The Moto G 2nd generation comes with an excellent design, rarely seen in smartphones within its price range. It’s a significant upgrade on its predecessor, the Moto G, which took the budget smartphone market by storm during its release. The Moto G 2nd generation has been designed to consolidate on the successes of its predecessor and has lived up to the billing in every regard.
1.2 Ghz Snapdragon processor 400 processor; Android 4.4 Kitkat; Dual SIM; 5-inch 720HD display; Dual front-facing stereo speakers; 2-mega pixel front facing camera; 8-megapixel camera; MicroSD card support up to 32GB, 8GB and 16GB models
- Good value for money
- Excellent battery life
- Well-built, reliable design
- Amazing and well-improved camera
- Mediocre front facing speakers
- Absence of 4G LTE support
- Poor Low light photos
The Full Review of the Moto G 2nd Generation
Moto G 2: Design and features
The exterior material components of the Moto G 2nd generation mainly in plastic matte but with a glossy finish at the front. A soft-touch mainly covers the back. We all know that most low to mid-range budget Android smartphones come in plastic build, but the Moto G 2nd generation, which is part of the low-budget family, still holds its own with regards to design quality and build. The back still features the same slightly curvy body and soft touch finish, which helps to make it comfortable to hold and operate. The Moto G 2nd generation is clearly wider than the original as well as less comfortable to hold. This Smartphone weighs 175g and measures 11mm with regards to thickness, making it slightly thicker and heavier than Motorola G.
Behind the cover of this Smartphone reveals the same microSD card slot as well as the 2070mAh nonremovable battery, which was featured in the original 4G version of Moto G but absent in the 3G version. You’d also see that the dual SIM feature was included in this Smartphone, which is important for travels because you can still keep your personal SIM in your Smartphone while using locals SIMs to make cheaper calls. This phone has an intelligent calling feature that determines and selects the type of SIM for making certain calls, depending on the type of phone call. The notable drawback of the Moto G 2nd generation is the absence of 4G LTE, which would have made sense if it was excluded two years ago because of the limited presence of the 4G infrastructure. Motorola included 4G LTE capability in its Moto G 4G edition, but it’s surprising to see that this amazing feature was excluded from the Moto G 2nd generation, which is a more recent version.
Another notable difference in the G2 from the original is the placement of its speakers, with one sitting just below the display and the other above it. This new speaker position helps to channel the sounds emanating from the speaker to the operator or user instead of away.
Moto G 2: Display
One major issue customers had with the Moto G was its screen size, which they felt was smaller than most competing brands. Motorola listened to the yearnings of its customers and included a 5-inch display in the Moto G 2nd generation. This Smartphone features a 720p HD resolution screen, with its 295ppi fewer than that featured on Moto G, which stands at 326ppi. For enhanced protection, this Smartphone comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is perfect for anti scratch protection. For a low budget Smartphones, I’d say the screen quality and display is pretty impressive, and there isn’t much to complain about. Smartphones priced in the same category as Moto G 2 do not offer the same value in terms of screen quality; this shows you how much value you’d be getting if you decide to purchase it.
The major drawback with the display of the Moto G 2nd generation is its brightness, which isn’t as spectacular as similarly priced as well as slightly more expensive smartphones, one of which is the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. This slight drawback leaves a little sour taste in our mouths despite its impressive performance.
Moto G 2: Performance
The Moto G 2nd generation isn’t devoid of the great components which were the mainstay of the original. It possesses features rarely seen in the mid to low-budget smartphones. It comes with a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU, which is the kind of processors you’d see in smartphones such as Galaxy S5 Mini and HTC One Mini 2. Gamers will also find this Smartphone useful because of its 1GB RAM. However, you have to be realistic about your expectations from the Moto G 2nd Generation. Low to medium budget smartphones don’t possess advanced features such as upgrading of processors and RAMs for better performance. These advanced features are the exclusive preserve of high-end smartphones. But with Moto G 2, you can eat with the top-dogs in the Smartphone industry because it can upgrade its RAM as well as move its processor to 801.
Its home screen is extremely easy to navigate and launching apps just as easier. Most mid-budget Smartphones are bogged down especially during heavy gaming, but the Moto G 2nd generation can handle the requirements of these heavy video games without hampering performance.
Moto G 2: Software
The Moto G 2nd generation can run on Android’s latest OS, which is Android 4.4 KitKat, and it’s able to do so in a cool and sleek way. The new Moto G, according to Motorola, can be updated to Android 5.0. This update provision and capability included in this Smartphone is very uncommon especially when compared to similarly priced smartphones, and you’d definitely get absolute value for money when purchasing the Moto G 2. This Smartphone comes pre-installed with Google Drive, Chrome browser, Quickoffice and many more. Standard apps such as Calculator, Calendar and radio aren’t left out as well.
Motorola also included four of its apps along with the Moto G 2 and these apps don’t impede the performance of the phone and can be easily distinguished from other apps through its colorful and triangle icons.
One of Motorola’s apps includes Moto Alert, which allows you to send emergency messages specifically chosen contacts on your contact list. Your specifically designated contacts can be alerted once the big red button is pressed. Motorola Assist isn’t exactly new and has been available on other Motorola mobile phones, and it basically set up your phone in a way that would enable it to work in different situations. So if by chance you are driving, your new text messages would be read out, thereby allowing you concentrate while driving. Motorola Assist is almost similar to Google now, and it makes use of Google location services, GPS, Calendars and sensor data such as Bluetooth and WIFI.
One of the most important features people look out for when shopping for smartphones is the camera functionality. The Motorola G features a 5-mega pixel, which is poor going by what’s obtainable in the Smartphone industry. Motorola has seen the need to upgrade the camera functionality in the Moto G and has done so with the unveiling of the G2 that packs with it an 8-megapixel primary camera as well as a 2-megapixel front camera. Regarding image quality, the Motorola G2 churns out impressive photo shoots, but then you shouldn’t expect the photos to actually compete with those produced the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC one. Although the G2’s camera delivers high-quality photos, it struggles when taking photos in low-light conditions but under the right conditions, you should expect great quality images.
The Camera app is quite easy and simple to use, unlike most Android smartphones. Once you activate the camera, the menu stays hidden apart from the switch camera modes, giving you a full view of the scene during photo sessions. To simply snap photos, you’d only need to use the volume rocker button or press down on the screen, and the shutter will respond immediately. You can easily adjust the 4X digital Zoom by swiping up and down on the screen, and to snap multiple images, simply hold down on the screen.
The modes dial and settings can be found when you swipe from the left on the screen, and you can make necessary adjustments by swiping up and down. This Smartphone also can capture brighter images in high contrast shots using its HDR feature, and then you can decide to take the photo quality to a higher level by using the automatic “HDR more feature,” which is a feature mostly common with high-end smartphones. In addition to all its amazing camera features, you can shoot in panorama mode, add location information, adjust flash, turn off shutter sound and use brackets to control focus and exposure.
By default, pictures are taken in 6-megapixel mode 16: 9 aspect ratio, so you may not be able to take pictures in 8-megapixel mode straight away, but you can change the camera modes and aspects by going into the settings and changing to your preferred mode, which may be the 8-megapixel mode. There has been a significant improvement in the Moto G 2nd generation compared to the original. Noise isn’t a problem, and you can capture close-up images in good lighting. Landscape images are significantly enhanced using the HDR mode and it effectively handles darker elements in the scenery. Taking pictures in low light conditions pose problems when the Moto G 2’s camera, the autofocus struggles, and images appear noisy.
The images taken during outings at nights using the G2 appear very washed-out and grainy, but then it seems to improve a little when you go indoors. Image stabilization will help out when taking pictures at night indoors. However, there are not many manual adjustments you can make when using the camera functionality because most of its camera features seem to be controlled automatically. Nevertheless, the Moto G 2’s camera remains among one of the best, especially when compared with other 8-megapixel camera smartphones.
When it comes to video shoots, the Motorola G 2nd generation allows you to record a maximum of 720HD, which is a common standard format for most smartphones in its class. The video features have been kept to a minimum; however, it allows you take still photos as well as record videos in slow motion, which is a new feature previously not seen in the original. When you watch captured videos on the smartphone it appears all smooth and crispy, but when you transfer the video files and watch them again on PC, you’ll discover the loopholes in the video shoots and also observe that the smoothness and quality appear overhyped when watching it on the Moto G 2.
Call and Sound Quality
When it comes to calling quality, there is not much to talk about except that the Moto G 2nd generation comes with a secondary Mic that provides for active voice cancellation. However, it lacks the call quality seen on most high-end smartphones, but it’s good enough to ensure seamless communication.
The Sound quality doesn’t measure up with what you’d get in an HTC one, but then the speakers have been moved to the front to improve the user experience. The sound quality drops when the volume is at the loudest, but it’s better than what you’d get in most mid to low-end smartphones.
The Moto G 2 (2014) comes with the very same 2070 mAh battery featured in the Moto G and it is non-removable, but then the Smartphone packs a bigger screen. One should feel concerned about battery life especially when you observe that the Moto G 2 is equipped with a larger screen than its predecessor, but then the Moto G 2nd generation appears to handle its battery management quite efficiently. The battery saver mode remains the same as the original, and it allows you manage battery life better by helping you restrict background data when the battery is low. When using this Smartphone minimally for browsing the web, watching YouTube videos and playing HD games, the battery should last at least 2days on average.
Should I buy the Moto G 2 (2014)?
To put the answer straight and simple, yes. The Motorola G 2nd generation is a significant improvement when compared to the Moto G. However; it’s still lacking in some department. But if you choose to go for other budget smartphones in its price range, then you would have to make certain compromises in areas such as camera quality, sound quality, battery life and some other features. These features are certainly one of the strongest features of the Moto G 2 (2014).
The biggest drawback in the Moto G 2 is the absence of 4G LTE capability, and I must say it’s disappointing, especially when you take into consideration the world’s quest for cloud computing and technology, where internet speed plays a vital role in the way we store and retrieve files and media contents online. If you aren’t fascinated by features such as bigger screens and improved cameras, it is better you stick with the Moto G.
The Moto G 2 packs a significant punch in areas such as battery performance, sound quality and screen size. Most Smartphones in its category don’t seem to measure up in those areas above. The Moto G 2 would make a perfect buy for those not too concerned about its lack of 4G capability, but other exciting improvements in areas such as camera, display, and sound.