 2014, but it is literally the best budget smartphone I've ever used. There are very little compromise for the price you pay and I think few brands can match it in term of value. We have to remember that Motorola have a good record of updating their phones recently, so getting this device over some of the competing brands mean you will be guaranteed to be one of the first to get updates and will get Android L (unless Lenovo decided differently for Motorola in the future).

    Moto G 2013 LTE: For some people who do not require a good camera, the Moto G 2013 LTE may be a better option, especially if you want a smaller device. Unlike the Moto G 2014, the 2013 LTE version have the benefit of having LTE (of course), is more compact in size which fits better in pockets and have a bit more battery life. Likely Motorola will come out with an LTE version for the Moto G 2014 later on, but it would only work if the battery capacity is increased.

    (Too long, didn't read)
    Reason to upgrade from Moto G 2013:
    -Substantially improved camera
    -Stereo front speakers, not louder, but higher quality sounding
    -Sleeker design
    -microSD support
    -Larger screen, but not oversized and still comfortable to hold

    Negative points:
    -Only average battery life. ~3.5 to 4hours screen on time. Not full day battery.
    -Phone may be a bit tall, not as comfortable for small pockets.
    -Still no NFC!
    -This version is 3G only, LTE version will be released separately.
    Attached Thumbnails Moto G 2014 review: Best budget phone to date, poorman's Moto X.-motog2014_battery_life.jpg   Moto G 2014 review: Best budget phone to date, poorman's Moto X.-motog2014_charge_rate.jpg  
    isdaako and huntnyc like this.
    09-17-2014 10:10 PM
  2. qtrori's Avatar
    ..."Also if your phone is running Dalvik mode, which is default, apps can be moved to microSD card (if the app developers allows it)."...
    I thought the phone comes with Kit Kat 4.4.4 and ART would be used instead. Can someone explain this to me a bit better since I have limited understanding of ART, other than it gives performance increases somehow.
    09-18-2014 01:14 AM
  3. someguy01234's Avatar
    I thought the phone comes with Kit Kat 4.4.4 and ART would be used instead. Can someone explain this to me a bit better since I have limited understanding of ART, other than it gives performance increases somehow.
    Android L will use ART by default, but not KitKat. Also there is a bug in the initial firmware at least for the US unlock model. Whenever you enable ART, the apps would re-optimize itself after every reboot, which take a very long time, it should only do it once. And I re-flashed the factory firmware so it's not just my phone.

    ART make a big difference in performance imo and it's very hard for me to go back to Dalvik this once, but I think the phone will run very well with Android L.

    Here is an article on ART, but the view on it have changed since as ART is being improved. http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/11...uts-in-kitkat/

    sent via tapatalk
    09-18-2014 01:24 AM
  4. cgardnervt's Avatar
    I was really hoping it would have the LTE built into the phone already. Releasing 2 phones per year with the same hardware but different radio just seemed silly to me. I understand they wanna make money in all but still. In any case we loved the Moto G LTE last year! Maybe we will upgrade her to that one if we deem the need. Camera is sorta important to the girlfriend. Better sounds is a nice touch as well. Over all great review IMO!
    09-18-2014 06:52 AM
  5. kd0h's Avatar
    Great review! I also have the G and been running it through its paces.

    I'm on T-Mobile so I have HSPA+ available (so it's that middle ground between LTE and 3G) I've had zero issues with streaming music.

    But I completely agree with you on the multitasking. Run music in the background and then hop on the web/Facebook and the music may just stop. 1 more GB of ram would have probably helped that.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-18-2014 09:17 PM
  6. someguy01234's Avatar
    Bonus: Speakers

    Here is the comparison of the Moto G 2014 stereo speakers vs the Moto X 2013 mono speaker (watch it in HD):

    The Moto G 2014 speakers have more depth than the Moto X 2013 mono speakers, allowing the music to be more accurate. However, it sound a bit dark and have a slight muffle to it. The bass doesn't go very low, or almost lack thereof, anything below about 300hz is pretty much inaudible.

    On the other hand, the Moto X 2013 single speaker is noticeably louder and cleaner as well. However, it lacks depth and smoothness. Also the midrange can be sharp or too dry at times. It does have a slightly stronger impact overall.

    Overall the Moto X 2013 single speaker is more ideal in a variety of situation due to being louder, but the Moto G 2014 dual speaker will be more comfortable to listen and sound more real, especially for voices.
    09-19-2014 10:57 PM

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