I hope this review will be especially useful to anyone not familiar with smartphones and their apps.
I'm very impressed with this phone. I've spent a few days testing it against an iPhone, and have to say that the Motorola holds up very well indeed. Screen quality, sound, phone call clarity, battery capacity, network speed, smoothness of web page scrolling - the Motorola is not out classed.
One aspect that is slightly better on the iPhone is the quality of the camera for lower light levels. At low light levels, for example when indoors, the photos from the iPhone are slightly crisper, though the differences are slight and only really detectable when the photos are enlarged. In bright light and outdoors I found that the quality of the photos is evenly matched.
I like the camera interface on the Motorola, its intuitive and allows you to press the shutter by pressing anywhere on the screen - it makes it easier to hold the phone steady while using the movable focus box and pressing the shutter.
Of course, a phone isn't going to offer the same photographic quality that you can get with a proper camera, especially for zooming, low light and moving targets; but as a handy alternative, the Motorola copes adequately.
Here are some other things I like about the phone, as well as a few tips and suggestions:
● It's free from bloatware
It is to Motorola's credit that they haven't added lots unnecessary apps to this phone. The phone contains the key apps that you will probably need, but there is plenty of capacity for you to add additional apps should you wish.
● Android KitKat
This phone includes the latest version of the Android operating system, KitKat (yes, the Android developers really do name the Android versions after confectionary). In fact, when I first used the phone it automatically updated to latest subversion of Kit Kat (4.4.4) via an over-the-air update that installed easily.
● SD Card Storage
The phone can take a micro SD card with a capacity of up to 32GB.
The Android operating system puts a few restrictions what can be transferred from the phone to the card; for example it prevents some apps from being transferred to the card. Even so, the SD card is a great addition for increasing the capacity of the phone to store things like photo, videos, documents and other files.
You might read some older reviews that report problems with the phone's ability to read the SD card. Motorola seem confident that these are fixed with the new version of KitKat that the phone now uses. Certainly I've tested the phone with two SD cards (Samsung Evo and SanDisk Extreme) without any problems.
● SIM-free and good for Pay As You Go
The version of this phone sold by Amazon isn't "locked", which is good since it means it should work with any phone network. I have a simple and cheap pay-as-you-go account with one of the supermarkets, and installing their SIM was a breeze. The phone only accommodates micro SIM cards, which is okay because most SIM cards, if not already supplied as a micro SIM, allow the centre of the SIM card to be pushed out to convert them into micro SIM cards.
If, like me, you are using a pay-as-you-go SIM, you will probably want to turn off data downloading via the phone network in order to ensure internet downloads don't use up your phone account balance. To do this choose Settings>Data usage, and set Mobile data to off. You will still be able to surf the internet and download files and emails via any wireless network you are connected to. Of course, you can quickly turn the mobile data usage on again if you want to use the internet while you are not connected to your wireless network.
● Easy device connectivity
The phone has Bluetooth - a simple wireless technology that enables close devices to interact and transfer files. The supplied USB cable also enables you to transfer files between your phone and PC.
Some reviews have noted that the phone has useful OTG (On The Go) capabilities. This would allow you to connect the phone to devices such as mice and memory sticks using a special OTG cable. It's mentioned in the user guides, although I've yet to test it. I'll add an update to the end of this review once tested.
● Getting the best from the camera
I've found that the photos are clearest when the camera zoom isn't used.
There is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) option that improves the detail in bright scenes that include shadows. This does improve the picture quality, though is not recommended for low light or moving objects.
● Getting Started
The printed instructions supplied with the phone are brief and really only give an overview of the phone's capabilities - this is true with most mobile devices. Even so, setting up the phone was fairly easy by following the messages displayed on the screen. Once you have the phone started, you can access more detailed instructions via a Help app - look for the app that looks like a question mark. There is also a very heĺpful Moto G User Guide that you can download from Motorola.
● What else would you need to buy?
The phone is supplied with a micro USB cable that is used for charging. You can connect this to a PC to charge the phone, but if you have no PC, or for better convenience, you will need a charger suitable for a plug socket.
A micro SD card is useful for adding extra storage capacity, though you might find the memory storage of the phone itself is sufficient. The phone supports cards that are up to 32GB. I'm using a Samsung Evo micro SD card, which works fine.
*** Update: 24 August 2014 ***
On-The-Go tested successfully
I've just purchased a cheap OTG cable (aLLreli® Micro USB Host Mode On The Go OTG Cable for Google Nexus 7 2 II Nexus 10 5, Motorola Moto G Phone Xoom, Samsung Galaxy S4 S2 S3 S5 Note 3, Galaxy Note 8.0 Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Tab 3 8.0 10.1, HTC One, Nokia Lumia 2520 Tablet, Tesco HUD...
) which allows me to access devices such as memory sticks through my phone. The cable connects to the micro-USB slot on the phone, and then other devices can be connected to the USB port on its other end. This is a useful option for transferring files. If you connect a device, you'll find information about mounting and unmounting it at the bottom of the Settings > Storage menu.