The original 2013 Moto G was a lower-end smartphone aimed at the masses - for those who wanted a competent Android phone on the cheap. It was a huge success for Motorola, becoming its best-selling smartphone ever. To follow up on the Moto G’s success, the company has launched a new 2014 version of the handset. How do the two compare? We're about to jump in and find out.
Moto G (2014)
Screen size: 5 inch 720x1280 display at 294 ppi IPS LCD
Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity and Ambient Light
Battery: Lithium-Ion 2,070 mAh
Cameras: 5-megapixel rear camera that records video at 720p, f/2.4 aperture; 1.3-megapixel front camera
Connectivity: 3G, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Typical price: starting around £119 for unlocked 8GB model
Design & Display
Without a doubt, the biggest difference between the 2013 and 2014 Moto G models is the display. The new Moto G sports a full 5-inch IPS LCD display versus last year’s 4.5-inch IPS LCD display. Interestingly, the two phones keep the exact same resolution--720x1280--which means that last year’s small screen model actually has a higher ppi at 329 ppi versus the 5-inch’s 294 ppi. Are you going to notice that loss in ppi? Doubtful. But you sure as heck will notice the extra half inch you get from the new Moto G’s 5-inch screen.
Not much about the design of the Moto G has changed. It’s still a cheaper version of the Moto X body. Of course with the bump to the larger screen the 2014 Moto G is a little bigger in the width and height department, but Motorola has actually made the new Moto G just a bit thinner at 11mm versus last year’s 11.6mm.
Processors, RAM, & Storage
One slightly disappointing thing about the new Moto G is that it has the exact same processor and RAM as last year’s model. Both phones have the same 1GB of RAM and the exact same 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 305 graphics. The thing that is different is that while both phones also come in 8GB or 16GB storage options the new 2014 Moto G now sports a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 32GB--a very welcome addition.
Both phones run Android 4.4.4 KitKat, but the 2014 Moto G will get a guaranteed update to Android L when it becomes available. There's currently no word on whether last year’s model will also make the jump to Android L.
Speakers & Battery
Interestingly, besides the bigger screen the next biggest change between the 2013 and 2014 models of the Moto G is the speakers. The new Moto G now has two speaker grilles on its front, so audio is projected towards you instead of off round the back like on the 2013 Moto G.
As for battery, the new Moto G retains the exact same 2,070 mAh Li-Po battery as its predecessor. This is a bit of a shame as you’d think Moto could cram a slightly larger battery into that 5-inch body. Apparently the new Moto G will last for 24 hours of mixed usage.
Sensors & Connectivity
Both phones feature the exact same sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity and Ambient Light. Both also feature the exact same connectivity standards including 3G, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 - there's no 4G to be found anywhere.
The camera department is another area where the 2014 Moto G has gained some improvements over last year’s model. The new Moto G gets a new rear 8MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. That’s up from the rear 5MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture of the 2013 Moto G. However, the quality of video recording has not improved. Both phones shoot video in 720p.
As for the front facing camera the 2014 Moto G has had its sensor boosted to 2MP--up from the 1.3MP sensor of last year’s front camera.
Price & Conclusion
Motorola isn’t taking any chances with its Moto G. It's made some decent changes to keep the best-selling smartphone in its history relevant, giving it features like a larger screen, better speakers, and better cameras that users want. When compared to flagship phones from Samsung or Sony, the new Moto G--like last year’s model--isn’t going to outshine them in any way. But, as a phone clearly aimed at the budget market, the new 2014 Moto G holds the crown as one of the best budget smartphones out there.