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Moto G GSM Model Now Available in the US, Starts at $179

A couple of weeks back, Motorola stole smartphone headlines with the announcement of its Moto G, an ultra-affordable prepaid phone that would land on U.S. shores. At $179 for the 8GB version, you are looking at a smartphone that still has specs to compete and are good enough to provide you with a decent Android experience, yet won’t be tied to contracts or subsidy pricing. The Nexus 5 at $349 is thought to be a steal in this industry, but the Moto G might just be highway robbery. 

The U.S. GSM variants of the Moto G are now available directly through Motorola’s own store. You’ll find the 8GB model at $179 and the 16GB model at $199. If you buy today, your phone will ship on December 2, just in time for the holidays.

For those not familiar, the Moto G sports a 4.5-inch HD (720p) display, quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 5MP rear camera, and a 2070mAh battery. You’ll find mostly stock Android 4.3, with a guarantee from Motorola to see Android 4.4 in the near future. On a customization front, the Moto G has 19 different interchangeable backs to give you somewhat of a Moto X with MotoMaker feel, but again, at an extremely discounted price. Oh, it also has an unlockable bootloader. Full specs can be found here.

If there is one downside to the phone, it happens in the LTE department. To keep the price as low as it is, Motorola had to make a cut somewhere. That cut involved leaving out an LTE radio, but that makes sense since LTE chips tend to be quite pricey. Thankfully, the GSM model (that’s available today) should see pretty decent speeds depending on the network you choose to attach it to. When the CDMA model drops in January, life won’t be quite as fast.

Motorola Store

Via:  Motorola
  • Now Moto G smartphone, the cheaper version of the Moto X handset, went up for sale on Tuesday in the US,

    Starts at $179.It is currently available without contract in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru, UK, Germany, France and Canada. Read more on Motorola News

  • Bacong

    Thanks! This is what I wanted to get my gf for christmas. I was upset it wasn’t coming to the USA until January. Saw this, ordered right away!

  • Walter Partlo

    Has anyone seen that default wallpaper posted anywhere? i kind of like it.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    this is a really good phone, if it landed in tmo stores or amazon things could get serious. Lillard had some good looks last night. We tried coming back but they didint allow it.

  • Simon Belmont

    Heh. Highway robbery sounds like it’s a bad deal, but of course it isn’t.

    Can’t wait for this to hit Verizon so my friend can finally get a decent prepaid VZW phone. Yay.

    • Pedro

      VZW 3G speeds for the same price as a contract?
      Must not be much of a friend.

      • Simon Belmont

        Haha. Don’t judge until you’ve heard the whole story, man. I didn’t recommend his VZW prepaid plan. But the area he lives in, VZW is the only carrier that gets good reception, so he’s kind of stuck with it, and his situation dictates that he uses prepaid.

        I only RECOMMENDED the Moto G because all of the other prepaid phones he’s had have pretty much been crap. The Moto G will actually be very good for his needs specifications wise and he should see faster updates.

        • Pedro

          Heh. Fair enough.

        • michael arazan

          Might as well just get a flip phone and just get cellular/ voice, doesn’t sound worth having a smartphone, unless he is going to be around a lot of wifi.

          • Simon Belmont

            He actually does use data quite a bit on his phone. That’s why he uses VZW because it’s literally the only carrier in his area that can give him reliable data.

            Yeah, that’s despite it only being 3G speeds. It’s better than nothing, haha.

  • clobberedchina

    Go Phone’s $40 plan gives you 500 minutes of talk time, unlimited texting and 200MB of data. If all you use your phone for is talk, text and email, that looks like a pretty good deal. You get a camera, you can listen to your music etc. For the right guy this is not a bad phone.

    • WickedToby741

      I don’t believe you can use that plan for smartphones. Feature phones only.

      • Bacong

        GF is using that plan on her iPhone 3G currently.

        Not for long though!

  • Aaron

    Really making me wish Tmo would expand their network. 45 mins from my house is just not close enough to switch.

    • yankeesusa

      That’s how it was for me. Then in the last year tmobile really took of here. I have been testing tmobile for the past 3 months and now I’m finally bringing both of my lines over to tmobile. Now when my phone says 4g I actually get 4g speeds. Even LTE in my area. I’m loving it.

  • Oh how I wish I could just walk away from Verizon today. The end of January isn’t too far off. Nexus 5 for me and Moto G for the wife. MetroPCS, here we come.

    • crussell

      This but Moto X for the wife and Tmobile here we come!

      • Raj Bhatt

        I left Verizon for the Nexus 5 on T-Mobile and I’m so glad I did. TMo’s LTE speed is insanely fast and coverage has been very good. I traveled to rural North Carolina and only had EDGE speeds though. But if you’re in a Metro area, you won’t regret switching at all. I’m saving 100 dollars per month!

        • yankeesusa

          I get the same speeds. My wife has an xperia z and I just finally moved my sprint line over to tmobile and bought the same phone. we normally get 28 to 32mbps on a decent day. On a good day it never goes below 31mbps. Tmobile is really stepping up.

        • Jason B

          That’s pretty nice. My Verizon LTE only manages 2Mbps/0.75Mbps during peak hours and 10Mbps/3Mbps during vampire hours; I’m also far from the tower as I only have 1-2 bars of LTE. I’ve already used a T-Mobile SIM in my Moto X, and it’s only HSPA+ in my area (~1-2Mbps, far from the tower too).

          • michael arazan

            I guess I’m lucky to get 8Mbps Down and 3 up during peek times like rush hour. At night I can pull around 12-16 down now on vzw. Just learned that 8Mbps = 1 MB.

            And for those posting T-Mo speeds, remember it’s throttled through the plans you get and once you go through the speed cap, it drops a lot.

          • Raj Bhatt

            The T-Mo unlimited everything for 70 bucks doesn’t have a cap and doesn’t have any throttling.

          • I regularly get 39Mbps at least on T-Mobile LTE also @disqus_2iB44VOOBt:disqus but here in Michigan our HSPA+42 speeds are almost the same as LTE(tho this phone is only HSPA+21 which is generally 10-15Mbps). I’m just happy T-Mobile is fantastic where I live, I really Enjoy them.

      • Bub

        Unfortunately, I don’t think this phone will work with tmobile except on EDGE/2G. Neither GSM model is compatible with both 1700Mhz and 2100Mhz bands. So unless the 1900MHz band has been upgraded for HSPA+ in your area, I worry that it will only run 2G. Anyone else notice this problem?

        • crussell

          Actually, I activated the phone on Monday through T-Mo and it works great. I tested it for 24 hours before giving it to the wife. I have a signal in my house (No other carrier has a signal. Tested both AT&T and currently have Verizon). At work I had full HSPA+ speeds which now I wish I would’ve done a speed test. I might need to steal it for a day just for that. So buh-bye VZW and hello T-Mo. Just wish I had waited until the sale on Monday. Now I have to return it and get another one as Moto doesn’t seem to understand that issuing a credit is much cheaper on their company than paying for labor for processing a return, throwing away a custom back, paying for labor to customize and assemble the exact same phone, and finally losing money selling the returned phone (in perfect working condition) as a refurb. Not a good business decision…. Sorry tangent and such…

    • How much would it cost to break a contract with Verizon 1 month early? is it just $175 pro-rated or is that number higher now?

      • yankeesusa

        Call them or chat with them online. With sprint which i think its the same as verizon, the lowest an etf will go i think is $50.

      • michael arazan

        They make it sound like $350 no matter what, T-mobile charges full etf no matter what time frame.

        • because it’s not an ETF, you’re just basically paying off whatever left you owe on your phone at T-Mobile. Much more transparent and fair deal than contracts imo.

    • Cesar

      I know that feel. My contract isn’t up until next December.

    • Shut up Donny

      If you have an unlimited plan you can easily sell it on ebay even if you are still in contract.

  • T4rd

    If it had LTE, Verizon would probably sell it for $179 on-contract, hah.

    • Jeremy Gross

      they wouldnt sell it at all to promote their “amazing” droid line

      • StuckOnVerizonForever

        so why are they selling the Moto X?

        • Flat_Stanley

          They aren’t really advertising it though, just selling it.

          • Khary Anderson


        • Jeremy Gross

          nice user name, would they sell me a razr hd in store? plenty of good roms, sd card, good battery,

      • bd1212

        To be fair, the Droid line of phones is actually quite good this year, except for the Ultra; that phone is pointless. The Mini is good for people who want a smaller device while the MAXX is great for people who need long battery life such as myself. Traded my Moto X in for a MAXX and haven’t looked back, it’s an amazing device and battery life is killer.

        • Jeremy Gross

          droid mini cant hold crap

          • bd1212

            That doesn’t even make any sense.

  • Ben Murphy

    8 GB? I long for the day when 32 will be the norm.

    • clobberedchina

      I was just reading about this phone on Gizmodo. They say, “Upgrading from 8GB to 16GB costs only $20.”


      • Tyler

        This article says that in the second paragraph…

        • clobberedchina

          You’re right it does. Durn, must have missed it.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      It’s 179… what norm are we talking here?

      • Ben Murphy

        I’m just saying in general, not relating to the price. 8GB with no SD card is so 2010.

        • MistaButters


          • michael arazan

            for $185 they could of added an sd slot

      • StuckOnVerizonForever

        Good burner phone. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • Justin W

          Expensive burner phone… Just go get the $20 ones at WalMart in the prepaid section.

    • Jeremy Gross

      *when 64 will be the norm

      • michael arazan

        If carriers had their way, there would be no memory, just enough for a cache, and everything would have to be handled through streaming.

    • Big_EZ

      I think 16 gb would be fine as the norm for budget phones (maybe even 8 gb if it has a microSD slot). I do think that high end phones should have 32gb or larger standard.

    • TheDrizzle

      There is also the 16GB version. That should be more than enough for anyone who is buying a $200 dollar phone off contract.

  • droidify

    That picture is awesome. What filter did you use?

    • Took it from Motorola’s site. 😛

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        If Kellen took this picture, we would know. It would be face down on a concrete slab, causing me panic.

        • droidify

          Look at the very next post

  • Booyah

    Did you mention an unlockable bootloader and switchable backs?

    • Mentioned backs, forgot bootloader. Fixed! 🙂

      • Big_EZ

        Even on the CDMA version? What’s going on, we’re all going to die!

  • steve0617

    Since VZW has said it’ll be available on the Prepaid side, I wonder what would happen if you bought the CDMA version next year directly from Moto and then tried to activate it on a new or even existing Post Paid plan? Of course, VZW’s 3G is terrible, but I wonder if they’ll flat out refuse to activate it?

    • M3D1T8R

      Yeah, or on Page Plus. Really curious to find out about this, have a friend who’s looking for something just like this. Decent phone, mostly for WiFi use, some prepaid cell service as an option when he wants it. Already suggested he jump on the gsm model. But if the CDMA model works with page plus, service will be much better here locally. Will have to wait and see..

    • Riley Biers

      Knowing Verizon, they’ll will make sure it’s only available through them, so the ESNs will be locked to Verizon’s prepaid service.

      • michael arazan

        You can not use Verizon’s cdma “technology” as it is proprietary. A manufacturer putting Verizon’s CDMA without their approval, whether you know their codes or not, could be sued by verizon and in hot water by the FCC as well.
        That’s why Google can’t just put vzw cdma in their products.

  • M3D1T8R


  • Tony Byatt

    So will the Global one work just as well as the US one on US cell networks?

    • I’ll know in a day or so, have one arriving from the UK any minute.

      • Tony Byatt


    • Global version supports: UMTS/HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
      US version supports: UMTS/HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps (850, 1700 (AWS), 1900 MHz)

      So both versions will work fine on AT&T (850/1900), but the US version has 1700 band – which T-Mobile still uses for HSPA+.

      Buy the US version if you live in the US and want to use it on T-Mobile.

      • Tony Byatt


      • David

        Which would be recommended if you want a phone that you’ll use occasionally with a T-Mobile Simple plan when going on a trip outside the US, but that won’t be used otherwise in the US? I’m thinking the US version.

      • NeedName

        Doesn’t T-Mo need both 1700/2100? 1700 for up and 2100 for down? I don’t think 1700 by itself on t-mobile will do anything, thus you will have HSPA+ on T-mo’s 1900 refarmed band, which isn’t that wide spread. Therefore, I don’t see a difference between the versions. . . that is, if I’m correct OR Moto made an error in the specs. ..

        • Bob

          1700/2100 is actually just 1700 (band IV), 2100 (or UMTS IMT) is a completely different band used in europe, which is not neccisisary

    • Simon Belmont

      Technically speaking, the global version would work on T-Mobile, too. It’d have 2G (EDGE) everywhere, and 3G (HSPA+) in refarmed 1900 MHz areas.

      But Taylor is right if you want better HSPA+ coverage. Get the US version.