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Should You Buy a $179 Moto G?

Should You Buy a $179 Moto G?
By Jennifer LeClaire

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The software load on the Motorola Moto G, just like the Moto X, is basically stock Android plus some genuinely useful extensions that Motorola has added. The Moto G is going to sell for under $200 unlocked with no contract. This is a great phone to take to T-Mobile and use with its no subsidies plans, said industry analyst Avi Greengart.
 


The Moto G has hit the U.S. market early and many industry watchers are buzzing about it. The device first made headlines when Motorola started hyping it up two weeks ago. Unlocked, the device sells for $179 stateside.

The Moto G went on sale in Brazil and parts of Europe last week and wasn’t supposed to come to U.S. consumers until January. But it looks like the Google-owned company is hoping to tap into some holiday shopping sales.

In announcing the Moto G, the company noted that people all around the world want to be part of the mobile Internet so they can access information, share, and connect with the things that matter to them. But the smartphone industry, Motorola charged, has relegated hundreds of millions of smartphone buyers to second-class status, preventing them from experiencing the mobile Internet at its best.

Two Bad Options

That, the company said, is because price-conscious consumers who don’t want to pay $600 or more for high-end smartphones have been left with two bad options. The first is to buy cheap, new smartphones made with second-rate technology that don’t do justice to modern apps and experiences like navigation, video chat and games. The second, the company added, is to buy “low cost” versions of premium products that were released two or three years ago and are already obsolete.

“We think there should be a better option. Everybody deserves to be on the mobile Internet, and price shouldn’t stand in the way of anyone having a truly good smartphone to get them there,” Motorola said. The Moto G is a smartphone that promises a premium experience for a third of the price of current high-end phones.

The device offers a 4.5-inch HD display that goes edge-to-edge for multimedia. On the inside, it totes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor featuring a quad-core CPU for multitasking, surfing the mobile Web, watching videos and playing games, with all-day battery life. Moto G carries Android 4.3 Jellybean with no skins to clutter or slow the experience and a guaranteed upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat early next year.

Extremely Competitive

We asked Avi Greengart, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on the Moto G. He told us it is an extremely competitive device in the segment of the market that is looking for prepaid smartphones.

“The software load on it, just like the Moto X, is basically stock Android plus some genuinely useful extensions that Motorola has added. It’s going to sell for under $200 unlocked with no contract,” Greengart said. “That will present a challenge to ZTE, which sells an awful lot of prepaid smartphones in the U.S. This is a great phone to take to T-Mobile and use with their no subsidies plans.”

Combined with the Moto X, many analysts are impressed with the company’s emerging line up. Of course, Greengart notes, Motorola’s sales volumes are still very low and its devices don’t target the average U.S. consumer.

“The products require a slightly different mindset than the typical U.S. consumer who’s looking at a high-end, very expensive device that’s been subsidized, from one of two companies, Apple or Samsung,” Greengart said. “Motorola is doing something different. They are trying to provide, not the highest-end specs just for specs sake, but a designed experience at a very low-price point.”
 

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