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Has the Moto G made cheap phones cool?

Last year, the Nexus 4 redefined phone pricing, coming in at close to half the cost of its peers. Whilst the compromises made to get there were obvious, it was still astonishingly good value. But it wasn't really a cool device. It didn't seem to make the average person want a Nexus device. This year, the Nexus 5 has not had the same shock value as we were expecting the price to come in low. Just like with the Nexus 7, it actually saw a small increase in its pricing.

Motorola have actually been the ones to provide us with the pricing shockwave this time around when they announced the Moto G. It is so shockingly inexpensive for a device that runs so beautifully that it has redefined value. In our opinion here at MoDaCo, it may not be quite as good a device as the Nexus 5, but it offers much better value. The 16Gb version of the Moto G is half the price of the Nexus 5. Half. Yet it has a super screen that is broadly the equal of the Nexus 5, equally solid build quality and performance that in every day use is almost identical. Yes, the Nexus 5 runs a later version of Android and should in theory be updated to the next version more quickly, but consider that the Moto X has received its KitKat update before any of our Nexus devices have got theirs. The only major compromise appears to be in the camera where the Nexus 5 has the Moto G beaten. But it is worth repeating that the Moto G is half the price. Half.

Is the Moto G cool? Will teenagers want it? I don't actually know the answer to this question, but I do know a lot of parents of teenagers who are going to buy the Moto G as it is cheap enough to not cause concern of it being lost or broken at least to the same extent as the much more expensive mid-range offerings from the likes of Samsung and HTC. Consider also that Motorola are offering different coloured backs for the G and at reasonable prices too. This is a phone you can customise. Oh, and it runs BBM too!

The Moto G is a cheap but fantastic phone. Probably the best value phone on the market today and quite possibly the most interesting release of the year. Have Motorola made cheap phones cool? What do you think and will you be buying one for yourself or your child?

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James Norton's Photo
An aspiring tech journalist and a complete phone geek with a passion for all mobile technology. Vast experience of all mobile platforms and an evangelist for quality design no matter where it comes from.

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I've bought one from Tesco as an xmas present, unlocked it for £5.10.


Bargain! It's a nice handset, doesn't feel like it's pricetag would suggest.

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The biggest thing the Moto G is missing for me is 4G support.


4G is still a niche product but with three planning to roll out 4G availability for all customers from next month that could change very quickly.

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I'm thinking this might make a bigger hit in the younger market.


I reckon kids (up to their teens) want apple products, end of. But.........


Most of them will only get an ipod touch, as only select parents are willing to buy kids an iphone.


So could this be the ipod replacement, the one that kids are happy to receive at christmas?


Could well be.


Nokia rode on the back of youth sales with the 3310 back in the day (there was no other phone to consider when I was a teen).


Motorola could potentially use the price to get a new generation with their products.


Give them something they love and they'll come back for more.


Just a ramble going round in my head.



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The Soup Thief
Nov 22 2013 05:05 PM

You mean has this made cheap phones cool again... does noone remember the Blade?

Maybe don't take that too seriously, cos this is a cheap phone that seems to work, and really well (the Blade having had some problems in that small area until you did some tinkering)


I don't have a Moto G, having taken the plunge with the N5, but TBH I reckon this thing looks cooler than Jeebuz!


It's everything anyone needs in a mobile, IMHO, with a properly mature OS, something approaching sensible battery life, a processor that's good enough and then some and a camera that takes snaps.  Bingo!  It's even splash proof!

Smartphones that work without any fannying about cost too much.  That's the way it has been for the last while and this little gem is the thin end of Google's wedge to change that.  Expect Motorola to sell rucks and chucks of them and really disrupt Samsung and Apple's cosy duopoly on smartphone profits by showing the world that things can be different.


It's no coincidence that Samsung are edging away to Tizen, just as LG are refocusing on their TV and white goods businesses.  They've seen the writing on the wall.  Both companies can make blinding top end phones, just as can Apple, but there's a storm of really good, cheap mobile phones coming - the Moto G is at the vanguard. 


The rest of the industry is going to have to sort out their hardware and pricing strategies (with Android requiring less and less muscle to make a really nice user experience, esp with the introduction of ART / Dalvik 2) or switch to making toasters.  There's always going to be room at the top end for people who want something expensive for the point of it, but that's going to be a progressively smaller and less profitable slice of the pie as time goes on.  The US may be the last hold stand, due mainly to the messed-up influence wireless carriers have on the market by means of the subsidy system (that Google's already starting to pick away at).


Hopefully the Moto G2, will be a bit thinner, with better image quality, better battery life, NFC and wireless charging; a speed boost will be a given as Dalvik 2 takes off.  And will it be the Moto G2 or the Moto G (2014), now that Googorola seems so clearly to be making the Nexus for the masses.


The Moto G is the first step, not just in making cheap phones cool, but in making expensive phones look stupid.


(On the other hand maybe Tizen will be insanely good and we'll all have forgotten about android in a year or two, but somehow I don't think so).

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Nov 22 2013 05:28 PM

Has it made cheap phones cool again? Yes, this and the Nexus 4 both did it for me, It's come to the point where I was actually happy to get a cheaper phone, feels like less of a responsibility on a Giffgaff PAYG SIM. Bundle the cheap price with great hardware and you've got my next phone.


Will it be a teenagers device? No, as doncoop said there is no Apple logo on it. Being a teenager myself it's just reality with the majority of my peers.


But,there are still only a handful of cheap, great spec, REALLY great value devices I can think of: Nexus 4, Moto G, Nexus 5(pushing it?), ZTE Blade & the Orange San Diego. Bar the Blade, these are all 'recent'. Maybe it takes a little more time?

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I used this one

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Thing is it depends where you are, in London a lot of people have money. So the most common handsets by far are iphones. I get the impression that most young people here (30 and under) tend to want phones with good cameras and often get contracts which does leave these lower ends handsets kind of floundering a bit.


Saying that there will always be a lower tier for people who cant afford high end handsets and contracts. I think the biggest issue facing potential non techy android handset buyers is misinformation and confusion. Getting the word out to the general public that devices like the Moto G and Nexus 5 are the best value and best functioning handsets in their categories is a challenge when you have other manufacturers spamming the market hard with sub par laggy devices for cheap, and have been for a long time which in my opinion has tainted androids reputation.


In terms of weather the Moto G is cool, i'm not so sure. Maybe amongst tech enthusiasts as all the good budget performers tend to be revered but I still think that in many peoples minds cheap is still associated with low quality.


Its great to see Motorola offering actual good value and good performance in this category after manufacturers have been ripping off cosnumers for so long. Although saying that part of the bad performance was in part down to the android OS itself, which imo only came into its own with jellybean. But personally I still think Motorla need to up their game in terms of advertising in an attempt to alter peoples preconceptions and get people to understand the true advantages and benefits over other similar devices of a phone like the moto g.

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Hi do you have a link for the site you used to get the Tesco phone unlocked please?

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Nov 23 2013 09:55 PM

Hi do you have a link for the site you used to get the Tesco phone unlocked please?

Here: http://www.ebay.co.u...=item19e56bf525


only £2.04 ;-)

    • 1

Hi do you have a link for the site you used to get the Tesco phone unlocked please?

Buy with your payg sim from phones4u. 99£. It comes sim free but deal goes through orange. Not locked down though. Awesome phone from top level build.

Attached Files

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I looked at it in phones4u but my Orange SIM hadn't got enough credit so they wanted full price. I've got a 16gb one on pre-order from my local Tesco. It's £129 but you can use your Clubcard vouchers on what they call Clubcard Boost, which makes it £64.50. The only down side is it's locked to Tesco but the link from shootomanUK will hopefully sort that.

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Thanks very much for the link. I'm hoping to pick my phone up from my local Tesco early next week.

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The Moto G is changing the budget phone market just like the ZTE Blade did and it makes me happy. 

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Nov 25 2013 04:43 PM

I still use my zte as primary phone (he is having his 3rd birthday these days ;) and i still love it, since i had bad times to retrieve it.. they never sold it in Italy!).


I'm waiting to understand if the moto g is going to have the same community support, if yes i will buy it 100%

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Nov 26 2013 09:38 PM

I think they have. It is certainly giving Nokia's windows phones a run for their money in this space. Being able to have customizable backs and being of a great spec for the price should make it a great choice for anyone off contract. Certainly a push in the right direction now that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of going after the next billion smartphone users. Until this, I did not think Android had a contender in that field. The windows phones from Nokia were stomping all over cheap androids in terms of build quality, smoothness and usability in the low end market. 

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