The Moto G 4G (2015) is not yet available to buy in the US, with Motorola telling us that it's still not confirming the Moto G 4G (2015) release date or price in the US. In the UK, the Moto G 4G (2015) price stands at 159 GBP at Motorola.co.uk and 199 EUR in Europe, and it's now available to buy.
Design & Build Quality
There's a temptation here to point you straight to our Moto G (2014) review, because the 2015 variant is exactly the same phone on the outside. However, fashions come and fashions go, and in the six months since that review other budget phones have appeared on the scene. So does this updated version still have it?
The Moto G 4G (2015) comes in all-black and all-white flavors, although you can buy Motorola's cases of just about any color for the phone. The removable rear has a neat, simple matte look, which wraps around to the sides where it meets a glossy plastic finish.
On the right side of the phone are the easily-accessible volume rocker and power button, although I think a larger, more distinctive volume rocker would've made volume control more convenient – especially if you, like me, tend to control volume through your jeans pocket.
The front is all Corning Gorilla Glass 3, with not-too-sightly metal bars above and below the 5-inch IPS display. The dimming white notification LED on the front looks great though, gently reminding you when there are unanswered messages on your phone.
The SIM card and microSD slots live under the back cover, but the battery is non-removeable, which seems a strange decision given that you can open the rear cover.
All in all, the Moto G 4G (2015) – much like its 2014 twin – is a decent-looking entry level device. However, with a growing number of well-designed affordable phones coming in from China – such as the Honor 4x and the Huawei Ascend G7, the Moto G design isn't quite the cream of the budget crop anymore.
The Moto 4G (2015) retains the 5-inch HD (1280 x 720) display of its predecessor, with a 294PPI pixel density. This is reasonable at this price, and the Moto G also has solid viewing angles and decent color reproduction - though the whites were a little on the creamy side. The display bezels are nice and narrow, offsetting some of the phone's chunkiness.
Screen size and quality is the new Moto G's main advantage over its smaller sibling, the Moto E (2015). Even if performances aren't top-notch, a decent screen is one of the biggest factor's in a phone's usability, and is a perfectly valid reason to pick the Moto G over many of its competitors in this price bracket.
The love for Lollipop from those who have it on their phones just about balances out the frustration for it expressed by those still awaiting the update. The new Moto G runs the stock version of Android Lollipop 5.0.2, so buyers will get to enjoy all it has to offer.
It goes without saying that Lollipop looks fantastic. The Material Design interface is bubbly, colorful and intuitive. Deeper down in Lollipop are powerful features like smart unlocking, which lets you set 'safe' locations for your phone where you don't have to enter your PIN code, 'pin' apps to the screen (link to how to share phone with friends), and use voice controls even when your display is off.
As you'd expect from the manufacturer of the latest Nexus phone, the new Moto G packs minimal bloatware. Of the few additional apps on there, Motorola Assist app is the handiest, letting you personalize your phone, set up a night mode, and have the phone read out texts while you're driving.
The Moto G 4G (2015) has the same Snapdragon 400 quad-core chipset as the Moto G (2014), and the first-generation Moto G back in 2013. That means its performance has steadily and inevitably declined in relation to rivals over the years.
The gorgeous Lollipop interface works OK, but there are occasional stutters when browsing the animation-heavy Settings and homescreens. The Moto G 4G (2015) clearly doesn't take too kindly to Lollipop's penchant for little animations with most actions you perform.
It's interesting that the cheaper, smaller Moto E (2015) – which has a much-improved processor over its predecessor – now surpasses the Moto G for performance. The Moto G 4G (2015) achieved around 19,000 in AnTuTu, while the Moto E (2015) got about 22,000. This can be attributed to the Snapdragon 410 chipset in the Moto E, whose Cortex-A53 cores are more efficient and powerful than the ageing Cortex-A7s in the Moto G.
We put the Moto G 4G (2015) to the gaming test with WWE Immortals – the same game we tested with the Moto E (2015). It ran reasonably well, with the performance not being noticeably worse than on the Moto E. The Moto G 4G (2015) is no gaming powerhouse, but it will see to the moderate gamer's needs.
If anyone asks you why you have two long metal rods resembling giant staples on the front of your Moto G, at least you can proudly say that they're actually the phone's front-facing stereo speakers. They may sound a bit muffled compared to speakers on pricier smartphones, lacking crispiness particularly on the high notes, but stereo speakers remain a rarity with smartphones at this price, so we're happy to have them.
Call quality is very good on the Moto G 4G (2015), with background noise being barely audible when having a conversation out on the bustling streets of London. Talking on loudspeaker works reasonably well too, taking advantage of the rudimentary front-facing stereo speaker setup.
The 8MP camera on the Moto G 4G (2015) isn't spectacular, but software features like HDR go some way to making up for the mediocre hardware. It's not better or worse than we'd expect at this price however, and we really like the camera software, which is very intuitive. Simply swipe up and down to zoom in and out, tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture, and swipe in from the left and right to access the Settings and Gallery. It may not appease advanced smartphone photographers, but it's great for taking quick and easy pictures.
Check out our gallery below to get a more detailed rundown of the Moto G 4G (2015) camera.
The big upgrade – apart from 4G connectivity – in the Moto 4G (2015) is the 2390mAh battery. While not the most spectacular upgrade, we did get a good day-and-a-half of moderate use out of it. We're not sure how much of this is down to the battery and how much down to Lollipop's purported battery-saving features, but we were pleased with its longevity. Battery obsessives beware though, because the battery is non-removable despite the removable back cover suggesting otherwise.
Two years ago, the Moto G was the best budget handset around, offering a good screen size and a quad-core Snapdragon 410 chipset that were ahead of its time for the price. Six months ago, the Moto G (2014) kept the same internals, while increasing the screen size to still feel like a great budget option. With this latest variant, the glacially-changing Moto G line is finally starting to show its age, particularly in light of growing competition from Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi.
The Moto G 4G (2015) remains a good budget phone, but we hope that the next Moto G - which we're expecting to see later in the year - takes a big step forward in terms of hardware so it can keep up with its rivals.
You've served us well for a long time Moto G, but now it's time to start growing up...
Agree with our Moto G 4G (2015) review? Is it high time for this trusty line of phones to improve? Let us know.