The Moto G from Motorola has long been a budget smash-hit. Since the original 4.5" phone launched back in late 2013, it has set new standards for price vs performance, providing just the right compromises in just the right places (vital at the £100-£150 pricepoint) together with a near-vanilla software build that makes the most of the hardware inside. New for the 3rd Generation, the Moto G can now be customised with 'moto maker' - so we gave it a spin, courtesy of Three.
The premise is simple - you buy a Moto G from Three for £159.99 and in return you get a PIN code to use at the Moto Maker website. You can then customise elements of your device after while Moto will build it and send you your very own custom device. If it works as well as it says, then surely it has to be fantastic right? So let's look at the process.
The first screen you'll see at the Motorola site is that aforementioned PIN entry screen. This ensures you don't end up paying twice for your phone. Important.
After entering the PIN, you are straight into the design phase! First up is the front of the device - you can choose black or white. We're not big fans of the white, so we selected black.
Next up is the back! As you can see, 10 different options are on offer, however 2 of the options were either delayed or not available. The Moto G is a very popular phone - normal availability is expected very soon. We went for yellow! Note that that 3rd generation Moto G has improved materials over its predecessors - it now has a textured back which contributes to a much improved feel for the device. It also includes waterproofing, again new for this generation.
The Back Accent
As well as choosing the colour of the removable back panel, you can also choose an accent colour. Yellow and yellow just didn't work, so we went for a contrasting red for our device.
A flip shell case can be added to the order for an additional fee.
This is where it gets really personal - you can choose to have an 'engraving' on the back of your device. It's not an engraving per se - it's more dark grey printing, but it really makes the device unique. Of course, I opted for 'www.MoDaCo.com'! I suspect choosing this option will affect the future resale value of the device, so use with caution!
Storage / RAM
The regular Moto G offers 8GB storage and 1GB RAM, however 16GB / 2GB can be specified for an additional £30.
Next come the software refinements. First up is the greeting. I chose a matching greeting to the back cover, of course!
Finally, a selection of wallpapers are offered. After selecting your preference, you are provided with a summary of the device (and the cost).
And that's it - you're ready to complete the order! After signing in with a Motorola or Google account, your order will be shipped off to the factory to be built and an order tracking page will allow you to keep track of its progress.
The devices themselves are built in Shenzhen, China and shipped directly from there to your home via DHL (a tracking number is provided). Of course, no additional charges or duty are due. My device took approximately 2 weeks to arrive, again, due to the device being very popular just after launch.
When the device did arrive, I opened it with excitement to see the results! The box itself is typically Moto G minimalistic - only the phone and a microUSB cable, no mains adaptor, no headphones. It was shrink wrapped and there really wasn't anything to suggest it was a 'custom build'.
So here's the result!
Honestly, i'm impressed. I wonder if really, all phones should be made this way. We're spending a fair chunk of cash on these things, they're very personal devices - so why shouldn't they be customised to our taste? Moto Maker is also available for the Moto X Play and the forthcoming Moto X Style.
To learn more about buying a custom Moto G from Three, head on over to their website, where the device starts at just £13 on a contract.
Have you designed a custom Moto G? Shows up your pics!