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printed September 19, 2014
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Review: Motorola Moto G for AT&T

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  5  

Screen

For a $180 phone, you just can't complain about the Moto G's screen. It measures 4.5 inches across the diagonal and includes 1280 x 720 (720p HD.) I may have dinged the higher-end Moto X for its 720p screen, but the Moto G costs much less and has slightly better pixel density. The LCD panel looks excellent when viewed straight-on. Text and images are sharp, colors are bright, and there are no visible pixels. Tilting it side-to-side shows extreme brightness drop-off, however, which means viewing angles aren't all that great. Still, for what it is, the G's screen is very good.

Signal

We tested the Moto G on AT&T's network, though variants of the G will work on T-Mobile, Verizon (prepaid) and possibly others, as well. One major feature the G lacks is LTE 4G. You could say the Moto G is one G short of LTE. It is limited to HSPA+ at 21 Mbps, which, on AT&T's network, registers as "3G" in the signal bar on the top of the screen. The G connected to AT&T's network just fine. I didn't have any trouble making phone calls no matter where I took the phone. The phone didn't drop any calls, nor did it miss any. Data speeds were OK but definitely not great for someone accustomed to 4G LTE. Downloads were generally in the 1Mbps - 3Mbps range. Data sessions slowed to a crawl in poor coverage areas, but the packets still pushed through eventually.

Sound

I was generally pleased with the Moto G's call quality. Regular calls made through the earpiece sounded warm and were loud enough to hear most of the time. The speakerphone loses some quality, for sure. Voices coming through the speaker sound more scratchy. Volume is acceptable, but could be a lot better. People I spoke to through the G said I sounded a bit distant and quiet. The ringers and alerts are almost always loud enough to get your attention, and the vibrate alert provides a good buzz.

Battery

The mid-sized screen and the lack of LTE 4G help give the Moto G excellent battery life. The device easily lasted a full day and well into a second before requiring some juice. It consistently made it from 7AM one day to 11AM the next. That's better than most other devices in the market right now, aside from Motorola's own Droids. Suffice to say, charging it once a day is plenty.

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