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Motorola Announces the Moto G, a “Premium” Experience Starting at $179 Off Contract

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This morning, Motorola officially unveiled their new smartphone dubbed the Moto G. It’s every bit as mid-range as we expected it to be because that’s exactly the point. Motorola doesn’t think that off-contract buyers of smartphones should have to pay $600 to enjoy a premium experience that’s capable of running the latest apps and versions of Android. With Moto G, you are looking at a phone with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, HD display, and a price starting at $179 full retail. Yes, we’re now talking sub-$200 for a smartphone.

In terms of features, the phone runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad-core) processor and shows off Android through a 4.5-inch HD display (edge-to-edge). You are looking at an un-skinned Android 4.3 out of the box, with an upgrade to Android 4.4 Kit Kat coming in early 2014.

Should you be looking at a downside, there is one major feature missing: LTE. The phone will work great on HSPA+ and even CDMA, but unfortunately, an LTE chip was not included.

If you were hoping for some of the customizable options that are included in Motorola’s flagship Moto X, you get some of that as well. There are 19 customization items in total, thanks to interchangeable backs called Grip Shells, Flip Shells, and Motorola Shells. It sort of is like a mini-Moto X in a way.

The Moto G goes on sale this week in Brazil and parts of Europe. In the following weeks it will land in Latin America, Europe, Canada and parts of Asia. A U.S. launch is expected to happen in January 2014.

The U.S. variant will cost $179 for an 8GB model and $199 for a 16GB model.

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Via:  Motorola

  • azndan4

    I agree with everything written here except one thing. This phone DOES NOT have an edge to edge screen. The top and bottom bezels are enormous. In addition, the side bezels are no smaller than the rest of the competition (HTC One, Galaxy S4, etc.). Please stop using this misleading language to describe the phone.

  • Russ

    This is a really smart move on Moto’s end. If it offers a nice, smooth experience with custom colors for dirt cheap, this phone could take over the low end market from all the clunky, ugly budget phones from other manufacturers. This is exactly what the iPhone 5c should have been—a low cost option for those who want a solid smartphone.

  • John Clausen

    This is exactly what this industry needs. Hopefully, the days of $700 off-contract phones are behind us. Good specs, basically stock android, and if it’s pretty much the same build quality as the Moto X, this phone will be awesome.

  • Alexander Garcia

    My daughter’s gotta XMas gift comin’ her way! =)

  • Alexander Garcia

    Wow! Thats a lot cheaper than most feature phones out there. Nice!

  • Morbid138

    Imagine if those prices would’ve been on the Moto X when announced. There would’ve been anarchy.

  • lembowski

    I fell like that could have upgraded a few specs and added $100 to the total price and it would have been a huge hit. Snapdragon 600, 10mp shooter, same 2300 battery from X and Lte. Would have been a winner at $279/$299.

  • QtDL

    Wow. Pretty nice price point, esp for those on a budget or just want a spare phone handy.

  • bionicwaffle

    This is not exactly “the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor” in this thing. It uses a Cortex A7 core, not a Krait core so expect less power per clock cycle, per core. It also has an Adreno 305, not an Adreno 320 like the Moto X or Galaxy S4.

    I’d love to see a comparison between the Adreno 305 and the Adreno 320 as well as Adreno 225 that everyone had last year.

    Still I think it’s a great phone for the money and will probably run all current apps and games just fine!

    • kixofmyg0t

      I’ve seen games running on a quad A7 powered devices. Still only uses 2 cores. it’ll be fine.

      The 305 is a replacement for the 205 and IIRC isn’t as powerful as the 225. It’s decent but don’t expect a gaming powerhouse.

  • Defenestratus

    I wonder when Google will finally realize that off-contract pricing doesn’t matter for the vast majority of cell phone users. They’re perfectly pleased as punch to sign up for a two year contract if it means that they get their iPhone, Galaxy, or Lumia for $200 out of pocket. I understand what they’re trying to do with the emerging market, but only savvy consumers here in the states really care about off-contract cell phone service. The ignorant masses don’t care. They just see “iPhone is $199, thats what I want!”

    • SplashMTN

      You’re assuming the US is the vast majority of cell phone users.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      In the US, you are mostly correct.

      For the rest of the world, heavily subsidized contracts like that are the exception, not the norm. That’s why the Moto G is launching in Europe, Brazil, Latin America and Asia long before getting to the US.

      • Defenestratus

        Sorry – I meant to add “in the US anyways” at the end of my first sentence.

  • EC8CH

    Another smart consumer friendly move by Moto.

    I hope this succeeds and they make money off of this. With only a few shortcomings Moto has been doing things long overdue in the android phone business to better serve customers.

  • Col_Angus

    iPhone 5C killer…. and only $20 to double the storage?! Anyone else would charge at least $50-100. I like this!

  • Lawrence_Hart

    I think we just found the phone we use to test out various prepaid plans be fore we jump the Verizon ship. Its cheaper than most Nexus 4′s on Craigslist.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      This. Eagerly awaiting US availability ahead of possibly jumping Verizon.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thelolotov Jacob Davis

    Assuming we see a Google Edition, I might consider this.

    • socarwolverine

      You likely won’t, if they didn’t do it for the X, it’s unlikely they’d do it for the G.

      • Col_Angus

        Off-contract =no carrier bloat. It will be pretty darn close to AOSP if the X is any indication.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          It will be AOSP with three-four Motorola apps (Camera, Assist, Migrate, maybe MotoCare), and they added trusted BT devices.

          That is less tweaking than CM.

        • socarwolverine

          That’s my point, which is why it’d be unlikely to have a GPE when they’re already closer than any other manufacturer not named LG with the Nexus.

      • http://profiles.google.com/thelolotov Jacob Davis

        I since noticed it doesn’t have LTE, so, I’ve changed my mind on it.

        • socarwolverine

          Yep, disappoining but understandable. Just get a used Moto X on the cheap.

  • http://www.unexpectedparameters.com Aaron Hurt

    I’m in for a backup device. (cant believe Im saying that)

  • Chris Choncek

    The thing that sort of confuses me about this….the target market
    this is designed for probably doesn’t even know what an unlocked phone means.
    To them, it’ll look better to buy a smartphone for $99 on a 2 yr contract. Of course, we all know that it’s a good deal, but most of us probably desire beefier specs.

    • aBabyPenguin

      I wouldn’t agree with that completely. I know lots of my college friends that prefer prepaid to contracts. Poor college students could definitely benefit from a cheap phone like this one. And also, if it is $200 off contract, then it can only mean that the Moto G will be a brand new phone that is free on contract.

      • zionlion02

        Let’s not forget though guys – the markets these are intended for most likely do not have contract based systems, I don’t believe. We’re thinking about this in terms of the US game. I can’t speak for India or Brazil, but in most of Europe there are no contracts at all. So Moto wouldnt need to explain that or make it clear, since they dont have contract situations clouding the waters.

        We’re pretty much the only market that is tied to the carriers like we are. As far as I know, at least. But for the US market, you’re right on I think. Most people here just ASSUME you need a contract. I’m shocked how many smart peers of mine can’t even grasp the prepaid. They just take whatever is given them, because they know no better.

        • pervbear

          A lot of Europe does have contracts, just their phones are not tied to one carrier. With this FCC chairman things might change in that aspect.

  • billy

    Going to recommend this as a starter smart phone for my dad, who has been on the fence about dumping his flip phone for a year or so. Might also give him and excuse to dump VZW and go to prepaid.

  • Stacey

    This looks like Googles answer to the Nokia 521. Good job Google/Motorola!

  • Amit

    With its 720p screen and 1.2GHz processor, the Motorola Moto G doesn’t
    attempt to challenge the smartphone elite, but those specs are seriously
    impressive for a phone with such a cheap price tag. I’ll have to wait
    for the full review before giving a final verdict, but on paper it looks
    like an astonishing buy for anyone not wanting the biggest, best
    hardware in their pocket.

    http://technology-mix.blogspot.in/

  • Asim Aryal

    The price value is absolutely GREAT!

  • DanSan

    damn, my mom uses nothing but dumb phones and shes been interested in maybe jumping into the smartphone world. this would be great for her as I used her upgrade to get my S4 when the preorder came. was going to buy her a dumb phone at full price, im better off grabbing the 8GB version of this since its only like $20-$40 more expensive.

    so happy this works on verizon. good to hear

    • Franz

      That’s the market Moto is shooting for! Hope she likes it!

  • MistaButters

    Wow! Moto hitting the price point on the head. I hope this brings them crazy success in emerging markets.

    • DanSan

      yea that commercial was pretty awesome. i really liked it.

  • DNA OWNER

    Where does it say no LTE (cant watch the videos at work)? The Snapgradon 400 has LTE…

    • zurginator

      The chip supports LTE, yes, but it’s likely this lacks the radios/amps/licenses for it (to cut costs).

      • DNA OWNER

        That’s pretty lame. Another 10 bucks in parts

        • zurginator

          And another $50 in licenses, as well as another few hundred thousand distributed over the number of devices for engineering and testing.

  • hfoster52

    Operating system: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (to be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in Janurary 2014)

    Display: 4.5-inch LCD display at 1280×720 resolution. 329 ppi

    Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor at 1.2GHz. (MSM 8×26, Adreno 305)

    RAM: 1 gigabyte

    Storage: 8GB or 16GB, two free years of 50GB on Google Drive

    Dimensions: 129.9 x 65.9 x 6.0-11.6 mm

    Weight: 143 grams

    Battery: 2070 mAh (non-removable)

    Rear camera: 5 megapixels, (4:3 for full resolution),
    LED flash, 4x digital zoom, slow motion video, burst mode, auto HDR,
    panorama, tap-to-focus

    Front camera: 1.3 megapixels

    Video capture: 720p (front anrear) at 30 fps

    Networks: GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); UMTS (850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz); CDMA (850/1900 MHz). No LTE.

    Wifi: 802.11 b/g/n

    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0

    Location: GPS/GLONASS

    • Razma

      so does this mean no Verizon since every Verizon smartphone must have LTE?

      • dalex7777

        Yes.

      • Walter Partlo

        VZW prepaid, it appears. At least that is what they said on twitter.

  • Tony Byatt

    Great looking device and I want to get it, but I can’t help but feel that Motorola is blowing it again…

    First the Moto X exclusivity with AT&T and the US, now they won’t release the Moto G potentially to most of the world until after the Holiday Season. I hope the “following weeks” don’t turn into months but I just have that feeling it will. As a US citizen, a January release is just unreal…

    Something just seems off to me about how Motorola is handling the launch of these devices…

    • SplashMTN

      The US isn’t the primary market for this phone. The Moto X exclusivity with AT&T is because AT&T paid them the most money, and because they’re customizing and assembling the phones in 4 days or less. The demand from all major carriers would probably really hurt shipping/assembling time.

      • Tony Byatt

        Right, Brazil and parts of Europe are the primary markets apparently which makes a ton of sense…smh…

        Not buying your Moto X exclusivity argument because, what’s happening now?

        • decidedtochangename

          The prepaid market is stronger where this is going to launch first.

          What’s happening now is they got the custom process down and ready to ramp up production. Now they may be in the position to do a higher volume and maintain the delivery window.

          • Tony Byatt

            The prepaid market is stronger in Brazil and parts of Europe…hmmm…

            If that’s the case that they waited til they “Got the process down” then why not get the process down before releasing it to begin with?

          • decidedtochangename

            Because there is NO simulating exactly what real users are going to do to your product/website. Otherwise bugs wouldn’t exist.

          • 2Dogs

            Yes there is. And Verizon, Sprint, AT&T all use it in their app dev environments.

          • decidedtochangename

            Apples and oranges.

        • SplashMTN

          You don’t have to buy it, but if you think Google/Motorola only picked one network out of the goodness of their hearts you’d be mistaken. I can’t say for a fact that this happened since I obviously wasn’t in on it, but it seems like common sense to me.

          • Tony Byatt

            And I won’t buy it…

            I think it was a bad move to have exclusivity on one network. That was my original premise. Not seeing or have yet to be educated on why it’s now ok to have Moto Maker on the big four but it wasn’t when the Moto Maker first launched…

          • SplashMTN

            I agree that it was a bad move (although I do believe it was necessary to keep times down while they were honing in their process), and think the Moto X would have taken off much quicker than it has if everyone could have used Moto Maker from the start.

            I believe the reason every carrier can do it now is because they have their processes down and can now accommodate more orders. Also according to Motorola’s numbers the demand for Moto X aren’t/hasn’t been that great.

  • http://mamorgan1.tumblr.com/ Matt Morgan

    This is the best news I’ve seen on the mobile front in a long time. This is step one in the pull control away from the carriers battle. My wife and I are up on Verizon at the end of January. I’ll be buying her this phone and myself the Nexus 5 and we will be running from the burning dumpster fire that is Verizon. My bill will drop to about half using pre-paid and in the Tampa area, AT&T and T-Mobile are solid options. Nice job Motorola/Google.

  • Neil

    I would never buy a non-LTE phone ever again unless I was buying a flip-phone for my elderly parent.

  • Pasta

    Where do I get that watch?

  • T S

    and here i thought this announcement would suck. excellent price point. congrats to moto on this one.

  • Franz

    They really dropped the ball on this one for the USA Market. If they even made a $250 with LTE, this would be a great seller.

    Moto G seems to be for everyone except the USA in terms of connectivity (because we have more LTE then the rest of the world as of now).

    But for $180 with DUAL SIM slots?… that’s pretty insane. Everyone should just buy one as a secondary or emergency phone with a sim card waiting.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Dual SIM in certain markets.

      The lack of LTE won’t matter to the target audience, who will be happy to have any smartphone at all that doesn’t completely suck. For any prepaid GSM carrier, even in the US, this device is a god-send so long as it performs half as well as Motorola is claiming. HSPA+21 is still faster than a solid portion of the country has on their home broadband lines.

  • DanielMena9

    The question now, how do I order one on Amazon UK for shipping here?! To get before the holidays?

  • Will P

    You should probably mention that this does not have LTE so people in the US probably won’t even bother with it.

    • ToddAwesome

      What are you talking about, this is the perfect phone for the likes of my parents, who want to be part of new technology but have zero use for LTE. There is a large market for this.

      • decidedtochangename

        Or the people who spend the vast majority of their day covered by WiFi and don’t need latest specs.

  • Curtis

    I am taking this as a sign that the future is bright for off contract pricing on high end devices!!

    • EC8CH

      Unless the carriers get in the way to protect their subsidized on contract pricing structure.

      • Curtis

        Well that would be lame.

        • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

          In other words, exactly like something they’d do.

  • DanielMena9

    This would have been the must get holiday item in the US. Come on! Why no US at launch?!

    • WickedToby741

      Probably because of the holidays. Capacity wouldn’t be able to meet demand.

      • DanielMena9

        That’s fine. Only the swiftest of us would have been the perfect boyfriend/family member with the hottest item under wraps.

    • Pedro

      Maybe so that X sales weren’t cannibalized.

  • ToddAwesome

    This actually isn’t a bad deal for a lot of people, not most of us, but a lot of people. Good sign of things to come.

    • sc0rch3d

      It’s an interesting proposition. On ATT, the Moto X subsidized sits a nice $99 on contract. In order for the subsized G to fit in, it would have to be free b/c I think $49 is too much considering you get a much better phone for 50 more.

      • MK17

        I think that they had announced that it would be free previously.

  • hfoster52

    This is what Apple should have done with there 5C and didn’t do. I wonder if they will even notice.

    • Drew_VA

      Was thinking the same thing. They should have called it the Moto Xc as a giant middle finger to Apple. Moto just showed the world what an actual emerging markets/cheap smartphone looks like…sub-$200, still mid-range specs, colorful, and looks decently durable.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Exactly. From everything I had heard before the 5C release I was very much expecting it to be much cheaper. Apple is insane to think they would sell many of them. I love my 5S and don’t see coming back to Android, but if I did it’s good to know that there are several off contract phones that would suit me perfectly.

  • fartbubbler

    #GameChanger.

  • Pierito

    And an ipod touch is 229 lol

    • Aardvark99

      And has no rear camera! (the $229 16gb 5th generation crippled version)

      • Guest

        5th gen has both front and back cameras. Used it all deployment :P

        • SuperDave479

          The 16GB version doesn’t. The rest do.

          • Aardvark99

            Thanks for having my back! ;)

            The 16gb version comes in one color, no back camera, and no lanyard. All for the low low price of $229.

    • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

      And makes great phone calls!

  • enigmaco

    Not a bad phone if the price point stays that way (I doubt it will with the LTE addition if it gets it) this is will be a great backup phone. I have the moto x and I enjoy this phone. This actually could get my gf onto a smartphone though she hates ALL of them.

  • hfoster52

    So this is cheaper than a flip/feature phone off contract.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    we’re not going to mention how they crapped on other oems? Punit claims it does basic, everyday functions faster than the GS4. And they made very strong points about being on the latest software. Had a little nexus in them.

  • JZ

    Fantastic value for $179, especially for the markets it’s primarily aimed towards. This is a great phone, especially for people looking to transition away from contracts.

  • Pierito

    199 OFF CONTRACT!?!?!??! WHOA

  • http://dreadpirate15.com/ dreadpirate15

    Mid range. Low cost. Not ugly.

    Sounds like a perfect phone for my wife, who just wants a phone that doesn’t totally suck (Nexus S nearing end of life), but doesn’t want a top end phone since she’s pretty hard one them.

    I’m in.

    • hfoster52

      I am with you there. Cheap enough that if she busts it in less than a year I can happily replace it.

      • nwd1911

        I am with both of you on this one. May have to sell my wife’s N5 (still in box) and wait until Jan…just so happens to be when my VZ contract ends. Happy coincidence.

        • trixnkix637

          If you’re looking for a buyer of that N5 let me know.

    • Jérôme Besnard

      My wife just broke her Galaxy Nexus. I was looking for a white N4 8 gb to replace. Now I’m gonna wait for the Moto G.

    • palomosan

      Sounds like a perfect phone for my mom too, also at this price in Latin America and Europe it’ll probably sell like crazy as long as Google don’t let other retailers jack up the prize.

  • Kevin Shen

    What’s with that big ass bottom bezel though

    • zurginator

      Welcome to cutting costs.

      • Kevin Shen

        Sort of reminds me of the Palm Pre :P

  • Ben Murphy

    This should have been the Moto X from the beginning.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Come on this wouldn’t have sold at these spec to the average tech folk on these blogs. The value is great but the way folks wail about “HIGH-END at a great price” this wasn’t going to sell

      • Ben Murphy

        I meant the Moto X with the unlocked price.

        • zurginator

          They would have lost a ton of money – the Moto X is priced like it is because they’re having to cover the costs of researching, developing, and running a custom phone assembly plant (in the US at that).

          • Josh B

            Exactly get rid of the custom phones and sell them for $100 – $200 cheaper. Make it so a 3rd party company could make backs for it that are interchangeable.

          • chris125

            Well clearly people don’t care about it being made in the US hence why it only sold 500k phones. Ship it back overseas, and lower the price by 100-200 and they would have flew off the shelves.

          • zurginator

            The actual labor costs per device are less than $10…. So that wouldn’t have helped.

        • kixofmyg0t

          So you want moto to sell the x off contract for less than it costs to make one….

          Brilliant business tactic there.

          • Ben Murphy

            Because a company has never done that.

      • BroRob

        I disagree with the first part of your post, my wife and I may get the high end device, but the kids can have the Moto G. This is by far the best priced (off contract) mid-priced android phone. However as you said, the high-end whores (me included) would not buy this phone.

  • Aven

    So the upgrade to Kitkat is faster than S4 and ONE? lol

    • trixnkix637

      It should be considering it’s Google Motorola these days.. Favortism at its finest.

      • Jarred Sutherland

        Perhaps you can educate yourself before you speak. it isn’t favortism at all, it’s the fact that Samsung has to get it’s garbage Touchwiz UI built and tested for the next version of Android compared to Motorola running darn near stock if not stock Android.

        • trixnkix637

          As Bill Engvall would here’s your sign dummy. Smdh.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            Oh sorry, didn’t detect the sarcasm .. maybe you’re not good at it? Or maybe I’m bad at it .. either way…

          • Justin W

            I didn’t detect it either, so there is that.

          • trixnkix637

            Oy vey… yes because favortism is a valid reason as to why one phone would receive an update over others. Come on guys, read between the lines or with some objectivity. I know it’s the interwebs, but don’t take everything you see posted so literally.

          • Justin W

            Well, Google could have given Moto earlier access to the code (compared to other OEM’s), but that’s unlikely considering HTC has a similar timeline for updates.

          • trixnkix637

            True indeed.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    This is a bloddy fantastic value… I think I’m just going to get one just to have one since I’m all prepaid now, always wondered what i’d do if my phone breaks….Now…I’ll have a Moto G in a drawer for 180 waiting for a sim car…. Or I’ll just use the damn thing and swap back and forth with my Nexus 5

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      i’m beyond curious of your opinion. Is this a better value than the n5?

      • Pierito

        I don’t really know the answer to that question…What I do know is if anyone has only 200 bucks to spend on a phone off contract…they have just been blessed.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        “Value” Wise? I think the Nexus 5 is a better value for the actual specs. This phone seems to be priced AT spec… Nexus 5 is definitely low balling the price like we expect it to

        • Daeshaun Griffiths

          are you going off Googles subsidized price or the actual msrp? (imo, the n5 isn’t low-priced, google just sells it cheap-er)

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Subsidized Google Price since the actual MSRP doesn’t really matter. You’re getting a phone with late 2013 specs and $300 less than phones with mid 2013 specs. Pound for Pound it’s the better value. Now if you’re simply talking cost of a device for what you’re actually getting/software/performance wise this could be a better buy

          • Franz

            I agree. Nexus 5 is a better value. Moto G is just cheaper. No LTE, starts at lower GB’s, No Wi-fi Charging, pretty sure no NFC?, 1GB RAM, etc…

    • GentlemanScholar

      This is what I did with the Moto X, which I bought during Amazon’s glitch. I switch between it and my N5. The N5 is my daily, but I like having the flexibility of switching to the Moto X, which is a great phone.

  • DanielMena9

    I need this phone! Makes the amazon glitch seem less significant. I wish the US version has LTE

  • Godzilla

    I guess