Somewhat surprisingly, Motorola’s Moto G, which was only just released late last year, is the company’s most successful phone ever—even more successful than the company’s iconic Razr. For just $179, folks could pick up a very capable vanilla Android device for their communication and picture-taking needs. It wasn’t just for penny pinchers; it appealed to everyone, and it offered quite a bit for the price, even if it didn’t have the software tricks of the Moto X.
This year the Moto G got an overhaul. That same $179 unlocked price is still there, but now you have a larger 5-inch display and front-facing speakers. The screen is still 720p, but it looks great, so screen snobs will have nothing to worry about. Even though the screen is larger, the device actually feels a bit smaller than its 4.5-inch predecessor, which was a bit on the rotund side; the design immediately feels more refined, and the bump up in size actually fits in your hand a bit better.
On back you have a new 8-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 lens, and inside there’s that same 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip, though that’s plenty powerful to run the apps you want without any slowdown. Since this is vanilla Android, the experience is zippy and smooth, especially when just jumping around the OS. Speaking of Android, the Moto G is guaranteed to get Android L, so buyers can expect that fairly soon after Google’s releases its new OS. For a device so cheap, it’s actually incredible that it can feel faster than some more powerful, more experienced competitors.
While some of the internals were left unchanged, Motorola actually made one really big improvement fans will love: the addition of an SD card slot (the Moto X doesn’t have that). Now you can expand your device’s memory at will, though it looks like for now the device only supports up to 32GB of expansion.
The Moto G will be offered in a dual-SIM iteration in some markets, so you can globe-trot without issues. You can pick up the Moto G now from motorola.com for just $179. Unconvinced? Check out our quick unboxing and hands-on.